I’m Shannon Winslow, and this blog is dedicated to writing and Jane Austen – two subjects I’m passionate about.  I’ll use a JA quote as the inspiration or illustration for each post. Thus the title “Jane Austen Says…”

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.”

I claim this Jane Austen quote (Mansfield Park, chapter 48) as my motto, in that it illustrates my literary philosophy. I’m interested in books that entertain, that make you feel good, that sweep you away to another world. Although I know that without conflict there is no story, I’m glad when it’s time to do away with the culprits and reunite friends and lovers for a happy ending. If someone prefers a dose of harsh reality, they can turn to “other pens” or turn on the news instead. But I can be trusted to not dwell on guilt or misery any longer than necessary, and to restore the characters I’ve come to care about to tolerable comfort by the end of the book, as Jane Austen always did.

Her fans wish she had lived long enough to author more than six classic novels, but unfortunately both Jane Austen’s life and her literary output ended prematurely. I’ve tried to pick up where she left off, writing the kind of stories she told, the way she told them: novels about the pitfalls of love and marriage in early nineteenth century English society, related with subtle wit, a touch of humor, and in the elegant language of the era.

I take a little different approach than most other writers of Jane Austen fan fiction. Since I’m just sappy enough to believe there’s only one true story for the characters I’ve grown to love (and Jane Austen wrote it), I amuse myself with adding onto rather than varying from canon. It’s more of a world-building approach. I delight in expanding on what Jane Austen gave us and filling in the blanks in the record with prequel, sequel, and supplemental views. What was Mr. Darcy doing all the time he’s absent from the page? What happened to Colonel Brandon in India? And how did our favorite couples fare after the wedding? Inquiring minds want to know, and I’m happy to deliver the answers!

Here’s how I got my start:

I was minding my own business – raising two sons and pursuing a very sensible career – when an ordinary trip to Costco about twelve years ago changed my life. That was the day a copy of the ’95 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice fairly leapt off the shelf and into my oversized shopping cart. After watching the mini-series, I was hopelessly hooked on the story, Colin Firth’s Darcy, and all things Jane Austen.

One may guess what followed – compulsive reading, late-night trips to the library and video store, secret rendezvous with fictional heroes Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley. Finally, only one thing remained. My enthusiasm ultimately inspired me to begin writing my own stories a la Austen. I just sat down one day to attempt what I wanted most: a faithful sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I had no thought of publishing at first, but it turned out I have a flair for writing in an Austenesque style, and I’ve never looked back.

That early effort became my debut novel The Darcys of Pemberley, which quickly became a best seller in the thriving Jane Austen fan fiction niche market. Several more novels have now followed. I’ve heard that if you truly are a writer, you can’t NOT write. That certainly has become true of me!

With my two sons now grown and my ‘day job’ a thing of the past, I’m grateful to have the time to indulge my creative pursuits in music, art, and especially writing. I consider this unexpected second career as a novelist a wonderful gift. I live with my husband, the love of my life, in the log home we built in the countryside south of Seattle. There I write and paint in my studio facing Mt. Rainier.

Thank you for your interest!Devotional Rainier 4

6 Responses to About

  1. Sarah Rockar says:

    Mrs.Winslow, I just discovered your novels while looking through on Amazon. I listened to the selected audio for a couple of your books, and so far my mom and I are very interested!! We love Pride and Prejudice(especially the A&E version), and your stories are encouraging my mom and I to hope that our library has them(or I may just buy them-haha). I really look forward to reading these stories to continue the P&P series. Please continue writing these kind of stories!

    • Unfortunately, Sarah, you probably won’t find them at your library. But at least you and your mom can share them! How lovely. JA appreciation isn’t something I have in common with my mom, but I now have two daughters-in-law who understand. 🙂

  2. Safaa says:

    “novels about the pitfalls of love and marriage in early nineteenth century English society, related with subtle wit, a touch of humor, and in the elegant language of the era.”
    This is the best description of Jane Austen’s writing I’ve ever heard.
    You are awsome!

  3. Cindy says:

    Shannon, I met you at the Puyallup Public Library “Local Authors” day and purchased ‘The Darcys of Pemberley’. It is a delightful read, and I’m so glad we chatted about JA and P&P. Your writing style very well reflects that of JA, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your novels. I plan to introduce my sister to them, as well, who is also a JA fan. Thank you for being true to our dear Jane!

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