Elizabeth Brokamp

I'm the youngest of five kids born to a mom who owned an antiquarian bookstore and a dad who worked for the public health service.  My brother and sisters are much older than me, which meant that everyone was out of the house by the time I was eight.  At about the same time, our family moved from a house out in the country (horses, chickens, goats, and all) to the city where we lived in my mom's bookstore.  One of my favorite books was Harriet the Spy and I loved to spy on customers, hiding under the stairs or peeking at them from behind bookcases.  I collected money at the door for our monthly poetry readings and was able to meet some amazing writers and poets, all without leaving home.  I also learned all about the different genres of books, how to operate a cash register, and how to size up someone and find just the book to appeal to them.

The best thing about living in a bookstore was always having something great to read and being super well prepared for school book reports.  The worst thing was that it was strange, at least compared to all of my friends who lived in “normal” houses without books everywhere and strangers coming in and out.  Sometimes I just wanted to be like everybody else!  Now, of course, I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.  I can't think of a better incubator for an aspiring writer than a book store.

I also really enjoy helping people and figuring out what makes them (and characters) tick.  I chose psychotherapy for my profession and have a private practice in Old Town Alexandria.  I get particularly excited about the part of the writing process when I figure out why a character thinks or feels a certain way and how she or he might behave as a result.  Whether writing or counseling, I find it infinitely interesting to do this kind of analysis.

5 Facts About Elizabeth

1)    I lived in a bookstore when I was growing up.

2)    I still can't tie my shoes the “right” way.  I make two loops and tie them together instead.

3)    I love ketchup but hate tomatoes.

4)    My part in the 5th grade play was being the butt of a horse.  (Well, my friend Rachel and I took turns.  It was that big of a part.)

5)    In 6th grade, I managed to give myself a bowl cut.  (No, you can't see pictures!)  I remember liking the sound that the scissors made, but I went a little overboard.  Same thing happened when I cut my friend Heather's hair in college.  My exact words were, "Wow, you really do need to go to school to learn how to do this."

My Books

In 2008, Magination Press published my first children's book, Circle of Three: Enough Friendship to Go Around? about the tricky dynamics in groups of three, which won an iParenting award, a Moonbeam Children's Book Award, and a Mom's Choice Award.  Pelican Publishing subsequently published The Picky Little Witch in 2011, a children's picture book in which a little witch wrinkles up her nose at her mama's traditional witch cooking.  "Snout of anteater? Scream of wheat?  Surely there's something here you'll eat," Mama Witch says, frustrated with her picky daughter.  A sequel, Back to School, Picky Little Witch! was published in 2014.  This time, Picky Little Witch and her mama clash over clothes, with Mama preferring traditional black to her daughter's sparkles and sequins.  I am currently at work on a YA novel.



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