A few months ago, a publisher contacted me about the creation of a Plain Fame Fan Fiction World. Immediately, I said YES.
I love fan fiction. Or, rather, I love well-written fan-fiction. For several years, I have been writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction, adapting her stories into an Amish setting. I saw this as an opportunity to introduce many of my Amish readers to the classic stories of Jane Austen…as well as to introduce Jane Austen diehards to Amish literature. Now, I was getting a chance to see what other people might do with my own Plain Fame stories.
And then I had an idea: Why not write my own fan fiction of my own series? And why not set my classic love story from Plain Fame in the Regency era? Hence, the Shire Hall series was born.
Written under the pseudonym Catherine Eleanor (so as to not confuse my readers of Amish fiction), The Gentleman of Shire Hall finds Amanda on the streets of London. She is the daughter of a poor vicar from Leicestershire and traveling home after spending several months with her aunt in the south of England. On the return trip, while crossing a street near Berkeley Square, she is hit by a landau in which rides Alexander Dorset. And so begins our love story.
It continues to amaze me how a love story can transcend time and space. The original story of Plain Fame focused on an Amish woman and a Cuban superstar. Very unlikely couple for certain. However it worked and…six books into the series, people are still wanting more of my famous couple. Yet, moving that story from current day America to 1815 in London was not that far of a stretch. A vicar’s daughter from a poor village in Leicestershire would clearly have the same morals and God-focused upbringing as an Amish girl. And the grandson to the (fictitious) Earl of Dorset would have similar wealth and class that Alejandro from Plain Fame had.
But how, exactly, do these two find love in 1815 in Dorshetshire? Courtships did not usually jump social classes during the Regency Era. The fact that Alexander Dorset is not titled helps. Still, Amanda needs to go through a transition, too, as life in a large manor home on a significant estate is quite different than the quaint village life she was used to.
I had a lot of fun writing The Gentleman of Shire Hall and look forward to diving into the next book in the series, The Wedding of Shire Hall. I invite all of you along for the journey.