Nan Ryan (1936–2017) was an award-winning historical romance author. She was born in Graham, Texas, to Glen Henderson, a rancher postmaster, and Roxy Bost. She began writing when she was inspired by a Newsweek article about women who traded corporate careers for the craft of romantic fiction. She immediately wrote a first draft that she refused to let see the light of day, and was off and running with the success of her second novel Kathleen’s Surrender (1983), a story about a Southern belle’s passionate affair with a mysterious gambler. Her husband, Joe Ryan, was a television executive, and his career took them all over the country, with each new town providing fodder for Ryan’s stories. A USA Today bestseller, she enjoyed critical success the Literary Guild called “incomparable.” When she wasn’t writing, she was an avid sports handicapper, and a supporter and contributor to the Shriners Hospitals for Children and Juvenile Diabetes since the 1980s. Ryan passed away peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her proud and loving family.