Johnny Mast grew up in the Bergholz Amish community in southern Ohio, known for its beard-cutting attacks on other Amish people. He is the grandson of Bergholz bishop Sam Mullet, and served as his grandfather's right-hand support for his farm and businesses. Mast left Bergholz several years ago and now works on a construction crew. He and his wife, Clara, have one young daughter and live in Ohio. Shawn Smucker is the author or coauthor of seven books. He and his wife, Maile, and their children live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.