Malia Bohlin received a BS in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and later a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Regis University in Denver. She works in fundraising and as a PATH International certified instructor in a therapeutic horseback riding program.
Malia loves to travel, read, ride, write, and sometimes run half-marathons. Left at Hiva Oa is her first novel.
Malia says: The primary influence of my life is the place I was raised, and remains so to this day. It’s hard to say growing up on Maui “influenced me from a young age” because influence seems to come from the outside, whereas I was immersed in Maui throughout my being, and way of being. I was around creative people all the time, in everyday experiences. Artists, crafters, farmers, carpenters, boat makers, and seamstresses. When you live on an island in the most isolated location on earth, creativity comes into play in all aspects of life; it feeds the concept of ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ I watched my dad many times as he figured, “do I want to stop what I’m doing, clean up, and drive to the hardware store 30 minutes away, or figure out a way to make this work right now?” He usually chose the latter. My mom encouraged creativity at every turn and continually educated herself with classes at the community college in everything from tap dancing to the French language.
The natural beauty of Maui also fed my soul and my way of looking at life. Spending time outside makes us happier people. The sea is all-powerful and a gentle friend. Working with nature, rather than against her, is the only way for success for everyone. And success for everyone is always the goal.
From a young age I wrote stories, poems, and dramatic journal entries; in school I studied journalism, then marketing, and later social media content. As a fundraiser, I’ve written many proposals and grant requests. In the meantime, I’ve always had the story of Left at Hiva Oa in mind, and I’m happy to finally put it on paper.
My next book follows another character who travels across an ocean to find her new home, sailing from Scotland to Boston in 1923.