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Elle Matthews



For me, writing is like breathing. I have loved words and books from the moment I could read, and finished my first novel at the age of 13, typed up on my mother's old Imperial typewriter. I always knew I'd be a writer, I just didn't know how or when because my life began to follow other interesting paths that took me into the worlds of psychology, journalism, advertising, marketing, and finally film production. But I've always found time to write and have works published. I am the South African author of the novel Oil on Water and the Animal Adventures in Africa children's book series. I have written a number of screenplays, including the screenplay for the award-winning feature film Chiaroscuro.​ 

I attended school at Iona Convent in Pretoria, and studied English and Psychology at the University of Cape Town. After graduating, I lectured English at Medical University of South Africa and worked at a number of children’s homes and children’s hospitals. I moved to KwaZulu Natal in 1995 to do research work on a novel. Soon after, I joined Garden & Home magazine as a senior sub-editor and worked as a writer for Country Life magazine. A few years later, I joined the advertising agency, Matthews & Charter Ogilvy, where I ran the Public Relations Department and worked as a Strategic Planner and Account Director.  In 1999 I started a film production company, and have been producing feature films and documentaries for the past 20 years, telling stories in visual form.

While my professional career has been diverse, through my writing I have always returned to being who I am. My passion and my purpose is writing. It is who I am meant to be. Right now, writing my latest novel, The Memory of Chiffon, is going to be one of the most important things I will ever do in my life. It is a personal journey but one that I know I need to share.


I am married to film director and artist, Peter Matthews and have two stepchildren, Sarah and Michael, and a son Luke. I currently live in the beautiful province of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Thank you for sharing my writing and life experiences with me.



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