The Guardian has a short photo slideshow of the 10 best characters in Jane Austen’s novels chosen by Paula Byrne, who wrote The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things (HarperCollins, January 2013).
It’s an interesting mix of characters. I don’t really have a problem with the characters they chose but some was a bit sidetracked by the actors they chose or didn’t show who had portrayed those characters. For example, Mansfield Park has been made it to the screen (TV and movie) several times yet they showed the bookcover rather than Mrs. Norris — wonder why.
What your take on this. The link to the slideshow is:
10 Best Characters in Jane Austen’s Novels.
The 47th Nebula Awards were present this evening, May 19th, 2012, at a ceremony held in the Hyatt Crystal City hotel in Arlington, VA. The Toastmaster was Walter Jon Williams.
Keynote speaker, E. Michael Fincke, Col. USAF (Ret) NASA Astronaut, gave an inspiring talk that thanks the science fiction and fantasy community for their imagination, because so many engineers believe that what they write is not only possible, but actually work to bring it to fruition. His talk was highlighted with pictures of the international space station and some outstanding film of Earth from space.
The Service to SFWA award was presented to Bud Webster for his work in tracking down the estates and heirs of writers who are no longer with us, to help protect their works.
Solstice Awards were presented to Octavia Butler and to John Clute.
The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy went to Delia Sherman for her book The Freedom Maze.
The Ray Bradbury Award for Dramatic Presentation went to Dr. Who: The Doctor’s Wife written by Neil Gaiman and was directed by Richard Clark. (BBC Wales).
James Patrick Kelly presented the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award to Connie Willis, who gave a humorous and touching acceptance speech.
The short story award was presented to Ken Liu for “The Paper Menagerie” published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction March/April 2011.
The award for novelette was presented to Geoff Ryman for “What We Found” published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction September/October 2011.
The award for novella was presented to Kij Johnson for “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction October/November 2011.
The award for novel was presented to Jo Walton for Among Others published by Tor.
The start of a whole new day. Managed to get down to the Book Shop to open on time. We moved one of our bookshelves in order to help get traffic to our table when authors are doing signings. We’re right next to the autograph tables and when the lines get long they block off our table because we’re closer and we become inaccessible. Moving one bookcase seemed to ease the press so even if the lines were longer we still got customers. Of course this move was aided by the author close to us moving his chair closer to the other author’s chair so they could talk and none of the rest of the day’s authors moved it back to center on that table.
But still business so far is far less than it was last year but the conversation about books, reading, the rise of ebooks, and other topics has been entertaining, enlightening, and fun. If tomorrow doesn’t improve in sales we’re not even going to break even this year with the travel and hotel costs.
11:00 AM: Book Design and Typography in the Digital Era.
Panelists: Neil Clarke, Ken Liu, Erin Kissane, David G. Shaw (leader), and Alicia Verlager.
Description: Design and typography can heighten the experience of reading a written work; in the case of poetry, typesetting can be crucial to comprehension and interpretation. eReaders can change font sizes with the press of a button, making books far more accessible to people who have visual limitations or just their own ideas about how a book should look. What happens when these worthy goals are at odds? Will the future bring us more flexible book design, much as website design with CSS has become more flexible as browser customization becomes more common? Or will we see the book equivalent of Flash websites where the designer’s vision is strictly enforced.
Ken Liu gave a quick history of the book from scroll to codex. First there was the scroll but you didn’t have random access to it — you always had to roll and unroll the entire thing to find what you wanted. With a codex or book you could go right to the page. More of the development of the book driven by the desire to print the bible and get access quickly to the parts you wanted.
China also had the scroll and they went to whirlwind books. These books were still more scroll-like but the bottom layer was a long scroll page and the top was a slightly shorter one and so forth. When unrolled completely the shorter layers curled up looking like whirls. This was developed for a dictionary and it was a way to solve the random access problem.
Now we have the ebook which handles the random access aspect quite well to search for an item but the return to the section you were reading is not always easily or correctly handled.
They talked about design issues and the conversion problems of print to ebook. For newer books you still have the electronic file and that makes conversions a bit easier but for older books the scan, OCR, run through converter formula that many places are using create awful books, making those who run into these badly converted/formatted books think all the books are like that. There was general agreement that more quality control for editing the OCR’d book and cleaning up HTML needed to be added. It’s mostly the small publishers doing this and the larger publishers are watching and learning from them.
