(For shorter bio see Media page)
Laura Ellen writes YA contemporary mysteries and thrillers. She loves the unknown, the draw of the mystery, the suggestion of a conspiracy. She likes the idea of things being there that we cannot see, and how this always makes us think we know what’s going on, when we really don’t. She loves to create characters struggling with personal demons or keeping secrets and then put them in dark, edgy, layered plots..
Laura has lived in many states including Florida and Virginia, and recently moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Scottsdale, Arizona, but the place closest to her heart, where she was born and raised, is Fairbanks, Alaska. She doesn’t miss the winters, but she definitely misses the summers and that small town, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere feeling. Alaska is still a big part of her and pretty much everything she writes takes place there.
Laura is also a huge music fan and her musical tastes run vast and span deep. Music inspires her writing and is a big part of her writing process. You can read more about Laura and music, see her book playlist, and view music that inspires her on her Inspiration page — you can also check out her current inspiration on the sidebar.
Something people often don’t know when they first meet Laura is that she has an eye disease called macular degeneration — diagnosed when she was fourteen — and as a result, is legally blind. That means basically that she can’t drive, can’t read regular print, and tends to avoid crowds because she can’t see faces real well. For a long time, Laura struggled with the fact that she wasn’t ‘normal’–that is until she realized, no one’s normal!
She used this experience to write her debut novel BLIND SPOT.
Laura earned a MA in Children’s Literature from Eastern Michigan University and is a former Language Arts teacher and special education aide for middle and high school students. She writes full-time now, but never passes up an opportunity to talk about or teach writing. If you are an aspiring author trying to get your writing to the next level, Laura also provides manuscript consults. Please refer to the Manuscript Consults website for more information.
Laura has been a member of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2000 and currently serves as the Published and Listed (PAL) Liaison for MG/YA authors in the Arizona SCBWI. She is also a member of Sisters In Crime , RWA, and International Thriller Writers and a supporter of ALA/YALSA.