Ella West, the pen name of Karen Trebilcock, was born in Invercargill and writes novels for young adults. She now lives on a rural property near Mosgiel, Dunedin, with her husband and two sons. As well as writing fiction, she also works part time as a journalist.
Her novel Thieves was published in 2006 by Longacre Press and is the first book in a trilogy about Nicky, a girl who is taken by a sinister group called the Project who want to use her for her ability to teleport herself with the power of her mind. The second book in the series, Anywhere but Here, was published in 2008 and the third and final book, Real Life, hit the bookshop shelves in late 2009.
Thieves was a finalist in the 2007 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
She says about the trilogy: ‘I never intended to write a science fiction series. All I started with was the idea of a teenage girl hiding in her closet but I did know I wanted to write a thriller. I wanted to capture teenagers in a story which, once they started, they had to read to the end to find out what happens. However I think I have been too successful – teenagers and also adults have told me off as they have lost sleep reading my books late into the night! What higher praise from your readers can there be than that?’
Ella was awarded the Louis Johnson New Writers’ Bursary in 2006.