Ellen Oh

“I believe in the power of books. The power of reading. And the power of representation. I write the books that I wished I’d had when I was young. And I hope to encourage and inspire new generations of writers and creators to find their voices and tell their stories.”

Biography

Ellen Oh is the author of the Texas Bluebonnet Award nominated middle grade novel Spirit Hunters and its sequel, The Island of Monsters, as well as the highly-acclaimed, young-adult Prophecy trilogy (Prophecy, Warrior, and King). She is also the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, the groundbreaking, grassroots non-profit organization.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Ellen loved horror books, perhaps in part because her parents took her to a terrifying werewolf movie when she was only four years old. Ellen was mesmerized! As a young teen, she loved reading Agatha Christie mysteries and Stephen King novels, especially Cujo and Salem’s Lot. Her high school English teacher encouraged her to write creatively, but Ellen didn’t pursue a career in writing right away. She attended college at New York University and then studied law at the Georgetown University Law Center. For years, she practiced corporate and entertainment law, but she no longer does and doesn’t miss it all!

It was a 2000 article in Time magazine about Genghis Khan that jumpstarted Ellen’s writing career and ignited her obsessive fascination with ancient Asian history, especially Korean history. Ellen loves martial arts films, adores K-pop, thinks Avatar: The Last Airbender series is the best animated show ever created, randomly quotes lines from The Princess Bride, and knows that Krispy Kreme doughnuts are her kryptonite.

These days, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband and three teenaged children…who she loves to scare. It’s her favorite thing to do!

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