August 8, 2009
|About E.F. Watkins
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.
Since 2003, Eileen has published four novels with Amber
Quill Press LLC, three of them paranormal thrillers under the
name "E. F. Watkins." Her first, DANCE WITH THE DRAGON,
received a 2004 EPPIE Award from the national organization
EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection.) as Best
Horror Novel. Next came the "straight" romantic mystery
RIDE A DANCING HORSE (as “Eileen Watkins”). Her third
book, BLACK FLOWERS, made it to the finals in the Thriller
category in both the 2006 EPPIE Awards and the 2007 Indie
Excellence Book Awards. Her latest is PARAGON.
Watkins is a founding member of the Garden State Horror
Writers, and also belongs to the mystery-writers’ group
Sisters in Crime/Central Jersey and The Writer’s Workshop of
Bergen County, NJ. She has taught fiction-writing seminars
for the adult school in Wayne, NJ.
F. Paul Wilson, best-selling author of THE KEEP and THE
SELECT, has said “E. F. Watkins is a writer to watch!” The
Internet site Roundtable Reviews observed, “Watkins
manages to combine the supernatural with everyday issues
to create a world that is horrifyingly like our own,” and the
magazine Eternal Night has called her "a true master of
A professional journalist for more than 30 years, Eileen has
written about art, architecture, fine crafts and interior design
for daily newspapers and local, national and international
magazines. She shares her 1922 house in northern New
Jersey with two cats--Bela and Harley--and decorates it with
furniture, fabrics and accessories from the 1930s-40s.
Visit Eileen's website at www.efwatkins.com.