Kathleen Pierson was born on November 8, 1947 in Virginia and traveled throughout her childhood with her military family. She has a sister and a brother. She received her B.A. in English literature from Mount Holyoke College in 1970 and her M.S. from Northern State University. In 1970, she married Clyde Spencer Eagle, who is Lakota Sioux, they have three children, and reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first novel, published in 1984, was a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award winner. She has since won numerous awards including the Romance Writers of America's RITA award.