Verlanger, who is blind, and has a technology blog where she writes about accessibility issues with technology among other tech-topics, spoke about the problems of back code which make the books inaccessible simply because they can’t be read by the programs used to translate text into speech. Scanners on the lowest quality setting sometimes create files where the images are not even identified as images by the OCR programs and weird groupings of letters are are added into the text/speech confusing the listener. Also DRM came up, in that a lot of the programs DRM for PDF and other formats identify the text-to-speech programs as illegal pirating software and do not allow the access at all.
Many issues were discussed and if you were interested in book design and conversions to ebooks and their utility this was a panel with a wealth of information for the audience.
Then it was back to the Book Shop and our table for an hour.
1:00 PM: Urban (Fantasy) Renewal.
Participants: Toni L.P. Kelner, Craig Laurance Gidney, Leah Bobet (leader), Ellen Datlow, and John Clute.
Description: The term “urban fantasy” has encompassed the work of Charles Williams, a contemporary of Tolkien who sometimes situated his fantasy in London or suburban settings as opposed to a pastoral secondary world; the novels and short stories of Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, or Robin Hobb (as Megan Lindholm); the phantasmagoric cities of China Mié or Jeff VanderMeer; and most recently, the magical noir of Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris. Is it possible to reclaim “urban fantasy” as a useful critical term? Rather than wring our hands at how it no longer means what it did, can we use it to examine what these very different writers have in common, and to what degree they reflect different eras’ anxieties around and interests in the urban?
John Clute read a definition that he’d put together for his Encyclopedia of Fantasy. It was a good one and quite long and I couldn’t write it all down. One part I remember and I’m pretty sure it’s from this section was that the city is so much a part of the story and the characters environment that it’s just “the city” — any big metropolitan city but usually London, NY, Paris…
There was also some talk about urban fantasy that wasn’t contemporary but most felt that modern readers expected urban fantasy to be contemporary rather than set in the distant past.
The panelists also tossed around the term rural fantasy, suburban fantasy, and paranormal romance and how it differed from urban fantasy. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance differ in how central to the story the search for a mate is. In urban fantasy, you may find your mate but it’s not the central core of the story while in paranormal romance it is the central to the story.
An interesting panel with some very interesting views on labels and these labels in particular.
Worked with Hyperion at the SFRevu table until closing at 6:00 PM. We then had an hour until my panel at 7.
7:00 PM: The One Right Form of a Story.
Panelists: John Langan, Meghan McCarron, Gayle Surrette (leader), Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, and Judith Berman.
Description: Quoth Mark Twain: “There are some books that refuse to be written…. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written– it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.” Anyone who has adapted a fairy tale for a poem or developed a short story into a novel might disagree, yet many authors have also spent years chasing stories that evade capture until they’re approached in just the right way. What makes some stories easy-going and others stubborn? Is the insistence on a story “telling itself” a red herring? And what does “form” really mean here?
This was one of the easiest panel I’ve ever moderated. From the first question the panelists just played off one another, building on or suggesting ideas until I opened it for questions. Each shared experiences where the story didn’t work and wouldn’t come together as they imagined it until they found the core or the character that the story was about. That form was when all the pieces fit because the creative and intellectual side worked together and the writer found the thread the story wove around. (This is my comprehension of the discussion and I was avidly listening but also concentrating on seeing that everyone got a chance to contribute.)
8:00 PM: I’ve Fallen (Behind) and I Can’t Get (Caught) Up
Panelists: Michael Dirda, Jennifer Pelland, Craig Laurance Gidney, Don D’Ammassa, and Rick Wilber.
Description: In a recent blog post for NPR, Linda Holmes wrote, “Statistically speaking, you will die having missed almost everything…. There are really only two responses if you want to feel like you’re well-read, or well-versed in music, or whatever the case may be: culling or surrender.” How do you choose among the millions of books that you could be reading? Do you organize your “to read” books or are all your books “to read” books? How useful are books reviews, Amazon recommendations, Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc.? How do you budget your limited reading time? And how do you cope with the knowledge that you will never read everything you want to?
In other words — how do you pick what to read in your TO-BE-READ (TBR) pile when it’s larger than any one person, no matter how fast they read, can read in a lifetime?
