Born in The Dalles, Oregon, S. Elliott Lawrence always wanted to write; short stories as a teenager and stints on The Dalles High School and Boise Junior College papers as sports editor.
Uncle Sam intervened, however, with a vacation in Vietnam in 1968-69. He returned to college at Portland State University on the GI Bill, having kept a journal and intending to write about this unholy experience. Following graduation with two years left of his GI Bill education benefits, he applied and was admitted to Lewis and Clark, Northwestern School of Law and became an attorney. Over the next 28 years, a marriage and three daughters, a practice as a trial attorney and volunteer work for United Cerebral Palsy Association consumed his days, evenings and nights precluding his desire to write.
In 1985, he took a single college class in Creative Writing and wrote, “The Volunteer”, a short story about how he ended up in Vietnam as an infantry officer instead of a language interpreter, which he had hoped was the ticket to staying out of combat. This story became the genesis of his book “First Light”, self-published in 2013 after several years of being told by agents, no one wanted another Vietnam novel.
S. Elliott Lawrence retired from practicing law in 2007, at age 62 and moved back to The Dalles where his heart had remained all the while he was pursuing life. In 2008, Steve married his high school sweetheart, Donna and in 2013 ran for Mayor, serving 3 terms or 6 years, an all-consuming job.
His second novel, “Amotan Field”, a story intended, in part, to continue the story of Kenneth McKenzie, the protagonist in “First Light” was published in 2019 with the encouragement and help of many, mainly Donna.
Currently, S. Elliott Lawrence is working on a historical novel about railroading in The Dalles in 1927, in the aftermath of WWI, the pandemic of 1918 and prohibition. It takes place in the midst of a cultural metamorphic in America, very similar to that which happened in 1968, 1969 and 1970. He continues to write short stories and poetry and is planning to publish a collection of short stories.
He is a great fan of Ernest Hemingway, owning more than 160 books by or about the great author who changed writing in America. While there have been, and currently are, many great writers in America, no one has caused a sea change in literature as Hemingway did.