Elle Cosimano

Lucky 13s Giveaway: Books That Inspire

This week, The Lucky 13s are giving away an impressive collection of our favorite books. More specifically, the books that have most inspired and shaped us as writers. My contribution to this list is The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith.

This book made me think — about a lot of things for a very long time. But not just about the story. It also made me think about writing.

Here are a few of those thoughts that still linger — the lessons I took from my journey to Marbury with Jack (and later, my cross-country roadtrip with Stick McClellan.)

I don’t need a lot of words. Just the right ones. And the words I keep matter. I shouldn’t be afraid of my own voice. I shouldn’t be afraid of what other people think, or of going frightening places, or of choosing the wrong words, because at the end of the day, the words that matter to me — and how I hear them — are what should matter most.

If you haven’t read anything by Andrew Smith, here’s your chance. Drop by The Lucky 13s blog between July 1st and July 7th for a chance to win a one way ticket to Marbury. Once you put on the glasses, nothing will ever look the same again.

Where I've Been

I’m shaking the dust off my blog and realizing it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Too long.

Truth is, I’m in the process of re-designing. My talented friend, Tessa Elwood at Pop Color Web Design (oh, did I  mention she’s also a brilliant writer and photographer?) is working up an amazing custom site and I can’t wait to unveil it. Meanwhile, I’ve been guest blogging, interviewing, and visiting some great places. In case you missed them, here’s where I’ve been and a sneak peek at some of the exciting places I’m going.

Recently, I was a guest blogger at the YA Muses where I talk about writing The End.

blogged at Ink & Angst about Artist Statements and my acceptance into the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. I’ll be spending three days in Lake Tahoe this May with NYT Bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, working on my WIP. It still feels strange and wonderful to say this out loud.

My book recently appeared in RT Book Reviews Book Buzz. Find it under “Young Adult” in the section called Piquing Curiosity.

Here is my Author Interview at Greenhouse Literary Agency. Yep, I’m official!

I’ve become a member of The Lucky 13s, an amazing group of children’s and YA authors debuting in 2013.

Here’s my SAT Interview at Writer, Writer Pants On Fire. LOVE the name of this blog!

I recently appearared in the Big Sur Writing Workshop Blog and the Henry Miller Memorial Library Blog.

My book recently appeared in Bookshelves of Doom: Upcoming YA Titles and Daisy Chain Book Reviews.

My book has been added at Goodreads and Library Thing.

I’ve joined the International Thriller Writers Association.

I’ve registered to attend The Writer’s Police Academy in September.

I’m donating a query critique for Crits for Water in June.

Finally, this Monday, April 9th, you’ll find me guest blogging with the fine romance authors at Chicklets In The Kitchen where I’m sharing my favorite Passover memories and a recipe for Matzo Brei.


That’s it. Why are you still here? Go read something.


05, 2012 |

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The Big News

If you’ve ever asked me to list my favorite books, you know I am a huge fan of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, and her prequel Fire. I recommend this series to everyone, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of her next story. These beautiful books were edited and introduced into the world by a woman named Kathy Dawson. So imagine, if you will, that breathless moment when I learned that the very same Kathy Dawson, acquiring editor at Dial/Penguin Books for Young Readers, contacted my agent and expressed an interest in purchasing my book.

I might have babbled a bit.  And then I might have cried. Wild chair dancing might have ensued.

I am the happiest writer in the world to finally be able to share this announcement from Publishers Marketplace:

Children’s: Young Adult
Elle Cosimano’s DEAD BLUE, in which a math-genius from a DC trailer park is the only student able to solve complex clues left by a serial killer targeting classmates, thus making herself the main suspect, and a sequel, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, to Kathy Dawson at Dial Children’s, in a good deal, for publication in Fall 2013, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (World). Posted: January 9, 2012 at 10:11 p.m. Eastern

If you love YA, you will probably recognize a few of the hugely successful titles released by Penguin Books for Young Readers. I am astounded and honored to be in such company.

Special thanks to my amazing agent, Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency, who believed in Nearly’s story and challenged me to make it better. To my crit partners who read my book (multiple times in various stages) and offered guidance and support: Tamara Ireland Stone, Megan Miranda, Kelly Barwick, and Tessa Elwood. To my dear friends at “Ink & Angst” who cheered me along the way. To fellow Greenhousers who welcomed me with open arms. And most especially, my friends and family outside of my writing world who encouraged and believed, even when it seemed like such a crazy pipe dream. For those who stood by me, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s to chasing down dreams and making them real… and finding joy in the journey.


10, 2012 |

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Dead Blue,News |



Getting Away With It

I’m blogging today over Ink & Angst. Drop by for tips on finding affordable furnished cabins for impromptu winter weekend getaways, perfect for writing retreats.


06, 2012 |

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Today, I’m guest blogging over at Chicklets in the Kitchen.  Drop by, read about Hanukkah traditions and try my family’s recipe for Potato Latkes.  And be sure to comment for a chance to win a box of Latke mix to try at home.


13, 2011 |

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When Elijah Came To Dinner

I’m blogging today over at Ink & Angst.  Drop by to read about the most memorable Thanksgiving guest I’ve ever had.

