Stella by Starlight

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Short story, 15 pages. Charles Lawson, the heroin dealer known as God, is released from jail after ten years. When his eye specialist says he will be totally blind in a few years, Lawson devises an elaborate plan to commit suicide making it look like an accident. Trying to execute his plan, he meets Star who is planning the same thing. Perhaps they will be able to save one another. [5,000 words] More
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About Danielle de Valera

Until now, Danielle de Valera's been best known for her short stories, which have appeared in such diverse magazines as Penthouse, Aurealis and the Australian Women’s Weekly.
All in all, she's had a chequered career. She’s worked as a botanist, an editor, a cataloguer for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries Library and the John Oxley Library, and on the main floor of Arnott’s biscuit factory.
The manuscript of her 1st ever novel (then titled Love the People!) was placed 2nd to published author Hugh Atkinson's in the Australia-wide Xavier Society Literary Award for an unpublished novel - in those days, there was no Vogel Award for Unpublished Writers under 35. After that, she abandoned writing for 25 years to raise her children, whom she raised alone.
She resumed writing in 1990, somewhat behind the eight-ball. With Louise Forster she won the Australia-New Zealand-wide Emma Darcy Award for Romance Manuscript of the Year 2000 with Found: One Lover.
That first novel, Love the People! was shortlisted for the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Unpublished Manuscript Award in 2011, and for the UK’s Impress Prize in 2012, under the title A Few Brief Seasons. It's due out here in October 2021 under its final title Those Brisbane Romantics.
A freelance manuscript assessor and fiction editor since 1992, she has won numerous awards for her gritty, streetwise short stories. MagnifiCat, a departure from this style, is her first published novel. It was followed in 2017 by Dropping Out: a tree-change novel in stories - to put it another way, a collection of linked short stories.
For more information on this author, see Smashwords iInterview. There's lots there.

About that Name

Danielle de Valera’s father claimed he was related to the controversial Irish politician Eamon de Valera on his mother’s side. But he told some tall tales in his time, and this is sure to be one of them. Born Danielle Ellis, she found that this name was replicated many times on the web. In searching for another under which to write, she first tried her mother's maiden name, Doyle, but there were a number of those, too. What to do? Then she remembered her father’s story and chose it as her writing name. But she feels any real connection is unlikely.

Read Danielle de Valera's Smashwords Interview
Learn more about Danielle de Valera

Also by This Author

Reviews of Stella by Starlight by Danielle de Valera

Andrew G. Bennett reviewed on Jan. 2, 2015

In the last year I have come to believe that the world needs more pleasant stories. This short story by Danielle de Valera is indeed a pleasant one, with good characterization, an interesting plot and a nice feel. The reader is left in no doubt that the main protagonist- Lawson’s intentions are highly honourable, if slightly selfish and self-serving. The story’s simplicity belies the power it has to touch the reader’s humanistic instincts and lead them to hope that all will end well for Lawson, and his cats.
(review of free book)
Louise Forster reviewed on Aug. 27, 2014

Loved it!!
I enjoyed every word of Ms Valera’s delightful short story, Stella by Starlight.
Regardless of the brief time you spend with Charles Lawson, Ms Valera delivers an unforgettable poignancy that moved me and made me smile. The writing is smooth, you’re never left wondering or questioning, it’s all there. I could not put it down. I wanted, needed to know if Charles was going to accomplish his plan. The end was beautiful in its simplicity. I will definitely read the rest of the series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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