Author Carol O'Connell was born in 1947. She attended the California Institute or Arts/Chouinard and Arizona State University, where she studied art. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a freelance proofreader and copy editor as well as occasionally selling her paintings. At the age of 46, she wrote the first book in the Kathleen Mallory series and sold it to a British publisher. Her title The Chalk Girl made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.