Hocking lives in Rochester, Minnesota. Employed as a group home worker until 2010, she wrote 17 novels in her free time. In April 2010, she began self-publishing them as e-books. By March 2011, she had sold over a million copies of her nine books and earned two million dollars from sales, previously unheard of for self-published authors. In early 2011, Hocking averaged 9,000 book sales each day.
Hocking's published work, originally self-published, consists of My Blood Approves, a vampire romance series; the Trylle Trilogy, which covers a teenage girl's journey of self-discovery in an urban fantasy setting; and Hollowland, a zombie novel. The New York Times characterized her novels as "part quirky girl-like-Hocking characters, part breakneck pacing, part Hollywood-style action and part bodice-ripping romance – they are literature as candy, a mash-up of creativity and commerce."
In March 2011, Hocking signed her first conventional publishing contract for four books, at a price of two million dollars, with St. Martin's Press. It concerns her new young-adult paranormal series called Watersong. Book one, Wake, was released in August 2012. All three books in her previously self-published Trylle Trilogy were also sold to St. Martin's Press, and have been re-released from January–April 2012. In 2015 Hocking announced she had signed a new three book deal with St. Martin's and revealed that the books would be a standalone and a duology, respectively. The standalone called 'Freeks' set around a travelling circus in the 1980s will debut in 2016, while the duology to be based on Norse Mythology about Valkyries is set for a 2017 release.