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Lori Mann is a thirty-year-old New Jersey native, currently living in Philadelphia. She is a writer, a certified American Sign Language Interpreter, and a photographer. Lori is a published poet who began writing creatively at age seven. In 2009, she earned her M.A. in Writing from Rowan University with a concentration in creative nonfiction. She is thrilled to introduce her first book, My Stagedoor Family.

Why does Lori write?

"As a child, my creativity came in the form of storytelling. I was always making up stories and sharing them with my family. I would create them based on the previous night's dreams. I remember entertaining the family in that fashion for most of my childhood. My parents complimented my imagination and always listened to my narratives with genuine interest. I remember feeling quite pleased with myself and with the attention my stories generated, until one day when it was explained to me that, though they were wonderful and exciting stories, they were not real. I felt confused. My dreams always felt so real, I couldn't possibly have made them up.

Eventually that creativity shifted from storytelling to writing stories…from fiction to nonfiction. I started writing as soon as I was old enough to know how to. I wrote to question. I wanted to know why about everything, though I seldom asked. Instead, I stayed inside my head and wondered. Why do Mark and I have three parents who adore us when some children don't have any? Why do we get to have two birthdays and two Christmases every year (a benefit, if you'd call it such, of having divorced parents)? Why is there so much sadness outside our front door?

Mainly, though, I wrote, and I still write, to remember. Time helps us forget and, from a young age, I was somehow always aware of that. I made a conscious effort to take notes and write stories and poetry so that at any point in my future, I could bring myself back to those experiences. I wanted to be sure that I could always find my way back…that I could always taste the mint chocolate chip ice cream cone that I initially refused because it was smaller than Mark's; the sound of Poppy's voice, or the smell of Aunt Michelle's lotion; the silence I always managed to find in the midst of chaos; the way Springer looked after a bath and how soft the hair on his little head felt when I pressed my lips against it.

Anything that has ever gotten me to stop and think, even for a moment, is worth remembering. Everything that has ever made me wonder, smile, laugh, or cry, I want to remember. I always valued those parts of my life because I knew that they each helped make up the woman I was on my way to becoming. So I wrote. And still today, I write.

Writing is fluid; it takes and changes shape as we move and grow and learn and heal and hold on and explore and expand and give in and let go. Writing is affected by our emotions, which can change countless times in a day…even more so in a year. Writing can serve as a time-line. It maintains proof of how far we've come or how much we've regressed. Writing can trace a path to your dreams. It can fluff up your feathers and steal parts of your soul. Writing can trick you into thinking you're something you aren't, and it can challenge you to think in ways you never have before.

When my thoughts become crowded, writing is always a way back to the things I can see, smell, touch, taste, and feel. Objects. Scents. Places. Concepts. Ideas. Sometimes it's the only way for me to release the traffic. I write to bring myself back to the things I want to remember one day when my mind begins to forget." - Lori J. Mann

Fun Facts about Lori:

  • She will never be too old to go sleigh riding.
  • She can be seen skiing on any New Hampshire lake.
  • She is known to do cartwheels or headstands in any field of grass.
  • She loves and appreciates all four seasons.
  • She has a wildly active imagination and may put that to use by creating a series of books for children based on her dreams.
Lori J. Mann, Author of My Stagedoor Family: A Multi-Genre Tribute
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