It’s the tale, not me who tells it.
Bestseller author Stephen King once stated that those are the exact words he wants to be written on his tombstone. I’m quite fond of this quote, not only because I picked it as the title for my Master Thesis, but also because I think that it states a fundamental truth.
Had I been alive in the stone age, I would have drawn pictures on the walls of caves. In the middle ages, I would have travelled the country with my lute, and in the Victorian age, I would have owned my very own laterna magica to tell moving stories with.
Now, being born into the modern age and with no talent for either drawing, singing or technical devices, I tell my stories the only way I can: in words to an audience, or in writing on a piece of paper (or on a computer screen). But it’s not like the medium matters that much.
The story is what truly matter. It has always been that way. I’m just the storyteller. But this I am, with all my heart.
A Storyteller’s Story
Stella grew up in a picturesque little village in lower Franconia (Germany). Later, she spent an entire year and countless holidays in England, which added to her deep love for and fascination with Great Britain, the Celtic culture and the English language. And meanwhile, she has been living in Switzerland with her three cats for over ten years.
To make ends meet (and to be able to afford the daily bread and cat food), Stella currently works as a teacher. She loves music, sweets, tea and coffee in any shape or form. She also has a very soft spot for cats and other animals as well as an deep appreciation for good stories – no matter if they happen in books, songs, movies or computer games.
Stella’s fondness of stories started very early on. To be more precise, even way before she could read them for herself. By the time she was three years old, she already owned a quite remarkable liberary of books (including quite a few of the very popular Pixi-books). Every night, her mother had to read her at least one of those; the longer, the better, of course. And if she tried to shorten the stories because she was tired, Stella would notice that immediately and remind her to ‘read correctly’.
Once Stella learned to read, she moved from listening to storytelling right away. Her first audience consisted of her stuffed toys and her younger sister, later followed by class mates and friends. Later, while working as a volunteer in the local children’s library, Stella also visited the primary school and the kindergarden on a regular basis to tell fairy tales to the children.
In the beginning, Stella merely re-told or varied existing stories, but then her own ideas began to take shape. Aleady at the age of ten, Stella started to ‘self-publish’, i.e. to fill exercise books with self-made stories. Unfortunately, the numbers of issues and readers were fairly limited.
When Stella reached the age of thirteen, she discovered a different way of storytelling: while on a school trip, she told her best friend one of those stories she had made up. Fascinated, the friend demanded a written version, a ‘real book’ to read. Stella had a new project, and in order to work faster, she swapped her pen for her father’s old typewriter, and later moved to his computer. By coincidence, her mother found out about a writing competition for teenagers and young adults and encouraged Stella to hand in her first novel, with 164 pages the longest work in the competition.
After winning, Stella finally decided that writing was going to be her primary way of storytelling from now on. The rest is history, as they say…
Whether working for the students’ newpaper or the local press, in her A-level paper (“Scottish Popular Hero Rob Roy – Literature vs. Reality”), during her studies (MA in English and German Studies; special interest area Gothic Literature; Master Thesis on author figures in novels by Stephen King) or as reviewer of new literary releases for an online magazine – stories and storytelling were (and still are) an important part of Stella’s life.
During her studies, Stella started to write almost exclusively in English. She was a member of several writer’s sites/forums and especially active in fanfiction, where she found the possibilty to present her writing to a larger audience and get feedback. At the same time, Stella also worked as a ‘beta reader’/writing coach for friends and younger or less experienced writers.
Stella is also an active member of many author’ forums and writing communities (see links).
Currently, Stella is working on shorter stories and scribbles as well as on several novel projects. Hopefully, at least one of those novels will get her published in the future. That would mark the beginning of an entirely different story…