Kelly McMichael grew up in Midlothian, Texas, and attended Texas A&M University, earning a B.A. in history and English. She then completed an M.A. at Baylor University in American Studies and a Ph.D. in history at the University of North Texas. She is also the author of Transforming the Humanities Classroom for the 21st Century and Waxahachie, Texas: Where Cotton Reigned King. She lives in Denton with her husband, two children, two dogs, and a cat.