by Mary Lydon Simonsen guest blogger and author of The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy
Thank you, Keira, for inviting me to join you on your blog. You have asked me to write about ten ways Jane Austen has changed my life. Only ten?
- Finding Jane - My first encounter with Jane Austen was in 1969 in my high school English class when Pride and Prejudice was assigned reading. I loved the book so much that I went on an Austen binge reading every novel she wrote. What a treasure trove!
- Lizzy Bennet as a Role Model - As a girl, I was rather shy, but I always wanted to be like Elizabeth Bennet. She was something of a role model for an awkward teenager.
- Broadening my Horizons - Because I loved Austen’s stories, I wanted to learn more about the Regency Era. I was introduced to a world of exquisite architecture, beautiful fashions, a time of courtly manners and elegance.
- First Stab at Writing a Novel - My first attempt to write a novel was a Regency romance similar to P&P. Although it ended up in the wastebasket, it was a small step toward my becoming an author.
- Meeting People - Through book clubs and other venues, such as Facebook, blog sites, and meryton.com, I have met other Austen fans from all over the country and the world.
- Completing a Novel - When I retired as a special education assistant, I finally had the time to devote to writing a historical novel with an Austen tie-in that had been swirling around in my head for years. My self-published effort, Pemberley Remembered, was read by Deb Werksman, the acquisitions editor with Sourcebooks. The much edited novel emerged as Searching for Pemberley, a three-generation story that takes place in post World War II England.
- Writing Fan Fiction - I started to post my fan fiction on A Happy Assembly, a wonderful group of writers and readers at meryton.com, who are devoted to adding different twists and turns to Austen’s novels. Another treasure cache.
- Writing Jane Austen Re-Imaginings - Jane Austen’s works inspired me to write three additional novels for Sourcebooks: The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, A Wife for Mr. Darcy (coming in July), and Mr. Darcy’s Bite (coming in October), and a self-published novel, a parody of Austen’s Persuasion, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning.
- Extra Income - Although my royalties don’t pay the mortgage, I receive sufficient income to plan nice vacations with my family. Thanks Jane!
- Being a Part of Austen Authors - I am one of twenty-five authors on Austen Authors, a great bunch of gals and one guy, who love Austen, and in our own way, honor Jane Austen’s genius by sharing “re-imaginings” with readers who cannot get enough of their favorite author.
Jane Austen has become so much a part of my everyday world that it is very much like having another family member, but one that I don’t have to feed or clothe, the perfect addition to my merry band. Thanks again for having me.
THE PERFECT BRIDE FOR MR. DARCY BY MARY LYDON SIMONSEN – IN STORES JANUARY 2011
If the two of them weren’t so stubborn…
It’s obvious to Georgiana Darcy that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother’s perfect match, but Darcy’s pigheadedness and Elizabeth’s wounded pride are going to keep them both from the loves of their lives.
Georgiana can’t let that happen, so she readily agrees to help her accommodating cousin, Anne de Bourgh, do everything within their power to assure her beloved brother’s happiness.
But the path of matchmaking never runs smoothly…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Lydon Simonsen’s first book, Searching for Pemberley, was acclaimed by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and RT Book Reviews. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fanfic sites, with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. She lives in Peoria, Arizona where she is working on her next Jane Austen novel. For more information, please visit http://marysimonsenfanfiction.blogspot.com/ and http://www.austenauthors.com/, where she regularly contributes.
GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy today. That means 2 winners. Open to US and Canada only. One entry per relevant comment; multiple entries allowed. Last day to enter: February 4, 2011.