About Kamilla Milligan

Kamilla believes that books are medicine, able to support us through whatever ails us throughout our lives and helping us live better and happier than we could otherwise.

She has a background in education, geography, human rights, and reading too much. After a childhood in British Columbia, Canada, she spent several years working/volunteering/studying in Russia, as well as five years learning and teaching in Virginia and Mississippi. She writes books for children that are grounded in respectful relationships and love of nature. Her outlook on the world has been shaped by early years on Haida Gwai, growing up brownish in a predominantly white area, and immersion in the belief that diversity is part of humanity’s essential oneness. She has a BA from UBC (geography), MA from the University of Guelph (geography) and PhD from Old Dominion University (Urban Services/ Education). She currently lives on the unceded territory of the Ts’uubaa-asatx Nation.

Visiting one of my favourite beaches on Pacheedaht lands.

Territory Acknowledgment

I would like to acknowledge the traditional territories I have lived on in my life: of the Haida peoples and the Syilx Okanagan Nation; the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishinnabe, Hodinöhsö:ni’ and Wendat peoples on the Dish with One Spoon territory; the Chesapeake peoples; the Choctaw and Natchez peoples; the Buryat peoples; and the Nanais, Taz and Udge peoples.

Papery red poppies with white borders.

More about me

I love books, and I love to write. The two are connected, reciprocal, but not the same.

Reading is more than a love. It’s a lifestyle. Once I discovered stories as a toddler, I would tackle my father at the end of the day with a pile of books. That poor man read to me for as long as he could, until he collapsed from exhaustion. The exhaustion may have been from his full days of work as a builder, but I can’t say for sure.

Though I wasn’t an early reader, once I caught the bug, it stuck. I would read, and read, and re-read, all day, into the night (flashlights are excellent), and in any conceivable crack of time. Soon, a meal was a torture device if I couldn’t prop a book in front of me. In elementary school, I convinced my teachers to let me read between items on spelling tests because I couldn’t handle the pain of waiting an extra 10-15 seconds between words.

Reading absorbed me completely. I remember, in Grade 3, deep into a hardcover library edition of Pat of Silver Bush, becoming aware that the teacher was calling my name. I re-entered my body to see all the other students sitting on the carpet, waiting for circle time to start. I hadn’t heard a thing.

When I was in my early teens, I perfected reading and walking, escaping into a book on my way to and from school. I also had a brief foray into reading and biking. While no disasters ensued, I didn’t persist with this. The compulsion to consume books while in motion continues to the present where, at stoplights, I … RESIST opening the book on the seat beside me to read the next sentence.

My three biggest fears in life (excluding the obvious) are being cold; choking; and finding myself without reading material.

Now, as a full-grown adult, I read more than ever. I read for pleasure, for escape, to learn and to experience. Books soothe me, challenge me, and bring me deep joy.

Writing, on the other hand, is both a way of making sense of myself and the world, and also the ultimate creative endeavour. I love editorial iterations that lead to clarity, moments of inspiration when two ideas merge into one, and the thrill of finding the perfect connection between one scene and the next. Once I’ve created something (and leaving aside fears about how it will be received), I want to share what I’ve created with others.

In addition to reading and writing, I enjoy gardening and learning about herbs. I’m an enthusiastic beginner in a range of handwork techniques—needle felting, knitting, weaving. I’m grateful for creativity in all its forms, including in parenting and partnership.

Thank you for being here.