Mary Pope Osborne grew up in a military family, and by the time she was 15 she had lived in Oklahoma, Austria, Florida, and four different army posts in Virginia and North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in religion. After graduation, she traveled around Europe and Asia. Before becoming an author, she worked as a window dresser, a medical assistant, a Russian travel consultant, a waitress, an acting teacher, a bartender, and an assistant editor for a children's magazine. She is the author of the popular Magic Tree House series. Her husband, actor Will Osborne, helps her write the nonfiction companion series, Magic Tree House Research Guides. Many of her books have been named to best-books lists. In February 1993, she was elected the 27th president of the Author's Guild.