This year, I am grateful for supportive family, talented, creative and enthusiastic friends, and for finding an outlet for my stories. Here’s to a memorable, meaningful, and sparkling holiday season! Cheers!


25, 2011 |

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Dark YA Blogfest

Today, I’m blogging over at Ink & Angst. Drop by and comment. We’re participating in the Dark YA Blog Fest and I’m sharing my favorite dark YA book, THE MARBURY LENS.



02, 2011 |

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Revision Advice From the Deep

I’m tired. It’s been a long day at the keyboard, and I think I have negative 342 words to show for it. So I’ll keep this short.

I call this segment “Revision Advice From My Six Year Old” — and I think it’s pretty damn brilliant.

Scene Opens with Mommy, head on kitchen table.

Thing 2:  Mom, are you tired?

Mom:  Yep.

Thing 2:  Are you sad?

Mom:  Maybe a little.

Thing 2:  [long pause] What did you do today?

Mom:  I worked on my book all day.

Thing 2:  Then why are you sad?

Mom:  [sigh] I made a lot of mistakes.

Thing 2:  [longer pause] You know, your computer is just like my DS. When I play Super Scribblenauts and I make a mistake, there’s a button I can push that makes the mistake go away.  And then I just fix it.  You can prob’ly do that on yours.

Mom:  [lifts head and smiles just a little]  Yeah?

Thing 2:  And you know what else?

Mom:  What?

Thing 2:  Sometimes, when I draw pictures of hard things — like Big Eye Tuna — I mess up the curvy part of the dorsal fin — that part’s really hard — and then it doesn’t look right.  So I use the eraser.  Sometimes if there’s no eraser left I just draw an X over it.  And if I run out of room for all the X’s, I just flip the paper over.

Mom:  Then what?

Thing 2:  Then I start again.  You can prob’ly do that too.

Mom:  So you’re telling me I should just keep fixing it until I get it right?

Thing 2:  Yep.  That’s just what you do.

Mom:  You know, you’re pretty smart, kid.

Thing 2:  [shrugs] I draw a lot of tunas.



Best Crit Group Ever
World’s Best Crit Group – and our tuna.


21, 2011 |

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Kid Versus The Volcano

Come find me. I’m blogging about conquering fear today over at Ink & Angst. There will be high-speed action and scary music. There will be screaming and FIRE!  So don’t miss it.

For those who don’t know, Ink & Angst is a group of talented and inspiring YA and MG writers. We met at a writing conference last winter. We blog together, we critique together, and we have fun together as we support each other through the daunting path to publication.

Stay tuned for some great new developments at I & A this fall as we prepare to roll out a series of interviews with some of 2012’s hottest debut YA and MG authors!


16, 2011 |

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Can't Take The Heat?

This is my mother’s kitchen. The woman cooks like nobody’s business, and this is where she creates.

Mom's Kitchen

It’s open. It breathes.

View From Mom's Kitchen

And this is Nana, my mother.

Mom with Croc

She looked at me one day and understood that I needed to breathe, so she made me a room with a writing desk in the jungle. It overlooks the Caribbean Sea. My father swung the hammer and built the walls. And when it was done, my mother took my children and sent me to that room to take my tiger by the tail… or maybe it was a crocodile. All I know is it had sharp teeth, but she made me do it anyway. She didn’t say “You can write a book.” She said “Go write a book,” in that pointed, inarguable way that only a mother can. So I did.

This is where I work when I need to breathe. When I want to create. Where I challenge myself to grapple with things that bite. When I want my children to see the best parts of me.

View From Roof Deck

And this is what I’m making for dinner tonight. It’s really spicy —  it’s got bite. It’s my mother’s creation. It reminds me to breathe.



Escabeche Chicken
An original recipe by Elle’s mom (adapted for ingredients available in the US)

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 chicken thighs (skin on)
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup peeled carrots, thick sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion (chunky, not fine)
1 seeded fresh jalapeno, sliced thin (optional)
1 small can Escabeche peppers sliced (pickled jalapeno/rajas en escabeche)
1 small jar or can of mushrooms, drained and sliced
1 cup very strong Caldo de Pollo broth (or chicken bouillon, more concentrated than package directions – strong and cloudy!)
1 cup Tamarind Sauce
1 small can pigeon peas, drained (or chick peas — regular canned peas will not work)
4 white potatoes, cut length-wise
1 small head white cabbage, quartered
1 small head red cabbage, quartered

Saute garlic in oil in very large pan. Add chicken thighs to hot oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly brown on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Add chopped peppers, carrots, onions, and fresh jalapeno to remaining hot oil in pan. Saute until only slightly translucent. Add the drained escabeche slices and simmer together. Do not over-soften.

Boil 1 cup water and add enough chicken bouillon to make a very strong, concentrated cloudy broth (use a bit more than package directions). Mix in 1 cup Tamarind sauce.  Add reserved escabeche liquid, approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup (to taste).

Put chicken, cabbage and potatoes in a VERY large covered baker (I use the deep covered baker from Pampered Chef — about 13 x 9 x 5.5 — and this recipe completely fills it, but any very large covered baker should do.) Pour veggies over top. Sprinkle on peas. Pour broth mix over everything.

Cover and bake for 3 hrs at 350 degrees.  Serve with tissues. You’re gonna need them.




14, 2011 |

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