Bronwen Chisholm’s Debut Post: An Introduction

Bronwen Chisholm’s Debut Post: An Introduction

Hello, Hello, Hello! I cannot express how tickled I am to be making my debut on Austen Authors. Following the example of my fellow new authors to the site, I will take this first blog to introduce myself and my love of everything Austen.

Although I grew up surrounded by books, I somehow avoided Jane Austen until my early forties. A co-worker half my age was talking about the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice and I confessed I had never seen it. You would have thought I confessed to not knowing who the President was. Of course she lent me her copy before the week was out and I dutifully watched it. It transported me back to the many times I had sat with my sister and watched the Jane Eyre episodes with Timothy Dalton (my favorite Bond, by the way). I was hooked and Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy replaced Dalton’s Rochester as my most romantic hero.

                     

After returning the movie to her and purchasing a copy of my own, I started checking Jane Austen books out of the library. In no time, I had read all six, but P&P was my favorite followed closely by Persuasion. The movies followed. Being a slightly obsessive person, I began collecting copies until I have nearly every version of P&P available, one Jane Austen box set, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and a few Mansfield Parks. You know what came next … JAFF continuations and finally variations.

Throughout this journey I was writing suspense romances, but was still learning my craft and had not published. As a bit of an experiment, I began working on P&P variations to hone writing techniques. Though I have enjoyed some continuations, the stories never seemed to match up with what was in my head, so instead I dove into what ifs. What if you changed one factor? How would it effect the rest of the story? And that brings us to today.

Many of you who follow my page know I have just returned from the United Kingdom. I will share more about my trip in future posts, but for today here is a little taste of how my imagination works. I’m not sure how or if I will ever use this, but this little scene played out in my mind as we were walking in the Peak District.

If you are familiar with the area around Matlock and Chatsworth, you know there is a place called Stanton Moor where there are several Bronze Age stones, cairns, and such. In the midst of this moor, there is a circle of stones called the Nine Ladies. Thinking of Elizabeth Bennet’s trip to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle, I could not help but imagine her dragging them along the paths to find these legendary ladies.

 

“Lizzy!” Sarah cried from the top of the path. “I think I see them!”

Elizabeth Bennet laughed at her young cousin before throwing a glance over her shoulder to check on her aunt and uncle. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were walking arm-in-arm, taking in the views of the countryside. They appeared in no distress over their eldest daughter’s behaviour and waved for Elizabeth to follow the child.

Reaching the spot where Sarah had just been, Elizabeth saw a few stones through the trees and her cousin running toward them. “Wait for me, Sarah!” she called and hurried her steps toward the young girl.

Though Elizabeth was to travel with her aunt and uncle that summer to the Lake District, they had been forced to change their plans due to Mr. Gardiner’s business. As such, the new dates were fewer and fell upon Sarah’s birthday. As a special treat, her parents allowed her to join the party. Elizabeth was pleased with her cousin’s presence for many reasons, but mostly because Sarah was a wonderful distraction. With her youthful exuberance, she kept Elizabeth from thoughts of a gentleman she had terribly misunderstood and might now regret the rest of her life. Her presence also drew Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner’s attention sufficiently that they did not note their niece’s quieter state of being.

“Lizzy, there really are nine of them!” Sarah called as she marched around the circle, patting the tops of each of the low standing stones.



“So I see,” Elizabeth replied as she approached. “Have you found the fiddler?”

Sarah stopped and placed a hand to her eyes as she looked about. “Could that be it there?” She pointed a short distance to what appeared to be a stone rising above the long grass.

Elizabeth had reached her niece’s side and took her hand. “I believe you may be correct.”

With a glint in her eyes, Sarah tugged on Elizabeth’s hand and pulled her into the middle of the stones. “Dance with me, Lizzy!”

Though she attempted to appear stern, Elizabeth could not suppress her smile as she playfully reprimanded the girl. “You are nearly twelve, Sarah, it is time to behave with more decorum.”

“There is no one to see.” She pulled upon her cousin’s hands again. “Please, Lizzy?”

A giggle dissolved her restraint and Elizabeth began to spin her cousin about her as she created a dance for just the two of them. They were laughing freely when a deep voice broke the spell.

“Pray be careful, Miss Elizabeth. The last ladies who danced here still remain.”

Her heart pounded in her ears as she turned to find Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy standing under cover of trees beside a magnificent stallion. His gaze held hers long enough to steal her breath away before he dipped his head toward her cousin then turned his gaze to a spot over her shoulder.

“Might I have the honour of an introduction to your friends?”

 

Sorry, that’s all I have for now. I look forward to sharing with you in the future, maybe not this story, but I have so many others.

 

 

Is there anything that inspires you? How did you fall in love with Jane Austen’s work?

38 Responses to Bronwen Chisholm’s Debut Post: An Introduction

  1. Welcome! Although I was into the books and movies from a young age, I only discovered jaff a few years ago. I love that Mr. Darcy was the one to come upon Elizabeth dancing, such a lovely moment.

  2. I would like to welcome you to Austen Authors. This glimpse of your writing is looking very hopeful of a wonderful read. Hope there’s more soon to come.

