(For shorter bio see Media page)
Laura Ellen writes mysteries and thrillers for teens. She loves the unknown, the draw of the mystery, the suggestion of a conspiracy. She likes to create characters who are struggling with identity issues or personal demons and place them in the center of edgy, layered plots dealing with elements we cannot see – whether magical, supernatural, or psychological.
Due to an eye disease called macular degeneration — diagnosed when she was fourteen — Laura is visually impaired. She can’t drive (well, she can drive, just can’t see the traffic lights and other cars), has to have super big font to read anything, and tends to avoid crowds because she can’t see the faces of those who may be lurking about. Laura has struggled with the belief that she isn’t ‘normal’ her entire life–even though she knows different is normal. She used her experiences as a teen with a visual impairment to write her 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 and workshops.
Now in Arizona, Laura was born and raised in Alaska. Though she doesn’t miss the -40 degree winters, she definitely misses that out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, small town feel which often creeps into her stories. 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) Coordinator for MG/YA authors in the Arizona SCBWI. She is also a member of International Thriller Writers and a supporter of ALA/YALSA.