Joanna Philbin was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New York City. She is the daughter of television host Regis Philbin. She started her first novel at the age of seven, but only got as far as the second chapter. She went on to receive her B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She now lives in Santa Barbara, California. The Daughters Break the Rules is her second novel.