Dakota Franklin was born in Palo Alto, CA, the daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of automobile engineers. It was therefore predictable that she would become an engineer. Her mother, an educationalist, didn't believe in putting children in boarding schools, so Dakota travelled the world, wherever her father consulted. By the time she was ten she could swear fluently in every European language, and carry on a conversation in all the major ones.
After college at Stanford and MIT, and further postgraduate studies in France, Germany and Italy, she worked on jet engines for Rolls-Royce, for Ford and Holden (GM's Australian branch) on high performance vehicles (HPV), then joined her father and grandfather in the family consulting business, where she has specialized in high performance machinery. She has since worked on contract or as a consultant with all the major automobile makers with a racing or HPV profile, and in powerboat and propellor plane racing. She insists racing regulators around the world love her, whatever they may say behind her back!
Dakota started writing in 1996 when a painful divorce coincided with a testing incident that put her in hospital for several even more painful months. After a false start which resulted in having to trash three complete novels, she finally acquired the right creative writing guru, and started creating the series RUTHLESS TO WIN.
She lives in Switzerland with her husband, an inventor, and drives or flies to the motor cities for her current consulting projects. She has one child, a teenager who travels with her and whose eclectic schooling has turned her into a linguist, just like her mother, but who has no intention of becoming an engineer.
Dakota says, "I'm finally happy. Fulfilled may not be too large a word."
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• Dakota often calls in at ROBUST