Ellen Smith is the author of the novel Reluctant Cassandra (2015) and the Channillo series Ghosts of Eagle Valley (2015). A former teacher, Ellen also works as a freelance education writer and passionate supporter of students with special needs. When she isn’t writing, Ellen can be found reading, sewing, or avoiding housework. She lives with her family near Washington, D.C.

Author Ellen Smith

Author Ellen Smith


facts & Questions


What are some of your favorite books?

Far too many to list, but I’ll give it a try! Bad Girl Creek by Jo-Ann Mapson, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin, Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, and A Peach of a Pair by Kim Boykin. 

What do you write as a freelance education writer?

My specialties include curriculum development, academic writing, and developmental editing. Since my background is in special education, I love to create resources that adapt traditional methods of teaching and help students learn the same concepts in different ways. My goal is to help students, teachers, and parents feel excited and confident about learning!

What inspired you to write Reluctant Cassandra and Ghosts of Eagle Valley?

When I wrote Reluctant Cassandra, I was imagining a character who could see glimpses of the future and was, in many ways, still stuck in the past. The main character, Arden, is an antiques dealer living in a small town devoted to historic preservation. She’s also coming to grips with her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the changes that lie ahead for her family. Throughout the book, Arden is learning to accept a future that she doesn’t want to see…and gathering the courage to make some changes of her own, too.

Although the setting of the book, Eagle Valley, Virginia, is fictional, it feels very real to me. I had so much fun imagining Eagle Valley that I wrote four ghost stories that take place at different points in the town’s history. Ghosts of Eagle Valley was released in October of 2015 as a series of short stories on Channillo for Charity. All proceeds from Ghosts of Eagle Valley go to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Name one topic you plan to explore in your future books.

I’m really interested in the idea of “fate” in romance. My current work-in-progress explores the lives of two newlyweds that have to make a harrowing decision. Will they go back in time to save each other from the tragic event that brought them together…even if it means they might not fall in love?