Kara Louise is the author of Darcy's Voyage and I posted a review of the book on here earlier this month. I am excited to have her writing a guest post on how she became a writer. After you have read Kara's thoughts, be sure to leave a comment below with your email address as I have two copies of the book to giveaway. The giveaway is open to those in the US and Canada and winners will be selected on October 9.
I wonder whether most authors’ writing routines change over the years, but I’m pretty sure mine is not the same today as when I started writing about 10 years ago. We lived in a different house and my schedule (as well as my husband’s) was very different.
I don’t know if I had more free time then, but it sure seems like I am a lot busier now than I used to be. Even though we moved out to the country where life is supposed to be slower, it seems like there is always something to do that gets in the way of writing.
My computer room is in one of the extra bedrooms at the front of the house. This is where I do most of my writing. But my favorite place that bids me to come when the weather is nice is my hanging hammock chair out on our back patio. I take out my laptop, a bottle of water, my IPod, my kindle, maybe the phone, and settle in. It’s very relaxing and comfortable. Unfortunately, we had such a hot summer this year, it was simply too hot to sit outside for any length of time. I’m thrilled that autumn has finally arrived! I’m finally able to enjoy my favorite chair! I normally do my writing in the evenings or when I have large blocks of time alone.
Now, how did I become a writer? Please step back in time with me to 2001. My love for Jane Austen came about through the 1995 A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. It inspired me to go out and buy the novel, read it, and then read her other novels. I fell in love with her writing, her stories, and her characters. Once I had finished with the sixth one, I felt somewhat dismayed. Why couldn’t there be more?
Aha! But there were! Well, not exactly Jane Austen, but other authors who were carrying on her stories and her characters in a variety of ways. I began reading these online stories and one day came upon an idea for a story of my own.
I had not really done a lot of writing, although I had tried. Years ago I plotted out a story in my head, but when I went to type it out, I didn’t get past about the third page. I thought to myself, I just can’t do this. Then about a year before my introduction to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice, I discovered some interesting facts while doing some genealogy research and thought it would make a good story. I actually finished three chapters and thought to myself, ‘I can do this!”
I still have those three chapters waiting to be continued, but Pride and Prejudice brought everything else to a standstill. I had plotted out that first story that I came up and thought it would be about 7 chapters. I was sure surprised when it turned out to be 18 chapters. I was even more surprised when people said they really liked the story.
I am the kind of author who has to have an idea of where she’s going before I begin to write. When I finished that first story, called Assumed Engagement, I thought to myself, ‘That’s it. I don’t think I’ll be able to think up anything as good, or better, than that story.’
But I was hit with inspiration and came up with an idea for a sequel to that story, and thus "Assumed Obligation" was written. Then there was "Pemberley’s Promise" (which is the book now being published as Darcy’s Voyage). That book seemed to spark the greatest response, and of the first five novels I wrote and self-published, it was the most popular. I also wrote a modern story that came to me almost like a lightning bolt when I was in Guatemala. Part of "Drive and Determination" takes place in Guatemala in the places I visited. And then there is my dog book. "Master Under Good Regulation" is the story of Pride and Prejudice as seen through the eyes of Mr. Darcy’s dog, Reggie, an English Springer Spaniel. (I was so thrilled to finally get my own ESS this past February, and even though she is a female, we had to name her Reggie!)
I had actually started my final novel, "Something Like Regret," about 6 years ago, and once I had self-published my other 5 novels, I decided to go back and finish it. I completed it in May 2009, just before Sourcebooks contacted me and offered me a contract. They decided to publish Darcy’s Voyage (Pemberley’s Promise) first, and then Only Mr. Darcy Will Do (formerly titled Something Like Regret) will be released in March, 2011.
I never ever imagined I would be a published author. Even when I began writing these stories and received great encouragement for the readers, I never believed a publisher would pick up a variation of Jane Austen’s classic. This opportunity to be published was literally dropped in my lap, and it has been quite a wild, but thrilling ride!
DARCY’S VOYAGE BY KARA LOUISE – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2010
A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas
In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley’s Promise. She’s prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr. Darcy turns her world upside down.
When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society’s rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ever since Kara Louise discovered and fell in love with the writings of Jane Austen she has spent her time answering the "what happened next" and the "what ifs" in Elizabeth's and Darcy's story. She has written 6 novels based on Pride and Prejudice. She lives with her husband in Wichita, Kansas. For more information, please visit her website, Jane Austen’s Land of Ahhhs, http://ahhhs.net/.