Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Austen Authors - Standing on the Shoulders of a Giant

Of course by "giant", I am referring to the late, great, Jane Austen. The body of her work has spawned countless memes and derivative works - mine among them.

Shortly after I first published One Thread Pulled, a friend asked me about it, and a few minutes into the conversation, she became very upset, called me a plagiarist and insisted that I had infringed on Jane Austen's copyright. I attempted to explain to her about public domain and was scolded yet again. She felt that while there may not be legal implications, I was on ethically and morally thin ice in borrowing so heavily from another author's work.

That conversation provoked serious contemplation on my part. I could understand how she reached those conclusions, and in addition, I respect this particular friend a great deal. Was she right? I don't think so, and I'll tell you why.

Jane Austen never married, never had children and has no literal posterity who claim her as their great-great-great grandmother. The majority of unmarried women of her generation have long since faded into obscurity, but Jane did something extraordinary. She sowed literary seeds that first captured the minds and hearts of her contemporaries, and then their daughters and sons, and so on in every generation through today. And somewhere along the way she got into our DNA. We recognize ourselves in the pages of her books the same way we recognize ourselves in the faded photographs of our ancestors, and see that in some unfathomable way, we are undeniably related.

This is what writing JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) is to me. JAFF authors are the literary offspring of Jane. If her novels are her children, our stories are her grandchildren, and her life is our adopted heritage. We make (or hope to make) pilgrimages to England to ramble through the garden at Chawton Cottage, read her letters--what's left of them, play dress-up in the clothes of her day and learn the dances she would have danced. To all this we add the occasional film adaptation marathon to saturate our hearts and minds in what--and who--she created.

Rather than somehow eroding her legacy, JAFF works lovingly crafted in Jane's footsteps are keeping Jane, her memory and the spirit of her work alive. And that is one of the reasons I'm so delighted to be part of the NEW Austen Authors. Having felt a kinship with Jane for a long time, joining with other Austenesque authors feels like I've somehow stumbled into a family reunion, and discovered that I like my relations, these people who have Jane in common with me.

Austen Authors - going live January 24! If you  haven't signed up for the giveaways, what are you waiting for?

Click here to open: Austen Authors

Friday, January 4, 2013

Book Signing at The Kings English Bookshop

It's just around the corner, and I'm so excited!  On Tuesday, January 8, I will be participating in the "Local Author Showcase" at the Kings English Bookshop in Salt Lake City.  The event begins at 7:00 PM. I will read a brief passage from my book, One Thread Pulled: The Dance with Mr. Darcy.  Copies of the book will be available for sale and an autograph at the event. I am sincerely hoping for the support of family, friends and readers!  As a bonus, The Kings English is a FUN place to browse and shop for books.   I hope to see you there.

1511 South 1500 East

Salt Lake CityUtah

And check out this review on Austenesque Reviews! 
It's a great overview of One Thread Pulled!  4.5 stars.  I'm shooting for five on the sequel!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Elizabeth Bennet Miniature Pendant Free with Book Purchase

Christmas Season Special:

Elizabeth Bennet Miniature Pendant
Free with Book Purchase made from this page
Limited Time Offer!

Purchase a signed copy of One Thread Pulled directly from me on this site, and I will include, absolutely free, an Elizabeth Bennet Miniature Pendant, in the style and finish of your choice.

The pendants feature a lovely image of Lizzy from One Thread Pulled, beneath a glass cabochon.  Available in three vintage styles or a simple oval shape, this pendant will be treasured by the Janeite in your life! Note that these are costume jewelry, so the silver finish is not real silver.

Select from the styles and finishes depicted in the image below.  Note that not all finishes are available for all styles.  You can either put it in the inscription text box or email me with your preference.  I do wish I was a better photographer - the images do not do justice to these pendants!  

The copper and brass have a vintage feel, while the silver is shiny.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about the offer:

There are also couple of fun blog links I'd like to share with you from this past month.
My guest Blog Post at Darcyholic Diversions tells a bit more of the story of how I came to write One Thread Pulled, and features a few pictures from my recent cruise:  Darcyholic Diversions

Jakki Leatherbury of Leatherbound Reviews posted a great review this month: Leatherbound Reviews by Jakki 

And for those who are wondering about my next chapter for Constant as the Sun, I confess that November caught me suffering from a bit of writer's block.  I've conquered it now, and back to pounding on the keyboard!

Happy December everyone!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing ... I've Been Tagged!

Today folks, I’m “it.”  That’s right, when you get tagged, you’re “it”, right?  Well, Wendy Sotis tagged me, and I’m game, so here we go!

This is a blog game called “The Next Big Thing”, and it’s a mechanism for authors to shamelessly plug their work share valuable insights and amusing anecdotes about what’s up and coming in their writing pipeline.

The format is Q & A, like an interview. 

