Elizabeth J. Church was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her father, a research chemist, was drafted out of Carnegie Mellon University where he was pursuing his graduate studies and was sent to join other scientists working in secret on the Manhattan Project. Elizabeth’s mother, a biologist, eventually joined her husband in Los Alamos. While The Atomic Weight of Love is not their story, it is the story of many of the women who sacrificed their careers so that their husbands could pursue unique opportunities in scientific research. Along with other Los Alamos children, Elizabeth grew up in an environment that gave her ready access both to nature and to extraordinary female teachers who had advanced degrees in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, literature, and other disciplines.
Elizabeth practiced law for over thirty years, focusing on mental health and constitutional law issues. When her husband’s premature death from cancer taught her the unmitigated brevity of life, she first paid off his medical bills and then walked away from the law to pursue her original dream of writing. This book is the result of her efforts – a dream come true at the age of 60 (proof that it is never too late to pursue one’s dreams). She has written extensively for legal publications and scientific journals. Her short story Skin Deep won first prize in Literal Latté’s 2001 fiction contest, and Lying with Dogs was published in Natural Bridge in 2002. This is her first novel.