Although Laura lives now in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband, three kids and a dog, she was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. She doesn't miss the winters, but does miss 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 buff. She hates when people ask her what type of music she likes though because she usually can't answer. Her musical tastes run vast and span deep. She's drawn to lyrics that have meaning - so tends to shy away from stuff that is nonsensical - yet she also loves to dance and loves rhythm, so if it has nonsensical lyrics but an awesome sound, screw it! She likes it!
Something else people often don't know when they first meet Laura is that she 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. She used to struggle with the fact that she wasn't 'normal' until she realized no one is! She used that experience in writing her debut novel BLIND SPOT.
Debut: Laura Ellen's debut YA novel BLIND SPOT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) comes out in Fall 2012. Sixteen year old Roswell Hart is used to missing things. With macular degeneration, an eye disease that robs her of central vision (and it seems, best friends too), Roz is constantly piecing together bits and pieces to make sense of her life. But she has always managed without help. When she finds she’s been placed in a special needs class, Roz begins a desperate attempt to prove she is 'normal'. Her attempts cause her to make some very wrong choices and be blind to everything going on around her. When her classmate Tricia Farni is found dead and Roz was the last person to see her alive, Roz must find what she missed that awful night. Problem is, she doesn’t remember.
Laura's Five Tips to Prepare for Any Apocalyptic Event:
1) Find a spaceship – A spaceship will get you off Earth no matter what the catastrophic event. There are many eccentric people who have looked into this option; find one and start sucking up now!
2) Start Hoarding – However the end comes, you’ll need food to survive it. 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 – you can probably even use it as glue in an emergency, though you may want to consult some 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 how-to-guide 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!