The ‘L’ Word

Dressed in 1910 era garb, Ellen M. Levy, author of “Romance at Stonegate,” held an informal discussion at the Gulfport Public Library, Thursday, January 16. “If I had known what it would take to write a book of historical fiction there is no way I would have considered it,” confessed Levy. “I didn’t like history; I wasn’t someone who was always interested in the previous world. I wanted to live in the current world and what I’ve discovered is that my favorite part about writing is getting to learn what life was like before.” 

The LGBTQ Resource Center hosted author Ellen M. Levy Thursday afternoon, January 17 at the Gulfport Public Library. Levy brought to life the struggles and confusion of romantic love between two young Jewish women in 1910 as she shared passages from her historical fiction romance novel, “Romance at Stonegate.”

Levy, who owns a timeshare named Stonegate in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was inspired by her surroundings to write a short story for her writing group. Soon that short story turned into four chapters and eventually a novel with over 300 pages. 

“Romance at Stonegate,” is about two young Jewish women, 17 and 18, who find themselves in an old-fashioned romance, in a time that did not accept their love. 

“In 1910 the word ‘lesbian’ was a slur and primarily used by crass women,” said Levy. “It is exciting, yet frightening to discover what it means to be a lesbian in a world that is not ready for them.”

During Levy’s informal discussion of how she came to write her novel, she gave attendees advice about writing. 

“When I started, I was not a great writer. I’m better now than I was. This book took 48 edits,” Levy  admitted. “I encourage any of you who are interested in writing but think ‘I’m not a good enough writer, I don’t know what to write,’ just get started. Get started and you can get help.” 

Levy also said that a sequel to “Romance at Stonegate” is in the making. 


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