A Real Writer? Plus a preview of my next book!

A Real Writer? Plus a preview of my next book!

I confess I do not fit many people’s idea of what a real writer should be. My confession may sound odd coming from someone who has published three books, has two more in the works, and belongs to Austen Authors, however, I got to where I am today by the hardest route— kicking and screaming all the way.

You see, I am an introvert. I would like nothing better than to crawl in a cave and write, emerging only to publish whenever I finish a book. Alas, in today’s world, there are so many people publishing, especially those new to JAFF, it seems one has to at least try to promote their books in order to sell them. And, since sales of my books are important to my livelihood, I had no choice but to crawl out of my cave!

Why don’t I consider myself writer material? The main reason is that I am not comfortable tooting my own horn. I was raised in an age when one did not self-promote. That makes it difficult for me to boast of good reviews and accolades. Moreover, I spend more time on FB talking to the people I went to school with than posting writer stuff. While I am on Twitter, I only tweet the articles on Austen Authors and the things happening on DarcyandLizzy.com. So, I have a long way to go using social media.

Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with promoting yourself and your books, but when I read about all the things my fellow writers are doing—writing seminars, ‘how to’ programs, dictating devices, special book writing apps, giving lectures, exhaustive research, JAFF organization meetings, to name a few—it makes me tired just thinking about it. At my age, I need to use all my focus to get the stories in my mind on paper while I can still remember them. smiles

While every person has their own way of writing, I stick with the basics. This means pulling up a Word document, thinking up a unique plot, and getting started. Fortunately, I have never had problems imagining plots, and once I begin a tale, I cannot wait to get the story written.

I plan to publish my current story, Darcy and Elizabeth, A Promise Kept, in late February or early March, so be on the lookout for it. For those who aren’t following my posts on DarcyandLizzy.com, there is an excerpt below from the first chapter. I hope you will enjoy this little taste of my latest book. Let me know what you think!



Excerpt from Chapter One of Darcy and Elizabeth – A Promise Kept

William nodded and turned back to the windows. Millicent waited until the colonel was completely out of sight and then surreptitiously studied the man she had always loved, who by now was watching some horses frolic in a distant pasture. While his eyes were glued to the bucolic scene, he sipped a glass of brandy.

“A penny for your thoughts.”

Sighing deeply before he answered, William said, “I was thinking of Georgiana and wondering how she is faring now that she and Lord Charlton have settled in Ireland.”

“Are you worried about the marriage? I thought you approved of him.”

“I had no choice but to approve. Though I was not a great admirer of his late father, I could find no evidence that the son was not a gentleman in every sense of the word. None of my friends had anything bad to say about him, either. Still, I tried to persuade Georgiana to continue the engagement another year, just to be certain. She refused.”

“One and twenty is not too young to know your heart or to marry, Fitzwilliam, and, thanks largely to you, Georgiana has always been sensible.”

“I suppose you are right.”

Hoping to persuade him before Richard’s return, she broached the subject of staying longer. “Can I not convince you to wait until the end of the week to return to Pemberley? With the children at their grandmother’s estate, the house will be entirely too quiet after you leave.”

Glancing at her sideways, William said, “I thought your cousins were staying.”

“They are; however, they are not my idea of stimulating company. I fear that I shocked them when I chose to ride to the hounds alongside the men.”

William could not suppress a grin. “Perhaps that is because a lady is expected to ride side-saddle.”

“Then I suppose I am not a lady! And make no mistake—my cousins will lecture me about my misconduct until the day they leave.” Then she grinned. “And you, sir, have managed to change the subject. Will you not at least stay long enough to see the children?”

“I cannot possibly stay. There are issues that require my attention at Pemberley.”

“Why ever not? Lord knows you pay your stewards well to handle your estates. And you will just bury yourself in work at Pemberley—anything to keep from participating in the real business of life.”

“I have no idea what you mean.”

“I thought you abhorred deceit, Fitzwilliam! For years I have had to threaten to have Richard bring you against your will; otherwise, you would never have left your cave. Will you just admit that you enjoyed yourself once you arrived?”

“I was pleased to be in both your company and my cousin’s, and I enjoyed participating in the hunt,” William replied. Pensively, he took another sip of brandy before continuing. “I cannot say I enjoyed being on display again.”

