I’m Tanya Lloyd Kyi, the author of more than thirty books for children and young adults. I write about science, pop culture, and curious combinations of the two. I’m also a lecturer with the UBC School of Creative Writing and a frequent presenter to schools and libraries.
I was born in Vancouver. Soon after, my family moved to a small town and started planting vegetable gardens, then moved even further from civilization and began sewing my clothes from green velour. I’ve made peace with the vegetable gardening, but I don’t want to talk about the green velour.
When I was ten and my sister was seven, my parents opened a restaurant in Creston, B.C. I can roller skate, because in the basement of The Rendezvous was a large expanse of concrete. I can also balance a load of drinks on a tray, manage difficult customers, and translate “2 e s/s, wh” into “two eggs, sunny-side up, white toast.”
My roller-skating sister is now an RCMP corporal. When I see her, I wave wildly and jump up and down, while she pretends not to know me. But you can’t escape your genes. (See also vegetable gardening, above.)
I went to the University of Victoria, which I loved. There were rabbits, and gorgeous creative writing classrooms lined with glass, and wise teachers, and fun and wonderful roommates who mostly still speak to me, and pubs, and theatres, and non-fiction writing workshops that I still remember.
I worked at the Forest Practices Board for eight months. The people were nice, except for the arrogant law student. The entire office was beige. The work was stifling.
I worked as a staff writer for the 1994 Commonwealth Games. It was exciting, and great writing practice, and so stressful sometimes that I had to sit on my couch in the mornings and take multiple deep breaths before I could convince myself to walk out the door.
My final student job was at a publishing house in Vancouver. There, I fell madly in love with children’s books. And I’ve been writing them ever since!
I now have a seventeen-year-old daughter with a thousand projects of her own underway, and a fourteen-year-old son obsessed with jiu jitsu. I’m married to the world’s only Burmese occupational therapist.
My favorite food is cheese. My favorite colour is blue. I’m a dog person, and we recently added a small Yorke-cross named Coby to the family. (His name is short for Cobra Kyi, if you’re a Karate Kid fan). I have lovely friends who sometimes read my blog because I don’t often phone them. I love to read. And cook. And yes, occasionally I garden.