Hans Kristian Eriksen was born and raised in the small fishing village of Innre Kiberg, in northern Norway. During World War II, the Allies bombed towns in the region; when fighting in the area intensified, his family had to flee to the mountains and shelter there until Norwegian and Soviet forces liberated them. After the war, at age 15, he resumed his education in Varanger and Tromsø, and then studied at the Norwegian School of Higher Education in Trondheim. He worked as a teacher more than 10 years before becoming a freelance writer and the editor of Nordnorsk Magasin in 1978. He went on to become a prominent novelist, short story writer, and nonfiction writer. He wrote several books on the history and culture of the northern peoples of Norway, and on nature and conservation. He also researched and wrote about World War II history, including interviews with survivors, in Finnenes innvandring: I De tre stammers møte i Finnmark (1968); Partisaner i Finnmark (1969); Partisanenes død (1972); and the autobiographical Barnet og krigen (Children at War, 1983). He was elected to the Tranøy City Council and to the county council of Troms in 1975–1979 and 1992–1995.