About Ellen Tiernan

After 20 years working as an English/Reading/ESL/Speech/Drama teacher for Chicago Public Schools, I decided it was time to make a career change. I got to thinking that I would like to write a novel. The seed idea came from a story based on the family folk lore about ancestors with Native American genes who immigrated from Canada to Wisconsin in the 1850’s.   Surprise after surprise came with researching this branch of my family tree. At this point in time I have about five notebooks filled with genealogies and background research, and logged several trips to Colonial reenactments and historical sites. So far I have written about two-and-half rough drafts for a three-book family saga. In addition to this, I have partial manuscripts completed for a theme-based short story series. Presently, I’m focused on writing and publishing an on-line workshop on How To Use Tarot Cards for Writing Fiction.

Growing up on an Iowa dairy farm in a large Catholic family taught me to do things on my own. After high school, I moved to Omaha, Nebraska to attend secretarial college. Although I had worked summers at my grandparents’ drive-in movie theatre,  I got my first real job at the Omaha Hilton. It was an interesting place to work, but the job was boring after awhile because I typed and filed all day. I decided that selling Mary Kay cosmetics would be more fun, and it was, until I didn’t make enough money to pay my bills. I had to go back to secretarial work. When an opportunity to work for a non-profit in a Chicago suburb came along, I grabbed it and didn’t look back. While working at the non-profit, I began taking college courses at the local community college. Eventually, I completed my English Secondary Education degree at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and met my husband along the way. We were married in 1993, the same year that I was hired to teach at the school where I would spend the bulk of my teaching years.

My husband and I love to travel to interesting places with our 5th wheel trailer, such as Cajun Louisiana, Upstate New York, New Mexico, and South Carolina. We also enjoy Hawaii and the Northwest.

I’ve decided to self-publish my stories because I don’t want to wait for a traditional publisher to accept my work and because I want to maximize my income. Since there is a big learning curve for the self-publisher, I was happy to find this BookWorks group for support.

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