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1.  Who is Ellen Shapiro and how long has she been writing?


Ellen Shapiro is a private investigator and the author of four novels of the Tracey Marks
Mystery series. Acting on her passion for writing, Ellen enrolled in the Sarah Lawrence Writing
Institute where she took courses in creative writing. Her professional experience led her to create
the storylines and develop the characters for her novels. In addition to her novels, Ellen has
written articles related to her field for both local and nationwide newspapers. She is a member of
Mystery Writers of America. When she is not writing or working, you can find Ellen on the golf
course yelling at her ball. Ellen resides in Scarsdale, New York.

I started writing more than twenty-five years ago but I got side-lined when I started my PI business. In 2019 I picked up the novel I started all those years ago but knew I needed to take creative writing courses in order to become a better writer. I completed the first book of the Tracey Marks Mystery series in January of 2020.

2.  What is the inspiration behind your writing?

My love of writing and the characters I have developed and write about.

3.  What made you want to be a writer?

It’s an intangible. I just knew. It gave me joy whenever I sat down to write.

4.  You are a private investigator. What’s that like and what is a typical day?

When I was working full-time I might have several different cases I’m investigating at one time. I could be doing a surveillance, working on locating someone, conducting an asset search for people who are going through a divorce or working on an estate case, locating heirs. Everyday was different.

5. With the rise of true crime fandom, has that ever hindered or aided you in an investigation?


6.  Was Missing or Dead based on a past case of yours?

No, but my skills as a private investigator were utilized in my books in my interviewing, surveillance, searching techniques and other areas.

7.  As a private investigator is there one case solved or unsolved that still racks your brain?



8.  How do you balance your writing life and PI career?

When I first started writing seriously I would divide my day in half. In the morning I would work on my cases and in the afternoon I would write.

9.  What are you currently working on?


I am currently writing the fifth book of the Tracey Marks Mystery series.

10.  Where can people find you on social media?

Twitter -

Instagram -

Facebook -

11.  Any advice you can give future writers

If you love writing, write. Take classes. It’s important to get feedback and to build a network of other writers to support you.

Published Date: November 22, 2021.

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