Karen Gunnison Ballen

Karen Ballen has a bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota. She taught biology at a small college in Minnesota before turning to children’s writing. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and children. She is the author of Seven Wonders of Medicine.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. These Happy Golden Years was probably my favorite.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Herriot, Jane Austen

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I love to share ideas with other people, and I love to work with words. Writing books and articles lets me do both.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

You can’t publish unless you can write well! Learn how to use grammar and how to organize your ideas in a logical way.