I am so excited to have been asked to join Austen Authors! Since I’m not sure that everyone knows me, I thought I’d use my first post to tell you a bit about myself.
I am from extreme NE Ohio. Like…if I were any further north and east, I’d be in Lake Erie. 🙂 I am currently a teacher in an online school, and work from home. I teach math, reading, and writing to fifth graders who have special education needs. However, I am making a career change at the end of this school year, thus fulfilling a dream I have. I am going to write full time.
My interests are varied. I love to read, and obviously to write. I also love to crochet and embroider. I am a huge NASCAR fan. My favorite driver is Matt Kenseth, who drives the number twenty Dollar General Toyota. I have gotten a lot of grief over my love of the sport, and many folks find it odd that I love Jane Austen and Jane Austen Fan fiction, yet I also love racing. There are, however, at least four more of us that I can name. I’m not as unusual as it may seem. 🙂 (The picture of the girl with the yellow ear protection is me at Kentucky Speedway during the inaugural Sprint Cup race there in 2011. I was stuck on the highway–I-71, I think–for four hours. Since that day, I have made sure to not only fill up my gas tank at the exit before the track, I use the restroom there, as well!!)
Speaking of Jane, I found her later than many others. In late summer or early fall of 2010, I caught the tail end—the last ten minutes or so—of the UK 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, and I was hooked. I bought the movie on Amazon, and watched it every day for months and months. I found a copy of the book and bought it, and read it over and over, also for months. I found myself wanting to know if there was a sequel, because I loved Darcy and Elizabeth and their story so much that I did not want it to end. That was when I found JAFF. Sharon Lathan was one of the first JAFF authors I had read. I soon bought a Nook, then a Kindle, and found websites full of free stories. Sooner or later, though, the inevitable happened. I ran out of stories that interested me. At the urging of a teacher friend, who probably got tired of hearing me whine about having nothing to read, I began to write my own JAFF story.
The thought of publishing never crossed my mind in those early days. I was certain that the story must be junk. I had tried to write a book when I was a teenager that I was sure was terrible, and I threw it away without finishing it. My sister loved it, and was mad at me for pitching it. The biggest reason I finished I Promise To… is that my fellow Austen Author, Rose Fairbanks, learned in a chatroom that I was writing it, wanted to see it, and insisted it was good. After she assured me the story was not ridiculous, I finished it. While I was writing, I learned about self-publishing, and decided to give it a go. I have not looked back.
I said it earlier, but I am incredibly excited to be here. This is an answer to prayer, and I am not ashamed to say that. I look forward to being part of this great group of authors!