Never Say Never

Never Say Never

There are a few sayings that my family anticipates from me, and I probably heard them from my mother. First is “If something happens three times, pay attention. God is trying to tell you something.” The other is “Never say never” or, as it is said in the Mists of Avalon, “Never name the well from which you will not drink.”

My husband is the biggest culprit in this one; we joke all the time about it. When he was younger, he said he would never own a blue house (2nd house he bought was blue), never own a blue car (we have owned 3 blue cars in the 20-some years we have been together), and never marry a white woman (here I am). Because we mess with him so frequently, I am exceedingly careful not to use the word never. That said, I had my never moment this past week and he loved it.

As you all know, I have been writing a story that begins when the Pride and Prejudice characters are children. It was my goal to have the first draft finished by Christmas or, at the latest, New Year’s as we weren’t going anywhere and no one was coming to see us. Somehow, I was still distracted to the point that it didn’t happen. No problem, New Year’s was on a Friday and both my husband and daughter were working that weekend, so I had the house to myself. One storm after another rolled through and I was down with barometric migraines. (I almost did a blog on treating migraines in the Regency, but it has been done frequently and well, so there was nothing for me to add to the conversation.) Finally, I was able to push ahead this past week and that’s when the never occurred.

My husband and I talk about my writing a couple times a year. We discuss what other writers are doing, improving my marketing, and how to make my writing more profitable (the man seriously wants to retire and needs just a bit more income to make it happen). One topic we come back to every so often is writing a series. There are many people who do this, but I’m not that crazy about the idea. My perspective has always been, if you can’t say it in one book, you need to edit better. That said, there are some who have mastered series writing and I cannot find fault with them.

As I began working on the last chapter, my characters travelled to London. My characters have been known to hijack my stories and go off someplace I had no intention of them going. In fact, when I was writing The Ball At Meryton, everyone up and travelled to London a week before the wedding and put me in a panic on how to get them back to Hertfordshire. But in this case, they were where I wanted them to be. The problem came when, instead of going along with the plan, one of my side stories stood up and stormed out of the room. This led to the question ‘why would he react this way?’ And now Viscount Grayson, Ashton Fitzwilliam, has demanded a story of his own. Luckily, Elizabeth and Darcy had achieved their happily ever after. So, it appears I will be writing a series in 2021.

For putting up with my rambling, here’s a bit of the scene which led to this new adventure. (Little bits have been edited or removed so as not to ruin the surprise.) Oh, as this was to be part of Elizabeth and Darcy’s story, it is currently written from Elizabeth’s point of view. Please forgive any typos, etc., as it is a first draft.

“But with Anne’s return, will not the rumours be revisited?” their son pressed.

“There will always be rumours, Ashton.” Lord Matlock sighed. “I am certain someone will create a more interesting and newer scandal once the ton returns in full.”

“May it not be Anne,” Ashton muttered.

“Which is why we must press for an engagement as quickly as feasible.” His father stared at him.

“I will not marry Anne de Bourgh!” The Viscount stood and paced the room.

“Have you another young lady whom you will be courting this season?” The earl sat forwards, his hands upon his knees.

“No, sir, but that does not preclude the possibility I will meet a young lady better suited to me.”

“Very well.” Lord Matlock sat back in his seat once more. “By Easter you will have had sufficient time to survey the available ladies and determine if there are any who ‘suit’ you, as you say. If no such lady has been found, you will propose to your cousin.”

Elizabeth had never seen Ashton in such a state. His jaw hung agape, his eyes raced about the room, and she was uncertain if he still drew breath. Finally, his gaze fell upon his brother and he found his voice.

“What of Phillip? He is in need of a fortune to marry. Surely, he is the better candidate to wed Anne. I have no need of another estate.”

“I have spoken to your brother and agreed not to press him at this time.”

“Why?” Ashton demanded.

Phillip cleared his throat. “I have been given time to explore a possible match.”

“Who?” His brother appeared wounded that he had not been consulted on the matter.

“Have you been blind?” Lady Matlock spoke up. “Your brother and Miss _____ danced twice at the ball and were often in conversation.”

“We were all frequently in conversation.” Ashton folded his arms. “You would approve of a courtship?” he asked his father.

“Your brother is a younger son.”

“And if I do not have a son, he would be next in line for the earldom.”

“Then I suggest you marry and have a son.”

Ashton stormed from the room without a backwards glance.

“Henry,” Lady Matlock said with a sigh.

Her husband reached out and patted her hand. “This is nothing which has not been said before.”

“But much has changed recently.” Her gaze fell upon Elizabeth sitting beside her husband.

“I fail to see how my marriage affects my cousin.” Fitzwilliam slipped Elizabeth’s hand about his arm.

