About Elise

Welcome to Why is Mud? ~ a site I created to talk about my book, THE THORN QUEEN, and the world in which it takes place, while engaging young readers in quests of the imagination. There will be opportunities to create scenes, solve mysteries and win prizes! Now for a little about me…

When I write, I slip into a persona that I have named Eva. Personas are aspects of your personality. You may have a student persona, an athlete persona, a friend persona and so on. Think of them as the different roles you play in your life.

I have three personas—Eva, Francesca and Kathryn—and they are very different from one another. Kathryn is dutiful. She got As, keeps her room tidy and puts first things first. Francesca just wants to have fun. She’s friendly, energetic, happy and sociable. Both Kathryn and Francesca are fairly extroverted. Eva, by contrast is quiet and sensitive. She devours books and likes to be alone so she can think. She was often accused of daydreaming when she was younger (and to be fair, she was usually daydreaming). She has an extraordinarily rich inner world.

(If you think this is crazy, think again. Many people have different personas into which they slip in and out throughout their lives. You probably do too!)

Growing up in England with my tightly-knit family (mum, dad, brother and dog), I spent tons of time reading. The first books I read were fairy tales full of ogres, saucer-eyed dogs and snow queens. A lot of them were pretty grim, like the one about some poor chap clawing his way up a mountain of ice with eagles’ talons on his hands and feet, bloody and shredded by the time he got to the top.

I had just entered my teens when we uprooted ourselves from the gentle English countryside to the arctic plains of Michigan in the midst of a raging snowstorm. Talk about culture shock! At first I missed home, longing for my two best friends and the world I understood. In time I made new friends and grew to love this country that seemed so free, with endless possibilities.

So it was that my Francesca and Kathryn personas adapted. England became a memory, a thing of the past—best to put it behind them. My Eva persona on the other hand withdrew, bewildered by this loud, colorful nation and the differences between herself and people that looked largely the same and shared the same language. Biding her time, she nurtured the memories of her beloved childhood, determined to find a way back home.

After high school and college, I moved to the East Coast and then the West Coast. Now I live in a beautiful town north of San Francisco, surrounded my mountains and trees, at home with my husband, daughter and dog. Yes—at home. It was not the easiest of journeys to get here. Like that hapless chap on his icy mountain, I had my fair share of clawing, climbing and bleeding on the way.

And throughout that journey, Eva dreamed of Glendoch—an enchanted glacier in which two best friends are ripped apart by tragic circumstances. She imagined and wrote (and crumpled up and rewrote) the words that you will find on these pages.

Are you ready to join the journey?

Read on … let’s find out!!!

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Why Is Mud? Operator Contact Information: Elise Holland, elise@whyismud.com