“What do you expect? You are one of the most eligible men in all of England and will always garner the attention of parents with unmarried daughters. And the widows cannot help but flaunt themselves at you, praying to catch your eye.”

“I am only interested in one widow, and she will not agree to marry me.”

Millicent turned to examine William’s face for a certain truth. Not finding it, she walked over to a nearby chair and sat down. Wearily she said, “We have had this conversation far too many times.”

“Just because I am not madly in love with you does not mean we would not do well together. My father was of the opinion that friendship should outweigh love when two people speak of marriage. He and Mother were only friends when they married.”

“You were not formed for a marriage of convenience, Fitzwilliam, and marrying me would be exactly that. Besides, I am of the opinion that the heartache which permeates you so deeply is the result of an unrequited love.”

William’s brows knit as his voice rose. “As I have tried to tell you time and again, I have suffered no such heartache.”


29 Responses to A Real Writer? Plus a preview of my next book!

  1. Hi Brenda, I know just what you mean about being uncomfortable blowing your own trumpet. I had a few interviews last year and will hopefully get a few more this year. I’m always conscious that I don’t sell myself well. It just seems so boastful, it makes me feel really uncomfortable, but I know I have to do it so I try. It’s so hard for an introvert though. I know you have a loyal following of readers, which I hope will help news of your book spread. When I asked for book recommendations on my blog there were quite a few readers who recommended your books 🙂

    I enjoyed the excerpt very much. Hands off Mr Darcy, Millicent!

    • Ceri, I would never have thought you an introvert! Only introverts know the agony of trying to promote themselves and not sound boastful. Arggh! I don’t get to read all the blog posts but thank you for telling me that my books were recommended on yours. IF just the people who like my books were to recommend them to one friend, I would be so thrilled. I do hope they take the time to share my announcement when it is published. Thank you for taking time to comment for I know how busy you are. It means a lot.

  2. I totally relate to what you’ve said. The introversion, the difficulty with “tooting your own horn” and finding some of the elements of “writing culture” exhausting. But what a joy the writing itself is, right? I love your style of writing. The excerpt was excellent!

    • Again, I am amazed that another writer feels the same way. When I wrote this post I was of the opinion that I was in the minority, but every writer I have heard from agrees with me. So perhaps most writers are introverts?? It might be fun to find out. Thank you for your kinds words. Coming from someone who writes so well, it makes me smile.

  3. I devour your books and love them! Keep writing, please. I am headed for a winter vacation in March, and I know what book I shall be reading.

    • You have made my day! I hope to get it out there in time for your vacation! Thank you for being so kind as to let me know.

  4. Thanks for this exquisite post, Brenda. I know the ‘cave’ feeling so well myself, I can empathise with every word and I loved how you put it. As for the excerpt, oh, my! Poor poor Millicent! And Darcy too. Such a promise of a roller-coaster of emotions! And as I know you always keep your promises, I can’t wait to read this lovely story!

    • Joana, the more I hear from other authors the more I learn that they, too, are introverts — at least in some ways. 🙂 I am proud that the story interests you and hope you do get a chance to read it.

  5. I have been following this online and loving it all the way. Of course it is not over. But I will purchase this when it is published to add to your other books on my kindle…ones I re-read as the spirit moves. Love your writing, the long stories, with lots of twists and angst. Thanks for all your work – I love it.

  6. I love this excerpt! So he must be around 33 years old, the widow has to be Elizabeth but widow of…?? Wickham :S Mr Collins?? OMG! Then, this new lady is in love with him (quite normal as he is Darcy) 😛

    However, he has not suffered heartache… what?? What has happened before? Nothing related to P&P? Netherfield Park? Hunsford Parsonage? Brenda, you have no compassion for my poor nerves! 😀

    Regarding what you said about all the promotion, I believe that this blog and facebook and twitter does a lot to help you promote. I am not sure if you need to do a lot more to sell more books. However, I am not an expert about it, the other authors can tell you better.

    Thanks for sharing this excerpt!

    • I have to clear up the widow that Darcy wants to marry. It is not Elizabeth! It is an old friend of his. That is why he says “just because I am not madly in love with you” to her. His heartache for the last five years has been his unrequited love for Elizabeth.