“He has been witness to your happiness, Darcy. Forgive me, Elizabeth, but you are not the wife we anticipated for our nephew.” Her ladyship had the decency to blush. “In our circle, there are expectations.”

“Expectations be damned,” Fitzwilliam muttered. “Has Ashton met a lady in the past who did not meet the ton’s ridiculous expectations?” he asked, looking towards his cousin.

Phillip’s gaze fell upon his father, but he did not speak.

“It was years ago. The lady has since married elsewhere.” Lord Matlock pinched the bridge of his nose. “He was too young to marry and I do not believe he pines for her.”

 

Do you understand? I could not just brush the man’s demands under the rug, wave my magic pen, and bippity-boppity-boo him into a marriage. He must have his say, so I will be writing a series (there are at least two other couples who have stepped up to claim a piece of the spotlight as well). But for now, it is edit, edit, edit in order to get our dear couple’s story to the editor on time.

 

I would love your thoughts on series. Stay safe and be well!

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23 COMMENTS
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darcybennett
January 19, 2021 8:08 PM

Thank you for sharing.

carylkane
carylkane
January 16, 2021 7:25 PM

I enjoyed the excerpt and I’m looking forward to reading more!

sheilalmajczan
sheilalmajczan
January 14, 2021 9:40 PM

Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading where this is going.

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
January 13, 2021 12:40 PM

I loved the way you set this up. Bravo for your husband… what a man. He was willing to do what he said he would never do. Yep. Sean Connery did the same thing and yet did another Bond Movie [bless him. We lost his last year] I love how the Viscount stood up and declared his own way. They have to see reason and his point. Could Anne even give him children and would she or they even survive childbirth? Really, Anne is a lost cause unless you have written her in better health. You did a great job having the spotlight on the Viscount even with D&E in the background. That was well done. I could still enjoy them even when the story was about another. D&E would be a great respite for him when the Earl became too obsessive with wanting HIS way or no way. Grrr! Poor Ashton. And who is this Miss ___ that he danced with? Or is he pining for another? And who decided he was too young back then? Well, you have a lot of ‘splaining to do my dear. Look what you have done? Hang in there and just let your characters go where they want and let’s see what happens. Stay safe and healthy.

Glynis
Glynis
January 13, 2021 11:09 AM

My favourite books last year were the Sanctuary series! Other favourites are the two Imperative books and the three Memory books. So yes I do enjoy a series preferably with Darcy and Elizabeth involved.
I enjoyed this excerpt and would like to see where it goes. Good luck!

Elin Eriksen
Elin Eriksen
January 13, 2021 11:01 AM

I love the excerpt, I am thoroughly intrigued because I immediately felt for the Viscount and want to know his story.
I also like where you are going with the series as ODC are happily married and you move on to the next couple. This is my preference when reading a series. I often lack the patience needed for a trilogy of 500 pages per installment of one single pairing ?

Elin Eriksen
Elin Eriksen
January 13, 2021 11:01 AM

I love the excerpt, I am thoroughly intrigued because I immediately felt for the Viscount and want to know his story.
I also like where you are going with the series as ODC are happily married and you move on to the next couple. This is my preference when reading a series. I often lack the patience needed for a trilogy of 500 pages per installment of one single pairing ?

Mirta Ines Trupp
AuAu
Mirta Ines Trupp (@mirtainestrupp)
January 13, 2021 8:53 AM

Loved the excerpt and am intrigued!

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
January 13, 2021 8:29 AM

Sounds good to me! Everyone deserves a happily ever after! Hope the series goes well!

Regina Jeffers
Admin
Regina Jeffers (@reginajeffers)
January 13, 2021 8:25 AM

I have written a Regency series some years back. I originally planned for four books, but I foolishly had 7 friends who had served together on the Continent during the Napoleonic Wars. I thought only to have 4 major characters and the other three would be simply “in and out” style characters. Wrong! They all took on a life of their own. Ironically, the one I had disliked from the beginning became one of my favs in the series. I ended up writing 8 books for the series + a companion spin off about the brother of one of the 7.
Be careful. These stories consumed my life for nearly 4 years. LOL!!!! Enjoy the ride.

Riana Everly
AuAu
Riana Everly (@rianaeverly)
January 13, 2021 8:16 AM

That sounds wonderful! Of course the poor fellow deserves to find a match of his own, someone he can love and be happy with. I do enjoy spin-off stories, and wish you great success with your series.
I’ve had my never-moments too. My big one, when I started university, was swearing I would never live in Toronto. Well, here I am. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in a single city, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Oh well… If we can’t be flexible and change our minds, we might as well turn to stone, right?

Wyndwhyspyr
Wyndwhyspyr
January 13, 2021 8:16 AM

He absolutely deserves some happiness instead of being forced to marry Anne after he had already given up his first love. The poor man has suffered enough already.

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