  3. Like others have mentioned, I believe I must account for my love affair with Colin Firth…uh, I mean, Jane Austen… from the moment I saw the 1995 BBC production of P&P. I HAD to read the novel afterwards, and I’m still reading Austen’s novels. I just finished Mansfield Park, but P&P is still my favorite. In the meantime, I’ve read dozens and dozens of JAFF by all the various authors, and every one has Colin Firth’s picture pasted on Darcy’s role in them, thanks to my imagination. I taught myself to read when I was four, and have never stopped. I also taught my own daughter to read when she was four. It runs in the famiy! Love the snippet you provided, and I adore the pictures. I’ve been to England twice and haven’t seen anywhere near all there is to see. I’d love to see this story continue into a full novel, or even a novella. GOOD WORK!

    • Thank you! This might sound odd, but I don’t really have a picture in my mind of Darcy when I am writing. I do pull features from different individuals depending on the story’s need. The young man portraying Darcy on the covers of two of my books is an actor friend (one of my adopted kids). That said, Colin will always be Darcy when I am reading the original.

  4. We were assigned Jane Eyre as summer reading in 7th grade and I read that book 8 times. I have a number of DVDs from it and, yes, Timothy Dalton is one of my favorite Rochesters (and Heathcliffs). I was introduced to P&P via the 1995 TV series and then read the book. I have all the DVDs for JA’s books, including Austenland, Bride & Prejudice and Lost in Austen, etc. My favorite of her books is P&P. Persuasion is my second favorite, like yours. I concentrate on P&P variations but will read prequels and sequels if they get highly rated reviews from readers. I read close to 275 books last year and so you can see I look for good variations a lot. I was persuaded to read some paranormal ones and even some in which Darcy and/or Elizabeth have married others first. I will not read any in which she marries Wickham nor those in which she becomes his mistress or a surrogate mother for his child. And if I know there are rape scenes described I won’t read that book either. Like others have said, “I was introduced to JAFF through Pamela Aiden’s trilogy.” But I have found several others from Darcy’s POV which I like even better. (Stanley Hurd’s) Good luck with your writing. Lovely to read about you here.

    • Thank you for sharing. I do not keep track of the number of books I read, though I probably should. I am an avid reader but am trying to expand my library again as I went overboard on the P&P variations for the last year or so. I try to keep an open mind as I read since I love to push the envelope when I am writing. My main turn off as a reader is poorly edited work so I try to catch mistakes in my own work. Thank you again.

  5. Welcome to AUAU! The excerpt for this book sounds like a delightful read. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I saw the movie with Keira Knightley in it and got curious. So I bought a copy of P+P and loved it! So I then read other Austen works. Sense and Sensibility is another fav. Great debut post by the way, can’t wait to read more about Lizzy and the nine ladies!lol

  7. Lovely excerpt which I hope you will develop! I had been a fan of Jane Austen since jr. high when P &P was the required summer reading. It became a part of my Women in Lit course in the late 90’s; with the 1995 Colin Firth production I had just the visual my students needed to entice them to read more of her work. Byway of a colleague I was introduced to JAFF through Pamela Aiden’s trilogy and I haven’t stopped reading since!

    • Yes! Pamela Aiden’s trilogy was one of the first I read. I still have them on a shelf with my own books. That is the bar I have set for myself and I fear I fall short too often.

  8. Love this snippet!! Can’t wait to read more! I haven’t read any of your books (yet) but I will definitely be checking them out now! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you! The first book I wrote was The Ball At Meryton who h still receives goid reviews. My favorite is probably Georgiana Darcy, Matchmaker. I hope you enjoy them.

  9. Bronwen, Sharon and I are so glad you have joined us on Austen Authors. I adore your work. Like Glynis and Donna, I wanted to read more of this story. Do not place it too far from reach.
    As to how I came to read and love Austen, I have my mother to blame. She was a great reader and molded me into a reader. From early on, I was reading everything before me from cereal boxes to the classics. Austen and I met when I was about 12. She has remained a regular in my reading repertoire since then.

    • Thank you for the invite. I am so jealous of anyone who found Austen at a young age. I continue to be amazed that no one in my life required or suggested I read her works. I guess I was just taking the wrong classes. ?

  10. I too hope this is part of a book you are going to publish. I have all your others and love them.
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed your time in the Peak District, I have lived here all my life but have never visited the Nine Ladies.
    Thank you for sharing and I look forward to further posts.

    • It is so funny and a little sad that we don’t explore our own backyards. We ran into so many people while we there who said they had not gone to half of the places we visited. Of course, I moved to Virginia because I love history, but haven’t been to more than 5 historical sights in the last 20+ years. Guess I’m just as guilty.

  11. I love this and certainly hope it is part of a larger work. This is lovely and so much fun for Lizzy and Darcy to meet like this. I like having the oldest daughter on the trip with the Gardiners.

    • Thank you. It doesn’t really work with any of my current projects, but it might fit somewhere in the future.
      (My third grade teacher was a Mrs. Krug and she was one of my favorites.)

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