Gay Strandemo grew up in northern Minnesota and now lives just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. For twelve years she wrote, produced and directed plays for children based on international folk tales. One of these was based on stories from Nordic regions, which included an Icelandic scene. The research about Iceland was so fascinating that she delved deeper into the subject, and eventually incorporated Icelandic customs into family life, and wrote and illustrated the picture book "The Yule Boys," which is based on the Jolasveinar.
Gay has currently finished illustrating a story written by Bryndis Viglundsdottir titled, "Gudrither's Saga," which will be published in 2022.
Gay is a public librarian who schedules and writes grants for adult programming. She loves to read, draw, write, travel, study languages, and dance flamenco.