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unpublished novel PARAGON.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from her unpublished novel BLACK FLOWERS.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.
Books:The Bengal Identity, April 2018
Cat Groomer Mystery #2
The Persian Always Meows Twice, October 2017
A Cat Groomer Mystery