Raised on a farm, located in the lush greenery of the Agatha Forest Reserve, this South African author has always been drawn to reading thrilling tales. Elle went from a young girl catching fairies every odd Sunday, to a teenager who constantly had her bespectacled nose in a book.
Constant uprooting added to her life experience and imagination, and caused her to be enthralled by family, peers, teachers and politics. “What makes humans tick?” she often wondered. “How can I find out?”
Inevitably, she ended up resting her fingers against the keys of a very old PC and began to type.
Her first full-length novel, written in Afrikaans and following the life of a group of high school friends, was incredibly detailed and developed for a girl of fifteen, all 411 pages of it. You’ll have to take her word for it, though: one day, in a fit of adolescent anguish and wavering self-worth, she selected the Word file, pressed “DELETE” and emptied the Recycle Bin.
She never made that mistake again, which is why she has a folder labelled “Unfinished” on her hard drive. Ideas were now backed up on a regular basis. If not to be expanded upon individually, then to be incorporated in stronger storylines.
Although fiction is her most comfortable genre, she often dips her toes in the fantasy realm, dreaming up worlds with fantastical creatures, environments and characters. The urge to add a dash of romance is as irresistible as most of the heroes in her stories, and therefore the many paragraphs she strings together will always contain an undertone of sexiness.
However, at the root of all her characters remains the question: “What makes them tick, and how can the reader find out?” Driven by her own emotional development, Elle feels compelled to bring complex personas to life by presenting them with challenging and often heartbreaking obstacles.
Expect a roller-coaster of emotions, ranging from shivers of delight, to fits of laughter, to tears of sadness. Expect unexpected twists, to be engrossed in these worlds, and to become introspective once you close the book.
Most of all, expect to become a fan.