Carissa grew up in Oklahoma and Texas and has one younger sister. She attended high school in San Antonio (Thomas Jefferson High School) and also developed a love of Tex-Mex food there.

She has worked as a children’s librarian since 1998 and loves that one of her main job goals is to come up with fun things for kids to do for free at the library. She has fans who come to her storytimes from all over the city. Now that she’s a mom, she feels lucky to have been able to cut down her hours to only three days a week.

Although she was never athletic growing up, in 2004, Carissa biked 400 miles in 5 days to raise funds and awareness for the AIDS network of Wisconsin. She then went on to develop a love of swimming and running in addition to biking. Recently, she's discovered that she actually likes fitness classes that make her feel sore two days later and she's also remembered how much she likes yoga.

Carissa is a creative soul and has tried out many different types of crafts. You can see her current crafty [and cooking!] obsessions at her blog called Happy Stuff.

You can also get a peek into what she does at work on her Library Makers blog.