The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

the-next-big-thingI’m taking part (in a limited way) in the Next Big Thing “Blog Hop” It’s an exponentially increasing blog hop, or a sort of progressive dinner, where readers can sample a little of this author and that, hopefully thereby discovering some new and exciting books that suit their tastes.  I was invited to participate by a friend, Chris Weigand, who writes YA Christian Fantasy.

I said I’m participating in a limited way, because I kind of dropped the ball as far as recruiting 4 more authors to follow me. But instead of a dead-end, think of this as a u-turn. After you’re done here, please return to Chris’s site See what she’s been up to, and then feel free to follow the other links she’s provided to continue on your tour.

Now, here are the official blog-hop questions:

What is the working title of your book? I’m about to publish my third novel (all in a Jane Austen mode), this one entitled Return to Longbourn.

Where did the idea come from for the book? This book is a sequel to my first novel, The Darcys of Pemberley (which is in turn a sequel to Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice). I just thought there was still more of the story to tell – primarily addressing the issue of what will happen to the Bennet family and the Longbourn estate when Mr. Bennet dies. Jane Austen posed the question 200 years ago, and we’re still waiting for the answer. The story is mostly about Mary, Kitty, and the new heir to Longbourn (Mr. Collins died in The Darcys of Pemberley, in case you didn’t know), with the rest of the familiar cast playing supporting roles, and with a new family introduced – the Farnsworths (a widower and 3 children), who now reside at Netherfield Hall, where Mary is the governess.

What genre does your book fall under?  Historical Fiction/Literature

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?  I’ve given more thought to the casting of The Darcys of Pemberley than to this book so far. But, since Return to Longbourn jumps ahead in time seven years (meaning the characters are all that much older now), we could ask the actors from the most recent film version of Pride and Prejudice to return to their roles (Kiera Knightley, Matthew MacFadyn, et al). They would now be of about the right age!

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? Return to Longbourn continues the Pride and Prejudice saga with the tale of what happens when Mary and Kitty both set their sights on marrying the new heir to Longbourn.

How long did it take you to write the first draft to this book? Would you believe about a year and a half? Actually, that’s not quite true. I started the book at least that long ago, wrote the first few chapters, and then had to set it aside for months whilst I took care of other business. I wrote most of the rest of the book this past summer in 4 months of intensive work. And I don’t really write a “rough draft” as my first draft either. I write in a pretty finished fashion. So when it’s done, it really is done.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? That’s easy: Jane Austen. I wouldn’t be a writer today if it wasn’t for her. I became enamoured/obsessed with her stories (P&P in particular) and wanted more than the six novels she left us. Finally, to fill the void, I sat down and began writing my own stories after her style. For Return to Longbourn specifically, I should probably should also give a nod to Charlotte Bronte. I didn’t plan it, but the plot ended up taking a bit of a Jane Eyre turn!

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly at fault to tolerable comfort, and have done with all the rest.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

PS! – In case you missed it, I posted a Jane Austen Word Search on Austen Authors the day after Christmas. See it here:

About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
This entry was posted in Austen Authors, fun & games, Jane Austen, Jane Austen Quotes, my books, Shannon Winslow, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

  1. suzan says:

    I loved all the info about the new book. when is it going to be released or is it already and I missed that part?

    • No, you didn’t miss it, Suzan. I guess that wasn’t one of the questions. Thanks for asking! The official launch is on Feb. 26th, although it may possibly be available a few days before that, if all goes well.

  2. P O Dixon says:

    I heartily approve of the “Return to Longbourn” cast and the prospect of Kitty and Mary competing for the same gentleman is intriguing. I look forward the release!

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