Miriam was born in Kenya and has lived in the United States and Austria. Growing up in different places has taught her that family and friends are to be found in all corners of the globe. Knowing of her love for animals, her father sent her a news article about Owen and the Mzee shortly after the Tsunami in 2004. This touching story was the inspiration for Owen and the Old Tortoise. As a teacher who loves reading stories with her students, Mimi saw this tale as an opportunity to talk with children about their ideas of family, love and friendship. Together with one of her best friends, who beautifully illustrated her words, she created Owen and the Old Tortoise.