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About Karen McMillan

Karen McMillan lives in New Zealand and is the author of 22 books, published in ten countries, a mixture of fiction, non-fiction and children's books.


Her non-fiction titles include – Everyday Strength: Recipes and Wellbeing Tips for Cancer Patients with co-author chef Sam Mannering, Unbreakable Spirit: Facing the Challenge of CancerLove Bytes, Feast or Famine, and Unleash Your Inner Seductress. Karen has ghost-written From the Blitz to the Burmese Jungle and Beyond: A Memoir by Brian Hennessy.


She has adapted a South African book about dying for the New Zealand market - Dying: A New Zealand Guide to the Journey. She has also helped with the manuscript for Retire Right. Karen is one of the experts featured in Balance: Food, Health + Happiness, published by Beatnik Publishing in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.


Her fiction titles include the bestselling historical novels The Paris of the East, The Paris of the West, and Brushstrokes of Memory. Turbulent Threads is her latest novel, recently published by Quentin Wilson Publishing.


Karen has a Diploma in Professional Writing and an Advanced Diploma of Applied Arts (Writing). Love Bytes was originally published as Love in Aotearoa by Random House and the book was short-listed for the Ashton Wylie Book Award in 2005.

Everyday Strength represented New Zealand in the Gourmand World Awards 2018 in the Health and Nutrition category.  The Quokka Logic and Baking Book was third place winner in the Baking Category of the Gourmand World Awards in November 2023. 

She is also the author of the popular Elastic Island Adventure series for children, that is in early development to be made into a series of animated movies. Blong the Cat's Costume Caper is her first picture book for children, and she has also created The Quokka Logic and Baking Book. 

Karen was the resident book reviewer on The Cafe TV3 for two years, and she appears regularly in the media. She has been a speaker at many festivals and events, including the Going West Festival, the Devonport Arts Festival, the Tauranga Arts Festival, Hamilton Book Month, and Brisbane Book Week (with thanks to Creative NZ Funding)​. She recently enjoyed the Robert Lord Writers Cottage Residency in Dunedin, and did a research trip to Rarotonga thanks to the Pacific Resort.


Karen has written articles for a variety of different publications and from time to time she undertakes ghost-writing projects. She also volunteered for many years for her local hospice, writing articles that promote the life-affirming work that they do. Karen is a breast cancer survivor.

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