"...that joy in reading," she says, "made me want to be a writer, and from the time that I was nine years old, I never doubted that I would be one."
Ms Tolan majored in creative writing at Purdue University, and went on to get her Master's degree in English. Then, amidst a marriage and caring for three young stepsons, as well as bringing another son into the world, she still found time to wedge in writing poetry and plays for adults - all while teaching college English - in the late 1960's.
In 1978, Ms Tolan's first children's novel was published: Grandpa and Me. She went on to write over 24 books for children and young adults. Her work has garnered several awards, including a 2003 Newbery Honor for Surviving the Applewhites (2002) - which also was a New York Times bestseller, and the Christopher Award (given to media that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit") for her 2006 novel, Listen!.
In addition to her work as poet, playwright and children's and young adult author, Stephanie S. Tolan has also become known as an advocate for extremely bright children. After co-authoring Guiding the Gifted Child (1982), she became a consultant to parents and educators, and speaks nationally and internationally about the social/emotional/spiritual needs of gifted kids and adults.
Born in Canton, Ohio, on October 25, 1942, Ms Tolan was then raised in Wisconsin. She now lives near Eagle Lake, in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband Bob, two dogs, one cat, two fish, and lots of outdoor critters.
Stephanie S. Tolan - Official Site (information also gleaned from various other pages within the site)