|Joan Lowery Nixon is a prolific author of picture books, beginning reader books, and young adult novels. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she met her future husband, Hershell H. Nixon. The main characters of her first book, THE MYSTERY OF HURRICANE CASTLE, are based on two of her daughters. Nixon is perhaps best known for her mystery novels for young adults. Her books have made her a four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Writers of America Award. In addition to her fiction work, she has written a number of nonfiction titles, including EARTHQUAKES: NATURE IN MOTION, in conjunction with her husband, a geologist. The author of over 110 books, Lowery died of cancer in 2003.