Who is Elizabeth Van Tassel?

Elizabeth has really lived a life with diamonds, wildfires, and miracles. The gemologist and communication specialist has held a modern-day Faberge egg, played with pink diamonds, and spoken to hundreds of people about adventures with heart. By touch, she once knew whether a South Sea pearl would test real or fake. She has spotted rainbows inside of gems and shopped for emeralds in South America. Now she winds her tales of wondrous gems and destructive loss into fantastic fantasy for the next generation and beyond.

Elizabeth has been called “a modern-day Madeline L’Engle” by a Hollywood executive, and kid readers rate her first book as “suspenseful,” “full of excitement,” and “fun, funny, and adventurous.”

But it’s not all sparkle. Elizabeth has found gems of true meaning as a wildfire survivor who lost every possession. She has helped her family through horrific medical traumas with her son almost dying, and her husband’s stroke. Determined to thrive, rather than just get by, now she spots potential as much as she finds inclusions in her microscope. Her creative eye and stories of survival help others to rise above circumstances and begin meaningful life changes. Using her background as a gemologist, and years of corporate marketing expertise, and volunteer youth ministry, Elizabeth understands how to craft messages with depth and intrigue for tweens. She also speaks, hosts classes, and blogs for adults and kids about how to live a resilient life.

When she was at Baylor University she intersected with C.S. Lewis’ writings on a study abroad program, and fell even deeper under the spell of fiction. She admires the Narnia Chronicles and characters that help kids learn big truths.

 

After graduating with a degree in journalism and minor in public relations and marketing, she spent many years working in corporate marketing. Her recent inspirational writing has been published online by Seekerville, Seriously Write, and Littworld Online. She’s also published in various trade publications such as Ernst & Young’s Great Sales, State and Local Tax Report, Southwest Region State and Local Tax Report, AIM Program newsletters, Action Line for Actuarial Services, Tort Reform Update, and Celebrating The Firm. She wrote and managed more than 15 newsletters, many press releases, proposals (RFPs), news releases, and advertisements.

When life thrust a sudden change her way, she decided to become a Graduate Gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America. There her creative side and science-skills were bound together, and she worked for a high-end jeweler in Dallas, Texas helping with appraisals, jewelry designs, and sales. It held many real-life magical moments.

After losing everything in a Southern California wildfire with her small children and husband, and then other medical emergencies, she began to interweave the lessons they learned with inspirational writing to help other moms. Then she sparked the idea for her novels, the first of which has garnered praise from tween readers and adults alike.

Rather than getting bogged down by difficulties, Elizabeth excels at creating new opportunities from loss. With sensitivity and genuine care, she uses her “superpower” of finding the real silver lining in every cloud to help change lives.

 

Fun Facts About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth has climbed parts of the Himalayas in Switzerland, and found a rock where the two mountain ranges collided. She’s walked through a glacier tunnel and sung in a small church in the Alps.

She’s held lots of diamonds, emeralds, south sea pearls and real sparkling gems in her hands. Even a real modern-day Faberge Egg. And it wasn’t stolen from a pirate ship. She used to be in the ‘biz. Her favorite: playing with pink diamonds at Graff, London.

Elizabeth had some amazing opportunities as a teenager with a thriving babysitting business. The best times: she took care of a very famous rock star’s children. She loved their family, seeing the Grammy Awards and records on the walls, and especially the kids—even though one of the babies liked to spit up a lot. She also got to do neat advance work for the president in San Francisco. Very cool. The worst: babysitting another famous person’s children, but their kids turned out to have a hidden stash of matches and a reputation for locking sitters in the bathroom. They later burned down part of a huge hill in her hometown, but not on her watch.

Elizabeth has been to C.S. Lewis’ home, sat in his church pew, seen his combs and brushes, and stood by his desk. She’s walked where he was inspired about Aslan, sat beside the little lake near his home where he designed Puddleglum, and followed in his footsteps when she studied abroad in England one summer. It was life-changing!

She loves researching jewels and visiting museums or finding beauty in gardens or art. If she hadn’t been a gemologist, she would have become a decorative arts specialist for The Antiques Road Show or some amazing museum.

In college, Elizabeth grew to love Texas but swore three things: not to acquire a drawl, never to love Country music, and never, ever, to say y’all. Well, y’all happened in the first week; the drawl in the first month; and Country music remains a dear friend. She’s teaching her boys to love it when they do chores or play outside, too!

When not crafting stories, Elizabeth enjoys boogie boarding at the beach with her husband and two sons. She also chases a golf ball occasionally with great selective memory of the best shots.