Which Book Should I Write Next?

LRP_cover_WEB_01Phew! It was a lot of work, but The Ladies of Rosings Park is successfully launched and doing well. Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to post early reviews. When you really enjoy a book, that is the best thank-you you can give its author!

The audio book begins production soon, with the talented Marian Hussey narrating for me again. Then it will be time to move on to something new. But what shall I write next? That’s the question. It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I do! Too many of them, maybe. That’s why I’m asking for your feedback again.

I did a post like this a few years ago (read here), and it drew quite a few responses. It was interesting to revisit that post,  both to see the book ideas I had at the time and the comments people gave about them. Since then, I’ve granted some of your wishes. I have finished four more novels – two that were on the list then (#5 which became Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, #6 which became Leap of Hope) and two that were not (Leap of Faith, The Ladies of Rosings Park)!

See the source imageOne of my long-range goals is to write at least one novel related to each of Jane Austen’s six. Obviously, I’ve got Pride and Prejudice covered, and whatever else I do is bonus material. The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen takes care of Persuasion. I count Leap of Hope as my Mansfield Park book, even though it has elements of the others too, especially P&P. But that still leaves three to go, plus a few additional ideas I have.

So here’s my current list of options. Which would you like me to undertake first and why?

  1. a Sense and Sensibility variation, possibly even with a different ending.
  2. an Emma variation, told from an unlikely perspective.
  3. a Northanger Abbey sequel, campy Gothic mystery style.
  4. a P&P prequel.
  5. another in the Leap series.
  6. a P&P short story anthology featuring Mr. Collins – I still want to do this, but the logistics have been challenging to work out so I keep delaying.
  7. other? I’m open to suggestions.

Cast your vote, and I promise to take all your recommendations into consideration!

You are but now coming to the heart and beauty of your story. Until the heroine grows up the fun must be imperfect, but I expect a great deal of entertainment from the next three or four books, and I hope you will not resent these remarks by sending me no more. (Jane Austen, in a letter to her niece Anna)


About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
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27 Responses to Which Book Should I Write Next?

  1. Cindy Schmidt says:

    Shannon, what about a novel about the Bingleys, Mr., Caroline and Louisa? Why did the sisters turn out so scheming and Mr.Bingley so nice? What does Louisa really think about her husband?

    • Good to know you are interested in the Bingley clan, Cindy. It would be a different kind of book with no courtship story and no heroine that we can admire. I’ll have to think that over and see what I can come up with. Thanks!

  2. rearadmiral says:

    #2 please. Although Emma is my 4th favorite Austen, I love to return Highbury again and again. Jane Fairfax (Joan Aiken did a good job but a bit grim)… Harriet Smith? Maybe….Mrs Weston??? Has anyone done her full story? Hmmm

    #1 Marianne/Col B alt ending…no no no. I’ll go all Lady C!!! Elinor….hmmm

    • Haha! I’d never mess with D&E, but there are lots of people who think Col. B. is a better fit for Elinor. Guess you’re not a fan of that idea! Thanks for registering your opinion. 😀

  3. rearadmiral says:

    Alas Anna Austen Lefroy…. stopped writing after she was married. Then briefly worked on Sanditon in her long widowhood. It had some interesting ideas…

  4. Patricia Finnegan says:

    I like the first 2 options

    What about a mansfield park related story??

    Or another book about Jane. The persuasion of Jane Austen Book is still my favorite by you! 🙂

  5. Don’t listen to us. Listen to your characters. What do they want you to say?

  6. Leslie says:

    Another Leap book with an historical ‘leap’ like LoH.

  7. I vote for either S&S with a different ending or for a Gothic tale from Northanger Abbey. I’m leaning more towards three Gothic, though.

    Just keep on writing, Shannon, and we’ll be happy.

    Susanne 🙂

  8. Gayle Chenevert says:

    I like the idea of Emma told from a different perspective. Perhaps we can get into Mr. Knightley’s tortured heart as he waits for Emma to grow up. Or maybe innocent Harriet isn’t so innocent and we learn of her various schemes to marry rich; which fail of course.

  9. Carla Gaudêncio says:

    Is a Persuasion variation totally off of your mind? I’ll vote for that . A what if story … What if …Captain Wentworth comes home a different man? From the war, the struggles, the suffering he have witness. He arrives to Anne’s former home a dark man, with no hope in human nature and life. They are thrown together by circumstances (perhaps he can save one of Mary’s children) and Anne feels compelled to restore him.

    • Love your ideas, Carla! I really haven’t done a true variation yet. I have always built around the existing facts from JA’s canon. Even The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen is a variation of JA’s life, not her books. I will have to get brave and venture out onto new territory eventually, though, and Persuasion is in my top 2 favorites. 😀

  10. StephanieL says:

    I’d love for a modified S&S, I’m in the Elinor deserved the Col. camp. LOL I’d also love another “Leap” book! I love Emma, Mr. Knightley is my favorite (followed by Col B and THEN Darcy), but it would be my third thought of this list. Of course, whatever you write will go on the list, but that’s just my thoughts.

  11. Sonia says:

    Whew! I have too many suggestions so I will just pick my first three: (1) I love the idea of a book about the Bingleys; (2) Another book like “For Myself Alone” would also be most welcome, and (3) More in the Leap series, please. With apologies to ‘Field of Dreams’ – If you write it, we will come (read it).

    • Thanks, Sonia! So you agree. There are many good ideas, but not enough time for me to write them all! (Sorry this comes so late. I was sure I’d responded before, when I first read your comment, but discovered no response today.)

  12. caroleincanada says:

    Oh Shannon, I’m happy with any book you write! I wouldn’t mind another ‘Leap’ book!

  13. Sonia says:

    What about another book like “For Myself Alone”?

  14. Maine York says:

    I’d love to see a Emma Story from either Mr. Knightly or Harriet’s point of view or even better a series of both lol 🙂

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