I was raised with one foot in Canada and the other in any one of thousands of other worlds. When I hit the first grade, my father read me Ray Bradbury and J.R.R. Tolkien; my mother gave me C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle. In that moment, my world opened up beneath my feet and henceforth could never be the same.

My earliest memories are of books; reading them, smelling them, holding them, listening to my parents read them. I still remember the yellow light and the scratch of my father’s stubble against my forehead as I curled up at his side and he read “Watership Down” to me.

I would hide behind my father’s arm chair and run my finger over the spines of the books on the shelves before picking one at random and reading it from start to finish. Hours slipped by in that semi-dark, dusty space as I devoured every book I could reach. My parents never tried to tell me what was “appropriate for children” or what little girls “should” read, so I read everything. Everything from books about rabbits to deformed bell-ringers to elusive whales to misanthropes to other planets.

At some point, I began to write. From childhood on, I was always drawn to the fantastic, to the other-worldly, to the mysterious, whether it was talking horses or aliens or detective stories. I filled my pre-teen years with interstellar smuggling rings, dogfights, shoot-outs in steel corridors, and friends who would, and sometimes did, sacrifice everything for each other. Later I began writing about this world as well, about friendships and relationships and those moments oddly missing from most books or films; the quiet, in-between moments before leaving for work, or lazy weekends with nothing planned and no apologies. Later I realized how many people thought gay couples were incapable of having these moments, and strove to change that.

Most of my significant relationships revolve around writing and reading. The other day I estimated that I spend 80% of my time — when not working or sleeping — in creative pursuits, whether it’s losing myself in a new novel, writing fiction of my own, or planning and working out the intricacies of a made-up world. When I’m not at work, I travel around Japan to various beautiful cultural and natural sites, and when I’m on the train, I’m talking or thinking about writing.

My name is Lora, and I’m married to the written word.


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