D’Ammassa has an actual written schedule of when he reads (3 hours every morning and another 3 hours before bed). I can’t imagine being that organized but maybe it’s something to strive for.
Dirda said he hasn’t read for pleasure in years. Just about every book he reads, he writes about. That’s at least two books a week. He also said he’s a slow reader because he moves his lips when he reads. (I have a little person in my head who reads me the books — in other words I can’t read any faster than a person could read the book aloud. I was so happy to learn that Michael Dirda has a similar tic that slowed his reading down.)
All of the panelists stated that they read at different speeds for different types of books — dense text or non-fiction being slower than other books.
Time is always a problem. Dirda said he’d given up TV and movie watching. Other said they read on their long commutes to and from work and missed that reading time when they changed jobs to one closer with less travel time. Airplane trips are great reading times with few interruptions. Pelland said she got a lot of reading done in the Laundromat because there wasn’t anything else to do there while the machines ran.
The issue of ebooks was raised. They avoid the stacks of books but putting them on the drive of the machine and the device was easy to carry and handle rather than hauling around lots of books to read. Also, they avoided the appearance of hoarding.
In many ways this was a slight variation in the Bookaholics Annonomous panel that Readercon usually has during the convention. As someone who could insulate her house with the books she plans to read someday — I appreciated the issues raised and the ideas tossed out by the panelists and the audience.
We got in late yesterday for Readercon 22 — too late to setup in the Book Shop and too tired to attend any of the Thursday evening events. Instead we got our luggage and personal items out of the car, checked in to the hotel and crashed.
Friday morning. The hotel has a Starbucks in the lobby, so getting something for breakfast was simple. Then shower and look over my notes for my first panel at noon. Then at 10 a.m. we got our registration material and began to unpack the car to set up our table in the Book Shop (usually called the Dealers’ Room in most conventions except Readercon only has books sellers in the room no jewelry or other fannish items — it is a convention for readers).
A bit before noon, I stopped into the Green Room to check if the other panelists were available — no luck on that one.
12:00 PM And They Lived Happily Ever After, Until they Died: Retelling Russian Folktales.
Panelist: Patricia McKillip, Gayle Surrette (leader).
Description: Ekaterina Sedia’s The Secret Histories of Moscow, Catherynne M. Valente’s http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0765326302/ampedesistud-20/” target=”_blank”>Deathless, Patricia McKillip’s In the Forests of Serre… it appears we’re in the middle of a renewed interest in fairy tale retellings–and specifically, postmodern, genre-challenging fairy tale retellings–based in the folklore of Russia. Is there a specific element to Russian stories that makes them particularly fit for contemporary adaption?
Originally there were going to be other people on the panel but they dropped out. Patricia McKillip had written two books using elements of Russian folktales. I’d hoped to moderate a panel and ask questions about the subject matter that I thought would give a chance for the authors to discuss their works and how they used the tales — which Patricia did, talking about her view of Baba Yaga and Koschei the Deathless that was very interesting. However, I’d only crammed for three days on the tales and, faced with just me and Patricia on the panel, most of that knowledge fell out my ears.
Luckily, two young women in the front row of the audience were Russian and willing to add their experience with the culture and stories. About half the audience had read The Secret History of Moscow and half had read Deathless with some overlap of the two groups. Opening the topic up to the audience for comments and questions produced an interesting discussion of the differences between Western fairy tales and folk tales (Grimm and Anderson) and Russian folk and fairy tales. The discussion ranged from how folk tales were a way to teach young children how to behave in the world and what to expect, to how the differences between and strict top down governmental structure (Tzar or Communism) and a more general representational government could change expectations of what behavior would increase your chance of survival. Is seems many Russian folk tales are about endurance while western ones are about moving up socially or becoming a success/gaining treasure.
It’s always hard to judge how a panel I’m on goes, but I feel that this one actually worked better because of the audience participation and the sharing of knowledge that occurred. I know that I learned a lot that will have me thinking in new ways as I read through the many Russian fairy/folk tales that I found on Project Gutenberg.
After the panel, I rejoined Hyperion at the SFRevu table in the Book Shop to help finish the setup. The Book Shop opened today at 3:00 PM and closed at 7:00 PM.
