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Being in our twenties is a very interesting phase. We’ve got tons of things to figure out. And we try our best to appear in control, even when we’re clueless and confused. But we’ll be fine. Somehow.
What led you to writing your first novel.
From there, I let my characters lead me into the story, and everything grew organically.
What are you working on now:
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Ellison Cooper was born just outside of Washington DC where she grew up among Senators and Supreme Court Justices. She has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA. She has done research in Belize, Micronesia, West Africa, and at the University of London, Institute of Historical Research.
Before graduate school, Ellison briefly attended Georgetown Law School and worked as a murder investigator for the Washington DC Public Defenders Service where she gained an insiders view of the criminal justice system. In addition, she is a Wilderness K9 Search and Rescue volunteer certified as a Federal Disaster Worker for the Incident Command System.
Caged is her first novel.
Learn more about Ellison on her website, Facebook, and Twitter
What is one of your favorite elements in your debut novel?
To be honest, my favorite aspect of my debut novel is…a dog. Caged is rather dark and twisty, there is a horrific serial killer on the loose, and my main character, Sayer Altair, is fierce but also fairly broken, so as I was writing I often felt the need for some relief from the darkness. That’s how Vesper came into being. He’s based very closely on my old dog Devon, the first dog I hoped to train as a Search and Rescue K9. Poor Devon turned out to be dumb as a post and just not cut out for Search and Rescue work, but he was such an endless goofball of unbridled joy he turned into one of my most beloved family pets.
I constantly marvel at the convoluted road that led me here! Like most writers I’ve always loved writing but I never thought it could possibly become a career. Instead I went to graduate school and got my Ph.D. in anthropology. I conducted research around the world in places like Micronesia and Belize and eventually got a my dream job as professor. But, when our son was born with medical issues, I eventually had to quit my job to take care of him and I ended up spending a hell of a lot of time sitting in cars and therapist’s waiting rooms. So, instead of just sitting there worrying about our son, I decided to start writing to occupy my over-busy mind.
One of my favorite aspects of writing this novel was getting to incorporate so much of my academic background into the story. And that is how Caged was born.
What are you working on now?