Karla was born in Gisborne New Zealand and is of Māori descent from the East Coast and Irish heritage. She is a mother and grandmother of an incredible group of people.
Her background is in Early Childhood Education and has a deep love for the children. She has always been creative and loves to draw and paint and since retiring now has that opportunity to produce artwork. Karla married Dan Vallely a children’s author, in 2018 and it seemed so natural for them to collaborate on children's literature.