Sign Up

Laura will be sending occasional email updates and event announcements to those interested. That includes first-hand and sometimes even exclusive invites to contests and giveaways! Please sign up to the mailing list to partake in the fun.

SCBWI Summer Conference

Laura Ellen will be attending the 40th Anniversary SCBWI Summer Conference
In Los Angeles, California, August 5-8. Details can be found at the SCBWI website. Hope to see you there!


I love summer. So many memories as a kid are tied up with summertime. There are specific events I remember – like the time the Bureau of Land Management helicopter landed in front of our house to tell us a forest fire burning miles away had turned and we needed to evacuate. Or the time my sister and I went to horse camp in Matanuska Valley and took the train there by ourselves. We brought an entire pan of rice krispie treats to ‘fortify’ us on the journey. Or the time we convinced a neighborhood friend that we’d walked through a time warp while in the woods (my sisters and I set our watches ahead as proof.)

Then there are the everyday memories of things that happened all the time like the endless sunshine evenings (Alaska never gets dark in the summer);  drinking lemonade in the sun; running through the sprinklers; walking in the woods; going to baseball games; eating veggies fresh from the garden . . . and making lots of trips to the library. Summer always meant tons of reading to me growing up, and I went to the library two or three times a week.

For my kids now, summers aren’t exactly the same as mine. We live in Michigan where it gets dark at night so we don’t have the endless summer daylight, but we have fireflies we watch from our deck, and we love sitting out there in the dark on humid evenings. And although we do live in a wooded area, they can’t go off on their own like my sisters and I used to for hours on end. But they still have lemonade and sprinklers and fresh vegis and . . . the library.

Tuesday my 12 year old son begged me to take him and his sister to the library. I had to smile. Even though our summers are different that part isn’t, and I’m glad for it. They still equate summer with going to the library. and reading lots of books. I’m glad I’ve passed that part of my childhood on to them.

So no matter what your summer plans are, I hope you take the time to head to the library.
Happy reading!

How I am Learning to ‘Pimp Myself’

Since I accepted my book offer from Karen Grove at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in mid-March, I have discovered there is volumes to be learned about marketing a book. Most of my education on this topic has come by way of The Apocalypsies, all 2012 debut authors who have banded together to help promote and support one another. What a great group of authors! Everyone has so much knowledge on so many topics – from tweeting and facebook pages to websites and blogs to business cards and giveaways – I am in awe. So I wanted to give them all a shout out to say ‘Thank You’ as I begin my journey towards pimping myself!

I have hired the awesome website extraordinaire Stefanie Gilmour of S.G!lmour Design here in Michigan to design my website. I can’t wait to show it off! When I launch the site August 1, I will be doing lots of giveaways to promote it, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I have also joined forces with some debut authors on a joint blog:  The Nightstand: for Books Both Sinister and Strange, showcasing 2012 debut Paranormals and Thrillers.My book isn’t paranormal, but it is definitely a mystery/thriller!

We launched the site yesterday and to promote it we are giving away a signed copy of two recent releases:
HUNTRESS by Malinda Lo and SLICE OF CHERRY by Dia Reeves. So go check out the new blog and get an entry each for following, for tweeting, and for blogging about it!

Laura’s Group Blogs

You can find Laura Ellen on the following group blogs:

The Apocalypsies – Laura and over one hundred other 2012 debut authors blog here. Stop by for news on releases, signings, and other debut news!
The Nightstand– For Books Both Sinister and Strange. Laura is a regular blogger with 15 other YA Paranormal and Thriller Debut Authors. There’s always something happening on The Nightstand!

Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis – Laura joins six other YA and MG mystery writers to provide tips to teachers, students, and budding authors on this all-about-mysteries blog.

Five Tips for the Apocalypse

As a 2012 debut YA author, I belong to the Apocalypsies – a group of YA and MG authors whose books are all coming out in 2012. As part of our bio on the website, we are all listing five things in relation to the Apocalypse such as the five books we’d want with us, five things to do before the End of Days, etc.

I thought I’d share my list with you all here. When you’re finished, please stop by the site and check out our bios and upcoming book descriptions!

There are two schools of thought on the End of Days. Some think the whole world’s rotation will go off-kilter and cause mass destruction. Others think a virus will sweep across the land, creating a Zombie Apocalypse. How do you prepare when you don’t know what’s coming?

Five Tips to Prepare for Any Apocalyptic Event:

1)      Find a spaceship – A spaceship will get you off Earth no matter what. There are many eccentric people who have looked into this option; find one and start sucking up now!
2)      Start Hoarding – Whichever way it goes, you’ll need food. Skip the rice (no one on Survivor ever fantasizes about rice). Get vats of peanut butter instead. It has lots of protein and can curb that sugar craving – it can probably be used as a glue in an emergency too, though you may want to consult some old MacGyver reruns to verify that.
3)      Take a Wilderness Survival class (or watch the box set of Survivorman) – Even if you have hit Costco, at some point you’ll find yourself in a situation. Survivorman can show you which berries and fungi are poisonous (you don’t want to end up like Foxface in the Hunger Games). Plus, you’ll learn how to drink your own urine. Bonus!
4)      Start Working Out – Not just running and lifting weights. Learn the fine art of shovel-wielding. You never know who you may need to fend off. A good guide for this is the movie Zombieland.
5)      Master the art of Zombie make-up – If you find yourself suddenly posing as a Living Dead Girl, you’ll want to look the part. Suggestion? Consult Rob Zombie. He’s the master!

Music, Writing, and Me

I just added a really cool feature to my blog – a playlist link! Previously I listed out (painstakingly I might add!) all my songs, but thanks to the folks at I can now compile them into one playlist, put the link on my site, and voila! You can not only see them all, but you can PLAY them 🙂

For those of you who know me, you understand my excitement. For those who don’t, let me explain:

Music is a huge part of who I am. It is how I wake up in the morning, how I destress after a long day, how I cope when the kids are especially grumpy, how I work out (CANNOT work out without music!) – but most of all it is how I connect myself to my stories when I am writing. By the time I am sitting down to begin a new novel, I have a completed playlist. I play it prior to writing each day. If I get stuck, I listen to the playlist. If I have things to do and can’t get to writing right away, like when I have to actually clean my house or my kids are home, I listen to it to keep my head in my book.

Music connects me to my characters, the setting, the tone. This was especially true while writing BLIND SPOT because my character, Roswell Hart, had a very similar relationship to music. Thus, in the book you will actually see a lot of references to music.

Now is not perfect – I was disappointed to find that a few of my playlist selections (This Is Hell by Elvis Costello; Scars in the Making by Feul; Paradise by Tesla; Mother Maria by Beth Hart and Slash; All Falls Down by Adeliras Way, and Coming Undone by Korn)  were not listed, so I could not include them 🙁
But still – it is an awesome tool!

So click on the link on the sidebar and check it out – it will bring you to my profile page so just scroll down to the bottom where it says ‘Laura Ellen’s Blind Spot Playlist’ – and take a listen.

Oh, and for those of you who find yourselves saying  “WTF?” when you hear Barry Manilow’s Copacabana on there (which obviously does not fit in) I say to you with a twinkle in my eye – “Oh but it does!”
You’ll just have to read the book to find out how!