Making Connections

The Darcys of Pemberley has been published in all it’s forms for a little over a week now. And what a week it’s been for me – selling books online and in person, signing “Shannon Winslow” inside front covers, scheduling guest blog spots and a Twitter party appearance. It’s a dream come true! But not in the way you might think.

Some people aspire to fame and fortune when they begin writing a novel. That’s not me. I’m too shy to hanker after television appearances. And although I’d like to have something tangible to show for the countless hours of effort I’ve put in, it’s not really about the money either. So what was I hoping to achieve, then? What drove me to persevere for six long years to get this novel published? The answer became crystal clear to me over the last several days.

I participated in an outdoor art show this past weekend. I should have been crushed that my artwork wasn’t selling, but instead I was tickled pink to be meeting so many lovely Jane Austen fans, who were drawn to my booth by my book display. They were buying The Darcys of Pemberley, yes, but I was having so much fun talking to them that I could barely make correct change. One mom put me in touch with her Janeite daughter on the opposite side of the country. A high-school-aged girl, with writing aspirations of her own, ended up buying three books so she could share two with friends. And a couple of days later, a fellow artist invited me to an impromptu book signing at her studio after she discovered most the students she had in class that day were Pride and Prejudice fans too.

The joy was in making those connections, in discovering other people who speak the same language and hold dear things that matter to me.

There are certainly many points of strong resemblance in your characters; in your intimate acquaintance with each other and your mutual strong affection, you were counterparts. (from a letter to “My Dearest Fanny,” dated July 29, 1817)

I suppose the phenomenon isn’t confined to this specific genre of the book world (although I’m convinced that Jane Austen fans are some of the nicest people on the planet). Other authors undoubtedly feel the same about their readers.

Art for art’s sake (whether writing, music, painting or dance) is worthwhile, and bringing something beautiful into existence can be satisfying in and of itself. But I believe most of us want more.  The biggest reward for any artist must come from the privilege of sharing what they’ve created with others. That’s been my experience so far. What do you think?

About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
This entry was posted in Jane Austen, Jane Austen Quotes, Shannon Winslow's writing, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Making Connections

  1. Janettes says:

    I’m so glad your publication week has gone well for you. And I think you’re right – writing or making any art in isolation is not enough – the process isn’t complete until it’s been shared in some way, large or small.
    For example, a blog post with a comment is much more satisfactory than a post sitting on its own!

  2. That is great and such a nice way to get to know people! I hope your book does really well, cannot wait to read it myself 🙂

  3. Suzan says:

    Where was the outdoor art show? Are you planning on doing anything close to let’s just say Puyallup soon?

    • It was Eatonville, so I’m sure you know where that is. I may have a booth at the “Second Saturday” event at Freighthouse Square next month (Tacoma). And I hope to organize presentation and book signing at one of the Pierce County Libraries too!

  4. Shannon- Although I have not read your book yet it is on my MUST READ list! I am a sure I will truly delight in the novel! 🙂
    I know that as much as we all want everyone to delight in our writing, there is always at least one critic that lives to criticize others. I have yet to be published, however, I imagine I will feel the same exact way, if even one person does not like my story.

    The closest I have come to disagreeing with critics is when I LOVE a book and the critics rip it apart OR I hate a book and some Janeite highly recommends it. Therefore we can conclude together as Janeites who support each other and root for each others successes that some silly person out there will rather read a Barbara Delinsky novel (sorry but in my opinion they are awful) than a lovely story that takes us through the 19th century with characters with depth….

    Hang in there, Success has been achieved…..there will always be people who want to thwart others success…..Does this critic have a book of his/her own published? LOL! 🙂
    -Susan aka lovesjaneausten

  5. Shannon- I am on a second glass of wine and that is more than usual so forgive my grammar, spelling mistakes! LOL! ugh….

  6. What mistakes? I wasn’t looking for mistakes, it’s just so nice to hear from you! From your comments I’m guessing you saw my new post and then read down this far before leaving your comment. You haven’t been published (YET), but you do have kids, and you know how you feel when someone criticizes one of your babies! I’m determined to develop a thicker skin, though. And, yes, I think it’s just possible my detractors are jealous of my success 😉 LOL

  7. Pingback: Making Connections (via Jane Austen Says…) « lovesjaneausten

  8. Pingback: A Pleasure Shared | Shannon Winslow's "Jane Austen Says…"

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