There are a couple of things which have been on my mind of late which I thought I would share. Incidentally, as a side note, I’ve noticed in looking at my past posts, that I typically post information about myself, updates, book excerpts, and the like. Not sure if people find that more or less interesting than informational posts, but it is what it is, I suppose.
The first thing I have been considering is the genre of romance, specifically with respect to Jane Austen, and my small corner within it. I think the other male authors might echo my experiences when I say that I often get criticized for my writing being less romance based than most of the ladies. In fact, I had a reviewer say early on in my career that it was indicative of almost all male writers. (I’m not even going to discuss the reviewer who constantly complains about the names I assign to characters. Do other authors get that?)
But I’ve been thinking of this a lot lately, and while this ties into the other thoughts I wanted to share, I was wondering if I truly write less romance than Jane Austen did. Let’s consider the novel on which most of my works are based.
Pride and Prejudice is mostly from Elizabeth’s point of view, and she spends the first half of the story hating Darcy and the next quarter realizing that she misjudged him. It’s not until they meet at Pemberley that she really begins to realize that they might be suited for each other. Even then, there aren’t a lot of what I would call “romantic” types of scenes between them. In fact, I would argue that the various screen productions play up that aspect for their viewers. I’m thinking of the specific scene in the 1995 version at Pemberley where Darcy is looking at Elizabeth while she’s turning the pages for Georgiana, and does a great job of looking like a smitten man! In my opinion, the romance was not the main focus of Jane Austen’s writing. It was the story and the setting which was more important, that and the growth of the characters, some for the better, some not.
These are only my thoughts off the cuff—many who read this might have a completely different opinion. I would submit that my writing actually mirrors Jane Austen’s to a certain degree, though I am not arrogant to believe that I could ever mimic her. The story is the most important part of my narrative, that and the circumstances into which I contort the characters in order to bring them together. Feel free to disagree and let me know in the comments!
The other thought which has been running through my mind lately has come about because of the new audiobook. I’ve posted a number of times, but for those who were not aware, In the Wilds of Derbyshire was recently made into an audiobook and is scheduled for release on July 3. I obtained a copy of the audiobook so I could listen to it and see how it was portrayed. Suffice to say that Mary Sarah, the narrator, is awesome! I really enjoyed her performance!
I think a certain level of introspection and honesty about the work I have done is entirely healthy, and the audiobook provided me with perspective on that particular book, contrasting with my work since then. I think there are some things that I’ve learned to do better in the year since I published Derbyshire, but I think there are some other things I have gotten away from, things which made that particular novel such a success. I hope to be able to take what I’ve learned and inject it into my writing going forward. I firmly believe that if I’m not improving, I’m likely going the other direction!
Anyway, thank you for sticking out through my rambling, if you’ve made it this far. For all I know, people aren’t really interested in these “author information” posts. If you’d prefer more of the other kind, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to oblige!
Now for the giveaway. I have a copy of my latest audiobook, In the Wilds of Derbyshire for one of those who comment below. The giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, July 5. A winner’s announcement will appear on this blog on Sunday, July 8. Good luck!
Finally, I’ve got a new project in the works, and it’s scheduled to be released next month. It’s a bit of a departure from anything I’ve done before. Does anyone like mysteries?