Merlyn Magner was born in Flint, Michigan in 1952. At the age of seven she and her family moved to Rapid City, South Dakota where her father worked in broadcasting. Magner graduated from Stevens High School in 1970. She received her degree in Humanities and Art History from West Los Angeles College before working in the corporate travel industry. She returned home to the Black Hills in the winter of 2007 and began work on this, her first, book. She currently resides in the Ozark Mountains.