Leena Ronalds

leena2Leena Ronalds was born in Kuwait, and attended private British schools until she left for university at sixteen. There she obtained a BA in Comparative Literature from Iowa State University in 1989 before returning to Kuwait to look for a teaching job. She sat out the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait from August 1990 until February 1991, after which she left for Jordan and taught English at a private British school in the capital, Amman. She met her husband, who was teaching Art in the same school, and got married in America in 1993. She gave birth to our two eldest sons in Borneo, where she and her husband were both teaching, and returned to the UK for a few years for their children’s schooling in Norfolk. Having grown fed up with teaching in Britain they decided to become expats again and, subsequently, took up a teaching job in Kuwait. Their youngest, who is eight, was born there. They finally decided to return to the UK – for good this time – following their son’s diagnosis of autism, as they believed that he would be given a much better chance of success back “home”. Leena’s choice of Shetland was a pragmatic one, more than anything else: where could they buy a house outright, without being saddled with a mortgage, have plenty of land for their son to roam around in, and where the people are very friendly? Having done extensive research for more than a year while still living in Kuwait, Leena hit upon the idea of Shetland, and they haven’t looked back since. Her two eldest are seeking their fame and fortune in Leeds and London (as a musician and as a writer respectively), her husband is immersed in painting astonishing Shetland landscapes, while Leena hopes to stay here for as long as she can spinning yarns where Shetland will continue to form the backdrop to most, if not all, of her stories for many years to come.