Hi. I’m Lori Ann White, and I write both fiction and non-fiction. So, in the spirit of my writing split personality my bio will contain both, and you get to decide what was written by my fiction-writer self and what was written by my non fiction-writer self.
Here we go!
I was born 48 years ago in Grangeville, Idaho, a little town on the Camas Prairie. My maternal grandmother was an Okie dust bowl kid while my maternal grandfather had a horse named Oregon that could find his way home when my grandfather had so much business to conduct in town the horse got bored. My paternal step-grandmother was in a girl group with her sisters and my paternal grandfather was a pharmacist who wouldn’t let Dad bring his snakes into the drugstore. Scared the customers.
Good stock, eh? Then what the hell happened? How did I get sucked into writing, of all things?
I think it began when the extant set of sibs (I do have siblings; counsel has advised me not to comment further) were staying with Dad’s folks, and at one point Grandmama kept us entertained by letting us hit the keys on her typewriter. As the youngest at the time, I was only allowed to hit the space bar. A deep sense of unfairness gripped me and I vowed I would have my own typewriter someday and hit any key, any time I wanted. I have since learned the order does matter.
Soon after, we moved to Missoula, Montana. My first Halloween there we stopped at a little old lady’s house. While she handed out treats, one of the adults with us (maybe my dad) told me the woman was Dorothy Johnson and she’d written a book called The Hanging Tree. I looked at the little old lady, impressed. Maybe I could do that too, I thought. I have since become quite good at being a little old lady. Writing books–not so much.
My fate was sealed in high school. When I was a junior, I got a third place in the Scholastic Magazine Writing Awards. My English teacher at the time, a saint named Thelma Dougan, read another one of my stories out loud to our class while I plugged my ears and tried to read something else. Afterward, one of the mean girls said she was impressed because my story had people talking in it and everything, just like a real story. Gee, Jodie, thanks.
I’ve been writing ever since.