Tag Archives: jane austen

Release Day! + 6 Terrifying Stages of Writing a Sequel

Originally posted at: Austen Authors

Duels, Dancing, and Destiny!

Today, September 30, is the release day for my newest book! E-book and paperback available on Amazon now!

The Highbury Variation continues! Elizabeth’s quickly ended engagement to Mr. Knightley, as well as her sister’s engagement to Mr. Bingley, has people throwing around words like fortune-hunter and hussy. Will Mr. Darcy be deterred by the resistance of society and his family?
Meanwhile Jane Fairfax’s position as a governess is threatened by the unwanted attention of several gentlemen. When a bet is made about her in a gentleman’s club, her reputation teeters on the edge of a cliff. But is Mr. Tom Bertram of Mansfield actually offering insult or… something more? How could she possibly trust this rakish friend of Mr. Churchill’s?
Join Elizabeth and Jane as they navigate love and loyalty in the refined drawing rooms of Regency London.

From London with Loyalty is the most action-packed Regency novel I’ve written, and it was a blast to write. It did take more planning and plotting and well, work(!), than some novels have, but I am very pleased with the result. In fact, as (almost) always happens by publication day, I feel like this might be the best book I’ve ever written! I know that feeling is mostly a writer’s high, but it is so satisfying to see one’s skills improve. I know if I had attempted a book this complicated and humorous and dramatic five years ago… it would not have turned out the way I imagined it!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I really appreciate the community and encouragement here! The awesome readers and writers who come here make it a joy to be a Jane Austen writer.

6 Stages of Writing a Sequel with a Deadline

I was pondering the differences between writing a first book and a second (or third, fourth, etc.) where you’ve given yourself a deadline, so I though I’d share my experience/blueprint!

  1. Stage 1 – Basking: Well, I’ve put up a sequel on Amazon for preorder. I had better write it. But… I mean, the preorder date isn’t for months! Look at the sales coming in on Book 1! The Goodreads reviews! My friend from high school actually read it! My mom even likes it! Wow!
  2. Stage 2 – First Reality Check: When did I set that preorder for? Wait. WUT. I was definitely on a writing high when I made that adventurous deadline. People have expectations for this! I had unfinished plot threads! It must be written! But everything will still be okay. I’ve been thinking about it for months and I know exactly what I want to have happen and the character arcs and the setting and the climax. Let’s open that Word doc and see where I was… Immediately and completely overwhelmed. Shut Word Document.
  3. Stage 3 – Lift off: I open Word Document again, because I’m a professional, darn it! I type 3 sentences and find myself eating cottage cheese out of a carton while staring moodily at the Nutella chocolate. Stop! Go back to the couch! In this stage the writing actually begins. It is punctuated by FREQUENT trips to the first book to remember some detail that I thought I would remember. I did not.
  4. Stage 4  – Second Reality Check: A solid beginning and middle has been written. But I realize what I thought ought to be the climax has come and… isn’t the climax. It’s interesting and exciting, but clearly it’s building to something else. Keep writing. This phase is often punctuated by the need to look up a Regency word or detail… but not as often as it was with my first historical book. The tension is still building. If I was reading this I would feel like a great ending was coming. I HOPE A GREAT ENDING IS COMING.
  5. Stage 5 – Ground Effect: The momentum of writing has finally taken hold and it is getting easier to pour out this story the same way a plane gets upward push at a certain altitude. (I got this analogy from Dean Wesley Smith. I love his writing advice.) I furiously write to the end! Look through my character list and double check that I’ve given each of them at least a moment of closure. Add another scene. I remember that readers like to dwell in the happiness for a bit. Add three more scenes. WHERE IS THE END OF THIS BOOK? Oh, wait. There it is! Heavenly chorus!
  6. Stage 6 – Editing: Now I’m eating the Nutella. Some chapters, it’s like – wow, I wrote this! Others it’s like – wow, I wrote this? Some dialogue is great, other parts are cringe-worthy. Did I change the name of that character mid-book? (I did.) Read through one last time for continuity and error-check. Then, I clench my muscles like I’m an astronaut trying not to pass out from 4 g’s and send the document to my copyeditor! (Then I stay up all night thinking of better ways to phrase the final proposal.)

And that’s it! Easy peasy! (Much like drawing the reindeer!)

Thanks so much for your encouragement along the way. From London with Loyalty is available in both eBook and paperback!

Happy Release Day!

Corrie

“From Highbury with Love” Coming April 21, 2021!

