Janet Lee Carey

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Janet Lee Carey
Born (1954-01-11) January 11, 1954 (age 61)
New York, US
Occupation Writer, educator
Nationality American
Genre Children's literature, fantasy
Notable works “Dragon’s Keep”, “Dragonswood”, Wenny Has Wings, The Beast of Noor, The Dragons of Noor

Janet Lee Carey (born January 11, 1954)[1][2][3] is an American college professor who writes fantasy fiction for children and young adults. Her novels The Dragons of Noor (2010) won a Teens Read Too Gold Star Award for Excellence, Dragon's Keep (2007) won an ALA Best Books for Young adults, and Wenny Has Wings (2002) helped her earn a Mark Twain Award (2005).[4]

Personal life and background[edit]

Carey was born in New York[2] and was raised in Mill Valley, California. Carey moved to Seattle, Washington to be closer to her mother and stepfather, where she currently lives at Seattle, Washington. Carey is a very imaginative person and she finds herself daydreaming continuously throughout the day, which allows her to get into her "fantasy land" while writing. She considers herself a homebody who enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.[5]

Many of Carey’s novels involve an ordinary child doing heroic deeds.[6] She believes courage is an important aspect in order for children to develop into successful adults, and she emphasizes this throughout her writing. Carey believes that courage requires "a sense of purpose, a belief that what I do matters, a willingness to sacrifice, and the strength to fail and keep going."[6] Her novels show children and teens overcoming struggles and obstacles which eventually influence their development and growth as an individual.[6]


Janet Lee Carey is a successful children’s literature author as well as a teacher. Her desire to become a writer began at a very young age reading her favorite authors seated high up in the branches of a tree. Although at first she was unable to progress from inspiration to publication, she eventually became a successful writer through her dedication, love of story, and passion for writing.[5] Carey faced years of rejection; however, she kept sending her stories out. She believes that the joys far outweigh the struggles with writing.[5]

She has taught at Lake Washington Technical college, Bellevue college, and she leads professional seminars and workshops designed for children and adults.[7] Carey is involved in many groups including her critique group, The Diviners, and arts group, Artemis. The Diviners is a dynamic critique group which helped her progress as a writer, through the revision and analysis of her work. Artemis is a support group for artists, made up of writers, photographers, painters, collage artists, sculptures and musicians. They meet to openly discuss their goals and successes as well as the difficulties and hardships of being an artist.[5] She is also involved with readergirlz and Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Readergirlz is an online blog which supports reading for teenage girls.[7] SCBWI is a non-profit organization specifically for those involved with children and young adult literature.[8] Along with her interest in working with other writers, she is also a strong supporter of charitable organizations and environmental awareness. Carey demonstrates her support by linking each of her novels to a charitable organization, hoping to empower readers to make a difference in the world.[5]

Between finding time for her group work and writing, Carey has also dedicated much of her time to hosting writing retreats for future authors. She tours across the United States and overseas presenting at schools and children’s book festivals and conferences.[5]


Carey’s career as a writer was influenced by many different authors, books, her imagination, and personal struggles. Authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Juliet Marillier, Patricia A. McKillip, Shannon Hale, Kristin Cashore and many more constantly inspired her as a writer. The fantasy stories she read as a child “was the reason [she] wanted to grow up to be a writer.” She was also inspired by Grimms' Fairy Tales, and stories involving myths and fantasies. Carey always had a wild imagination. As a child she believed that trees whispered to her; telling her stories in a language she couldn’t understand. Her imagination helps her create vivid fantasy novels. Cary's determination to understand “things that haunt [her] and keep [her] awake at night,” also influenced her writing. She began writing Stealing Death when her mother was dying and she addresses the question “Why do we have to die” throughout the novel.[5]

Notable works[edit]

Dragon's Keep[edit]

Rosalind is born with an unsightly dragon claw. Those who see the claw do not live long after to tell the story. Rosalind is faced with the realization that she will never find love or marry. She is captured by the Dragon Lord and her adventures begin.[2]


Wilde Island is in a difficult situation, with the trust between the fairies, dragons and humans, being tested with the death of the king. The island is looking for a hero and young Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter, is thrown into the crossfire.[2]

Stealing Death[edit]

A fantasy novel based around a young boy named Kipp who has lost everything of value to him. He is left in charge of his younger sister after the rest of his family was killed in a fire. He is determined to keep those he holds close to him away from Death's soul sack.[2]

Wenny has Wings[edit]

Molly's Fire[edit]

This novel is about a young girl who is in denial about the fact that her father has died in World War II, until she is given her father’s watch. Molly risks it all to find out the truth she is trying to avoid.[2]

The Double Life of Zoe Flynn[edit]

Zoe’s family is thrown into troubled times, with her father losing his job and their rental house suddenly being sold. They are forced to move to find work and meanwhile live in the family van. To escape the sad reality, Zoe creates a “double life”. It is a story of courage and hardships.[2]

Dragons of Noor[edit]

Trouble is stirring in the world of Noor. After centuries-long exile, the dragons are uneasy and about to return. A strange wind has been blowing, sweeping children up into the sky. Among the missing is Miles's and Hanna's younger brother. They go after him and find themselves fighting alongside the dragons in a life- altering revolution.[2]


  1. ^ "Carey, Janet Lee". Library of Congress Authorities. Retrieved 2014-08-17. Citing Cataloging in Publication data.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Janet Lee Carey". Library Thing (librarything.com). Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  3. ^ "Library Thing". Library Thing. Retrieved 2011-11-09.  [clarification needed]
  4. ^ "Simon & Schuster". Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2008-10-21. Retrieved 2011-11-07. [page needed]
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Norelle Done (September 13, 2011). "Seattle Author: An Imagination Gone Wild". Seattle Wrote (seattlewrote.com). Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  6. ^ a b c Janet Lee Carey. "The Child Hero". Published in Chinook and in Medium, Journal of the Washington Library Media Association. Dates unknown. Reprint "Welcome to the Articles Page". Janet Lee Carey (janetleecarey.com). Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  7. ^ a b "Rosedog". Rose Dog Publishing Inc. 1999–2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08. [dead link]
  8. ^ "SCBWI". Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 

External links[edit]