Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization.
Patricia Anne McKillip was born on the 29th February (a leap year), 1948 in Salem, Oregon. The sea coast of Oregon instilled a great love of the sea and the cliffs and she likes nothing more than walking along the beach and admiring the views. McKillip grew up as part of a very strong family, full of love and support. Her father was an Air Force officer and Patricia found herself living with her family in Germany and England between 1958 and 1962 and this gave her an insight into the outside world and their cultures and languages, elements of which she has incorporated into her fantasy novels. She went to the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, and San Jose University where she earned a BA in English. She then went on for a MA at the San Jose State University. McKillip then moved to San Francisco, then to the Catskill Mountains in NY, then Roxbury, NY and last lived in Oregon.
Patricia McKillip first began writing at the age of fourteen when she sat overlooking a medieval church and put together a thirty page fairy tale and discovered that she had an active imagination. In 1973, the same year in which she studied for her Master of Arts, saw the publication of her first two books, The Throme of the Erril of Sherril and The House On Parchment Street. It was in 1975, with the publication of The Forgotten Beasts Of Eld that the literary world really sat up and took notice, especially when she was awarded the 1975 World Fantasy Award. In an effort to counteract the male hero dominated fantasy genre McKillip wrote strong female characters and these, along with her great attention to detail has become her trademark. She won the World Fantasy Award in 1975 for The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, the Locus Award in 1980 for Harpist In the Wind, and the Balrog award in 1985 in the short fiction category for “A Troll and Two Roses”.