What is the working title of your book?

I’m currently working on two books:
Constant as the Sun: The Courtship of Mr. Darcy – it is a WIP with the draft posting on several JAFF forums.

Dancing with the RoseThis one is on its seventh edit.  Only twenty-two more edits to go. J The title might not make the next edit…

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Constant as the Sun is the sequel to my debut novel, One Thread Pulled: The Dance with Mr. Darcy. It is an extension of that story, so the idea came when I realized that I could not do proper justice to their engagement without a sequel.

Dancing with the Rose was certainly Austen-inspired, but it is an original novel with spiritual themes as well as those of class and culture. 

What genre does your book fall under?

Both are romanceConstant as the Sun is a Jane Austen FanFiction (JAFF) Regency, and Dancing with the Rose would be classified as religious, (LDS) possibly even venturing into the paranormal.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, now we are into the realms of fantasy!  I have always thought that a young Hugh Jackman would have made a spectacular Mr. Darcy, but he’s probably too old for it now.  I would happily write a mature Mr. Darcy story if Mr. Jackman were lined up as the lead! Since that isn’t possible, any Colin Firth or Hugh Jackman look-alike will do!

I think that if there was going to be a movie, I would just have to insist and sitting in on the casting sessions – I’d know my leads when I saw them! (Dream on, I know – but like I said … realms of fantasy!) As long as we’re in that realm, let’s say it’s a much anticipated blockbuster … I think it would be really wonderful to have a film be an actor/actress who has paid their dues and not hit it big yet have the adaptation of one of my books serve as a breakthrough role.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This is where we see the devious side of the framers of this game. They all know that things like a one-sentence limit can serve as the undoing of a writer unaccustomed to sparing words.  I refuse to be defeated by this.

Constant as the Sun: Before they may marry, Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to endure a six-month engagement that takes them through the London Season; unfortunately, the matrons of society are the least of their problems.

Dancing with the Rose: When Allison Rafferty, a struggling artist in a small town, meets Michael Conley, heir to a business empire, the chemistry is there, but he must overcome both her skepticism and the machinations of conspiring adversaries and relations to win her.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published.  Give me a decade or so and then ask me if I made the right decision on that.  Only time will tell.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Constant as the Sun is a work in progress, so I can’t say, but I’m shooting for 6-8 months.

Dancing with the Rose was written in about a year and a half.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Would it be presumptuous to compare my story with Pride and Prejudice? Of course it would, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Actually, although I have read a great number of books in the same genre, I would have a hard time comparing, since I worked very hard not to repeat what others were doing.  The one time I had the audacity to tell another writer in my genre that I thought our styles were similar, I was slapped down—hard.  I won’t be doing that again.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Dancing with the Rose was written after a fairly obsessive marathon of watching the A&E Pride and Prejudice series, but the point of my effort was to try to inspire the same sort of feelings, not to tell the same sort of story.

Constant as the Sun was inspired by dozens of readers who begged me not to end One Thread Pulled. So although I gave it a proper Regency ending with an engagement and a kiss, I didn’t wrap it up neatly – There may have only been one thread pulled at the beginning of the story, but there is a whole lot of “threads” dangling at the end.  I believe that's called a set-up for the sequel.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Constant as the Sun explores the dire predictions that Lady Catherine de Bourgh makes in the original Pride and Prejudice, about how Elizabeth Bennet will be regarded in the first circles of society and among the aristocracy.  Jane Austen never addressed this question.  Elizabeth Bennet’s season in London has high stakes, although she does not know it.  If she is not happy, Mr. Bennet will rescind his consent.

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

This is the hard part – I have no idea who has previously been tagged, since I’ve been doing more writing than reading lately.  Sincere apologies if this is a duplicate (and if it is, I think you’re off the hook.)  When you get the notice that you're tagged, let me know if you'd like to see the link point to a different URL or have your name displayed differently.  Send me a note at:


Rules of The Next Big Thing:
***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Signed Copies of One Thread Pulled

Signed copies right now are scarce, due to the reality that I have to pace my book orders.  I simply don't have thousands of dollars laying around to order a large inventory of books.  My first order of 15 books (the miracle of POD, or "Publish on Demand") is nearly spent, so I have another 15 on the way. 

I hope you aren't disillusioned now.  My house is not a book warehouse like my grandfather's was when he self-published his book back in 1968.  I thought it was about the coolest thing ever back then.  I wonder now, what my grandmother thought about all her closet space being commandeered by stacks of books.

The reality is that I won't be placing many books out in the world on consignment until I can fund them - which will come in time I think, for Christmas, but for now, if you want my siggie in the book, you'll have to get them from me in person, or order this blog using that handy-dandy "Buy Now" button you see in the right-side panel.  I'll even throw in that nifty sticker!

