Growing up in a small Midwestern town of 370 people, Astrid sums up her experience with the John Waters quote: “I was the only kid in the audience who couldn’t understand why Dorothy would want to go home. It was a mystery to me. To that awful black-and-white farm, with that aunt who was dressed badly, with smelly farm animals around when she could live with winged monkeys and magic shoes and gay lions!" As a kid, one of Astrid's favorite pastimes was staying up late with her older brother watching midnight movies and reveling at the rebellious b-movie bad girls whose transgressive adventures were about as far removed as possible from her small town life.

Obtaining graduate degrees in law, business, and psychology, Astrid ultimately traded in her rural hometown for a large city.  In 2005, she co-edited SIN-A-RAMA: SLEAZE SEX PAPERBACKS OF THE SIXTIES (Feral House), exploring the taboo world of 1960s erotic "sleaze" paperbacks, which was a major collecting interest of hers. She has an upcoming non-fiction work SWAP CONFIDENTIAL: SWINGING IN POPULAR CULTURE, which is a visual history of the swinger Lifestyle in popular culture. In 2016, she collaborated with Feral House on an expanded edition of SIN-A-RAMA for which she wrote new essays on both "Occult Sleaze" and "Swinging Sleaze."