Karis is a Pacific Northwest native with a BA in English from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and a few years of postgraduate work in Classics at UW in Seattle. Naturally, this education led to a career as a horseback riding instructor. She has been teaching for over twenty years and has been published in a national equestrian magazine. She lives on a small farm in Washington with a black cat, goats, and a foster horse from a local equine rescue group. She spends most of her free time reading, playing the violin and viola, and riding with friends.