Author Spotlight

“I write for the kid in me. . . . Often when I’m working on a story, I’II find myself laughing at something my characters have done, or even being surprised at where they’ve taken the story. It’s as if they have a life all their own. What I do is create them and then let them go on to entertain me. . . .”—Elvira Woodruff

Elvira Woodruff is the author of over a dozen children’s books and the recipient of several child-voted state awards.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Well-known for her popular children’s stories, author Elvira Woodruff had a long route to becoming a writer. In fact, one of her first jobs after leaving college was driving an ice cream truck. She has also worked as a receptionist, a janitor, a window dresser, a gardener, a shop owner, an assistant librarian, a waitress, and a storyteller. After working for several years in the children’s room of a library, Woodruff began writing professionally at the age of 35, and hasn’t stopped since.

Elvira Woodruff has always had a great imagination. She recalls, “my father was a truck driver and I would love to sit in his truck and imagine all the places he’d been. I’d sit behind the wheel, my head barely reaching the steering wheel and pretend that I was on the open road, off on some grand adventure to faraway places like Long Island, or Jersey City.”

Today, Woodruff believes that “what you have to do as a writer is to feel, look, and listen. Your stories then become a celebration of those observations. And, most important, a writer needs to fall in love. I’m constantly falling in love—with colors, with flowers, with wings, with bubbles, with mud, with goofy baby smiles. . . . When you’re writing under the influence of love, there’s a power that will weave your words into magic.”

Born and raised in New Jersey, Elvira Woodruff has also lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She has two sons, Noah and Jess. When she isn’t writing, Woodruff likes gardening—especially with blue flowers—and enjoys traveling. “[One] year I fell in love with Leonardo daVinci and flew to Italy where I rented a car and traced his footsteps from Vinci to Florence and Milan.” She also spends a lot of her time visiting schools and libraries, sharing her ideas about writing with children.

Elvira Woodruff’s book, Dear Napoleon, I Know You’re Dead, But . . ., is a clever and funny story about a boy who writes a letter to Napoleon Bonaparte for a class project, and receives a surprising reply. It has been included in numerous child-voted state award programs, including the Mark Twain Book Award program (Missouri), the Sequoyah Children’s Book Award program (Oklahoma), and the West Virginia Children’s Book Award program.


PRAISE

THE GHOST OF LIZARD LIGHT
“Kids will appreciate the idea of being chummy with a ghost, and they’ll revel in wondering if he’s real or not.”—The Bulletin

“An engrossing tale.”—School Library Journal


DEAR AUSTIN
Letters from the Underground Railroad

“This carefully researched and vividly imagined novel presents the emotional and gripping tale of one boy’s confrontation with the issue of slavery and its significance in American history.”—School Library Journal


“Woodruff combines swift pacing, historical detail, humor, suffering, depth, and precise characterizations, for a wholly satisfying page turner.”—Kirkus Reviews


DEAR LEVI
Letters from the Overland Trail

—An IRA Teachers’ Choice

“The epistolary format and character development offer solid reading.”—Booklist