(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 – whether magical, supernatural, or psychological – and she loves to play with the idea of thinking we know what’s going on, when we really don’t. She loves to create characters struggling with identity or personal demons and then put them in edgy (and sometimes dark) layered plots.
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 therefore is visually impaired. She can’t drive, can’t read regular print, and tends to avoid crowds because she can’t see faces very well. For a long time, Laura struggled with the fact that she wasn’t ‘normal’–that is until she realized, normal does not exist. She used this experience to write her debut novel BLIND SPOT.
Laura earned a MA in Children’s Literature from Eastern Michigan University and was a Language Arts teacher and special education aide for middle and high school students. Though she no longer teaches, she never passes up an opportunity to talk about or teach writing in school visits or workshops.
Now in Arizona, Laura has lived in many states, and was born and raised in Alaska. She doesn’t miss the winters, but she definitely misses that small town, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere feel which often influences what she writes. 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.
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.