A Birthday in Limbo

Turning 30 this year came with a bit of a surprise. When I was just about to celebrate a new chapter of life with an additional new work submission to my publisher, circumstances caused that partnership to end at an amicable but premature time.

Now, I’m starting from scratch.

The idea of self-publishing is, apparently, as daunting as it is exciting.

Years and years of consuming historical fiction have informed me thoroughly of what I want to read. But how much do I truly know about what other readers want?

Does anyone really want to read my stories? Where do I even start with cover designs and story descriptions and handling the technology behind it all? I love writing, but there is so much more to publishing that just sitting down at my computer and typing away.

But all things start somewhere, don’t they?

I offer my heartfelt thanks to all my readers who keep staying with me through the ups and downs of it all. I am working hard at getting my books republished and am striving even harder to add another one to their ranks.

I promise to keep everyone posted!

Much love,
Iris

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Hobby, Profit, or Life Calling?

Writing has been a part of me from the moment I learned to spell my very first word. I drew picture books as a child, labelling each page with a single word or phrase (with imperfect spelling, of course) as I tried to tell the stories in my mind. Oftentimes, those stories were rehashed and regurgitated versions of all my favorite fairy tales. At other times, the works were original – a combination of a rambling, childlike mind and the unique perspectives my minority upbringing offered.

Then adolescence came along. Romance fiction swept me off my feet, rode me off to the sunset, and absolutely refused to let me go.

It’s been a thrilling journey ever since.

From writing fanfiction to getting published, from scribbling in my notebook to typing thousands of words a day – writing has gradually, resolutely grafted itself into my skin and become part of my living, breathing DNA day in and day out.

I still write for fun. I’m not making a single cent from this blog, for one. As I approach thirty, that ever-so-subtle deadline for a quarter-life crisis, I know there’s not going to be anywhere else I can turn.

I write because I can. I write because I love it. I write because it is an indelible part of who I am.

I guess that’s what life callings are made of.

An Austen Writer

Most authors set out to create their own identity.

We don’t plan on creating shadows of someone else’s work. We don’t expect to be known for variations on someone else’s theme. Writing is a deeply personal process, and we expect to be known for what we do, for what we create.

Miss Jane Austen, bless her soul, had different plans for me.

I discovered Pride and Prejudice as a teenager. At fourteen-and-a-half years old, I found the story taking me completely by surprise. Mr. Darcy the villain is a – love interest? Mr. Bingley and Jane actually do get together? Mr. Wickham and all his charms proved to be a cheating, lying bastard. The surprises were endless, and I loved each and every one. Every thing that happened to the dear Bennet sisters felt as vivid as if it happened to me.

As a young girl still discovering what romantic feelings meant, I thought of Austen’s work as an escape. It took me to England, and it let me meet people and experience stories I would otherwise never have.

Then real life came along.

Somewhere between rejecting my now-husband’s first suit and rediscovering who he truly was (and falling desperately in love with him), Pride and Prejudice became real.

Sure, we don’t live in Regency England; but we still have gossiping mothers, nosy neighbors, obstacles of our own creation, and a grave social disparity. We’re still human, and we’re still foolish enough to take a while to fall in love for keeps.

The moment I walked down the aisle, 200 years after my favorite book was published, Austen’s work solidified permanently from my wispy imagination to irrepressible reality.

Now, I love no other novel like I love Pride and Prejudice. Now, I am willing to give up my own identity for the honor of sharing a tiny bit of Miss Jane Austen’s. She, a lady author, transformed English literature. What an honor it is to share a by line with her!

I still have my dreams of creating my own universe, the way Miss Austen did. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth really did exist as historical characters. I want to get to create people that memorable too.

In the meantime, I enjoy reimagining the love story of the the most intriguing couple I’ve ever met in literature. Here’s hoping readers do as well.

Something New

Almost thirty years of existence, over four years of marriage, and a total of 20 years of practicing writing has led me to my first published works. Pride and Prejudice can be reimagined a thousand different ways! Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this journey.

Let’s find the destination together.