Hello everyone! I hope you are having a fabulous start to your summer. I wanted to take a minute to tell you what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been and where I’ll be going in the future.
My summer got off to an amazing start! As some of you know, in May I released my first anthology, a collection of short stories called Stories to Make You Smile, mostly based in Jane Austen, but also with one “bonus” short from the world of North and South. Most of the stories are ones that I wrote and published on fanfiction sites and had sitting out there for years. All of them were fun to write, and readers say they have been fun to read too! I’m so humbled and blessed by all the good comments and the strong response!
With that release out of the way, it was time for vacation!
My daughter loves all things ghostly and supernatural, and last summer she and I took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts to indulge her interest. That trip was such a big hit that last week, she and I traveled together to Charleston, South Carolina for another session of ghostly investigations! My editor and manager happen to live in South Carolina as well so they met us there and this trip served for both business and pleasure.
Charleston is an amazing place! It has four centuries of history so ghost stories abound everywhere (though we never saw one for ourselves, much to my daughter’s disappointment!). I was interested in all the history but especially the history that overlaps with Jane Austen’s time. For instance, in Jane Austen’s lifetime Charleston was one of the largest ports in America, as well as a military post. Sailors and soldiers were everywhere! Surely if Jane had ever visited she would have enjoyed walking the oldest parts of this romantic city, admiring the graceful mansions everywhere and hoping she would encounter a handsome young man in a suit!
In the Charleston Museum we saw items like writing desks and quills that would have fit right in with Jane Austen’s home. We also saw a smoking pipe that could have been in my short story With Apologies to Dickens. And of course there were horse drawn carriages everywhere! We took a ride in one and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I simply cannot imagine riding in a carriage over cobblestone streets. No wonder people in Jane’s day did so much walking! There are some things that are better left in the past!
After our time in Charleston we returned home refreshed, but now it’s time for my next big project of the summer. As some of you know, I do martial arts when I’m not writing, and in July I will be (drum roll, please) . . . . testing for my fourth degree black belt! Testing will take place on July 15th in Phoenix, Arizona. The time between now and then will be filled with practice, practice and more practice! Wish me luck, please!
Of course I will still be writing when I’m not at our karate studio, and no matter what happens at testing Darcy and Elizabeth and their adventures with the Fleur de Lys will never be far from my mind. There will be plenty of time to continue their story on the plane ride and during down times in Phoenix. Once I get home my major goal will be to finish Elizabeth and the Fleur de Lys as soon as possible! Hopefully it will be done by the end of this year and published in the first part of 2023.
So that is my author update. We are blessed to have so many opportunities to see the country and to enjoy our favorite pursuits! Please take a minute below and tell me what you will be up to this summer!