The fourth of five children, Mills grew up playing and pretending in the woods of Connecticut and spent her summers at her grandparents' in West Virginia. In her teens she moved to Oregon and Minnesota and later lived in Colorado, California where she lived in a log cabin and raised goats and chickens while working as a fashion illustrator before returning to school at San Jose State University and received the first MA degree in Illustration from the California State system. She and her husband, author/illustrator Dennis Nolan moved to Massachusetts in 1986 to pursue children’s books. Mills and Nolan collaborated on several projects, most notable, their daughter Genevieve May Nolan also known as Evie.The Mills-Nolan family lived in a converted barn in western Massachusetts where they had a host of wild animals friends.
Lauren A. Mills has illustrated several of her own stories as well as the children’s classics: At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald, Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery and Thumbelina by HC Anderson. Elfabet by Jane Yolen was her first illustrated picture book.
The Rag Coat The Rag Coat was Mills’ first original story and has remained in hard back since 1991.(Little, Brown). It received the Charlotte Award, thirteen state awards, has been told over the radio, has been performed as a ballet by the University of Utah, and received the Smithsonian’s “Season’s Choice” award. Fairy Wings, written by Lauren, and co-illustrated with Dennis Nolan, won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award.
Much of Mills’ own experiences found their way into her novel, Minna’s Patchwork Coat and her picture book, The Rag Coat. See the Interview
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