Marnie O. Mamminga has vacationed every summer on Big Spider Lake near Hayward, Wisconsin. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where she earned undergraduate and master's degrees in English. Over the years she raised three sons, taught junior high and high school English, and worked as a freelance writer and columnist. Her publishing credits include the "Chicago Tribune," "Reader's Digest," the "Christian Science Monitor," "Lake Superior Magazine," and several "Chicken Soup for the Soul books." She has been married to her high school sweetheart for more than forty years and is so very grateful that her grandchildren love the Northwoods as much as she does.