Fiction author Shirley Rousseau Murphy grew up in Long Beach, California and majored in fine and commercial art at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has worked as a commercial artist and has exhibited paintings and sculptures extensively on the West Coast. She has also been a designer and an interior designer, as well as in a library in the Panama Canal Zone. Murphy has written several children's books, plus the fantasy novel The Catswold Portal, the Dragonbards trilogy, and the popular Joe Grey mystery series, for which she has won eight Muse Medallion awards from the Cat Writers' Association. She and her husband live in Carmel, California.