Elena was born in Hamilton and went to seven different primary schools around New Zealand before her family settled in Auckland, where she attended Selwyn College. After graduating with a degree in English at the University of Auckland and later gaining a post-graduate Diploma in Librarianship from Victoria University, Elena worked in libraries for many years. In 2019 Elena was awarded a Master of Creative Writng (first class honours) from AUT. She has three grown-up children and lives in Auckland with her husband.
In 2004, Elena began writing poems and stories for children, and has had five books published. A number of her poems are in A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children, edited by Paula Green and illustrated by Jenny Cooper, and more will appear in Roar, Squeak, Purr: A NZ Treasury of Animal Poems, due out November 2021. Elena is part of the FaboStory team of children's writers and was the 2020 University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence.After graduating with a degree in English at the University of Auckland, Elena worked as a librarian. In 2004, she began writing poems and stories for children, and has had four books published by Walker Books Australia.