3:00 PM Global Climatology for Worldbuilders. Lecture by Gwendolyn Clare.
Description: The major patterns of global climate here on Earth–including atmospheric and ocean currents–can be directly derived from basic physics principles. These patterns, along with the location and shape of continents, let us predict the types of ecosystems found anywhere on the globe. After the talk, we’ll brainstorm different ways to alter the global climate system to suit our fictional needs.
I go to the science for writers programs as much as I can, and a good 80% of time, they’re pretty much worthless to me. This one was quite solidly in the 20% of goldmine territory.
Ms. Clare started off the discussion by asking the audience what things they thought most strongly influenced the climate. Several answers were offered up, but as one might expect, the biggest factor is simply the sun. There are dozens of other factors that modify and complicate climate, but the sun is the alpha point that starts the whole thing. Without an energy source, there’s no climate worth speaking of.
With just a couple of simple slides, I now actually understand what causes tropical rainforests zones, the desert bands, not to mention the coriolis affect, and why it bends the way it does where it does. There are times when information, which has been fuzzy and vague for a long time, suddenly clicks into clarity like finally getting a proper pair of glasses. This was one of those times.
More slides clearly showed sample causes for major warming and cooling periods over the last hundred million years or so, ranging from volcanoes, and particularly effective carbon dioxide eating planet, and the random actions of plate tetonics.
The last part of the talk centered around the audience calling out modifications to planets (rings, size, different stars, rotation speeds, different proportions of water to land, lack of plate tectonics, and my own very minor offering of blasting open the isthmus of Panama to rework some of the Atlantic currents) and what kind of modifications to climate these changes would inflict.
Lots to think about, and lots of new things to do more research on.
5:00 PM Feeling Very Post-Slipstream.
Panelists: Leah Bobet, Paul Di Filippo, Elizabeth Hand, Chris N. Brown (leader), F. Brett Cox.
Discription: Bruce Sterling’s definition of “slipstream” was based in the experience of living in the (late) 20th century. Now we’re in the (early) 21st, and present/near-future-set works like Mira Grant’s Feed and William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition are starting to evoke a distinctly 21st-century sensibility with frank discussions of fear, anger, religion, security, and ever-present cameras. The only terms we have for these books right now is “post-911″. We can do better. What do we call books that leave you feeling angry, scared, and angry about being scared?
I was a bit late for the panel and when I got there Elizabeth Hand was saying that she didn’t like labels; that (and I’m really paraphrasing here) they tended to keep people out or putting up as many barriers as they were supposed to help by putting things in boxes. When she reviewed for the science fiction magazines, she could use terms that when she wrote for the popular press she needed to explain those same terms.
The discussion continued and it was fairly agreed that some terms gained traction and some didn’t. Some that gained traction were: Slipstream, Cyberpunk, and now Steampunk. Steampunk is also a fashion and culture so it’s more than a literary subgenre.
Someone said that slipstream sort of pulls the rug out from under the readers expectations. Another panelist asked what would you call the post-slipstream writing if the rug is already pulled out from under the reader.
Also mentioned that slipstream was about the feeling of strangeness when reading the story. Similar to horror, it’s the feeling you get when reading it that determines its place or label.
Discussion turned to a narrative and the failure of the narrative. For many, especially young college age students, Bin Laden is the only bad guy they know about. In movies and books, when a bad thing happens it’s solved in a month. It took ten years to find Bin Laden for 9/11. In disaster films, the disaster happens and everything is worked out and solved within the movie (or book) in a relatively short period of time. Then there’s Katrina and here we are years later and the area still hasn’t recovered fully and we’ve had even more disasters (tornado, floods, drought, etc.). The narrative has failed to match the reality.
At this point, Elizabeth Hand piped up with, “What would you call that, Failstream?” The audience and the other panelists liked the term and congratulated her for coining it. She tried to say she was joking but they insisted she own the term. Once the panel opened up for comments and discussion with the audience — failstream was used for the first time. (Guess she’s stuck with coining a new term when she doesn’t care for labels — too bad the term is so apt).
Then it was back to help Hyperion in the Book Shop until closing. Then the inevitable search for food (note breakfast muffin and coffee and only water until 7 PM when we ate) and now writing up the day and off to bed and to face Saturday when I have a 7 PM panel on The One Right Form of a Story.
