When Lanaia was 14, her grandmother abandoned her, and she landed in foster care where she had four different sets of foster parents within a year, because she kept running away to avoid men who attempted to molest her.
At age fifteen, she went to boarding school on her dad's GI Bill. She graduated in her junior year after which she drifted, living with various people with neither a family nor a home. At eighteen, she married and divorced having three miscarriages. By nineteen, she began working in management for convenient stores and restaurant chains.
She remarried at age 30, then had a stillborn daughter a year later. Five years later, her husband left her for a seventeen-year-old. She filed bankruptcy, and one month later suffered a massive stroke, which, after seven months in the hospital, put her in a wheelchair.
The next two years involved intensive physical therapy, but she would never walk again. She took the step of finding work to help her rehabilitation. She found employment at vocational trades where she met my soul mate, David, also in a wheelchair from a motorcycle wreck he sustained in 1984. They married in 1992 and are still happily married.
They, too, lost two children due to her disease, erratic hypertension. She and her husband live independently, and she still drives.
In 2001, David dared her to write a poem. Out of curiosity, she posted it in an online poetry forum. The feedback was so positive, she kept writing. At first, she wrote just poems, then short stories and finally novels. All of her work is typed one-handed because of her disabilities.
Lanaia gives credit to the grace of God which has helped her overcome immense adversity, hold her head high, and she claims she won’t quit until she hits the best seller list.