Elaine Russell


Elaine Russell's newest novel Montana in A Minor is a contemporary young adult romance. Kirkus Reviews says "In this excellent YA novel, Russell's teenage cellist heroine Emily Lopez uses music as her framework for dealing with the world...Russell does a fantastic job creating Emily's world, and the young girl's voice is charming and plausible right from the start...Well written and engaging YA." The book won an award from the annual Friends of the Sacramento Library writing contest in 2010.

Elaine's adult novel Across the Mekong River won four 2013 independent publisher book awards for multicultural fiction: Winner Next Generation Book Award, Silver ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award, Bronze Independent Publishers Book Award, and Bronze Readers' Favorite Book Award. She became inspired and actively involved with the Hmong immigrant community after meeting Hmong children in her son's school in Sacramento and reading Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Since then, she has visited Laos many times to research her first adult novel, Across the Mekong River, and as a member of the nonprofit organization Legacies of War. She has written and lectured extensively on the history of the civil war in Laos, which resulted in the mass exodous of Hmong and other Laotian refugees, many of whom immigrated to the United States. Before publication, Across the Mekong River was a finalist in the Carolina Wren Press 2010 Doris Bakwin Award for adult novels, the Maui Writer's Conference 2003 Rupert Hughes Prose Writing Competition, and the Focus on Writers 2001 Friends of the Sacramento Library Awards.

Her other books include the Martin McMillan middle-grade adventure series: The Lost Inca City and The Secret of the Ruby Elephant, which also won four 2013 indie book awards, including winner of the Indie Reader award for juvenile fiction.

Elaine graduated with a BA in History at University of California, Davis, and an MA in Economics at California State University Sacramento. She worked as a Resource Economist/Environmental Consultant for many years, before turning to writing fiction for adults and children.

For more information on Elaine Russell, visit http://www.elainerussell.info/

Smashwords Interview

What inspired you to begin writing fiction?
I was an avid reader from the time I was young and wanted to try my hand at writing fiction for many years. I wrote short stories now and again, but life and the need for an income conspired to keep me too busy for more. Once I was able to work part time, I found the space I needed. I discovered writing is my passion. I enjoy studying the craft and reading other authors to see how they develop a story or characters. There never seem to be enough hours in the day for all the stories I want to tell. It takes patience and perseverance, but the process is worthwhile and the reward is a finished piece.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire, which is one of the first out. It is easy to take when traveling and stores lots of books. I als borrow my husband's regular Kindle, which is great if you are outside.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Elaine Russell online

Where to buy in print


Martin McMillan and the Sacred Stones
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 46,080. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
A vacation to Scotland finds thirteen-year-old skateboarders Martin McMillan and his friend Isabel drawn into another exciting mystery. Gaelic verses, recently found in the lining of an old trunk, hold the key to Druid secrets on the windswept Isle of Lewis. Clues lead to the ancient Calanais Standing Stones, which rival the wonder of Stonehenge. Martin and Isabel are determined to uncover the tru
Martin McMillan and the Secret of the Ruby Elephant
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 43,880. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
A thrilling adventure unfolds in Thailand as Martin, Isabel, and their new friend Junya hunt down the stolen Ruby Elephant
Montana in A Minor
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 41,810. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
There is music and romance under Montana's big sky when Emily Lopez spends her summer on a cattle ranch in Paradise Valley.
Across the Mekong River
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 82,750. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Asian American
The dangerous journey of one Hmong family, fleeing war and persecution in Laos across the Mekong River to the refugee camps in Thailand and eventually a new life in the United States.

Elaine Russell's tag cloud

archaeology    chicago    crow indian    druids    hmong    immigrants    laos    montana    music    mystery    ocd    romance    scotland    skateboarding    standing stones    thailand    vietnam war