Carolly Erickson is a distinguished biographer and historian as well as an historical novelist. She writes primarily about famous women in European history. "I have found the past compelling since the age of fourteen or so," she once remarked. Even before she began her undergraduate work in history at the University of Washington, she had "a feeling I might some day write history for the general reader." To support herself, she has played the piano in cocktail lounges in New York City. She currently spends part of her year in Hawaii and part in the Lake Chelan Valley in Washington State.