Joan Lowery Nixon was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended the University of Southern California where she received a B.A. in journalism and later an education certificate from California State. She has written over 100 mystery books for young adults. She is known for her Orphan Train Adventure Series and other titles including A Family Apart, The Seance and Other Side of the Dark. Her works have earned her the honor of being the only writer to win four Edgar Allen Poe awards and in addition, two Spurs from Western Writers of America. She was a past President of the Mystery Writers of America. She died from complications of pancreatic cancer on June 28, 2003, in Houston, Texas. She was 76.