Pamela Dean was born in Illinois and raised in Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska. She was read to from a very young age and has been addicted to reading ever since; she will read the cereal box or the tag on a cushion rather than sit quietly. She read a fair number of books that were over her head as a child, which led to a general liking for books that require several readings for real understanding. She writes books of this kind as well. Now middle-aged, she is catching up on her childhood by reading young-adult fiction.
She decided to be a writer in the fifth grade. Her first idea was to be a poet, and her first published piece of work was a poem called “After Sorcery,” which appeared in Seventeen Magazine sometime around 1969. However, when she realized that, at the age of thirty, she was still writing very good poetry for a fifteen-year-old, she gave up the idea.
She has a B.A. in English from Carleton College and an M.A. from SUNY-Binghamton, and quotes too much as a result. She wrote her master’s thesis on Shakespeare’s problem plays, and has never really been free of Shakespeare since. Fortunately, he is an enjoyable ghost to have haunting one. She enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, being an intermittent part of local science-fiction fandom, and attending the theater. She has no actual talent for any paying profression other than writing, insofar as writing can be said to be a paying profession. She lives in a cluttered duplex in Minneapolis with her husband, her chosen family, and five cats.