Maiken Nielsen was born in Hamburg in 1965. She spent a part of her childhood and youth aboard freight ships where she was homeschooled by her parents. Later she graduated from high school in Hamburg and hitchhiked through Europe for a year. Thereafter, she studied, among other things, linguistics in Aix-en-Provence. She is fluent in six languages. Maike Nielsen has worked as an author, reporter and broadcaster for NDR television since 1996. She films TV documentaries (Als die Sturmflut nach Hamburg kam, Geraubte Leben – Europa im KZ Neuengamme). She also writes novels.