Ask Stella

Dear Stella,
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? And when are you writing another story set in New Orleans? ~ Amy W.

Hi Amy,

Two very different questions!

My dream of being a writer began when I was really, really young. Maybe 7 years old? Or 8? Perhaps it was even earlier, because the dream began, in a vague sense, as I learned to read. I didn’t start reading slowly – once I understood the basics, I immediately loved reading. The reasons why are varied and I won’t go into all of them here. Let me just say that when I was young, and to this day, reading is one of the great pleasures of my life.

One summer day I flipped to the back pages of a paperback novel, where I saw the author’s photograph. I can’t remember exactly what I was reading. I also can’t remember the name of the author who prompted what became a dream of mine for many years. I’m pretty sure the author was photographed with a dog. J A short bio at the back said something about the author’s writing habits.

Until then, I don’t think I’d ever thought about authors as people who made a career out of writing. I had an active imagination, and once I realized authors were paid to make up stories – which I always did in my head – I fantasized about being an author one day, with my pets surrounding me as I wrote. I’m happy to report that the dream has finally come true. Here’s what I usually see when I look up from writing:

Along the way, I’ve had a couple of detours. Because I had spent so much time reading when I was young, in school I did relatively well in classes that emphasized reading and writing. I first became a middle school history teacher, and then became a lawyer. I still work as a lawyer, but now I write as well, and this gets me to your second question – I’m writing another novel set in New Orleans right now! Concierge, A Black Raven Novel, (to be released in 2017), is set in New Orleans. After the road race that materialized in the search for Richard Barrows in in Shadows, and going from Paris to London and the Chihuahuan Desert in Jigsaw, I’m enjoying writing a story that returns to my home city.

Stay tuned here and on Facebook for news of Concierge’s release. Please let me know if you enjoy returning to the Crescent City in Concierge. Thank you for your questions!  ~ Stella

Dear Reader,

Do you have a question for me? Anything is fair game in the “Ask Stella” blog. (Well, almost anything!) Whether you have a question on writing, reading, publishing, visiting New Orleans, battling the city’s off-the-charts humidity, on one of my books, or… you get the picture. Ask whatever you might want to ask, by commenting below, emailing me, or reaching out to me on Facebook.

In the meantime, Happy Reading! ~ Stella



  • Caroline Penland says:

    Home long does it take you to write a novel and how detailed is your outline?

  • Dana says:

    I absolutely love your books…..I noticed that you are a lawyer. How do you find the time with such a demanding career as a lawyer to write such incredible stories? I just love your characters.

    • Stella says:

      Thank you so much, Dana! This is a fantastic question – I’ll tackle it soon, and let you know when I answer it in my Ask Stella blog series. – Stella