Friday, April 26, 2013

New Series- My Online Community Member Highlight

The online community of writers is a close-knit one. We spend time forming friendships, supporting each other’s works, learning from each other, and building relationships.

I belong to Julie Hedlunds’ 12x community, the Children’s Book Creative, the Children’s Book Hub, and Wordsmith Studio. And then there is the blogging community.

My online friends are quickly out-numbering the friendships I make in person, which is a little disturbing to me refreshing thought.  The only time I get to meet my online friends are at conferences or book signings. Of the estimated 500+ members, I have only met a handful in person.

This year, I hope to change that and meet more of you. I am excited to do a series titled, “My Online Community Member Highlight,” in which I introduce to you a member whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person.

Here is a preview of what it will include:
  • About my friend
  • How we met
  • Our connection (what we have in common)
  • Our first encounter (when and where me met)
  • 3 things you don’t know about my friend
  • Their work-in-progress (W.I.P.)
  • Where to find my friend (social media sites)


Allow me to introduce to you my first Online Community Member Highlight: 

Lori Tian Sailiata (aka Lara Britt)

BIO: Lori is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She enjoys morning strolls through Lili’uokalani Botanical Gardens and late night walks along the beach. Lori is a chronic volunteer. When she isn’t wrangling butterflies in her efforts to birth a community blog or raising her Klout score to stratospheric heights, Lori is a docent at Honolulu's Bishop Museum. Most likely you will find her deep in a history, mystery, or memoir.

At the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

How we met
Lori and I met in April 2012 during a month-long Platform Challenge held by Robert Lee Brewer. After the completion of the challenge, friendships were made and the group MNINB (My name is not Bob) was formed. The community of writers has since been changed to Wordsmith Studios. Lori is one of the founding members of Wordsmith Studios.

As her biography states, she is from Hawaii. I, too, am from Hawaii. I have lived there for most of my childhood years. We enjoyed talking about growing up in Hawaii and about the foods we love like Hawaii’s very own coco puffs from Liliha Bakery.

Our first encounter
I had planned a trip to Hawaii to visit my parents. Lori suggested I give her a call when I get there. She graciously invited me and my family to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. When we met face-to-face, it was as if I had reacquainted with an old friend. Lori volunteers for a 2.5 hours a week at the museum, but she generously spent all Thursday morning with me, my mom and my two boys.

Lori took the time to show us around the museum grounds and shared her extensive knowledge of the Hawaiian culture. Her passion is contagious as well as her down-to-earth personality. I had a lovely time with Lori.

3 Things you don’t know about Lori Tian Sailiata:
  1. She's been busy developing a business and has been conducting trainings and meetings with clients in an old sugar plantation town of Waialua on the island of Oahu.
  2. Lori discovered Hatha yoga on a PBS station called Lilias' Yoga and You (1972-1992) when she was 12-years old and fell in love with it. She later taught yoga and even led a weekend seminar with Lilia when she was almost 7 months pregnant with her elder daughter.
  3. Back in the day, it had been every kid's dream to be on the Bozo Show.  So when a friend of hers (a writer for WGN at the time) offered her tickets, she couldn't refuse. She was thrilled to be able to bring her daughters and a friend to the televised children's program.  It was a dream-come-true for Lori…um, I mean her daughters.  *wink*

Lori is working on 3 mystery novels in the Passport in Time series (PIT), a spin-off of Whirled Peas Mysteries, and a YA series based on Oceania myths and modern Diaspora youth. The closest to completion is her Syringa Gulch Survey, which is the 1st of the PIT mysteries.

Where to find Lori Tian Sailiata/Lara Britt

You can also follow her Tweets on Storify and #WSChat

If you are ever in San Francisco and would like to get together, feel free to contact me. I'd love to meet you in person!


  1. Wow, I never knew Lori was so busy! I love this idea of highlighting online friends with your blog. Looking forward to more profiles!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Hopefully, one of these days, we will cross paths.

  2. What a great idea, Romelle! And so cool you and Lori met :-) A very interesting post. Just like Jennifer, I had no idea Lori was so busy and had such a lot of writing going on. Best of success to both of you!

    1. I'm grateful Lori had time to meet with me.

  3. Great post! She seems really nice (and she seems to like mysteries - awesome!)

    1. I take it you like mysteries too. Good for you!

  4. Great idea Romelle! I remember meeting Leslie Zampetti at a conference last year and the 12-year-old girl squeals which spontaneously emitted out of both of us. It was great getting to know more about Lori too.

    1. I have a feeling I will be emitting squeals at the SCBWI LA conference. Wish you could be there!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the introduction to Lori. It sounds like her writing schedule is packed full. I learned a lot about her (and you!). And now I want a coco puff.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hannah. Well, if you're ever in Hawaii, be sure to visit Liliha Bakery!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...