Joelle Presby attended the United States Naval Academy. Robert A. Heinlein went there, she says, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. After commissioning, she studied how to find and kill submarines at Naval Postgraduate School and began dating a submarine officer. During her six and a half years of naval service, nations with significant submarine fleets stubbornly refused to go to war with the United States. She has lived in France, Cameroon, the United States, and Japan. She and her husband, the submarine officer, live in Virginia and claim they would rather live with hurricanes than move again.