Cinda Ackerman Klickna grew up in Morton and Springfield, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education in 1973. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from Sangamon State University (later the University of Illinois at Springfield) in 1977. She taught English in Springfield for twenty-five years and has been a freelance writer and book reviewer since the 1980s, writing for the Illinois Times, Springfield Scene Magazine, the State Journal Register and others.

     Cinda is a union activist and spent part of her career in education as a leader in the Illinois Education Association/National Education Association. NEA has 3.2 million members; the IEA has 135,000 members, and Cinda held various positions within both. Various roles included the President of the Springfield (Illinois) Education Association, a member of the NEA Board and the IEA Board, IEA Secretary- Treasurer and President of the Illinois Education Association.

     Cinda retired in 2017 and has continued to write; she serves on various boards including the Illinois State Historical Society, the Sangamon County Historical Society, the Illinois State Museum Society, and the Dana-Thomas House Foundation (helping to protect the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Springfield, Illinois.)

     She and her husband, a former music/band teacher, have two sons and a grandson.