M. C. Aster was born in Yugoslavia and raised on a coffee plantation in Ethiopia; the family emigrated to California and became naturalized US citizens. As an adult working in Europe, she had the opportunity to travel, including visiting several Central Asian countries and Uzbekistan in particular. Studying ancient civilizations as a 12-year old student, Aster made a pledge to visit Samarkand and Bukhara someday—centers of the known world 2500 years ago—a youthful wish that came true. Aster draws inspiration not just from her travels, but also nature, science, legends and folk mythology. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Slipstream, Meat for Tea/The Valley Review, Phantom Drift, Nine Cloud Journal (memoir piece), Borrowed Solace (fantasy fiction) and others. Aster lives in Mentone, California and fosters two endangered Mojave desert tortoises.