Bonnie Ridley Kraft was born and raised near the town of Buffalo, Wyoming in the United States. So how in the world did she end up writing books with settings in such far-flung places? Czechoslovakia. The Netherlands and Belgium. Argentina and Paraguay. Afghanistan. Colombia. The truth is, she caught the spirit – this love of travel, cultures and languages – from her two sons, Adam and Jess, and this is reflected in her writing. She has traveled to many places in the world, both for work and for pleasure, and now lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bonnie and her sons have traveled extensively. They were in Czechoslovakia in 1990, the time and setting coinciding with that of The Kámen, the first book in the World Designs Ltd. series. The second novel in the series, The Long Way Home, is set in Amsterdam and in Bruge, Belgium. The third, To Hold a Rainbow, takes place in Argentina, the country that the author now calls home. Number four, A Land without Morning, leads the San Martín brothers to the war-torn, wintry city of Kabul, Afghanistan. And then in the fifth book of the series, His Own Bright Colors, the brothers are drawn onto the remote peninsula La Guajira in northern Colombia, where they encounter the mysterious Wayuu people.
Bonnie was the fourth of seven children that were born to Jesse and Louise Ridley. At the age of nineteen, she was married to John Garretson and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, where she worked for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner newspaper. When she was twenty, she was widowed as a result of a motorcycle crash.
She returned to university, this time in Portland, Oregon, where she met and married Mark Kraft. Two sons, Adam and Jess, came from this marriage, as did divorce. Currently, Adam lives in Chicago, and Jess lives in Bogotá, Colombia, with his wife, Narda Góngora.
For many years, Bonnie was a city manager in Oregon and other states. She was also president of a professional organization, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada, and in that capacity traveled abroad to South Africa, Israel, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
As the delegation leader for the People to People International organization, in 1991 Bonnie traveled to Leningrad (the name changed back to St. Petersburg two weeks later) and Moscow in Russia, and to Prague, Czechoslovakia, for professional meetings. Again for the same organization, in 1992 she was delegation leader to Almaty, Kazakhstan; Kiev, Ukraine; and Budapest, Hungary.
Bonnie is the author of several professional articles and book reviews. She has been a frequent speaker at professional conferences in the United States and Canada as well as internationally.