My latest novel is with the editor, and it’s time for the fun stuff: covers and giveaways and sneak peaks!

I’ll be doing a giveaway at Austenauthors in April, that’s my other primary blog spot, but if you’re in a hurry, I’ve got another giveaway active this month at Austenprose! There’s also a sneak peak at the novel there, an excerpt I haven’t shared elsewhere. Fun times!

When Lizzy Bennet spends the winter in Highbury, it will be anything but the dull visit she expects. Particularly with Mr. Darcy visiting his friend Mr. Knightley!

Between dueling with Emma over Harriet Smith’s future and discovering secret love letters to Jane Fairfax, Lizzy is soon invested in her new friends. Then she becomes an unwelcome witness to Lady Catherine warning Emma not to think of Mr. Darcy!

From there it is a carousel of mistaken affections, relentless gossip, repressed emotions, and fateful decisions.

How will the new knots ever be untangled?

Between winter balls, outdoor frescoes, and fireside chats, the Highbury community is in for all the drama their village can hold.

My First Bookbub Feature…and #3 on Amazon!

I was very excited to get a feature with Bookbub for January! They are pretty selective and I have been applying off and on for about six years. I was shocked when I received their acceptance for A Lively Companion as applying had become a habit, not an expectation!

Generally I try not to obsess about Amazon or other rankings–readers make a career, not rank–but I am making an exception and doing a big happy dance today!

Thanks for all the reads, purchases, comments, and encouragement over the years!

Also #5 in Canada and #16 in the UK! (Canadian readers don’t intimidate me, but British ones do. <Corrie waves nervously, knowing she’s doing it wrong.>)

In other news, my Emma/Pride and Prejudice crossover is also up for pre-order and the wonderful lady who edits for me, Gabriella at editforindies.com, will be starting on it in March before it goes live in April.

G’night folks!

Corrie

Interview over at Poseidon’s Scribe

Thanks to Steven Southard for hosting me for a guest interview over at his blog! He had some good questions that made me think and some that made me laugh. Go check it out!

Meanwhile, I’m getting closer on publishing Best Martian Playlist, coming December 1, and working on an untitled Emma/Pride and Prejudice mashup. Good times!

My House is Me and I Am It: Musings On Austen and an Excerpt

(My post today from austenauthors.net)

My kids have a great picture book called, “The Big Orange Splot” that I took this title from because it fits so well the intimacy that homes and houses represent in Jane Austen’s books.

There’s Lizzy running into Darcy at Pemberley, arguably the best scene in any of the movies!Mr. Knightley walking into Emma’s house at all hours (plus the pivotal scene of his reprimand happening at his estate). Captain Wentworth’s sister moving into Anne Elliot’s house. The symbolism of Barton cottage compared to Norland Park. Jane spending several days of sickness at Netherfield…

It’s only practical, of course, that many scenes would be set at one or other of the character’s homes, but there’s definitely a sense that a new level of intimacy occurs when the love interest visits (or lives!) in their significant other’s home. This is particularly true with the more reserved characters. Bingley is friendly and gregarious, so we tend to feel that he and Jane would have been totally fine without that house visit. With Darcy, on the other hand, Lizzy starts to feel that she’s violating his privacy before they even get to Pemberley! Anne Elliot, as well, is quiet and introverted, and the knowledge that Frederick will be walking around her house is enough to make her (and my) heart flutter. Then there’s poor Fanny Price, essentially homeless as she fits neither with her uncle nor with her family, who ends up with only a single, cold room to call her own, which she eventually fills with her books and plants and personality. It’s the room where she feels safe, and of course, only Edmund is a welcome visitor, which makes it all the more painful when she must listen to him praise another woman there.

And beyond personal identity, there is also the fact that being in someone’s home creates uncomfortable intimacy. That’s the tension us romance readers crave, amirite? It’s the basis for so many romance tropes like arranged marriage or the governess angle. Leaving Jane Austen for a sec and moving to the Brontes, I don’t think any book did it better than Jane Eyre. No matter what you think of the romance, the fact that Jane can’t easily avoid Rochester forces her to face what she feels for him. Over and over.

Some people just call this angst, but I confess I can’t get enough of it in the romance books I read. I want to feel the heart of the character’s emotional dilemma, and nothing does that like being unable to escape their S.O.’s presence or the intimacy of having them in their home.

