Malone, Stephens Gerard (Laura Fairburn)

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Malone, Stephens Gerard (Laura Fairburn)

PERSONAL:

Born in Trenton, Ontario, Canada. Education: Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, B.A., 1983.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Office—21 Rodney Rd., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 3V6, Canada. Agent—Don Sedgwick, Transatlantic Literary Agency, 72 Glengowan Rd., Toronto, Ontario M4N 1G4, Canada.

CAREER:

Writer. Consultant to Rideau Hall Productions and Topsail Entertainment, 2000-01.

MEMBER:

Bronte Literary Society, Writers Federation of Nova Scotia (board member, 2006-08), Sable Island Green Horse Society (board member).

WRITINGS:

(Under pseudonym Laura Fairburn) Endless Bay (novel), Mercury Press (Stratford, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

Miss Elva (novel), Random House of Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Columnist, Instinct, 1999-2000.

SIDELIGHTS:

Stephens Gerard Malone told CA: "I'm not sure about many things, but I am certain I always wanted to be a writer. My introduction to the world of books came when my family was posted from the military base in Trenton, Ontario, to a Rockcliffe base in Ottawa. The new school had a wonderful library where, at a very young age, I came across a hardcover biography of Napoleon. The look and feel of the book captivated me and I knew then that I had to create one of my own. By the age of eighteen, I had written my first novel, Abraham's Journey. At more than 1,000 pages, this plodding historical melodrama became the first of nearly a dozen unpublished manuscripts to fill a steamer trunk.

"In 1994 I succeeded in getting a small-press publisher in Ontario to publish my novel, Endless Bay, written under the pseudonym of Laura Fairburn. The novel, written from the first-person point of view of a woman, did not find a home under my own name as I was repeatedly told that men cannot write in a woman's voice. On a whim, I changed the name and sold the book immediately. However, if I thought that success would make my next book easier, I was wrong.

"In 2003, while looking for an agent, I submitted a query for a manuscript that was promptly rejected. However, the agent noticed in my letter a reference to an unpublished manuscript, Miss Elva, suggested by the life of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis, and asked instead to see that. After sitting in a trunk for seven years, it smelled of mothballs and was damp-stained. I slapped on a new title page and sent it off, expecting never to hear anything more about it. Within three months I was signed to a two-book deal with Random House, and Miss Elva was shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Awards in 2006.

"Influences on my writing? Early on, it was the Victorians and the Russians. Early twentieth-century American writers came next. José Saramago and Gabriel García Márquez continue to awe me. I'm delighted to say that now, my own country, Canada, has some of the best writers in the world."