I started designing books over ten years ago when my husband, Ed, an author who published with Skinner House and Berkley, asked me to format several of his unpublished manuscripts and prepare them for publication.  We began with Lulu.com, an on-line publication and printing service.  It was the only one we had heard of.  The books I created were professionally produced with high quality components.  My hobby soon became my free-lance business—Publishista®.

I began telling stories when I was little, and I think I drove my parents crazy.  I’d stand on the hump of the family Oldsmobile with my elbows planted on the back of their seat and go on and on, regaling them with adventure after adventure.  When I ended one story, I’d say, “And then . . .” and start up again. I give my parents credit. They never told me to shut up.

My slice-of-life storytelling draws inspiration from rich experiences with diverse cultures, quirky personalities, and unusual encounters while living, working, and raising a family in New York, Delaware, Vermont, Ontario, Quebec, Ohio, and Illinois. Some of my stories are on my blog, elliesearlstories.com

I graduated from Syracuse University and received my master’s degree from Youngstown State University. I’ve held certificates as teacher, instructional supervisor, guidance counselor, and school administrator.

I taught the art of writing to Chicagoland middle-schoolers, whose curiosity, energy, and enthusiasm for life gave me insight into the dreams of the sometimes disregarded. At the middle school where I taught, there is an Ellie Searl Writing Award given at the end of each year to the most talented writing student at each grade level. I am humbled by this tribute to my passion for writing. 

I grew up in Westport, NY, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, on Lake Champlain, where Thomas Lee invented the Adirondack chair in 1903.  I think it’s that chair that shaped my spirit and saved me from the jitters so many city people seem to have.  It’s impossible to sink into an Adirondack chair without sinking into a meditative state. 

While my husband was pursuing his post graduate degrees and establishing his career, my family moved over twelve times, and I worked where we landed—in Wilmington, DE, Burlington, VT, Ottawa, ON, Montreal, QC, Syracuse, NY, Youngstown, OH, and LaGrange, IL. I’ve held jobs as an elementary teacher, reform school childcare worker, group home parent, instructional supervisor, guidance counselor, middle school English and literature teacher, orthodontist’s chair assistant, English as a foreign language teacher, Kindergarten assistant, apartment rental agent, gem and jewelry salesperson, receptionist, condominium sales agent, and a multi-grade teacher at a private school in Chicago, owned by a family that also owned a shady towing service.  

When we lived in the Chicago suburbs, I liked the excitement and activity of the city, but I didn’t like the flat landscape, even though it provided longer sunsets and lots of corn. 

When my husband Ed and I moved to Chadds Ford, PA, at the edge of the Delaware Arc, we were surrounded by Revolutionary War Battlegrounds, Dupont history, miles of stone walls, horse trails, and rolling hillsides.

After Ed’s body and spirit became one with stardust, I moved to Brea, CA, to live near my daughter Katie and her two children, Brett and Bridget. Living in Southern California means lots of sunshine, a vast ocean of new experiences, and no snow.

I visit my hometown to play in the Adirondacks and walk the shores of Lake Champlain.  I particularly liked to sit at the edge of the lake and watch the sun rise over the Green Mountains.

“Experience seeps into the imagination and makes the creative spirit explode with novelties—like rice noodles hitting hot oil.” Ellie Searl