Orysia is the firstborn child of Ukrainian immigrants. She learned to speak English (and several other languages for a short time) while playing with the children of other European immigrants in Sudbury, Ontario. She began her first novel about horses at age nine but ended up publishing a different one in 2009. Orysia graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Zoology, and from Kansas State University in Agricultural Sciences. She has been a sheep farmer and breeder of Akbash Dogs who guard sheep. She currently resides on a Prince Edward Island farm with one niece, one rescued Podenco hound and one three-legged cat.