Jean Kipfer was born and raised in Southern West Virginia. She spent her childhood following her Grandfather around the farm and orchards, listening to him tell tales of past generations. When she was older, she wandered the mountains and woods alone, adding to the adventures he had told her. Her mother was wont to complain that her mind and body did not occupy the same universe.
She left West Virginia when she was 22 to continue her education at the Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio. There she married her husband and moved to Chicago, where she raise her family and spent her spare time writing down her Grandfather's stories. While living there she became involved with an agent who asked her to write the story of Morris Cohen. The resulting manuscript was published as Shadow over China, which was published and optioned for a motion picture.
She is currently living in North Carolina with her husband and divides her time between painting and writing.