Born on January 17, 1938, John Bellairs was the son of a saloon keeper in Marshall, Michigan. He received his BA degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master’s at the University of Chicago. He taught English at several universities for the next eight years, including the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota. He began to win acclaim for his gothic mysteries for young adults, including The House with a Clock in its Walls, The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring, and The Figure in the Shadows. Although his books are full of stories about the supernatural, his heroes and heroines always count on their friendships to conquer their unworldly foes. Bellairs died in 1991.