Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 18, 2011

Meet an Aussie Author: Elisabeth Storrs

The Wedding ShroudElisabeth Storrs is the debut author of The Wedding Shroud which I read and enjoyed soon after it was released.  (See my review).

She has long had a passion for the history, myths and legends of the ancient world. She graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts Law, majoring in English and having studied Classics. She lives with her husband and two sons in Sydney and over the years has worked as a solicitor, corporate lawyer, senior manager and company secretary. The Wedding Shroud is set in early Rome and Etruria, and was researched and written over ten years. She is currently writing the sequel which will be released by Pier 9/Murdoch Books in 2012. (You can visit Elisabeth Storr’s website here).

I was delighted when Elisabeth agreed to take part in my Meet an Aussie Author series.

1. I was born … in Sydney on New Year’s Eve. Consequently I have always believed that the City of Sydney fireworks are for my benefit.

2. When I was a child I wrote…compositions in primary school where my characters seemed to embark on adventures suspiciously similar in plot to those experienced by The Famous Five. Later I wrote short stories and execrable poetry for the high school magazine.

3. The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write is/was…first of all my mother who (as only a mother could) sent a childhood story of mine to Angus & Robertson’s Publishers. Needless to say the rejection slip has been lost in the mail for over forty years. I also had a high school teacher who encouraged me to write short stories and execrable poetry. Lastly, while I wrote my first book, I had two fantastic mentors who are both novelists, Natalie Scott and Joyce Kornblatt. They are both inspirational.

4. I write in… my family room on the dining table which is very inconvenient to everyone else when it comes to eating dinner. I used to write in my study but it has no view of the garden.

5. I write … every day as I am trying to meet a deadline to complete the sequel to my first novel. However, in the past I used to set aside two to four hours every week by hiring local kids to look after my two sons while I wrote. No wonder it took me ten years to finish my first novel.

6. Research is…. one of my passions. I write historical novels set in Etruria and the early Roman Republic. Escaping into the ancient world is a way for me to forget cares and the tedium of everyday life. I have a tendency to disappear down rabbit holes, though, when I find a particularly interesting area and have to remind myself that not every reader wants to delve into the nitty-gritty of C5th BCE life.

7. I keep my published work/s on top of a pile of research books in my family room next to my very untidy dining table.

8. On the day my first book was published, I…visited a bookshop to sign some copies of the book. Unfortunately the bookseller who’d arranged this with me seemed mystified as to who I was and why I was in his shop – very sobering!  On the day the book was launched, though, I had an enormous party with my all my friends. I will never forget either experience!

9. At the moment, I’m writing …the sequel to The Wedding Shroud.

10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I …look at Etruscan art. Many of the episodes in my books are inspired by the fantastic tomb art of this society which reflects both scenes of everyday life as well as those the Etruscans believed awaited them in the beyond.

Elisabeth’s book has been released as an ebook now and is available overseas. You can download it from her website by following this link or follow this one, The Wedding Shroud, to buy a print version.

Do check out this video to see how Etruscan art inspired the book… I doubt if the more prosaic cups and saucers we use today will ever inspire an author!


  1. I loved the comment about writing stories similar to Famous 5, How many kids did that?!! I bought this ladys book on the strength of this profile Lisa and your review. It sounds great. I reckon I’ll be a contender for the sequel. I have not read a good Roman book for years. I ordered via your link and I look forward to reading it. I did love ancient history at high school!

    Go Lisa’s fabulous blog!


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