Nanette Challenger was born in Warren, Ohio and attended Lakeview High School in Cortland, from which she graduated in 1965. She attended one quarter of college at Kent State University before moving to San Francisco, where she lived in the Haight-Ashbury district and became acquainted with the counterculture of the hippies. She married and moved to Portland, Oregon where she lived until 1975, at which time she returned to Ohio with her daughter, Kathy, upon her divorce. It was while living in Akron some years later that she became a volunteer with the Akron Chapter 34 of the VVA.
The author's health deteriorated significantly after the trip to Vietnam, but during a brief respite she lived in the mountains of Easter West Virginia for several years. Upon the death of her sister, Leanne, she moved to North Carolina when she could no longer tolerate the harsh winters of the North. She presently resides in Franklin, North Carolina, near the Smoky Mountains, with her cat Missy.