I'm still scratching my head, wondering how I got here.
I've never been a rabid fan of traditional mysteries. Never found myself addicted to Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew.
As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I set out to write a romance, but when my story landed in my agent's slush pile and I told her I wasn't really sure what kind of story it was, she said, "You are a thriller writer." I suppose she was right.
That's how NEARLY GONE began. As a romantic seed. It burrowed in one afternoon while I watched a woman combing The Missed Connections, a section of the personal classifieds intended to search for a specific person -- a handsome stranger someone was too shy to talk to. A beautiful face across the subway train that disappeared into the crowd. On the surface, the woman was laughing, like the ads amused her. And yet, when she thought no one was watching, she peeked inside the folded pages, looking inconsolably lonely as she read them to herself. I couldn't help but wonder... what -- or who -- was she really searching for?
Curious, I thumbed through them when she set her paper down. The ads were mostly romantic -- some yearning to find, others yearning to be found. They read like a mini-mystery, a story of a missing person masked as casual flirtation in a two-line hook. Just harmless fun.
But what if they weren't?
What might happen if someone posted an ad with malicious intent? What if those two anonymous lines became bait for a lonely girl? What if the ads escalated into a dangerous game of cat and mouse? What if the missing started turning up dead, and what if no one believed her?
From those roots, NEARLY GONE grew into a dark and twisted mystery.
Don't get me wrong. There's still plenty of making out.
But buckle up for the ride.
I'm a thriller writer.
Elle Cosimano is the daughter of a prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rides a Harley. As a teen, she spent summers working on a fishing boat, baiting hooks and lugging buckets of chum. She majored in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She drinks too much coffee and is a professional puppy and little boy wrangler. She divides her time between her home near Washington, DC and a jungle tree house in the Mayan Riviera.
Elle's debut YA thriller, NEARLY GONE, releases in early 2014 with Kathy Dawson Books, an imprint of Penguin Books for Young Readers.
You can find Elle on her website, twitter, facebook, and goodreads.