If you’re reading this and you were at the Russian Fairy Tale panel, I’d love to hear your impressions and comments. If you just have comments and weren’t at the panel or even Readercon — leave a comment.
SFWA, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of American, announced the winners of the this year’s Nebula Awards at their annual Nebula Awards Weekend held in Washington, DC. You can read the full list of nominees and winners on the SFWA website.
Best Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)
Best Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window,” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
Best Novellette: “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made,” Eric James Stone (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 9/10)
Best Short Story (a tie):
“How Interesting: A Tiny Man,” Harlan Ellison (Realms of Fantasy, 2/10)
“Ponies,” Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/17/10)
SFWA Service Award: John E. Johnston III
Alice B. Sheldon / James Tiptree, Jr.
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Inception Christopher Nolan (director), Christopher Nolan (Screenplay) (Universal)
Andre Norton Award: I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz, Harper).
When I was offered the opportunity to have Sharon Lathan write a guest blog – I did happy dance about the office. Then I began to think of what topic to ask her to write about. I tried to come up with something erudite and not something she’d answered a million times already. But, you know what? In the end, I simply asked the question that had been rolling around in the back of my mind. It’s the same one that I ask myself. Why do I feel drawn to this couple? Why do I read and reread Pride and Prejudice? So, I asked:
What got you started on writing follow-on stories for Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice? What drew you to these characters as opposed to say the sisters in Sense and Sensibilities or and of the couples in Austen’s other stories.
Hanging Out With The Darcys by Sharon Lathan
“Once upon a time..” is a phrase naturally associated with fairy tales and legends rather than real life happenings a mere five years ago, yet for me I already connect the phrase with how I began writing. Somehow the initial days and months feel like the stuff of myth rather than logical steps. Like the heroine on a written page my journey began simply when I walked into a movie theater to watch the 2005 cinema adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy. The story was entirely new to me, I being largely a Jane Austen virgin at the time. Much like a literary heroine, emotions overtook me. Passion surged and curiosity raged! I was insatiable in my desire to learn more of Jane Austen, this story and these characters, the Regency Era, history in general, and so on.
Events snowballed and before I hardly knew what was happening I was writing a sequel. Wait, didn’t Mr. Darcy say something similar in regards to his love for Elizabeth? What was it again?
“I cannot fix on the hour or the spot or the look or the words which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Yes, that sums it up well. Thank you Mr. Darcy! Just as our favorite hero was lost amid the throes of passionate love before he admitted it to himself, so was I. This story had captured my heart in a way no other story ever had. These characters were real, viscerally embedded within my soul, speaking inside my head. Rather frightening I suppose, but I wasted no time fretting over it. I simply sat down and started typing and researching and typing some more. It was heaven!
Later, especially after curious folks began asking me the questions of why and what, I tried to narrow it down. I am not sure if I have ever adequately explained why this story so mesmerized me. I am not sure if any artist can logically explain their creative inspiration. But I have tried to step aside – so to speak – and look at it objectively.
Everyone loves Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet! Sure the other characters who inhabit Austen’s wonderful novels are adored and appreciated, and some are even favored over Lizzy and Darcy, but there is little dispute that these lovers rank highest. Readers delight in Lizzy’s wit, spunk, personality, bravery, humanness, independence, etc. Readers swoon over the handsome, honorable, intelligent, misunderstood, and, yes, rich Mr. Darcy. For two centuries these two have provided joy to millions of readers, their love and infatuation similar to mine. Certainly in my case the visual of the movie spurred and enhanced my inspiration, but Colin Firth fans have experienced that for over a decade so nothing new in that regard!
I have often wondered if it also comes down to timing. Being in the right place at the right time in my life for the unrealized creative spark buried deep inside to be kindled. Honestly I do think that has something to do with it, but I also do not think the fire would have burst forth from any other story. At least it never had!
In truth I prefer to keep it a mystery. I know how this passion makes me feel and for once this clinically minded gal is content to ignore her obsessive need to figure out every puzzle. Maybe someday another Austen character or story will hit me in the same way. For the present I am fine with hanging out with the Darcys. They are quite hospitable!
Now, if you are up for a treat, here is an excerpt from The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. Enjoy!
“He is quite active at this moment.”
