She was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but attended the University of Connecticut, where she studied anthropology and English literature.
She's a third-generation speculative fiction fan on both sides of the family and acquired the bad habit of reading dictionaries and encyclopedias as a child after she'd worked through the entire children's and YA section of the local library. Three of her grandparents were immigrants or the children of immigrants and the fourth claimed Cherokee descent *and* membership in the DAR. Her great-grandmother was from Transylvania. Her mother is an award-winning poet and breeder of champion Briards (that's a French sheepherding dog) and her father is a luthier and blues musician who writes novels on the side.
She started writing stories and poetry in second grade and hasn't stopped since. Detours along the way have led her into jobs in journalism, media, health care, and administration--with a stints as a stablehand and a domestic violence counselor for variety. Her nonliterary avocations include food (both cooking and eating it), giant-breed dog rescue, hiking, role-playing games, and comparative mythology.
She's the managing editor of Abyss & Apex ezine. Elizabeth Bear is her real name, but not all of it. She's not a natural redhead, but she plays one in print.
Someday she wants to have a pony.