In spite of the fact that I always knew I wanted to be a writer, it took me quite a long time to find out what I wanted to write about. Growing up in South Africa, I wrote short stories with rather bleak themes - usually coming-of-age stuff involving abuse, divorce, racism, neglect, murder, terminal illness: all the things I'd never experienced and didn't seem likely to, no matter how good it would have been for my craft.
As an adult here in the States, I worked as a journalist and wrote about tedious things like hospital information systems and diseases I'd never heard of. By then, I had more or less given up on the idea of being an "important" writer and thought I might pen something light on the side, perhaps an historical thriller. But as soon as I had children, my subject matter came to me quite naturally. I knew that I wanted to capture the kinds of things my friends talked about when they went out at night and had a glass or two of wine: the joys and woes of motherhood and marriage. I didn't go through full-blown postpartum depression myself, but I've known several women who did, and I set out to write something uplifting about a topic that's not covered much.
Although I lived in the UK briefly, I now live in Connecticut with my husband and three children, age six, eight, and ten.
The RANTS and RAVES about
"Your Roots Are Showing/The Wrong Sort of Wife"
Read more about Elise in the South African edition of
How to write a book with Elise Chidley
Mommies everywhere are reading "Your Roots are Showing"