G. Z. Schmidt was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. when she was six. She grew up in the Midwest and the South, where she chased fireflies at night and listened occasionally for tornado/hurricane warnings. She graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Economics. Her books have gotten starred reviews and have been named to Best Book of the Year lists by Entertainment Weekly and the New York Public Library. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter and their tuxedo cat.