Elle Cosimano: NEARLY GONE

One author, Four questions. Today we’re introducing OneFour debut author, Elle Cosimano.

Elle2Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

I was attending a real estate seminar and we were doing one of those painfully cliché icebreakers. I was supposed to introduce myself and talk about the accomplishment I was most proud of. Problem was, I didn’t know what to say. The career I’d spent over a decade building felt so far from the person I’d always told myself I was going to be.

So, you know that whole philosophy on goal setting, and how the first step to achieving a goal is to say it out loud and make yourself accountable to others? I told every single person in that banquet hall, “I’m writing a novel.” Present progressive. As in, I am doing it now. And I am making progress.

Only I hadn’t written a word. All I had was a bottle of Tums and a looming fortieth birthday. So when a few people started asking, “what’s your book about?” I figured it was time to do something. The next week I let myself daydream, and the next month I wrote some notes, and that summer I finished my first manuscript. I took that manuscript to a writing workshop, certain that someone would tell me it wasn’t good enough and that I should chalk it up to a midlife crisis and go back to selling real estate. Instead, they told me my pitch and writing showed promise. Two months later, I queried and signed with the extraordinary Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency. One year (and several revisions later) we sold in a two-book pre-empt to my dream editor at Dial/Penguin.

What’s your debut book about?

NEARLY GONE is a YA thriller, in which a math-whiz from a trailer park discovers she’s the only student capable of unravelling complex clues left by a serial killer who’s systematically getting rid of her classmates. It’s a mystery with a little math, a lot of murder, and just the right amount of making out.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

  • When I was a teenager, I worked on a fishing boat, baiting hooks, scrubbing decks, and lugging buckets of chum.
  • I am the daughter of a prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rode a Harley. I had a very eclectic upbringing.
  • I wrote NEARLY GONE in a jungle tree house in the Mayan Riviera.
  • I’ve herded cattle through the mountains of Wyoming. (I never said I was good at it.)
  • I am a homeschooling mom to two wild and wonderful boys, and the wife of a very patient man.
  • NEARLY GONE will be among the first books published under a new Penguin imprint, Kathy Dawson Books.

Do you have any writing quirks–places you need to write or things you need to have with you?

More like things I can’t have with me. I’m one of those writers who can’t have any distractions. No noise, no music, no kids, no puppies, no social media when I write. I have to completely disengage from the rest of the world. Sometimes I sneak away to a local library. Often I rent a cabin or hotel room and retreat. And there’s always the tree house.

Elle Cosimano drinks too much coffee and is a professional puppy and little boy wrangler. She majored in Psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She divides her time between her home near Washington, DC and a jungle tree house in the Mayan Riviera.
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35 thoughts on “Elle Cosimano: NEARLY GONE

  1. It’s a mystery with a little math, a lot of murder, and just the right amount of making out. – LOVE this description Elle!! Must-Read!! Your road to publication is really inspiring. AND you have a magic tree house to write in? So. Freakin’. Cool.

  2. I know this is CRAZY random but my mom went to a St. Mary’s at UMD College Park. It was a dorm, I think? Is yours different? LOL…anyway – I just wanted to say how excited I am for your book. Sarah Davies seems to lu-uv those thrillers lately or maybe she knows how to spot a good trend 😉 I love murder and making out and while I am NOT a fan of math I’m curious to see how it will play out in your book. Congrats!

    • Hi Rachel,
      Actually the college I attended was not part of the UMD system. I was about 2 hrs south of College Park, at a small liberal arts college on the St. Mary’s River in Southern Maryland. Beautiful campus. And yes, Sarah loves thrillers! Believe it or not, I’ve never been very good at math either, but the way it all pulls together in the story should be pretty exciting, even for those of us who are “numerically challenged”. 🙂

  3. Elle! I have a plan. How about your two boys can wrangle/entertain my two boys (or vice versa) while we hang in the treehouse and write stories.

  4. So excited to read this one, and damn, that is one interesting list of facts! I suddenly feel massively, massively boring.

    • Thanks, Dahlia! Haha! I’m actually not all that fascinating when you break it down over years. (There’s probably an equation that would tell me exactly how uninteresting I am, like number of cool events divided by years and then multiplied by the reciprocal of boring… or something) but I think I fell asleep in that class.

  5. Nicole brought me up to speed and I think it’s so freakin cool. Ironically, Kristin and I have just had twins and I am playing around with children’s stories. So happy for you!!

    • SO great to hear from you, Tom! And congrats to you both on your new additions! That’s wonderful! Best of luck with your stories. I hope you find joy in the journey! Stay in touch.

  6. Wow, Nearly Gone sounds freaking amazing! And I second whoever said Elle’s list of facts make them feel boring 🙂

    • YAY for Maryland girls! I was born near DC and raised in Montgomery County. Graduated Quince Orchard HS. NEARLY GONE actually takes place in Alexandria/Rt 1 south of the beltway. There are a few scenes in Old Town and DC, and a few local points of interest that us Maryland girls know. 😉

  7. Pingback: Where I've Been Wednesday • Elle Cosimano

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