Lea Storry is an inspiring woman who was destined to be a writer. Throughout her career she has been able to take the economic challenges life has thrown at her, adapt to them and change direction all while still doing what she loves. This determination is what lead to her business “Family Lines”. Part of Lea’s business is telling the stories of others. Throughout this interview we learn some of her story.
- You have written both fiction and non-fiction, what style of writing do you prefer and why?
“Fiction or non-fiction…hmmm. It depends on the day. Fiction is awesome because I get to make stuff up. I can make people perform magic and fly over tall buildings. I just have to use my imagination to create new worlds. However, I also like writing non-fiction because I think collecting peoples’ stories is important. Many think their lives are ordinary when they’re truly extraordinary. To be able to take someone’s life and weave a book with it is truly an honour.”
- You have lived in many different places all over the world, how did these experiences shape you as a writer and a person?
“When I graduated in 1997 with my second degree, a journalism degree, there was an economic downturn. I wasn’t having any luck finding a reporting job in Toronto, where I had been living. I decided to take a job teaching English in South Korea. I was in a small town called Puyo, three hours south of Seoul. It was here I realized how powerful words are to me. Because I was illiterate in Korea.
I couldn’t read anything in Puyo – signs, menus, books, everything – was in Korean. I hadn’t thought about this before I left Toronto. I thought I’d be able to slip into society and find my way about town and go grocery shopping and do all the things I took for granted in North America.
I’ve carried those lessons throughout my life both personally and professionally. No matter where I’ve lived, I remember that writing isn’t just marks on a page. Words create bonds – which they can also break.”
- What influenced you to decide to start writing memoirs and stories for other people?
“I started my own memoir business after being laid off from the Calgary Herald in the summer of 2011. Before losing my job, I had never, ever thought about owning a business. That was for financial type people. Not me. I was a journalist. Never wanted to be anything else.
Unfortunately, journalism is facing some major shifts and after being laid off a couple of times from different newspapers, I had to come up with my own work solution.
With my journalism background, I had all the skills for a writing business: interviewing, writing, editing, layout and publishing. Since I was a little girl, I had been interested in my parents, grandparents and their grandparent’s stories. I knew a memoir writing business was something I could do and would enjoy doing. So I went for it.”
Lea’s perseverance and willingness to try new things is inspiring. What would have caused many journalists to quit motivated her to create a successful business, “Family Lines.” Throughout her career she has learned how important words are. Everyone has a unique experience that makes them who they are and their stories should be told. Her business allows her to create these memoirs. She also writes corporate stories, edits & publishes authors and teaches writing all while pursuing her own fiction and non-fiction writing. Her story has taught me that there is more than one way to do what you love and to never give up.