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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist


THE MAN IN THE STONE COTTAGE will be published by Regal House Publishing in September 2025. A story of the three Bronte sisters in their remote Yorkshire village of Haworth as they struggle to write their first books and earn a living -- but Charlotte is possessed by a love far away, while Emily spends secret days with a shepherd in a stone cottage who no one else has ever seen. 


Photo by Maggie Gardiner

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Five Weeks until the publication of THE BOY IN THE RAIN

Suddenly there seems to be so much to do, stretching out many months before me. For instance working on this website, getting podcasts, checking for reviews (so many good ones so far!), coordinating readings, my son's filming of new short TikTok/Facebook videos about my writing work, blogs, waiting to hear the narrator for the audiobook, checking my Goodreads giveaway status, writing pages for the book club lottery....I try to write everything down but forget things and lose them. This part of a writers' life is very difficult than writing THE BOY IN THE RAIN, hearing the loud ticketing of the grandfather clock in Robbie and Anton's Nottinghamshire farmhouse, hearing Robbie running so alone through dark London streets, art galleries, nobility, garret parties of artists, prison, Anton's finding his past, the two guys finding and losing each other. All this is between book covers and I am speeding towards this world of pr, trying not to forget anything...  It is 1901 in England and I am at my computer here with my heart still back then.


love, Stephanie.   

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My three weeks in Europe and England

I had the most wonderful time in Europe/England for almost three weeks. I stayed in Devon with photographer/musician friends and visited the extraordinary gentleman Norman Scott in his 15th century farmhouse, down such narrow, twisting roads, overgrown with centuries of entangled trees, past houses which have not been renovated in hundreds of years. Hobbit land! 


And then I went on to friend in the French Alps and took extraordinary walks, and ate in this tiny homespun restauants where they served peche, one sort of tiny fish caught in Lake Geneva and breaded, served with lightly sweet white wine and our waitress being the husband of the owner, and far from young. Enchanting. Many adventures. Then a drive through Switzerland to reach the Italian canton the Ticino where my stepmother lives. And back through France where I saw 13,407 cows in fields and finally we reached the HUGE port of Calais and took the boat to Dover...


...whereupon I took a fast train to London where I was entirely haunted by Robbie, the young artist in BOY IN THE RAIN, as I felt him walking beside bepast so many sites he would have known in 1904 when he was studying art there and unhappy. He would have heard the tolling of Big Ben. I had not been back to London since I sold the novel (not for years) and it is haunted with his life for me.


And now I am back in New York City where I have always lived.


Until next time.... Stephanie

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window boxes on a New York City street near me

August 10, 2022 late afternoon. As those of you who read my main page know, THE BOY IN THE RAIN will be published June 1 2023 by Regal House Publishing. I am now proofing my first pass galleys (first typeset version).  As I read through the pages yet again, I am filled with a great deal of emotion -- thanks mostly for the more than fifty people who read one of the so many drafts over the years, each adding something to the book or simply loving it, which meant everything to me. 


THE BOY IN THE RAIN had a particular journey. Bits of it were written and revised over many years between other published novels.  I had always hoped to publish it but my novels of famous artists were not difficult to market. Larger publishers who wanted my work were a little wary of a story about two Edwardian men in love (an artist and a socialist), their personal difficulties, their work to help the staving poor and their close calls with English law which imprisoned gay men brutally for two years, destroying their health and sometimes their lives.  

Finally a friend suggested I send the book to the small literary publisher Regal House Press, which is "passionately dedicated to the furtherance of exquisitely written literary works and to the writers who pen them." Their editor Jaynie Royal loved the novel and contracted for it. And Regal House has won an important award from Foreward Reviews for being the best small publisher of the year. So I feel I am in regal company indeed. 


If you wish to hear more of this book's marvelous journey and be notified of readings etc., please contact me on the main page tab with your e-mail.



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some brief words

My friend Renee and me in an old house in Montreal. I think it looks rather like a Vermeer. I photographed us reflected in the mirror.

I am still writing away intensely and hope to have publishing news soon. I am traveling a lot and going to the theater and concerts....a lovely life between here and Europe/England! And I have several at least half finished books...we will see which one is next! - Stephanie

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again a very overdue blog

What I have learned in the last several months is that life intervenes in the very best of plans and some personal stuff slowed me down for a bit. But I am now writing intensely, preparing to speak at two conferences in addition to travels to Scotland and London soon. So this is a  Read More 
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a very brief update on me and my creative life

I have been utterly remiss in updating my blog because I have been on a huge writing binge finishing two novels (one finished, the other to be finished by the summer) after wrestling with them in draft form for some time. So I have not been speaking anywhere as a writer or writing blogs  Read More 
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and another update after a long silence!

My goodness, how do I catch up on a year? Well, by subject I suppose!

WRITING: Oh I do wish I were like other authors who simply do a book every year or two! My books take between 9 months and more than twenty years - though the twenty year ones are generally tucked away in a drawer for many years at a time, so I suppose they take no more than 3-4 years each. BOOKS: I am in the rather strange position of being quite far along on at least four books, needing less than 6 months each to complete them. The Brownings has been put aside for a time, and the next novel to be finished is the one long dearest to my heart: a love story set in the English midlands 1900 between a 17-year-old boy artist and a man in his thirties who is in mourning for the end of his marriage and paralyzed by memories of his brutal childhood. It takes place over seven years. It's very passionate and intense. The other books which are slowly approaching the finish line include the third book of the Nicholas trilogy and the Brownings and one other...no, two others. An odd way to write perhaps, but the one given to me! So...


LIFE: Life remains strange without the loving presence of my husband Russell who I lost 15 months ago. But I have many friends and have traveled (to London with an old friend for a week and to New Mexico and Colorado with dear friends, my first visit there; at the end I landed in Denver for the simply enormous Historical Novel Conference.) I also see a lot of family and adore my church of St. Ignatius of Antioch. My Shakespeare reading group meets once a month to read through a whole play. I hear a lot of concerts and plays and get together with other writers and talk our heads off and drink wine and laugh and emote and share.


IN CONCLUSION: I hope to have more news of my new novel under contract soon. Wish me luck! Sending much affection to all! - Stephanie

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an update after a long silence!

Dearest readers and friends!

Forgive my long silence because of intense personal events. Very briefly, I have torn apart my novel about the Brownings after a few gifted writer friends made suggestions on a new direction, and I have rewritten it and need a few more drafts before it goes to my agent...those  Read More 
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Winter Solstice has come!

Welcome Winter Solstice! A time to be a little still!

By Adam Christianson

When harpers once in wooden hall
A shining chord would strike
Their songs like arrows pierced the soul
Of great and low alike

Aglow by hearth and candleflame
From burning branch or ember
The mist of all their music sang
As  Read More 
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