Mette Ivie Harrison (she/her) is the national best-selling, award-winning author of The Bishop’s Wife, published in 2014 with Soho Press. She is an All-American triathlete and holds a PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures from Princeton. Before writing adult mysteries, she wrote numerous YA fantasies, including the award-winning and acclaimed Mira, Mirror, and The Princess and the Hound. She also frequently writes essays on Mormonism and the post-Mormon life, and podcasts at The Mormon Sabbatical. She currently works as fiction editor for The Exponent II and as a writing coach because she believes that writing heals and that everyone has a story that needs to be told. She was recently diagnosed with autism, which has explained a lot about her life.
Mette Ivie Harrison was born ninth of eleven children to a large, Mormon family. She grew up on a farmhouse in central New Jersey before moving to Utah for high school. She spent her sophomore year at a German Gymnasium and began taking college courses when she got back. She was awarded the “Ezra Taft Benson Scholarship” at Brigham Young University, an honor reserved for only twelve young Mormon women and men. Harrison graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in German in 1990, only two years after high school, and went to Princeton on full scholarship for a PhD program at age nineteen. She also married her high school sweetheart, Matthew, in 1990.
In 1997, Harrison began to work seriously toward her lifelong dream of becoming an author. She wrote twenty novels over the next several years, with the 20th garnering a contract with Holiday House, The Monster In Me, published in 2002. She wrote young adult for many years, publishing Mira, Mirror, The Princess and the Hound, The Princess and the Bear, The Princess and the Snowbird, Tris and Izzie and The Rose Throne. She also had five children and was very active in the Mormon church.
In 2013, she published a memoir Ironmom about losing her youngest child to stillbirth and her experience in Ironman triathlon to deal with grief. In 2014, The Bishop’s Wife, an adult mystery set in Mormon, Utah, came out with Soho Press to much acclaim. Three more books in that series have since been published (His Right Hand, For Time and All Eternities, and Not Of This Fold), and the fifth, The Prodigal Daughter is forthcoming in July of 2021. Harrison has also published other Mormon-themed books for By Common Consent (The Book of Laman, The Book of Abish, The Women’s Book of Mormon, and Vampires in the Temple). She has published short stories and poetry, as well.
In January of 2019, Harrison stepped away from formal association with the Mormon Church. She speaks regularly about this process and its implications on her podcast, The Mormon Sabbatical. She was also diagnosed with autism after many years of seeing autism in family and friends all around her. Symptoms include rapid sensory overwhelm, difficulty in interpreting body language and facial expression, difficulty changing habits and schedules, intense hyper focus, and a very odd sense of humor. She is working on autism-positive fiction as well as a book of essays about autism for a wide audience of readers in hopes of showing the humanity in the diagnosis.
Harrison continues to compete regularly in triathlon and marathoning. She qualified for the Boston marathon in 2018 and has been an All-American triathlete. She has completed 9 Ironman-distance races, 8 50-milers, and over 100 triathlons. Her children and her husband often compete with her. She lives in Layton, Utah.