      I suppose I will just have to settle for what I have promotion wise, though it would be lovely if those who like my books would have it on their facebook page after they read them. That is the best promotion an author can have. I think they would if they thought about it.

  7. Writing is not easy I know that and the mere fact you have a printed book I bow to I like other types of books mostly but I found your writing smooth calm and I could read it all no problem. I send you my best wishes well done and God bless.

    • Thank you for sweet comment Monroe. I love that you find my writing smooth for I try hard to make it read without being choppy. I hope you will give the book a chance once it is published. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  8. According to that description, Brenda, I have to say I am not writer material either. LOL I sighed with longing when I read the idea of climbing in a cave and just popping out to publish. 🙂

    • Eileen, I am beginning to think that most of the writers I admire for being Extroverts may be Introverts in disguise. 🙂 It would be fun to take a survey of just the Austen Authors and see what they consider themselves – Introvert or Extrovert. Thanks for weighing in on the subject.

  9. You don’t have to “toot” your own horn, Brenda! You’re wonderful stories do that for you. You have a gift of bringing the characters to life with their words that is missing from so much writing (yes, sadly, JAFF) today. Really looking forward to this one!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Megan. I try to write stories that ‘come to life’ and to hear a reader say they do is humbling. I appreciate your encouragement for I often feel that I am on the sidelines looking at the game. Thank you.

  10. Thank you for sharing the above excerpt. It was enough to tempt me and make me WANT to know what happens next. I look forward to its release. As far as social anxiety issues, as I get older I have found my reluctance to be in social environments has intensified. I think it just goes with the times and our fast paced lifestyle. I long for a slower pace and quiet enough to simply think…what a luxury.

    • I am glad my excerpt was “tolerable enough to tempt you” Jeanne! 🙂 I agree wholeheartedly with you about our present age. Life is moving too fast and sometimes I feel rushed to keep up. Sad really.

  11. Brenda, I love this first chapter. So many things to think of. Five years have passed, Bingley and Darcy broke off but now Bingley wants to collect on a promise, Darcy having asked the widow to marry him and she has refused because she doesn’t think he will do well in a marriage of convenience. Yikes! And what about Elizabeth? Well, I for one can’t wait till this tale is finished and can read it straight through from beginning to end. Your plots are always so fun with twists and turns and great character development. All in all, Miss non-writer/writer … thanks so much for sharing your creativity with the JAFF community! We LOVE IT!

    • You are always such a support, Jen! I love you for your enthusiasm about this story for I kind of like it too. Heh heh Yes, big changes have come to Darcy and Elizabeth and I hope everyone likes where I take our dear couple.

  12. I love your stories, Brenda and have been following your posts to some degree. I am eagerly anticipating he publishing of this book and I LOVE the cover. I am thoroughly enjoying this story.

    • Thank you Deb! I can always count on your support and it means so much to me. I hope to have the book out soon for everyone who wants to read it front to back without stopping.

  13. Goodness me. If Georgiana is 21 and this book is following the original ir must be 5 years since Darcy was with Elizabeth. What on earth has he been doing and is he finally going to sweep her off her feet? Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long to find out. This sounds like another great book Brenda I hope you managed to remember that Darcy has to end up with Elizabeth ?

    • Thanks so much for your comments. Yes, it has been five years since Darcy and Elizabeth have seen one another and he is trying to get his old friend Millicent to agree to a marriage of convenience. Not to worry, though, ALL my stories are D&E stories! I appreciate your taking time to comment and I hope you life the finished tale when it comes out.

  14. You’re definitely a real writer to me and many others, Brenda. Sadly I don’t have time to keep up with the online fan fiction forums but someone who thinks up stories, writes them down and publishes them for folk like me has to be a real writer.

    If I had the talent though, I’d be exactly like you! I hate having to put myself ‘out there’ and would be happy to be there in that cave with you.

    Looking forward to the new book with bated breath.

    • You are so sweet to say so Anji and I know that some don’t have time to follow works-in-progress. Heck, I don’t have time to follow them either and that is why I wait until the books are published to grab a copy. Hopefully, at some point I’ll have a few hours to enjoy someone else’s story. 🙂 It is nice to know I have lots of introvert friends, too.

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