Charlotte Elkins
AUTHOR

Charlotte Elkins

It was while I was working as the American Art Librarian at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco that my husband Aaron Elkins sold his first novel. That encouraged me to give writing a try too, so. on the supposition that one should write what one knows and loves, I started on a mystery set in the world of American art. Well, that didn’t seem to be panning out, and one day when I was grumbling to Colin Wilcox, a friend and a well-established mystery-writer, that my natural style seemed to lend itself more to the Harlequinesque than to the mysterious, he said, “Hey, that’s great, do you know how much money they make compared to us?” I still don’t know if that was meant as a suggestion, a comment on the woeful state of the publishing world, a joke, or what, but I took it to heart. Why not give romance-writing a chance, at least to get my feet wet? The result, a few months later, was Chateau Villon—yes, an actual, od-fashioned, traditional Harlequin--that wound up being published in over a dozen languages. The publisher was pleased and wanted more, and I acquiesced. As Colin had said, after all, te pay was good, the writing was enjoyable, and I was learning the craft. Thus, four more Harlequins came out in the next few years, all under my romance-writing pseudonym of Emily Spenser. Those five books taught me a lot about writing, and they all did pretty well, so it wasn’t long before the idea occurred to me of collaborating with Aaron on a mystery if he was willing. Well, he was more than willing, and eight or ten months later we had finished our first mystery featuring Lee Ofsted, a struggling young golfer in the LPGA, the Women’s Professional Golf League, which was quickly accepted by a publisher. It was nice to see my own name—not Emily Spenser’s—right up there on the cover of a Wicked Slice. After that came four more Lee Ofsteds, during which time we also managed to turn out “Nice Gorilla,” which, much to our delight, won the Agatha Award for Best Short Story of the Year. By this time—2010 or so—I was longing to get back to the dream I’d started with: writing mysteries about art. So we created a new character, Alix London, a Seattle art consultant. We “took” her to Santa Fe and deliberately put her in harm’s way for a for a mystery-thriller alert: She survives.) After that have come three more Alixes, while Aaron continues to spin out his own tales. We live, far from the hurly-burly of the publishing world, in an out-of-the-way corner of Washington’s green and lovely Olympic Peninsula, between the Olympic Mountains and the sea.
Read more Read less
You're getting a free audiobook.

You're getting a free audiobook.

$14.95 per month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Best Sellers

Are you an author?

Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.