Barbara Elaine Gunter was born on 19 June 1942 in San Diego, California, USA, daughter of Edna Marie Davidson, a homemaker, and William Samuel Gunter, Jr., a naval officer. Since the age of three she lived in Midland, Texas. She graduated from Midland High School an she received adegree in elementary education from North Texas State University. Later, she taught elementary school in Midland, Texas, while working on her Master's Degree and certification for Language and Learning Disabilities at Texas Tech in Lubbock. Elaine currently resides in Austin, Texas, where her son, Chuck, also lives. She has two daughters, Lesley who resides in Raleigh, N.C., and Ashley, who lives in San Diego, California.
She wrote his first novel inspired by a letter her great-great grandmother, Susannah Jane Dowell Shacklett wrote in 1920, telling about her journey from Brandeburg, Kentucky to San Antonio, Texas, and then going with an army escort to El Paso, Texas, where her brother, Ben Dowell, a veteran of the Mexican War, was El Paso's first mayor. Now, she is a *New YorkTimes* bestselling author of eighteen novels, which have been published worldwide and won numerous awards. She also is a member of both The Authors Guild and Mystery Writers of America.