Robin McKinley, born in her mother's hometown of Warren, Ohio, had a childhood shaped by her father's service in the United States Navy, which led to frequent relocations. As an only child, she found solace in the world of books and became an avid reader. Her extensive reading became a constant companion throughout her nomadic upbringing, and she even associated memories of events, places, and time periods with the books she read during those moments. For instance, she recalls discovering Andrew Lang's "Blue Fairy Book" while in California, immersing herself in "The Chronicles of Narnia" for the first time in New York, experiencing "The Lord of the Rings" in Japan, and delving into "The Once and Future King" during her time in Maine. To this day, books serve as a means for McKinley to preserve and navigate the milestones of her life. McKinley pursued her education at Gould Academy, a preparatory school in Bethel, Maine, and attended Dickinson College from 1970 to 1972. In 1975, she graduated with high honors (summa cum laude) from Bowdoin College. At the age of 26, McKinley embarked on her writing career when her debut novel, "Beauty," was accepted by the first publisher she approached. She was residing in Brunswick, Maine, at the time. Throughout her life, she has resided in various locations, including Boston, a horse farm in Eastern Massachusetts, New York City, Blue Hill, Maine, and currently Hampshire, England, where she resides with her husband Peter Dickinson, who is also a writer. They co-wrote "Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits" in 2001. McKinley shares her home with two lurchers (crossbred sighthounds). Throughout her journey, McKinley has explored different professions, including roles as an editor, transcriber, research assistant, bookstore clerk, teacher, counselor, editorial assistant, barn manager, freelance editor, and full-time writer. Apart from her literary pursuits, McKinley dedicates her time to activities such as walking her "hellhounds," tending to her garden, cooking, playing the piano, practicing homeopathy, participating in change ringing, and maintaining her blog.