We are starting a new feature article this month called “Client Of The Month” which highlights one of our many interesting clients. One of the best perks of doing what we do is meeting so many creative and cool people! Each month we will tell you a little bit about one of the fascinating people we’ve worked with in our area so you can get to know them as well.

Our inaugural Client Of The Month is Stephen Clark, a journalist turned novelist from West Orange.

Stephen is an award-winning former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Times, FoxNews.com, the Utica Observer-Dispatch and the Stamford Advocate.

When asked if he always wanted to be an author, Stephen responds, “No. Only in recent years. I wanted to be a screenwriter first. My first novel, a political thriller called Citizen Kill, started off as a screenplay. I wrote it after watching a terrible Mark Wahlberg film and thinking I could do much better. But after I learned how hard it was for an unknown writer to sell a screenplay, I turned it into a novel instead.”

His debut novel examines the “dangers of Islamophobia through a government conspiracy to end the War on Terror following an Inauguration Day bombing that killed the new president’s young son.”

According to Stephen, his most exciting project now is his second novel, a crime thriller tentatively titled Hands Up. It is scheduled to be released in 2019. Stephen says, “My second book focuses on three characters – a cop, a college student and her ex-career criminal dad – who are on a collision course after a fatal police shooting spins their lives into chaos.” The belief that inspired him to write Hands Up is the understanding that the power of fiction can expand the smallest minds, unite those who are divided and reveal the deeper truths about humanity.

Stephen told me the biggest challenge of writing a novel is the dedication and focus required to complete it. He says, “There are so many distractions and pitfalls along the way. And you never know for sure whether your project is any good. It is, in many ways, a masochistic endeavor.” A typical day in the life of an author is, “Gnashing of teeth. Pulling of hair. And head-banging on the wall. Cry, rinse, repeat.”

Originally from Philadelphia, Stephen now lives in West Orange with his wife and son. They chose West Orange because it is a diverse town with great schools and an excellent commute to New York City. I love West Orange’s unique character (a combination of suburban slickness and small-town feel), as well as its proximity to other unique towns like Livingston, South Orange and Montclair,” Stephen says.

You can visit Stephen’s website at stephenclarkbooks.com to learn more.


The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Keller Williams Mid-Town Direct in Maplewood, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills and West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials at www.azhomesnj.com/testimonials.