ENC alumna Rebecca Stonelake is awaiting the release date of her novel “The Tales of Ella and Cinder.”
Her aspirations were always to be published, but her high school English teacher told her, “Even if you are published, you’ll still need a second job.” So, she decided to major in environmental science and minor in English.
After graduating in 2011, Stonelake returned to New Jersey and began working as a substitute teacher for elementary and middle schools, while looking for a job in her field and a potential publishing house for her novel.
Publishing houses are genre-specific, so for Stonelake, finding a publishing house that accepted teen-Jane-Austen-meets-magic-less-fairytale, and first-time authors, was no easy feat. After exhausting Google with her endless searching, she had reached her rope’s end and prayed about it, saying, “If you want this … you have to help me.”
The next evening, she felt what she describes as a nudge to try Google again; the first result was a publishing company she had never seen during her previous research.
She sent in the required materials to Tate Publishing and received an acceptance and a contract — just 4 months out of college — and began the publication process. Stonelake laughed at the irony; while she cannot find a job in her major, which is growing in popularity, she was accepted for publication on the first try.
Her science degree was not earned in vain, though. “I am thankful for the sciences and professor Twining for teaching me how to research,” she says, because finding a publisher took a lot of investigating.
The idea for her novel occurred to her while she was a sophomore at ENC. At 2 a.m. on the Friday after midterms, she and a friend watched Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Intrigued by the story — and slightly delirious from a week of midterms — Stonelake began asking her friend questions like, “What if Cinderella was not pretty? What if her father wasn’t dead?” To this her friend responded, “Why don’t you just write a book about it?”
Partially to show her up, and partially because she loves writing, Stonelake wrote and completed her version of Cinderella by the end of the summer before her junior year.
When friends and family ask her if she is looking to become famous she replies, “I just want to pay off my loans.”
The novel, explains Stonelake, “follows the classic fairytales told in a non-magical world close to ours, set in a time where castles were a norm and kings were still followed. Told in the first person, these stories are fresh looks on our classic fairytales in a world devoid of magic and with more realistic reactions to some unusual problems.”
“The Tale of Ella and Cinder: Legend One, Book One of the Mosaic Tales” does not yet have a release date, but you can “like” the Facebook page (The Tale of Ella and Cinder) or check out Stonelake’s website: http://mosaictales.tateauthor.com for more information and updates.
Upon release, Stonelake is hopeful to do a book signing at either ENC or the Barnes and Noble in Braintree. “The Tale of Ella and Cinder” will be available in stores and as an ebook online.