About

Hi, I’m Elle. I wrote my first book at age 7 called “Tommy the Turtle at the Beach.” I wrote it in green crayon on wrinkled construction paper and glued the ends together like real darn published book. I also illustrated the whole thing because I couldn’t afford an artist on my seven-year-old allowance. 

The story was an Aesop’s fable-inspired tale of a wild young turtle struggling with the unfair chains of authority (his mom). He runs away while at the beach, and a rogue wave representing the chaos of death (I assume, as I colored the wave black and wrote “death” with an arrow pointing at it) drags him out to sea. Tommy laments the shrinking shoreline, struggles to swim, and encounters a school of fish who mock his pain. Ignoring that Tommy is a turtle and could probably swim just fine, I end the tale with a giant oceanic whirlpool dragging him to the uncharted depths of the sea because I was irrationally afraid of rogue whirlpools when I was seven. He dies.

My book was a bit morbid, even for seven. So, I added an alternative ending where a fisherman rescues Tommy. Everyone cheers, including the do-nothing lifeguard I drew in red crayon. I put my finished debut novel (with both endings) on the family bookshelf next to the Bible because that’s where it belongs.

When I’m not reading, I’m writing, thinking about writing, lamenting about writing, or wondering why I continue writing when I could be a very successful accountant with a steady day job, a mid-range car, and a mug that says “I hate Mondays” but unironically. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at math, so writing it is.

But, I’m a selfish writer. I took a journalism course in college during an election year. I drafted a piece on a prominent candidate’s policies, but the professor SLAPPED it out of my hands and screamed at me (metaphorically; it was on the computer and he was actually very nice). He told me I must write about her crimson lipstick, her lustrous skirt, and her shrilly voice. “That story will sell, and writing is all about selling.” So, I learned how to sell: all I do is take a knife to my draft and cut out its soul. Simple. 

I just can’t do that anymore.

I don’t think the original ending of “Tommy the Turtle at the Beach” would sell, but even my seven-year-self knew it was the real ending, the gritty, weird, wild ending. I write gritty, weird, wild stories about messy people who aren’t always nice or safe or marketable. But they’re the stories I want to read, and I hope you like them too.

18 Random Facts About Elle

Do you like peanut butter? I like peanut butter too. I saw a website where the author just listed a bunch of facts about herself instead of writing an “About Page.” Brilliant. I can’t remember that author’s name (but if you find her, email me so I can give her credit for this About Page hack). She wrote a list of 41 things. I don’t know why she chose that number, but I’m going to write eighteen facts because 1 + 8 = 9, and nine is my favorite number (Hey! Maybe I’m not so bad at math).

  1.  I love cats. I have a half-Maine Coon cat named Lyra. You can see pictures of her on my Instagram. She’s sassy but smart and eats all the demons.
  2.  Spicy food reminds me I’m alive. I like ghost peppers, red sauce, jalapenos, cayenne pepper, hot honey, and I add red pepper to almost everything. I’ve only had one thing that was too spicy: some death wings from this tiny pizza place in Pennsylvania. They coated the chicken in the devil’s blood, I swear. But one day I’ll return…
  3. I’m a theatre nerd. I love it when people break into song! I’m on the board of two community theatres, direct shows, act and sing, but please don’t ask me to dance, I beg you.
  4. I moonlight as a Disney non-copyrighted princess for an entertainment company. I never thought I’d grow up to be a literal princess, but the work is flexible and fun and worth it when I make a kid smile.
  5. I stuff all of my books into two dangerous bookshelves. They’re broken, second-hand fixtures, and I love them so much. They started out as white but are now closer to a “smoker’s teeth” white, and I’m missing some nails, so I’ve propped up the shelves with bobby pins.
  6. I play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. The inspiration for my current WIP comes from an old campaign. My favorite classes are bard (don’t hate; bards are amazing) and sorcerer.
  7. If a man person tells me they also play DnD but they’re always a rogue, I immediately know two things: 1. they’re a bad rogue and 2. they’re a red flag person. Bonus red flag points if they’re wearing a wallet attached to a chain or cargo shorts.
  8. I love video games. I write a silly video game blog with my daughter and really enjoy games that let me live out my fantasy of farming without actually farming.
  9. I sing classical music with my duet partner. Music is my other passion; it awakens my soul.
  10. I have a rational fear of spiders. It’s rational because I’ve had multiple “lightning striking in the same place” encounters with spiders that have left me justifiably mortal enemies with them.
  11. I love to cook. I had an ex who told me I was a terrible cook; he never let me in the kitchen. I wasn’t terrible; I just never learned! Anyone can cook if they have the right tools and follow a good recipe. My favorite recipe is a spinach and chicken pasta with an herb and cream cheese sauce (yes, I add red pepper to it). Also, you can’t caramelize onions in 5 minutes no matter what that Midwestern Mommy blog tells you.
  12. I’m a mom, but I hate being called “Mama” by anyone other than my child. I probably won’t say anything, but I’m cringing inside. 
  13.  My love language is receiving gifts. I really am a princess, I guess. I used to deny this (and I took that Five Love Languages Test like ten times) because I didn’t want to be so darn materialistic, but I can’t deny it. I like gifts!
  14. I’m a sucker for subscription boxes because they’re monthly gifts I give to myself! I’ve reviewed two of my favorite book boxes, but if I had the funds, I’d probably load up on subscription boxes for socks, coffee, video games, cats, and everything else I love. 
  15. I eat a lot of meat. I have a rare disease that affects my liver, and I need a lot of iron. I’ve talked about it before, but I never want to be “the sick girl who writes.” My disease affects my day-to-day life, and when I’m not healthy, I have to push pause on a lot of things, including my writing.
  16. Yes, I really do love coffee that much. Everyone has their vices, and mine is 2-3 cups of Starbucks medium roast coffee with hazelnut creamer. Life is too short for decaffeinated mornings.
  17. I think the human superpower is the ability to change. It’s so freaking sappy, but I really believe if we give people the space and resources to change, grow, and learn, they can. I won’t hold someone’s past against them. We’re all messy, complicated people.
  18.  I own seven pairs of fluffy slipper socks, but it’s not enough. It will never be enough.

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