Author Biography

Trana Mathews is my pen name. There is already an author named Diane Hildebrandt who writes technical reference books, so I decided to use my mother’s family surname. Besides, I think Mathews is easier to spell than Hildebrandt. While I was searching for an “old-fashioned” first name to go with the Mathews surname, a very dear friend suggested, then gave me permission to use her grandmother’s name.

I lived most of my life in Northwest Indiana. I worked at a local water company for over a decade before I headed into Chicago where I worked at several public accounting firms. At age 50, I obtained a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Indiana University Northwest. My two adult children were born while I lived in Northwest Indiana.

After I retired, I moved to beautiful southeastern Arizona and began writing about my third great-grandfather, because his life had always fascinated me. My original plan was to start with his diary of a journey from Massachusetts to Ohio in 1798. Further research led to discovery of actual letters written between family members which are contained in Marietta College’s Legacy Library. My focus shifted to his entire family.

Because of my research of Massachusetts birth, marriage, and death records, I found many genealogy sites had misinformation, so I became a WikiTree genealogist. This has helped me organize where I’ve found my information!

I’m a confirmed “bookaholic”. Yes, I do know the proper term is bibliophile. But, it seems to me, words with the -phile suffix have a sinister connotation. I’m a firm believer in promoting literacy and am an active member of the Friends of the Huachuca City Library.

I’m  a member of several writing groups and am involved with my community. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, crafting, and playing cards. While cribbage is my favorite game, dirty board (also known as pegs & jokers) is a close second.

My first novel is an 18th century historical fiction which covers the years 1776 to 1798. The second novel continues with Dr. Increase’s journey to Ohio and return to Massachusetts.

Diane Hildebrandt
Diane Hildebrandt


I recently traveled 1,800+ miles from southeastern Arizona to explore what information could be found in Zanesville, Ohio because Muskingum County History holds an archive of old documents for Dr. Increase Mathews. The historical society allowed me to photograph this information, arranged publicity (see PDF article) in the Zanesville Times Recorder, and hosted a “Meet the Author” book signing and luncheon.

I visited the Legacy Library at Marietta College. Linda Showalter of the Special Collections Department allowed me to view and photograph items from the John Mathews Collection. I also toured 4x Great-Uncle Rufus Putnam’s home which is contained within the Campus Martius Museum. I also located the 1799 home of Jonathan and Susannah Mathews Stone in Belpre, Ohio and stopped by the Belpre Historical Society museum.

The best part of this trip was meeting a second cousin!


Doing research
Researching the Dr. Increase Mathews archives

Where to Find Me

I’m on Facebook at Early American Historical Fiction Author Trana Mathews. Send me a Tweet, or find me on LinkedIn and Pinterest. Please visit my author profile to leave a book review or ask me a question at  Goodreads Author Trana Mathews.


Muskingum County History

I’m proud to be a member of this historical society. They do so much to preserve the history of this area. For more information, please visit their website.


Muskingum County History

IAN Member

I’m proud to be a member of The Independent Author Network and have submitted my first novel into their 2021 Book Award contest. Please visit my IAN author page.

Muskingum County History

Interviews I’ve answered:


Author Dove Winters

This was a fun interview! I enjoyed answering Dove’s questions.

Questions That Matter

Book Reader Magazine

I answer when I became fascinated with books and many other questions.

Book Reader Magazine

Awesome Book Promotion

I reveal more about myself on the Awesome Book Promotion interview.

Featured Author Trana Mathews