Teacher, writer, publisher, speaker and (Demented) Domestic Goddess, Lani is the author of nine books. Her short fiction has been published in many journals and collections and her blog pieces have featured in various newspapers and online media.
Born and raised in Samoa, Lani attended university in the USA and NZ before returning home to work as a high school English teacher. In 2009 she was commissioned to write a book about the disaster that devastated sections of Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga. Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi was published in 2010 with funding from the Australian Govt.
In 2011, Lani published the first book in her Telesa Series, which was then followed by three more books, When Water Burns, I am Daniel Tahi, The Bone Bearer. Telesa is now a course text in Pacific Literature classes at various universities and recommended reading in many secondary schools.
Lani is also the author of Afakasi Woman: A Collection of Short Fiction which won the 2011 USP Press Prize for Fiction. Her short fiction has featured in STARCH: NZ Literary Journal, JAAM, Kunapipi: A Collection of Post Colonial Writing, the Samoa Observer, and has also been professionally recorded for radio and broadcast in fifty-three countries.
Her stories for children are published by the NZ School Journal Series and she provides mentoring services for their new Pasifika writers.
She sometimes writes columns about feminism, religion, culture, parenting and everything in between. Her writings on child sexual abuse and domestic violence in Samoan / Pasifika communities have generated dialogue in many forums worldwide. She is a founding member of FEMWOC (Feminist Mormon Women of Color) and a regular contributor to their blog. She’s also a guest contributor to FMH (Feminist Mormon Housewives) and her essay on A Samoan Woman’s Perspective on Ordain Women features in the 2015 collection Mormon Feminism:Essential Writings.
Her blog Sleepless in Samoa has thousands of readers worldwide and is her “first writing love.” She is a frequent guest speaker at schools, book festivals and literature conferences, and she has given author presentations to audiences in Samoa, Fiji, NZ, Australia and the USA.
Lani now works as a full-time writer and divides her time between Apia and Auckland, with her husband Darren and their five children.