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Ride a Dancing Horse
May 1, 2004
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Eileen Watkins


Pseudonym: E. F. Watkins.

Growing up in Cranford, NJ, Eileen always aspired to write novels. As soon as she could print, she began folding sheets of letter-sized paper in half, drawing cover illustrations and attempting to write "books." Her earliest efforts involved adventure stories about horses. During her high school years at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, NJ, she moved on to Nancy Drew-type mysteries.

In her freshman year at Marywood College in Scranton, PA, Eileen won first place in a college-wide short story contest. The real turning point occurred later that year, when a friend lent her a paperback of DRACULA. Eileen read it by flashlight during a thunderstorm and blackout in the dorm, and instantly knew that was the kind of book she wanted to write. More contemporary horror and suspense authors who have influenced her work since then include Ira Levin, Dean Koontz and Barbara Michaels.

Eileen has published short stories in the magazines BELLADONNA and DOPPLEGANGER, and in the anthology IN A FEARFUL STATE published by the Garden State Horror Writers. In 1994, she won First Prize in the national contest sponsored by the GSHW, with an excerpt from her then- unpublished novel PARAGON. In 2000, she won Second Prize in a Philadelphia Writer's Conference contest, with an excerpt from her unpublished novel BLACK FLOWERS. She is a founding member of, and publicity officer for, the Garden State Horror Writers. She is also a member of the Horror Writers Association, Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey and The Writer's Workshop, Englewood, NJ.

A professional journalist for more than 20 years, Eileen covered art, architecture, fine crafts and interior design for The Star-Ledger, New Jersey's largest daily newspaper. She now freelances, writing on these same subjects. (See her nonfiction web site at http://njcreatives.org/Watkins.) She shares her 1922 house in northern New Jersey with two cats--Bela and Harley--and rides horseback, specializing in dressage. She also collects furniture, clothing and fabrics from the 1930s-40s.

http://www.efwatkins.com/


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