In that vein, here’s a short excerpt from the second of my Austen Ensemble series, A True Likeness. In this book, in the interest of using the “forced to live with your crush” trope, I made Georgiana’s love interest a portraitist, hired by Darcy and Bingley to paint Lizzy and Jane before the wedding.

Georgiana felt restless with her brother gone, and when she felt restless, she played the piano. This pianoforte, in Miss Bingley’s style, was noticeably fashionable. The wooden panels were decorated in the Chinese style, with strange shapes and patterns. The edges of the panels were lined with black, glossy wooden trim. The tone of the instrument was… well enough. Nothing to scoff at, but still not to compare with the sound of her pianoforte at Pemberley. That one was of plain blonde wood, well-crafted and perfectly toned, but nothing extraordinary to look at.

Mrs. Annesley slipped in with some white work in her hands and settled down across the room near the window.She played several scales and arpeggios, mindful that she had not truly practiced in many days. Eventually however, she let her hands go to her favorite pieces.

Georgiana didn’t immediately notice when another figure paused outside the door, not until he shifted. Then she saw Mr. Turner leaning against the door frame, listening.

She smiled a little and somehow, when one song led to another, found herself naturally playing her favorite pieces, even the romantic sonata she had played for Wickham.

As the notes fell like raindrops from the instrument, Georgiana felt that two paths were opening up before her. There was Mrs. Annesley, who represented everything peaceful and proper in her life: a woman Georgiana genuinely loved. Then there was Mr. Turner. He represented something else, something exciting, challenging, and profound.

Mrs. Annesley could not see him from where she sat, nor could Mr. Turner see her companion. Georgiana was balanced between the two. He did not enter the room but continued to lean against the threshold with his eyes shut, enjoying the music.

She loved his square face and smudged hands and broad shoulders. She loved his intense beliefs, his self-control, and his gentleness. She loved his art and skill and humility. She loved him.Georgiana loved him in that moment, but she knew she could not choose him. Her future, like every young lady, was not her own to give away. But her heart was hers, and she could acknowledge what she felt for Mr. Turner. For John. Because she was in love with him.

She would not fancy herself a tragic character—many women loved when there was no hope of marriage, or like her cousin Anne, chose to marry without love—but she was quietly glad to acknowledge it was real. It was far more real than the giddy infatuation Wickham had encouraged in her. Perhaps someday she would feel something like this for another man, and she would know it was worth pursuing…

Thanks for reading!

Corrie

“My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.” – “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater

Austen Authors… and me!

A little while ago I was contacted by one of the awesome ladies who runs Austen Authors, a group blog dedicated to all things Jane Austen, and she asked if I was interested in joining. Was I?? Absolutely!

The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

As I was finishing my Austen Ensemble series–and obsessively checking details as I went–I’d often stumble upon helpful posts at Austen Authors and then use those to refine my searches and research. I already knew this was a lively and fun community so I pretty much couldn’t say yes fast enough!

And today I get to have my debut post over there! Since my first Ensemble book is set in Tunbridge Wells, a charming little town I knew nothing about, I focused on that for my first post. Go check it out!

Pride and Pantiles: A Jaunt to Tunbridge Wells

A Gentle Touch, A Novel of Anne de Bourgh

 

A Gentle Touch 5.25 x 8.25Hurray! A Gentle Touch, the third book in my series, is published!

This whole series was great fun, but it was my first foray into Regency fiction and for a lover of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, that was intimidating! The process of writing this last one was particularly interesting, landing squarely in the COVID-19 lockdowns.

If you happen to read this while the whole world is still holding its breath over this pandemic—well, hang in there. (Also, I have more books, hint, hint. There are several modern retellings and some sci-fi as well, if you need to really remove your mind from current affairs and coronavirus.) If you’re reading this after the pandemic, well, praise the Lord it’s over!

As an introvert, the isolation isn’t getting to me yet (plus I have four kids, that helps), but I have noticed that this story has more multi-character conversations than usual! Often I try to limit dialogue to two or three people, for the sake of clarity, but in this story, I just couldn’t do it. I would say to myself, “Alright, it’s just Anne and James bonding… but Barney’s there! And Martha! Probably the housekeeper! Everybody’s there.

Together.

Hugging.

Maybe I need to step outside.

Thanks again for reading,

Corrie

Pride and Prejudice and Passports News

My first press release! I’m trying different marketing approaches with this book. I’ve been getting my feet wet with marketplace ads, NetGalley, and… well, press.

Click below to see the full article!

Pride and Prejudice for the Trump Era