“Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” *
As some of you may or may not know, I write a serial story that recounts my vision of marriage and life for Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy, those famed lovers from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” My first three novels were originally one very long tome that I eventually had to divide into three reasonable lengths. I opted not to write a synopsis of the first book, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, as a prologue to the second installment, Loving Mr. Darcy. Instead I jumped right into the action primarily because I assume folks are smart enough to remember what they have read before! For the third volume, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, I held the same philosophy, but conceived of a cool opportunity to play around a bit.
…Imagine my surprise to realize it has been over a month since last jotting my musings in this fine book. Of course, writing while at sea is inconceivable. Egad, I abhor being at sea! Luckily the remedies for seasickness liberally doused down my gullet by the ever faithful Dr. Raul Penaflor staved off the worst of the hideous symptoms. I even managed to walk about a bit on deck. Bracing sea air, my derriere! Nonetheless, I was abed for the bulk of the trip, wallowing too far in my personal hellish misery to complain about the narrow confines of our cabin and odiferous mattress. East India trading ships cater to the needs of cargo far above passengers. We disembarked at Ramsgate. I was quite happy to embrace the rigors of overland travel rather than proceeding up the Thames, but several days of subsequent immobility were required to restore my equilibrium ere we moved beyond that lovely seacoast town. Raul, bless his Spanish heart, rather delighted in my incapacitation as it allotted him the opportunity to ramble through the streets and relish the sights. Poor man has never seen England. How does one live? I ask arrogantly.
The excerpt above is the opening paragraph of My Dearest Mr. Darcy and is obviously written in first person. One of my favorite characters is Mr. Darcy’s eccentric uncle, Dr. George Darcy. Dr. Darcy literally barged in upon his nephew in Loving Mr. Darcy and within a few pages he had utterly captured my heart. I knew he had to stay since he is wonderfully fun with a quirky personality and huge heart. I also grew to adore his unique perspective on events. Writing the chapter titled, “Snippets of a Physician’s Memoirs” was inspired simply because I knew George possessed a sharp wit and that his thoughts were worth hearing. So I began with his sea voyage back from India where he had resided for over thirty years, and through a series of passages from his journal related the major events spanning the initial two months of his sojourn. Later, when splitting the saga apart, I realized George’s memoirs were a perfect way to summarize Loving Mr. Darcy and for readers to see those events from an entirely different angle. Excellent! It is now the prologue for the third book.
At the time it was my first foray into writing with another person’s voice. George is completely real to me. I, sadly, am nothing like him! Yet as much as I love this man and comprehend his soul, could I write a journal as if it was his? I think I succeeded. Plus, I was able to reveal hints of the good doctor’s past via his diary. Quite fun…. And mysterious!
I ended up having so much fun with the exercise that I took another chance. To bridge the slight gap between the second and third novels, the first chapter following George’s humorous prologue is a series of correspondences read by Darcy and Lizzy. Written by Jane Bingley, Mr. Bennet, Dr. Darcy, Anne de Bourgh, Georgiana Darcy, Mary Bennet, and Lydia Wickham, each letter is unique to that character’s personality. I discovered that letters are a marvelous way to update on faraway people! And it is way more fun to learn of Mary’s romance from an amused Mr. Bennet, the Bennet family’s dramas from a serene Jane, or the misadventures of Mr. Wickham from an erratic Lydia.
As a reader of serial novels I confess that a synopsis of prior events can be very beneficial since the details do blur over time as we wait months for the next book. But those dry narratives can be fairly boring when you just want to get on to the meat in the new story. Hopefully George’s memoirs and the parchment letters from family will be as entertaining to read as what follows in the subsequent chapters.
Thanks to Shoshana for hosting me today. I am deeply appreciative of blog owners who share their space with authors. Leave me a comment as you wish, but if you can think of a synopsis/prologue done in an unusual way I would love to hear of it. And maybe Shoshana will throw in an extra point if you can identify the *quote used as this blog’s title!
MY DEAREST MR. DARCY—IN STORES JANUARY 2010
Married life is bringing out the best in the Darcys. Their mutual attentiveness brings readers into a magical world of love and wedded bliss.
Elizabeth is growing into her role as Mistress of Pemberley, and Darcy has mellowed under her gentle teasing and light-heartedness. Pemberley becomes a true home and a welcoming environment for loving family and friends. The Darcys travel to the seaside, welcome their firstborn, celebrate their anniversary and second Christmas, and at every moment embrace the love gifted to them.
“I love you, my Elizabeth. You are my soul, my blood and bone, my very life.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information on Sharon and her saga, come to her website at: www.darcysaga.net
1 set of Sharon’s trio of books so far, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Loving Mr. Darcy and My Dearest Mr. Darcy.
1 winner, US and Canada only, no PO Box addresses please.
A winner will be drawn on January 25. That will give you almost two weeks to peruse unusual synopsis from different books.
HOW TO WIN:
+1 = Leave a comment for Ms. Lathan.
+1 = Get 1 extra point if you can identify the quote used as this blog’s title.
+3 = If you can think of a synopsis/prologue done in an unusual way I would love to hear of it (you can give a book title and prologue snippets or page number. Three points for each different title)
Winner: [Added Jan 26]
The winner is Ms D.Congratulations!
If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair. I have more books coming up.
Here’s how I draw. I put everyone’s name in random.org List Randomizer. I entered the names as many times are they qualify for entry. I count the total entry when I have everyone’s name in. I randomize that list. Then I go over to Interger Generator and pick a number and matched it to the names from List Randomizer. I figured this way, it’s just like the good old fashion way of drawing where I write everyone’s name in slip of papers, shake it in a jar and pull a name.