Woodger, Elin 1954-

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WOODGER, Elin 1954-

PERSONAL: Born June 24, 1954, in Port Chester, NY; daughter of Herbert A. (a drafter) and Carol (Magnusson) Woodger; married Norman Thomas Philip Murphy (a writer), October 6, 2001. Education: Attended State University of New York at Binghamton and State University of New York Empire State College. Hobbies and other interests: Reading (especially P. G. Wodehouse), long walks.

ADDRESSES: Home and offıce—9 Winton Ave., London N11 2AS, England. Agent—James Peters Associates, P.O. Box 358, New Canaan, CT 06840. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Linguistics International, Boston, MA, operations manager and customer service manager, 1979-88; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, executive secretary, 1989-98; freelance writer and editor, 1997—.

MEMBER: Wodehouse Society (president, 1999-2001), P. G. Wodehouse Society.

AWARDS, HONORS: Cited among best reference sources of the year, Library Journal, 2003, Society of School Librarians International, Honor Book Award, 2004, both for Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

WRITINGS:

(With Brandon Toropov) Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2003.

(With David Burg) Eyewitness History: The 1980s, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2006.

Coeditor, Plum Lines, 1996-2001. Also worked as ghostwriter for other authors.

SIDELIGHTS: Elin Woodger told CA: "I had long fancied myself a fiction writer until I realized that my talent really lay in nonfiction. In 1997 I began ghostwriting for Beach Brook Productions, which was a useful apprenticeship, as it not only gave me experience, but also helped me decide to quit office work and focus on writing. I also began editing, primarily assisting other authors with their works and sometimes also writing sections of their books for them. In 1999 I moved from the Boston area to Port Chester, New York, where, in addition to my writing assignments, I began doing copyediting work for New York-based clients. At this time I was working on the Encyclopedia of Cold War Politics, to which I made significant research and writing contributions.

"In the course of these years I discovered an affinity for topics in American history, in both my writing and my editing work. In 2001 Brandon Toropov, the official author of Encyclopedia of Cold War Politics as well as a friend and advisor who has given me numerous writing opportunities, asked if I would coauthor Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with him. This was my breakthrough work, the first to be published under my own name, and it was a rewarding experience as I steeped myself in Lewis and Clark lore. The book has done very well in its market (primarily schools and libraries, but also retail), and I am proud to say that reviews have been universally good.

"In 2001 I married and moved to England. My husband is a retired British Army colonel who has written a number of books on P. G. Wodehouse, a history of London, and a logistics handbook for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In addition to being my biggest booster, he is also my severest critic and an excellent editor. I continue to work for U.S.-based clients, both writing and editing assignments, and my next book, Eyewitness History: The 1980s, is scheduled for publication in 2006. Being in London has not hampered my ability to research (thanks to the Internet and the British Library), and my work is very portable. Having found my milieu in academic publishing, I intend to continue my focus on American history and plan to return to college and get my degree in that subject.

"To aspiring nonfiction writers I would say: Be persistent and keep practicing your craft, writing on a variety of topics. Being able to write about anything is a big bonus!"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Reference Books Annual, 2004, Mark A. Wilson, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Booklist, June 1, 2004, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, p. 1788.

Choice, April, 2004, J. Drueke, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Christian Library Journal, August, 2004, Donna J. Eggen, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Library Journal, December, 2003, Margaret Atwater-Singer, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, p. 102.

Library Media Connection, April-May, 2004, Lee Gordon, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

School Library Journal, February, 2004, Grace Oliff, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, p. 94.

Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 2004, Cindy Lombardo, review of Encyclopedia of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.