Monica Kulling was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. When she was seven, she moved with her family to her father's boyhood home in Switzerland. Here Monica continued with grade one, the big difference being she didn't understand a word anyone was saying!
The big adventure lasted only a year. Monica and her family moved back to British Columbia to live in the small town of Chilliwack in the heart of the Fraser Valley. Monica's parents operated a delicatessen, where Monica and her four siblings worked, each in their turn.
Monica was now in grade two and speaking English all the time, which suited her better. She wasn't the kind of girl who always had her nose in a book or kept a diary of all the great girl things she was doing, and she never won a spelling bee!
Monica was an outdoor girl. She loved recess and playing marbles or dodge ball, red rover or baseball. After school, Monica climbed trees, played baseball even in the rain, and rode her bike all over town. On weekends, she took her younger sister and brother to the movies.
Monica loved comic books. They gave her a chance to practice her reading! Nancy and Sluggo and the Superheroes were special favourites.
Monica lived the life of a free-range kid. She had plenty of time to go where she wanted, to sit under a tree and daydream, and to have adventures.
Monica still didn't read much, even in high school. She did love the illustrated classic comic books and had the entire collection of almost 200. These comics gave her an intimate knowledge of the great works of literature in the English language.
If Monica didn't especially like to read or write, how did she get started as a writer? She loved music, especially the music of the sixties and the lyrics of poets like Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. When she was sixteen, Monica heard the words of Paul Simon in his song "The Boxer" and those of Joni Mitchell in her song "Both Sides Now," and she was blown away.
Monica was glued to the radio and records, going over the poetry of the lyrics in her mind. She had long ago put away comic books and taken up the guitar. She soon became hooked on the passion and poetry of the wonderful song writers of the day--Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Laura Nyro, and many more. Monica was also studying poetry in school and was soon reading the great poets, because she wanted to, not because she had to.
Monica started to write her own poems and, after high school, studied creative writing at the University of Victoria. In her final year, she took a course in children's literature. She loved it so much, she began to write for children. In 1992, she published her first book, a picture book about an orange cat, called I Hate You, Marmalade!
Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Ontario.