Ardath Frances Hurst Mayhar (born 1930) began her writing career as a poet when she was nineteen. She began writing science fiction in 1979 after returning with her family to Texas from Oregon. She was nominated for the Mark Twain Award, and won the Balrog Award for a horror narrative poem in Masques I. She has had numerous other nominations for awards in almost every fiction genre and has won many awards for poetry. In 2008 she was chosen by Science Fiction Writers of America as their Author Emeritus.
Mayhar has written over 60 books ranging from science fiction to horror to young adult to historical to westerns; with some work under the pseudonyms Frank Cannon, Frances Hurst, and John Killdeer.