I'll eventually do some book signings in Utah, but I don't have dates yet.  I'll post them when they're scheduled.

In the meantime, any bookstore can order a copy in as long as you have this number:
            ISBN-13: 978-1475149616.    

Thanks everyone, for your support.


P.S.  I am not doing "digitally signed" e-books.  This offer is for the soft-cover only.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ruminations on a One Week Anniversary

As an author, something I do is expose the inner thoughts and feelings of characters, which gives them depth and substance.  They are animated by the words I give them, by the lives they live in the fictional world they exist in.  It can be pretty heady stuff to make someones heart race with the stroke of a pen. (okay, I don't actually use a pen, but the imagery is lovely, don't you think?)

So here I am, a real breathing, living person who is terrified of exposing the inner thoughts and feelings I have experienced this past week, from the moment I pressed the "submit" button on the Kindle file (and realized I had pressed the wrong button so I wouldn't have a chance to review it before it was OUT THERE) to the elation I felt holding that proof copy of the book in my hands and loving it so much I was giddy and silly with excitement.  I even took a picture of myself with it, no makeup, hair in stringy strands - just happy me and the book.  The book was gorgeous.  Me? not so much.

I wrote about that class act we all love, Elizabeth Bennet in my story, but this week, as I was "exposing myself to the world", I felt much more like Lydia! Were Mr. Bennet to have to defend me to my friends and family, he would have said something like this:

Do not make yourself uneasy, you will not appear to less advantage for having a very silly friend. We shall have no peace if Diana does not attempt to publish. Let her do it then. The readers of the world are generally sensible, and will keep her out of any real mischief; and she is luckily too unknown to be an object of much interest to any body. At Amazon, she will be of less importance, as a common self-published novelist, than she has even been here on her blog. The readers will undoubtedly find authors better worth their notice. Let us hope, therefore, that her being there may teach her her own insignificance. At any rate, she cannot grow many degrees worse without authorizing us to lock her up for the rest of her life.''

And yet - like Lydia headed to Brighton, I was determined to do it, and enabled by several wonderful and talented friends, I took the plunge, honestly not expecting much, but happy to make it available to anyone who wanted a copy.  I had been encouraged by so many people that I confess to having secretly harbored a degree of HOPE for some marginal success, but having read literally dozens of articles about how friends and strangers alike will lie to you and tell you what you write is great, but once you get into the real world, the sharks will eat you alive and then pick what remains of your ego from their teeth with no thought for whether your health insurance covers psychiatric trauma, that I was pretty much braced for the worst.  Something along the lines of 5 sales, comprising my mother and a couple of my siblings making mercy purchases while the others expected a free copy sounded about right.  Seriously.

The first six days, however, were actually fairly pleasant.  I made a few sales, got a couple of nice reviews. I had friends tell me they saw mention of One Thread Pulled here or there.  I held the drawing for a few free autographed copies of the book.  I was having fun!  My numbers were, I thought, respectable, though I had nothing to really compare to. 

This morning, on the one-week anniversary of "going live", things got interesting.  I inexplicably woke up at 5:45 AM.  Yeah.  For reals.  I know!  Then, instead of going straight back to bed, I decided to see if I had made any sales overnight.  I pulled up the browser and refreshed the pages, and was surprised to notice something new.  The Amazon page said that I was ranked #99 in the Regency Romance genre.  Cool!  I showed my husband and went back to bed for a bit.  When i got back up, the rank had disappeared, and I told my husband that I was glad I'd seen it when I did since it  was surely an anomaly and I didn't expect to see it again for a long time.  By 11:00 AM I had been proven wrong - I was ranked at #87 in my genre.  A few hours later, it was at 74, then 63, then 60, and right now, I am ranked at #54 in the genre.  Here is a screen capture I took when it was at 63.  I like this one because of the title at the top of the page - who ever thought I'd see the words "Best Sellers" on the same page as my name?  You can see the navigation links showing the genre too:

So back to the topic of this post - being afraid to admit to the feelings I'm having right now.  I'm incredibly gratified, and thankful, but I'm also in shock and absolutely terrified.  I had equipped myself to deal with potential failure, and given no significant thought to coping with potential success.  I didn't know really what to expect, but THIS was not it!

Here's what I do know.  I love to write, and I love making a connection with the people who are reading what I have written.  I'm going to keep writing.  I hope you'll all keep reading, because I think I'm here to stay.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Thread Pulled On Sale Now

We're a week or so away from being for sale at Amazon, but you can get order a copy today from

Would you like to see this on YOUR coffee table?

Go to the FaceBook page for One Thread Pulled and "like" it to get the discount code for $2.00 off from now through the end of August 2012.  This book is 6 x 9 and over an inch thick - well worth the price even without the discount. There is also a drawing for some autographed copies.  Names will be drawn on Sunday, 8/19.