Elise Broach and Alisha Gorder met up recently under the outdoor dining tent at the Easton Village Store to talk about writing and publishing, and to enjoy the late summer weather.
Broach — a prolific and award-winning author of children’s and young adult fiction — and Gorder — a first-time author — discovered they have much in common. They both love their small rural town, writing, and, of course, spending time with family and friends.
Broach, a Yale University alumna, teaches a creative writing seminar to undergraduates at her alma mater called “Coming of Age: Writing about Childhood Turning Points.” Her colorful website, elisebroach.com, includes information about her acclaimed kids’ books, her favorite books and herself. You can see her talking about her mystery book, “The Wolf Keepers,” here.
Broach’s picture book, “My Pet Wants a Pet,” illustrated by Eric Barclay, was selected as the Best Picture Book of 2018 by Parents Magazine. Her middle-grade mystery, “Masterpiece,” was chosen by the literacy organization Read to Them as a “One School, One Book” selection for school-wide reads. The Masterpiece Adventures early-reader series allows younger students to encounter the characters and themes of “Masterpiece” at their own reading level.
Broach started writing children’s books when her youngest child was a year old. “Hiding Hoover,” “Wet Dog!” and “What the No-Good Baby is Good For,” were written during that time. Eventually, she wanted to try a novel. “Shakespeare’s Secret” was her first attempt. Broach also served several terms on the Easton Board of Finance.
Gorder took advantage of the time at home during the spring, pandemic shut down to put the finishing touches on her recently published debut novel, “Joy: A Modern Fable.”
Broach, whose books have achieved an international audience, offered the new author tips and suggestions that she has used over the years to nurture her extensive following, including reaching out to libraries and networking with friends and colleagues.
Gorder took Broach’s suggestions and even during the pandemic has been able to schedule events where she will speak about her book. She will do an author talk at the Easton Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Guests may sign up here. She will also speak about her book at the Easton Moms Book Club on Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Guests may register here.
“This may be Gorder’s first full-length work of fiction, but she is an accomplished writer,” fellow Eastonite Cathy Dunsby wrote in an article published in the Easton Courier. “Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, The Hartford Courant, The Patriot Ledger, and The Easton Courier. She has also published short stories and OpEd pieces.”
Gorder’s book chronicles the journeys toward happiness of five loosely interwoven characters. Part of “Joy” is set in fictional “Eastville. Elements of that bucolic New England community will seem very familiar to Easton readers,” Dunsby states. “Most of the book itself was conceived and written in different parts of Easton and Redding, as Gorder waited to shuttle her children between their various activities. The St. Mary’s section of Bridgeport, from which the Gorder family moved to Easton, also plays a featured role.”
“This book is my gift to myself and to all those I hold dear,” Gorder said in the interview with Dunsby. “Family, friendship, and love are its guiding lights … I try to be an optimist. It’s kind of my thing. So this is an optimistic book, a balm for troubled times.”
Born and raised in Trumbull, Alisha graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Christoph, whose work for international non-profit charity: water was profiled in The Easton Courier on June 29, have lived in Easton with their children, Anya and Leo, since 2013. The book’s cover was designed by hand by 15-year old Anya, a Joel Barlow High School junior.