Interview & Giveaway: Laura A.H. Elliott

A little about Laura and her writing career so far:

I was working at E! Entertainment Television in Los Angeles when the writing bug first bit. It was fed and nourished there and while I worked at The Los Angeles Times, where I was constantly reminded that truth really is stranger than fiction. In Los Angeles, I had lots of mentors and people who encouraged me. [I list most of them in the Acknowledgements of both Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale and 13 on Halloween.] But it was only when I thought my husband had died in a bicycling accident that I put pen to paper. He didn’t die, thank God, but I ran so fast to see if it was my husband at the accident scene, sadly a man did die there that day, that I ended up in three non-walking casts and, along with painting my laundry room, I started writing short stories. This was about ten years ago. One thing led to another. I joined The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators where I found life-long friends and also attended lots of conferences and workshops. I worked with a few professional editors as well.

Writing isn’t something that comes easy. It takes a great deal of work. I am constantly inspired by my mom and dad and also my husband. They are the hardest workers I know and they are always there to give me encouragement. I also take great inspiration from the writers I admire. There are so many, but I would have to say Gabriel García Márquez is a touchstone for me because of his lyrical writing and ability to put words to matters of the heart. I also enjoy Fannie Flagg for her passion and elegant truths.

Can you tell me a little about your novel, 13 on Halloween?

13 on Halloween (Volume 1)
13 on Halloween is a snarky romp about a girl’s birthday wish going horribly wrong.
Twelve-year-old Roxie wants to be like Adrianne, the peacock who gets everything she wants––a trampoline, a flock to prowl around the mall with, and most especially invitations to parties. But everything changes when Roxie invites all the peacocks in the eighth grade to her thirteenth birthday party on Halloween and they all come. And a boy, the boy, actually talks to Roxie. Roxie has the best night of her life until the peacocks decide they want to celebrate her birthday in a way Roxie never expects––in her attic, with a pact to never tell a living soul what happens there.

Where did you get the idea for 13 on Halloween?

I got the idea from lots of places. I’ve always wanted to write a story about Halloween. One of my favorite books my girls and I read aloud together when they were little was The Witch’s Hat by Tony Johnston, and illustrated by Margot Tomes. In legend, Halloween is the time that the veil is thinnest between the spiritual world and the mortal world and that idea is fascinating to me. Plus, where I grew up there was a local ghost story that made the idea of ghosts and spirits likely. My mother is half Irish and she told some amazing tales about “The Great Beyond.” It’s fun to make-believe. I guess I just never grew out of it.

I actually started to write a trilogy a while back when I first started writing. The first book in the trilogy was called Wanda and The Witch Kingdom. Wanda is Roxie’s same age and Wanda’s family has lots and lots of secrets. WWK takes place in a Chicago suburb like 13 on Halloween. The story of WWK never left me. I believe that Wanda will meet Roxie in book 2 of the Teen Halloween Series, 14 on Halloween. Wanda will be the new girl at school.

Also, last school year I volunteered at an elementary and middle school, while working for Monterey Reads, a literacy program. It had been a long time since I’d been around kids so young, since mine are now raised. They inspired me to write this story. I was also inspired by an incident that occurred to me in middle school.

Are you working on any other books at the moment?

I am and I’ve included a sneak peek of my work-in-progress, Transfer Student, in both the released  and kindle copies of 13 on Halloween. Transfer Student is a YA freaky-Friday story about how a geek, alien boy and a Beverly Hills surfer, fashionista survive each others' lives only to fall for each other, a galaxy apart.

Why should we read your book, 13 on Halloween?

I think 13 on Halloween gives an interesting, humorous insight into popularity and what it means to have it all. It’s a snarky romp that examines the green monster and ways teens can take control of their lives. It also plays with language in fun ways. Roxie likes to use animals as verbs and has her own unique way of seeing the world.

Check out Laura's other book Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale!

"When fear’s as blind as love, how far would you go to find your own happily ever after? One mistake will change Ginny’s life forever. One answer will set her free. Once upon a time Ginny’s road blood ripened, the day she got wise to love. Engaged to the high school quarterback, his quarter-carat ring and enchanting smile should have been enough for her. But, she stands him up and takes a walk where every step questions her happily ever after gone-bad and the fate of the mother she never knew. The mother her father refuses to talk about. Ginny fights to untangle her big, fat, lie-of-a-life on an enchanted road trip to Winnemucca, where she believes all her answers lie. To solve the riddle of her past, she must outrun everyone who wants a piece of her future–including a man determined to see she never has one."

Buy now on: Kindle or in paperback!

Laura's Book History!

What was your fave book as a child and why?

The Night Before Christmas. It’s the only book that I remember my mom reading to me and after we read the story, Santa had arrived with our presents.

What was your fave book as a teenager and why?

The Martian Chronicles. It was the first book that I could really see in my mind and was unlike anything I’d ever read before.

What is your fave book you have read this year and why?

Right now, I’m reading The Lost City of Z. It’s non-fiction. I usually don’t read non-fiction. But I love this book and have written a story set in the Amazon and my father worked there as well, I traveled there. So it’s endlessly fascinating to me.

Which book would you recommend to my readers to read and why?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Because you take an amazing journey and feel like the author is a friend afterwards.

A book that has taught you a lesson and why?

OOO. Great question. This is a tough one. I learn something with every book. I guess I’ll have to say, that On Writing by Stephen King has been the book that has taught me the most about writing.

Thanks to Laura for this awesome interview!

You can find Laura here:

Twitter: @Laurawriting
13 on Halloween is available on Amazon
Laura has kindly offered 4 KINDLE COPIES of her new novel 13 on Halloween.

All you have to do to enter is comment below that you want to enter and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

-Giveaway is International
-Giveaway is sponsored by Laura A.H. Elliott
-Giveaway Ends 24th October


  1. Oh free fiction is always the best - its like candy - always tastes better if its given to you...hehe especially by strangers!
    Pabkins @ Mission to Read

  2. Hey Pabkins...thanks for entering the giveaway! Kind of like trick-or-treating for fiction, huh? So happy you stopped by. And, to show my thanks, here 26 free ghost stories for you:)!books

  3. Oh, I LOVE snarky romps!! And I love your fave selections, too, although I haven't read all of them yet! Thanks for a great giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  4. Thank you for the awesome giveaway! I would love to be entered (:

  5. Dear Julie & Raindrop,

    Good luck:) Roxie was a riot to write. I love her. I hope you do too. I can't wait to finish 14 on Halloween. I just love Halloween! Thanks for swinging by.

  6. fab comp and would love to win for my daughter to have a copy as she is a right bookworm! i dont have time for reading, only when i am on holiday!

  7. I'd lvoe to read this, please enter me!

  8. Great giveaway would love to be entered please :) x

  9. Please enter me, I love to read.

  10. How lovely, would really like to be entered please

  11. Super competition, please enter my name into the draw.

  12. Great Competition, Please enter me into the draw.

  13. Good luck to all of you! And thanks for swinging by:)

  14. Please enter me :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  15. I would love to read this book

    I have tweeted the giveaway on Twitter - tweet me @aesop57

  16. I'd love to be entered please, sounds like a great book for Halloween!


  17. I would love to win please.

  18. Sounds like an interesting book!

  19. Ooh, would love to win a copy of this :)
    You can contact me on apoorstudent [at] gmail [dot] com

    Thank you x

  20. Sounds scary

    Count me in!

  21. Would love to win.

    paul_whitney at sky dot

  22. fab giveaway x @angiesandhu

  23. Would love to win a free copy as my hubby loves this kinda book

  24. i would read the book and blog on it on good read and smashwords