KARIN LILLEHEI is a Norwegian-American from Bainbridge Island near Seattle. She has a B.A. in English and a Ph.D. in Linguistics/Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. She has lived and studied languages and cultures in a number of countries including Mexico, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Among the languages she speaks, works in or studies are French, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Farsi (Persian). In America, she has mainly lived in New Mexico and Washington, D.C., where she was on the boards of the heritage group at the Norwegian Embassy, Ballet 2000 of the Washington Ballet, and the School of the Washington Ballet. In Albuquerque she also served on the board of directors of Southwest Ballet.

She currently lives and works in Oslo as the chief English editor of Tansa, a Norwegian/American company that builds the text proofing systems for most of the major publications around the globe: The Associated Press, The Canadian Press, Financial Times, The Economist, Telegraph, Times of India, Postmedia, Bangkok Post, Abu Dhabi Media, Newsday, and many, many more. During the course of her career she has also worked closely with The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Besides studying the languages and cultures of the Middle East, she has lived among these communities in both the U.S. and Europe. As a young woman she worked in a temple as the assistant to a rabbi. As an English teacher, she taught – and learned from – her students from Africa, China, Japan, Mongolia, Bhutan, among others. Personally, she embraces the "one world, one people" philosophy and is a strong proponent of building bridges and championing diversity. Her personal commitment extends to raising two multilingual, multicultural daughters, one Norwegian-Lebanese and the other Norwegian-Persian. Encouraging respect, understanding and love of their individual heritages has been her most rewarding experience. They are currently extending their family to include new members from Brazil, France and Tunisia.

At Dawn the Simorgh Appears is her first novel.