ABOUT Karen and Darrin
Author - Karen Bell-Brege
Karen is from Michigan, and she was born on July 8 – the exact same date where decades earlier it was reported a UFO crashed in Roswell, New Mexico (which could explain her love of myths). Karen never knew she would be an author, she loved adventures and playing dress up. Living in Detroit when she was little, she was always exploring outside in alley's, and putting on her made-up plays. It wasn’t long after that they moved to London, England, and later Mexico because of her dad’s job. These new places added to her already creative mind. After high school she had wanderlust, and she was freezing, so she moved to Florida. She graduated from Brown Institute with a degree in Broadcasting – because she likes to talk, a lot. She got her first on-air job in Ocean City Maryland, and started writing copy.
But like anyone from Michigan she has her map attached, and couldn't help but move home. She worked as a copywriter for ad agencies, travelled nationally for Working Woman Magazine, and worked as a Communications Specialist for Chrysler. At Chrysler she won a Telly Award, but realized the only thing she liked about cars was driving them. Knowing she was still funny (even after that) she studied improvisation at Second City, Chicago, and with the great Paul Sills, which led her to starting an improv troupe. This was where she met Darrin. Their voice impersonations together hit like cupids arrow, and soon they were married. They have done voice work for computer games, and on radio. They have a son named, Mick, who is the love of their life and inspired their first book series. They now have 12 books out, and visit hundreds of schools every year inspiring children to create, follow their hearts and laugh. Karen still teaches improv – with the hope that we never forget to laugh and have fun, but being a writer is in her soul. She loves writing for kids, because she is one at heart.
Illustrator - Darrin Brege
Darrin Brege is also from Michigan, and he wanted to be an artist since he was 3 years old. That’s when he drew on walls, so you think he would’ve been a graffiti artist, but no. He was always drawing his own characters. He even came up with his own newspaper strip when he was 13 and was featured in the local news.
He went to Albion College and played football – he hurt his toes and ankles a lot. Ironically he graduated with a degree in economics, yet he thinks on the right side of the brain – so that didn’t work, especially since he's an artist at heart. He graduated with a BA, then headed to Los Angeles. He wanted to be a superstar, but realized he liked drawing better, so he studied animation. But being a Michigander, he got homesick and moved back (an easy decision - Michigan doesn't have earthquakes like the Northridge quake in '94 that he went through...that was enough) and got a job as an animator for a computer game company. The company went kaput, and in time he became a creative director then VP for the promotional agency HelloWorld. There he runs a studio team of artists (well he doesn’t actually make them run). He was performing improv, and was the original cover artist who branded the Michigan and American Chillers series. He has created original characters and animations for Warner Brothers, Hasbro, HBO, Disney, General Mills and more, seriously we aren’t joking. He has also been a radio impersonator for ESPN and Sports Radio – and he can do about 30 voices - talk about some pipes. His love of art and illustration can be seen in the cool illustrations that he does for his kids books, and can be heard when he presents – a true artist!