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Elizabeth Ridley was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she fell in love with books at the age of six. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a master’s degree in creative writing from The University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, where she studied under now-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. In 1994 she received a Hawthornden Fellowship to Hawthornden Castle in Lasswade, Scotland.
Before turning to writing full-time Liz’s many unorthodox jobs included stints as a meat slicer in Milwaukee, a nanny in London, a cherry harvester in Norway, and a houseparent for handicapped teens in rural Wales. Since 2001, she has owned and operated "The Writer's Midwife," a home-based freelance critiquing, editing, and publishing consultation business.
Today she lives in suburban Milwaukee, where she is “temporarily cat-less” having lost 12-year-old Yorick in 2006 and Yorick’s brother and littermate, 15-year-old Hamlet, in December 2008. She hopes to adopt again soon. She is also a doting aunt to two nieces and three nephews. Her hobbies include reading the tabloids and planning exotic trips for other people. The great passions of her life are Indian food, black-and-white movies, and Van Morrison’s voice.