“My Dear Cassandra: Having half-an-hour before breakfast (very snug in my own room, lovely morning, excellent fire — fancy me!) I will give you some account of the last two days. And yet, what is there to be told? I shall get foolishly minute unless I cut the matter short.” (from a letter, November 6, 1813)
Like Jane, I am very snug in my own room – my studio – but with no fire (in August, I’ll take a/c instead). It is a lovely morning, and my idea is to give you “some account” of what’s been happening the last couple weeks, as well as what’s coming up.
August 1st was a special day in that it represented the one-year anniversary of the successful release of The Darcys of Pemberley, something that has changed my life tremendously! In honor of the event, I’m doing a special give-away (see the post and enter to win here).
On the weekend of August 3-5, I participated in an outdoor art show in the nearby community of Eatonville, WA. After feeling smug and comfortable during the mild start to our Seattle summer, we finally caught up with the rest of the country that weekend, which meant I spent 3 days roasting out in the heat. Still, it was an opportunity to hang out with my mom (pictured) and to talk art and books with friends and visitors, something I will endure considerable inconvenience to do! (photo courtesy of John Pelkey)
Everything answered; it was all gaiety and good-humour, the heat only supplying inconvenience enough to be talked of with pleasure. (Mansfield Park, chapter 7)
This past weekend (Aug 10-12) was even more eventful, starting off with a trip to the Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle with fellow Austen author types Laurel Ann Nattress, Syrie James, Diana Birchall, and Susan Mason-Milks. We talked, ate, and drank tea for two hours and I daresay we could have gone on much longer – the talking at least. It was delightful to get to know these lovely ladies in person, most of our previous communication having taken place online. (photo courtesy of Susan Mason-Milk)
The five of us, plus a few dozen other Janeites, reconvened two days later at the Seattle area JASNA meeting, where Syrie and Diana presented a highly amusing original playlet (titled You are Passionate, Jane) about a heavenly confrontation/conversation between Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. A special highlight for me was meeting one of my official fans afterward. Thanks, Julie, for making my day! (photo courtesy of Sallie Tierney)
Upcoming events: I’m participating remotely (my books, with pre-signed bookplates, will be there but I will not) at the Decatur Book Festival in Georgia over Labor Day weekend (look for the Jane Austen tent). I will be physically present at the Northwest Bookfest Sept. 22 & 23 (details here).
Book Updates: The Darcys of Pemberley continues to do very well in the American market and overseas (1/3 of all sales coming from the UK). I hope more of that book’s fans will soon discover my second release, For Myself Alone, is just as well worth reading. No, it doesn’t have Mr. Darcy in it, but there’s a couple other interesting leading men you should get to know. Return to Longbourn (the next installment of my P&P saga) is coming along nicely. I should have the first draft finished in a couple of weeks, and I hope (fingers crossed) to have the book out by the end of the year.
One more interesting development to mention. This past week, I was offered my old “day job” back. For a long time, that had been exactly what I had hoped for. So I thought about it. What do you think my answer was?