Ellen Byron is embarrassed to admit that she began her career as an actress. Since her main competition for roles was the way-more-talented Holly Hunter, she found herself with a lot of free time and began writing. The second book in her Cajun Country Mysteries series, Body on the Bayou, won this year’s Best Humorous Mystery Lefty Award and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne Awards, and is a USA Today Bestseller. It was also chosen by the Library Journal as a Debut Mystery of the Month. She’s the recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant, awarded by the Malice Domestic Conference.
Ellen’s first play, Graceland, appears in the Best Short Plays collection, and is published by Dramatists Play Service along with its companion piece, Asleep on the Wind. She’s been a writer-producer for hit series like Wings and Just Shoot Me, and has written pilots for both broadcast and cable networks. Ellen also maintains a career as a freelance journalist, with over 200 articles published in national magazines.
A native New Yorker, Ellen attended Tulane University, where she developed her obsession with Cajun culture. A lover of rain, she currently lives in bone-dry Los Angeles with her husband, teen daughter, and two very spoiled rescue dogs. Her daughter insists that if Ellen was given the choice of pulling her or the dogs from a burning building, she’d opt for the dogs. Ellen would like to believe that isn’t true.