Lane Robins was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of two scientists, and grew up as the first human member of their menagerie. When it came time for a career, it was a hard choice between veterinarian and writer. It turned out to be far more fun to write about blood than to work with it. She received her BA in Creative Writing from Beloit College, and currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas, with an ever-fluctuating number of dogs and cats.
How did she become a writer? Well, in her own words...
When I was eight, I was making up adventures for Luke, Leia, and Han Solo that got so involved, I had to take notes (in crayon, mind you). But I wanted to be a deep-sea explorer, a marine biologist just like my parents. Stories were just for fun and I soaked up sea-life like no one's business. Graduate students took me to rescue loggerhead sea turtles, took me to the stacks where fish in formaldehyde-filled jars waited to be identified and watched us with glassy eyes. My parents' colleagues took me to feed the lemon sharks in the tanks where they studied their optical nerves and their migration patterns. Yup, marine biologist. Absolutely.
When I was twelve, I wrote a novella for my infant brother, an epic--30 whole pages!--fantasy about a fish who grew some legs so he could return a diamond to its rightful owner. But I was going to be a teacher, like Mrs. Parks. Books were homework, or the stuff you read between homework. Really, I wanted to be a witch, but even at twelve I had doubts the broomstick was ever going to get off the ground. Teacher seemed like a reasonable fall-back position.
When I was fourteen, I spent all freshmen year dragging around a notebook, writing short fiction to show my friends, who started to run at the sight of me and my wordy, melodramatic teenage angst. I was thinking seriously about veterinary medicine at that time. I loved animals after all, lived in a house with a floating number of dogs (as few as six, as many as fourteen), cats, exotic birds, and fish tanks full of strange critters besides fish: salamanders, snakes, crabs, turtles. And writing--? That was what you did when you were bored in class, when you'd finished all your books, you couldn't hitch a ride to the library/bookstore and your allowance was all gone. Writing filled in the blank time. But I was going to be a vet. For sure.
When I was in college, I declared my major by default. English Lit-what, they give me credit for reading? Perfect. Double major in music. (Vet school went by the wayside after my first dissection class--all those innards, and don't get me started on the smell. . . .) I'd been right, way back in sixth grade. I would teach. Something. Maybe archaeology. Maybe English. Hell, maybe even Creative Writing. In the meantime, I wrote and wrote and wrote endless soap opera sagas about a band of jewelry thieves in New Orleans and the police who loved them. It entertained my dorm-mates quite nicely.
Then of course, came the revelation. End of the semester, I'm packing up all my stuff. My father, helping me cart out box after box full of paper, made a comment that they'd worked me hard that year. And I realized that the boxes were all short stories. I--palm smack to the head--was a writer. I wasn't ever going to be a deep-sea explorer, veterinarian, archaeologist, teacher, or even witch. At least not in the real world. On paper, though--that was another story. And another. And another.