I’ve never been a person for dwelling on the negatives but this year has been a difficult one for me. When I left Austen Authors I knew I wasn’t feeling quite right though at the time I didn’t really know why I wasn’t functioning properly. Added to that came the awful shock that my beloved sister had breast cancer and my world stopped. Far from being able to nurse her as I’d hoped, I then managed to trip up on Pulteney Bridge and break my hip. Shortly after this I became ill with Pancreatitis caused by gallstones and in the end my sister spent more time looking after me!
I’ve spent most of the year not blogging very much or even doing too much writing but it meant I have spent a lot of time with my sister which has been fantastic despite the trauma of everything she’s been through. She is now doing really well – her treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is over and it’s wonderful to see her looking to the future again!
In Bath for the Jane Austen Festival, it was wonderful to meet up with Abigail Reynolds again and when she suggested coming back to Austen Authors I knew it was the right time! She was with her lovely friend who has been through a similar experience to my sister. It gave me such hope that everything was going to turn out well.
On the bright side, taking a back seat from my writing life meant I could take time to edit a book I’d been working on and off for a while. Searching for Captain Wentworth still gave me the opportunity to escape into the world of writing that I love. Persuasion has always been my favourite Jane Austen novel and I’d always wanted to write a book inspired by my favourite characters, Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth. But, every time I started a sequel I found it really difficult to inject any conflict or drama into their lives – I could only see my perfect couple living a perfect life. I wrote a short story inspired by Persuasion for Laurel Ann Nattress’s book, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, entitled Waiting, and I pretty much covered the ground I’d been wanting to explore. So, when I started thinking about my new book I knew it would have to be something completely different. I love Time Travel novels and I loved the idea of visiting the past. An idea about writing a story where my heroine would travel to the past and meet her Captain Wentworth began to take shape. At about the same time I moved into a little flat in Bath with views looking over Jane Austen’s garden and I knew not only would my book have to be set in Bath but that it would star Jane Austen herself. In the years Jane Austen was in Bath, I knew her sailor brother Charles spent some time with his family after the Treaty of Amiens was signed in 1802. What if Jane’s inspiration for Persuasion had been ignited by real events? Well, I had a lovely time thinking about my heroine travelling through time to live the life of her ancestor and as Jane’s life at this time is shrouded in much mystery I was able to let my imagination run riot.
I’m so thrilled to be back at Austen Authors now life is back on track! I’m so looking forward to blogging with everyone again and the warm welcome from my fellow authors has made me feel very cherished. Thank you for all your good wishes!!!