Nina Gettler was born in Salzburg, Austria, home to Mozart and the Von Trapp family. She is of Russian descent, whose family tree includes the Stroganoff family, Count Zhubov, who is reputed to have been Catherine the Great's last lover, and several other interesting historical characters. She grew up in Massachusetts, USA, and after spending her first two years of college in Austria, graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in French and an M.A. in German.
Returning to Austria in 1970, Nina worked for sixteen years as a translator for Russian, French and Italian before turning to writing full-time. Her life-long interest in history and her fluency in several languages has been of great help in the in-depth research she does for her books, which includes traveling to where the stories are set. After spending 25 years in Austria, she relocated to Seattle in July 1995 on the strength of a gut feeling that this was the right place for her to go.