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 (taken from 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. Reader satisfaction, in my opinion, stems from the hero or heroine overcoming difficulties, not being destroyed by them. 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.
My first novel, The Darcys of Pemberley (a sequel to Pride and Prejudice) was published 8/1/2011. Mr. Collins’s Last Supper (a P&P inspired short story) and For Myself Alone (a stand-alone Austenesque story) followed. For my third novel (written 3rd, that is), I traded in Regency England for a modern American setting. Leap of Faith (Crossroads Collection) explores the “what if” scenario in the life of a minor league baseball player, who is given a second chance at his dream (publication date yet to be announced). In the meantime, I finished and published my second Pride and Prejudice sequel, entitled Return to Longbourn, which follows after TDOP. When added to the original, they form a completed trilogy. The Persuasion of Miss Jane Austen, released in 2014, is a Persuasion tie-in with our favorite authoress herself as heroine! And most recently I completed Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, a companion book to TDOP told from Georgiana’s point of view.
I have ideas for a couple more novels simmering in my head, as well as plans for a short story anthology. I’ve heard that if you truly are a writer, you can’t NOT write. That’s certainly true of me.
With my two sons now grown, I have more time to indulge my creative pursuits in music, art, and literature. 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.
Leave me a comment on this site, or email me at shannon(at)shannonwinslow(dot)com. You can also look for me on Facebook and follow me (as JaneAustenSays) on Twitter. Thanks for your interest.