New York Times bestselling author and Long Island native Jennifer Stanley introduced her most recent mystery series, The Secret, Book & Scone Society, this Thursday at Chapel Hill Public Library. The book centers around the adventures and detective work of a woman named Nora Pennington, who has a special talent of prescribing the perfect novel to ease the lives of people dealing with heavy burdens. Along with her society of four women, Nora exposes massive real estate fraud and solves a murder in her small town.
Stanley has written more than 30 novels. Under her pseudonym Ellery Adams, Stanley has published several mystery series and two cookbooks. Her love of jigsaw puzzles, coffee, baking and open water always makes its way into the pages of her books. Staff writer Liza Zhytkova sat down with Stanley to ask her about her work as an author, the places she draws inspiration from and the advice she has to offer budding writers.
The Daily Tar Heel: How did you initially get into writing?
Jennifer Stanley: I started writing when I was pretty young. I used to write stories about the neighborhood kids. I always liked to write, but I also liked to make money from writing. When I finished grad school I decided I was going to be a poet. You can ask my mom, she was like, 'And how are you going to feed yourself?' So I said, I’ll be a teacher. They make so much money! But after I’d get home (from teaching), I'd watch some really stupid television and go to bed. I’ve always wanted to write but I just haven’t always had the time or opportunity. When we moved from Durham to Richmond, I didn’t know anybody there, and my husband was always working, so I was super homesick for North Carolina. My first book was about North Carolina folk art pottery, and it just happened to get picked up by a major publisher. I got really lucky.
DTH: Why do you use the pseudonym Ellery Adams?