Grace Livingston Hill was born on April 16, 1865 in Wellsville, New York. In 1886, she moved with her family to Winter Park, Florida, where she got a job teaching gymnastics at a local college. She wrote her first book there, in an effort to raise money for a family vacation to Chautauqua Lake. The book was called Chatauqua Idyl and was published in 1887. She eventually married and began a family, but lost her husband to appendicitis. At this point in her life, her writing was the only way she could support her family. During her lifetime, she wrote over 100 novels and numerous short stories of religious and Christian fiction including Blue Ruin and Mary Arden. She died in 1947 at the age of 82.