Ghosts of Writing ~ Past, Present, Future, by Sue Barr

Ghosts of Writing ~ Past, Present, Future, by Sue Barr

Hello from Canada. For my inaugural post, I’m going to use this time to introduce myself. Like Scrooge, I have ghosts of writing past, present, and future to share.

Ghosts of writing past:

I clearly remember coming home from work in 2009 and saying to hubby, “I’m going to write a book.” I sat at my computer and stared at the blinking cursor at the top left corner of my Word document. Finally, these exact words were the first thing I ever typed to start a book.

The blinking cursor taunted her.

Despite that inauspicious beginning, I sold my first manuscript in 2010 and stayed with that publisher until 2014 where I petitioned and got back the rights to my manuscripts and began the journey of self-publishing – releasing three contemporary romances, According to Plan, Man of Her Dreams, and Fiancé for Hire.

About this time, I discovered A Happy Assembly. I had read the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan and loved them and was beyond happy at having the world of JAFF laid out before me. However, it didn’t take long before my muse began to ask questions, such as ‘whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after Mr. Darcy became engaged to Elizabeth Bennet?’ From there, my first JAFF novel – Caroline – was born. I soon became enmeshed in the lives of secondary characters from Pride & Prejudice and followed with Catherine, then Georgiana.

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Ghosts of writing present:

Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone came out in September of this year. His story grew out of a Playground piece on A Happy Assembly and I am so glad the readers on that forum encouraged me to flesh out this unique one-shot into a complete novel.

Ghosts of writing future:

I’m working on Mary, slated to be the fourth and final book of the Pride & Prejudice continued… series, however, Lydia has begun talking to me and Ann de Bourgh is demanding to have her share in the conversation, so…

Thank you so much for sticking with me to the end. I’m not only the newest member of Austen Authors but also a proud member of The Beau Monde, a sporadic contributor to the forums on A Happy Assembly, and a lurker extraordinaire on many FB pages. I’m one course short of achieving my Professional Writers Certificate from the University of Western Ontario. I have to finish the grammar course. Can we all just grunt out a collective ‘ugh’?

Before I go, I have one more ghost of lives past.

I am a prairie girl, born and raised within the straight-lines of northern Saskatchewan. I like to tell folks the prairie dust is in my blood but no longer on my shoes. I met hubby at an Oktoberfest dance at CFB Moose Jaw in 1981. Our story has the makings of a contemporary romance where the alpha male hero is a handsome Air Force pilot who takes one look at the girl and thinks ‘mine’. Meanwhile, the heroine, a feisty scrap of a girl, also notices that handsome man. She leans into her BFF and says, “See that guy over there?” – making a point of checking her watch – “Give him five minutes, he’ll be over here to ask me to dance.”

Suffice to say, he did, and thirty-nine years later we are still going strong. At this moment, we are a family of two sons, their wives, and five grandchildren. More pending, I’ve been told.


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15 Responses to Ghosts of Writing ~ Past, Present, Future, by Sue Barr

  1. Hi, Sue. Welcome aboard. It’s nice to read about how each author’s interest has been peaked into actually writing P&P variations themselves. Look forward to reading more of your books. 🙂

  2. Welcome to our party, Sue. I hope you have a GREAT experience at AuAu. These guys are such fun. You know… the way you met your husband… sounds like an excellent story for how Darcy met Elizabeth. It was so romantic and sounds just like them. You have to use it sometime. Oh, well. Blessings on the success of your finishing your Certificate and whatever you are working on at this time. I hope it is not just that blinking cursor. LOL! That was cute. You could use that too… Elizabeth is a writer and she is facing her own blinking cursor. She could take a break and head to the bar or club with her BFF Jane and they see Darcy and Bingley. LA! Now see what you have started. What fun. Blessings, stay safe, and healthy.

    • I don’t think I’ll ever forget the dread I felt when faced with that blinking cursor. “What have I gotten into?” was the thought running through my brain. I had no concept of how to write a story, let alone set up plot and structure — such a learning curve. And then, once published, I had to set up my social media. I’d never been on Facebook, didn’t have a blog or web page. Nothing. Nada. Bupkiss. I learned how to tread water in the the deep pool of publishing very fast.

  3. Fun! I love your ideas behind your stories, and your meet cute with your husband made me go, Awwwwww! (I feel you on the grammar. Ugh. NOT my favorite, though I know it’s important. At least that’s what I keep telling my kids!) Looking forward to seeing your next posts!

    • Seriously, one of my books will have our ‘meet / cute’ as the introduction to the book. Of course my main characters can’t fall in love as quick as we did, they MUST have some angst!

  4. Hello from the other side of the country. I grew up in Edmonton, so the the prairies are in my blood as well. Your books are lovely, and I love the idea of a story for each sister. I love your personal story as well. That’s lovely!
    We are half-toying with plans to drive to Vancouver next spring (if the state of the universe permits) to show the kids the country, so I hope to get some of the prairie into their bones as well.

    • Hubby and I were posted to Edmonton twice, so we know that city very well. If it weren’t for the mosquitoes and ten months of winter, Edmonton is a place we’d live. Hubby is from Vancouver Island, so the West Coast is in his blood.

    • I truly never thought I’d write a story for Lydia until I reached a point in Mary’s book where a plausible plot began to form in my mind. Everything is still in the ‘what if’ stages but I refuse to never say never to a character. We shall see.

  5. So glad you joined us, Sue. I love your quirky story of coming to writing. It mirrors mine in many ways. BTW, I am your girl when it comes to grammar. I spent 40 years as an English teacher and journalist.

    • Thank you! Grammar is my bug-a-boo. My decision to write came from left field and involves a co-worker and my hubby saying for years I should write. Honestly. Years! I just never had the desire. What I shared above is EXACTLY how it happened and I’m so glad I made that choice!.

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