I find I am often asked about what I’m working on or how I’m progressing overall or with a specific project. This is usually a general question, as much of my audience is the Pride & Prejudice crowd, though at times I have been asked about particular projects to which I have alluded, or which are waiting for a sequel. Two works fall into that latter category: the second book in the Courage Always Rises P&P trilogy and On Tides of Fate, the final volume in the Earth and Sky trilogy, a fantasy work I am co-authoring with my partner in crime, Lelia Eye. As you may have noticed from the image, the cover for On Tides of Fate is ready, but the book needs to be completed!
I picked that image for this post because I’ve always liked the cover. The artwork was done by my sister, and then Lelia and I took it and ran it through Photoshop to make it look metallic. But it’s our own design and a pretty striking one at that! I’ve always been rather proud of it.
But I do understand this is a Pride & Prejudice blog, so I won’t bore you with a thousand words of fantasy fiction gibberish. Back to the original statement above, I thought readers might be interested in hearing about some of the ideas I have in mind to contort our favorite hero and heroine into new situations and problems. I’ve long had the concept of my own personal website, where I would have updates and other such information available for the intrepid reader. But as I tend to be rather focused on writing, I never seem to find time to build it. As such, this will have to do until I get it up and running, whenever that may be.
- The first one is under the working title Entail Ended. If you remember back to a post a wrote a few months ago about Jane Austen being a little mistaken about the entail laws, you will get the premise of the story. Combine the entail being unceremoniously dumped by Mr. Bennet, Mr. Collins suddenly being disinherited with all that entails (pun intended), Darcy and Bingley coming to Hertfordshire later than in canon, with Wickham up to his usual tricks and you’ll get a good idea of what it’s all about! Entail Ended has just passed the halfway point in the writing and is scheduled for release in the middle of June.
- A Romeo and Juliet inspired novel about the Bennets and the Darcys feuding, and what it would take to get our favorite couple together in spite of this. There will be a lot of changes, so much that several of the characters will be quite altered. But do not despair: no Fitzwilliam Darcys or Elizabeth Bennets will be harmed in the writing of this novel. Tragedies were all well and good for Shakespeare, but I think most devotees of P&P are much more interested in happily ever after! This story is currently in the outlining phase.
- The third is a duology, one in which our favorite villain, Mr. Wickham, is one of the good guys! Yes, I know I’ve done this before, but J. W. Garrett gave me an idea I couldn’t refuse, so this one is all because of her! The basic premise is that Wickham doesn’t grow up to be a schmuck, and is, instead, Darcy’s close friend. A new villain has been added, more of a creep than Wickham has ever been, which leads in directions you will never be able to predict! As with all of mine, it will end happily ever after, but it may not seem like it for a time. The duology has been half outlined.
- Keeping with the theme of a series of books, my next project is one which explores the idea of a Grand Tour. While young men toured the continent as a sort of coming of age ritual, young women often did too, as long as they were accompanied by a patroness or a wealthy relation. In the GT series, Elizabeth and Darcy will meet in several locations along a usual itinerary, thus becoming close long before Bingley leases Netherfield. I’m planning a series of four novellas, each one set in a famous city, followed by a full-length novel set after they return to merry old England. I’m currently researching all things grand tour and will be starting to outline shortly.
- Last, but not least, I am working away on the next installment of the Courage Always Rises trilogy. My apologies to those who are waiting (and I know there are a few out there as I get asked more about this than any other), but it is in the works. It’s just slow going. Memo to self: next time, outline all the books of a series before releasing the first! Volume 2 is in outlining at present (hopefully finished in the next couple of weeks) while for the third one I have a strong concept—it should be much easier to outline than the second has proven to be.
Bonus Idea: This is just a teaser, as I really don’t want to give anything away, but I’ve long had in mind an idea where Elizabeth has a secret identity. I outlined a full novel a while ago, but I’ve always thought it was filled with holes. Thus, I’m redoing the outline, slowly, but it is on my radar. It’s likely this will also end up being a multi-book set.
I would be remiss if I did not mention another project currently underway. My brother, Colin, who has written a mystery (as yet unpublished), has recently become interested in P&P and has asked that I co-author a novel with him to help him get his feet wet. That novel is tentatively entitled The Prisoner of Longbourn and is outlined, with the writing to commence this week. More to follow, but I’m excited that my brother has decided to give the genre a try!
There you have it—the next ideas in the pipe, whatever their status. Of course, I have a document that has about three times that number of ideas in it—these are the furthest along. I do hope to have my website up sometime in the not too distant future, and when I do, I’ll make an announcement. Cheers!