Fiction writing: I was very surprised when, in the spring of 2016, a book started writing itself in my head. I had always said I didn't have a fictional bone in my body! But I was a lifelong Jane Austen fan, and had always wondered if I could write in 18th-century style. So, even though I was busily and happily teaching English as a Second Language at a vocational college in Shandong Province, China, I started writing it down. A Contrary Wind was the result. Go here for more information about my books.
It's been my pleasure recently to write some articles for Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine.
My articles at Quillette: about a kerfuffle at a Canadian non-profit, the myths about the Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter case, the Mary Wollstonecraft sculpture, the #disrupttexts movement, the debate over Jane Austen and slavery. Actually, all my Quillette articles are about kerfuffles.
Older stuff: I have authored several lengthy non-fiction investigative pieces about notable American crimes, such as: the murder of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the Lindbergh kidnapping, the 1920 Wall Street bombing, and the satanic ritual moral panic of the 90's which led to a spate of wrongful convictions across the country. Some of the wrongfully convicted people I wrote about are out of prison; some are still in prison for crimes that never happened. These articles have been cited in over a dozen books and been used in secondary school and university courses. My article about O'Hair was used in a course on the history of atheism at the Center for American Studies at Heidelberg University. My Wall Street bombing article was referenced in a New York City Law Journal Review article.
My background: I've lived in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia for 30 years. I was born in South Korea a few years after the Korean War. My parents served as missionaries in Seoul. My father taught library science at Yonsei University. And -- being from the South, he also taught his students how to do the Virginia Reel. My mother fostered Korean war orphan babies in addition to raising her own children in a country that was struggling to recover from four decades of Japanese occupation and the devastating civil war that has left the country divided to this day.
Our family's travels brought us back to the United States, where my parents were active in the civil rights movement. We always had the kind of house that was filled with books and magazines. Our family moved to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, in 1967. By then we numbered six kids.
I put myself through university, earning scholarships and working at a number of part time jobs. After working as a legal secretary, I became a stay-at-home mom. Over the years, I've been a market researcher, office manager, and vocational instructor, but chiefly I worked in non-profit administration. My husband Ross and I raised two sons; one is now a computer programmer and the other works as a researcher for the provincial government.
Hobbies, interests, passions and peeves: I've sung in a number of bands and choirs, most recently the Kelowna International Choir. They entertained at local seniors' homes and did a fundraiser for the food bank every year. I'm a book-lover, especially history and biography.
My avocation is researching and exposing frauds. I uncovered the way a prominent provincial politician had embellished his biography, a story that led to the collapse of his bid for political party leadership. Some of my research into the many biographical falsehoods of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter is available here.
Clean Sweep: After six years as the executive director for the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in my hometown, I decided it was time to start a new chapter in my life and make a clean sweep.
When I worked at a private ESL college, it was a privilege to watch the owners/teachers, Moni and Susan, at work in the classroom. The example they set was a big factor in my decision to return to school and obtain my TESL certificate at Okanagan College in September of 2013.
I spent four very rewarding years in Shandong Province, China. There's a lot more about my life in China on my blog.
[this page updated Fall 2021]
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
Contact: You can reach me at lonamanning AT shaw DOT ca