Born in England in 1952, Clare Bell moved to the US in 1957. She worked in oceanography, electrical engineering, test equipment design and mechanical engineering before she wrote her first book, Rathas Creature (Atheneum-Argo Margaret K .McElderry 1983), the story of a prehistoric wildcat who learns to tame fire. Since then she has continued to write fantasy and science fiction for children and adults. She says, 'I am still fascinated by prehistoric animals and big cats, as showcased in the five Ratha series novels. I consider my two little cats, Danny and Athena, to be research assistants as well as companions and have learned a lot from them.''My stories show sociological themes as well, exploring the changes that are brought about in culture through technology, even one as crude as fire. I also enjoy creating plausible and workable prehistoric animal and alien characters. The central theme of my fiction is evolution, a result of my being influenced early by the works of C.S. Lewis, Olaf Stapledon , and Arthur C. Clarke. '