I grew up in Northern California, in the area that is now known as Silicon Valley. When I was young, though, much of Silicon Valley was still farm land. My house was near a farm that grew broccoli. I walked by an apricot orchard on my way to school every day.
My family was fairly typical, except for certain mealtimes with my grandmother. Dinner sometimes included octopus and bright orange fish eggs. The octopus tentacles stuck to your tongue when you tried to eat them. This childhood experience was part of the inspiration for my early reader, Bait For Lunch.
I went to college in a little town called Davis, which is known for its double-decker city buses, bicycles, and solar energy. I lived near the hog barn and the horse stables. Depending on the winds, the air smelled like either horses or hogs. I graduated from UC Davis with a degree in applied mathematics, and later worked in the engineering industry. For a time, I worked for the company that helped to develop the Internet.
I now live in Southern California, in a big city of over one million people. I write for children and am a technology blogger. I study art and digital design, and in my spare time, I grow flowers and vegetables in my garden. My husband and I volunteer with the San Diego House Rabbit Society, where we pack hay for the bunnies. We are known as part of a team called “The Hay Elves.” Rabbits eat a lot of hay.
I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Read Local San Diego and San Diego Writer’s Ink. My magazine articles have appeared in Highlights for Children, The San Diego Reader, Skating magazine, San Diego Pets magazine, Revolt in Style magazine, SDReader.com and on Viatouch.com. I have written online for Kaspersky Labs, Boundary, Angie’s List and IBM. My technology blog can be found on IBM’s The Midsize Insider, where I write under the name Karen Hanna.