It's time once again for Florence Stonebraker. I've dug up enough additional information to warrant a revision of my previous post. Some of what follows appeared there first. In addition, the list of her novels now will get a post of its own.
Stonebraker once was one of California’s busiest genre writers. For more than thirty years (1937 to 1969) she cranked out around 90 novels of unsanctioned sex. Married or single, her characters were tempted by and often surrendered to their lustful desires. Stonebraker had a conventional side, too, and wrote a couple dozen stories of chaste young women finding love. But her forte was the risqué.
Information about Stonebraker’s life is still sketchy. She was born in the District of Columbia in 1896 and apparently grew up there. In 1925 she received an LL.B. from George Washington University. A year later she was admitted to practice in the D. C. Court of Appeals. In 1934 Stonebraker got married. I don't know whether she continued to practice law after that. She published short stories before coming out with her first novel at the age of 41. One of her first books, Pay for Your Pleasure (1937), is set in Washington, so she may still have lived there when she wrote it. The earliest book I've tracked down with a California setting is Problem Girl (1940), suggesting that she was living in the state by then. There's no reason to think she later moved elsewhere. Although Stonebraker stopped writing in the 1960s, her romance novels were frequently reprinted later. She was residing in Glendale prior to her death in 1977.
It’s unclear how many of her books are set in California. So far I've nailed down the locales of 32 of her non-romances. They split evenly between California and (usually) the East Coast. The rest of her work might well divide up the same way. Stonebraker was not one of those this-could-be-anywhere writers, incidentally. As far as I can tell, she always managed to work a book's setting into the story.
Compiling a list of her novels is not an easy task. The Library of Congress only catalogs some of her hardcovers and none of her paperbacks, though presumably it received copies of everything as part of the copyright process. The only other library with more than a smattering of her work is at Ohio State University. Graham Holroyd’s Paperback Prices and Checklist has entries for most of the paperbacks. More information on digest-sized paperbacks appears in Kenneth R. Johnson's The Digest Index. In addition, Book Finder and similar sites sometimes have supplemental information about specific books. Adding to the problem is Stonebraker’s fondness for pseudonyms. Besides writing under her own name, she used Florence Stuart, Fern Shepard and Florence Sweet for her romances and Florenz Branch and Thomas Stone for her sex stories.
Check the next post for an updated list of her non-romance novels.