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Author Information: Jean M. Auel

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Jean Marie Untinen was born February 18, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois. She is the second of five children. Her father was a housepainter. After high school she married Ray Bernard Auel and raised five children of her own. In 1964 she became a member of Mensa. She earned her masters degree in 1976 - attending night school while working for a Portland electronics firm. At that time she quit her job in order to find 'more suitable work'.

Three months later she still hadn't found a new job that suited her. About that time she got an idea for a short story about a prehistoric girl. According to Jean, "The 'short story' led me to do some research; the research fired my imagination, and the wealth of material made me decide to write a novel. The first draft turned out to be more than 450,000 words and fell into six parts. On rewriting, I realized each of these six parts was a novel in itself. I have used that rough draft as the outline for the series."

Jean's extensive research has taken her to prehistoric sites in France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Ukraine, the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Germany (to follow a portion of the Danube for the 4th novel).

Future plans: "I've been working 17 years on this project, and I want to do something else--maybe a mystery, or a thin little literary science fiction book, or something. But, I admit, I've learned a lot. I love the research. I can't think of anything more fun than learning anything I want and earning a living writing about it the way I want to."



©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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