There have been a few new people around the blog lately (hello!! I’m seriously thrilled you’re here) and I thought it was high time I sat down and wrote a little bit about who I am in case, you know, you don’t happen to know anything about me other than the fact that I talk about writing on the internet.
So, hi, I’m Elle! I write contemporary romance and many of my novels feature queer (and, often, specifically bisexual (like me!)) main characters. Many of my stories, too, end up centring around the internet or internet culture in some way — I am an avid YouTube watcher (and internet scroller) and I love thinking about the ways that the internet bleeds into our everyday lives. In my stories, this can pop up in a few different ways — in the travel novel, for example, my main character’s drive to get away is, in large part, connected to the continuing fall out (initially from Twitter, later from her own family) after she wrote an article about an abortion she got in university. Other novels deal a lot more closely with the internet — I have a few draft novels about YouTubers (some established, some new to the game) and a draft novel about an internet journalist (think: Buzzfeed) embarking on internet dating while, at the same time, venturing out into the world of freelance content creation.
I love writing about the internet because I think it’s just such a wealth of material (especially jokes and niche references). So much of my life has been shaped by the internet and my engagement with other people online (especially Tumblr), and I find myself thinking a lot about the things I used to hear (especially when I was younger) about how time online was ruining us — I think there’s something to be said for staring at a screen all day, but some of the most enriching friendships I’ve made started online. I’ve learnt (and continue to learn) more and more online every day, too — sometimes it’s useless information (if I had to take a test on dramageddon, I bet you I’d get 100%), but a lot of it had helped me change the way I think and approach the world.
And I don’t think there’s anything better to write about than that!
Let’s move on, though, before I end up talking about the internet all day…
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, but I really got started writing when I was 15-16 by writing fanfiction (James Potter/Lily Evans fanfic to be specific and yes I still write a little of it to this day because once an OTP always an OTP). Fanfiction holds (and I think will always hold) a particularly special place in my heart. I’ve read stories that have brought me to tears and made me crack up laughing, stories that made me feel a million different things, and stories that are literally better than published things I’ve read. Reading and writing fanfiction has carried me through some of the toughest times in my life — like the first (and last) year of my PhD programme in English where I was almost too depressed to function. As much as I love it, though, I still think it’s kind of weird and hilarious that it’s like… a thing we talk about now. Thank you, gen Z, for really driving us forward on that because it was getting kind of ridiculous.
But wow, I just realised how long I’ve been writing. So to round this off, here are some fast facts:
- I work as a staff member in a gender, women’s, and sexuality studies department
- I’m a single parent — my son is hilarious and awesome
- I have a silly and very dramatic dog (she spent an hour barking at her reflection last night)
- I have a BA and an MA in English
- When I was in my post-graduate study, my area of study was Victorian literature (specifically Victorian literature and ecology)
- My dissertation was going to be about using Victorian texts to help reconstruct the environment in England during the period in order to understand ecological/climate change through the course of the Industrial Revolution — think ice cores but instead of ice, it’s books. Honestly, I still think it’s a sick dissertation (a biologist has already done something similar with Walden — here’s a link to an interview he did in case you’re interested in this at all)
- This autumn, I’m beginning my training as a secondary English teacher
I hope this was… interesting??? Hahaha now I don’t know but it’s too late now, isn’t it! If you feel comfortable, feel free to share something about yourself. I hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are in the world and I’m sending my love!