Karen Brooks has been an actress and playwright, has served in the Royal Australian Army Survey Corp and has taught drama. She has been a senior lecturer in Australian and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast, in the areas of youth culture, film, music, literature and cultural theory. Aside from her academic career she has also had a regular talkback session on Sunshine Coast Sea FM radio.
Her commentaries on youth subcultures and popular culture, such as body art, grunge, literature, films and music have been widely reported in the media. She is also a published creative writer of short stories and plays.