Her whispered words broke into the silence, momentarily halting the fingers trailing over her hipbone. Eagerly they altered their random path, purposefully brushing along her inner thigh until reaching the swell above. As she said, the baby was moving with gentle nudges against his palm.
“Hmm… Wonderful. You continually say ‘he’ as if sure of the sex. Another vivid dream as with Alexander?”
“No. Not this time. More of a feeling.”
“Ah, a feeling. So scientific.” He accented his tease with a tiny pinch.
“As scientific as my dream, but that proved true.”
“Very well then. I suppose that means we do not have to assign a female name, and since Alexander was instantly agreed upon, we have a task on our hands. Any choices? Do you wish to name him after your father?”
“Thomas? Perhaps, although we could reserve it as a secondary name after your father’s. James should be chosen before Thomas.”
“I do want to pay homage to my father if possible, yes. However, I do want to add Charles as a secondary name as well, if you do not mind? He is a dear friend and instrumental in my meeting you.” He gently drew her away from his chest, attempting to see her eyes in the dark, but to no avail so he kissed her instead, his fingertips flittering over her most sensitive zones while maintaining contact with their unborn child.
“How sweet,” she said once her mouth was released. “Charles is mutually agreed upon. So, we have numerous secondary name choices but nothing for the Christian name. Do you have a favorite?”
“I have always liked Nathaniel. And Adam. Not common, I know, but nice names.”
“Possible. What do you think of Gabriel? Lisle’s son is Gabriel and it struck me as pleasant.”
Suddenly Darcy chuckled. “Gabriel, Thomas, Nathaniel, Adam. I think we are cornering Biblical names!”
“Indeed,” she joined his laughter. “Of course, if we have this many babies you alluded to last night, we may work our way through the entire Bible. Just do not ask for Methuselah. I draw the line there.”
“Does that mean Shadrach and Meshach are eliminated? And no on Potiphar or Boaz?”
She shook with laughter and a fair dose of arousal now that his fingers had crept to the apex between her legs and were confounding her senses with their antics. “Absolutely not! I have no urge to torture our son with a hideous name. What say we remain in the realm of non-ridiculing names like Matthew or Daniel or Michael…”
“Michael,” Darcy interrupted, although Lizzy’s voice had paused on the name. Even his fingers had ceased moving, a fact Lizzy did not initially register as she too was dwelling on the name. “That has a nice ring. Michael. Michael Darcy. Michael Charles Darcy. What do you think?” He tried vainly to see her eyes, but the room was still too dark. He felt her gaze upon his face, the gap of inches separating allowing him to feel her exhaled breaths. Somehow he knew she was smiling.
“I love it. Yes, very much. It does not have to be definitively settled as yet, but… It fits for some inexplicable reason. Michael Darcy.”
“Michael Darcy. Yes. At least the choice for the present and much better than Methuselah. Shall we seal it with a kiss, Mrs. Darcy?”
About the Author: Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling novels Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, My Dearest Mr. Darcy and In The Arms of Mr. Darcy. Sharon also wrote a novella as part of an anthology with Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart, A Darcy Christmas. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information, please visit www.sharonlathan.net. Come to Austen Authors – www.austenauthors.com where Sharon and twenty other authors of Austen fiction blog together.
Sharon Lathan’s newest book:
The Trouble With Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
Sourcebooks Landmark ISBN 1402237545
Even charmed lives will encounter troubles along the way….
After a time of happiness and strife, Darcy and Elizabeth gather with family and friends in Hertfordshire to celebrate the wedding of Kitty Bennet. Georgiana Darcy returns from a lengthy tour of the Continent with happy secrets to share, accompanied by the newlywed Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Simone, who may have secrets of their own. The stage is set for joy until the party is upset by the arrival of the long absent Mr. and Mrs. Wickham.
Wickham’s jealousy and resentment of Darcy has grown steadily throughout the years and Darcy rightly suspects that Wickham is up to no good. Darcy enlists the aid of Colonel Fitzwilliam to keep an eye on Wickham’s activity, but neither anticipate the extreme measures taken to exact his revenge. Nor do they fathom the layers of deception and persons involved in the scheme.
George Wickham returns to Hertfordshire bent on creating trouble, and Elizabeth and her son are thrown into danger. Knowing that Wickham has nothing left to lose, Darcy and Fitzwilliam rush to the rescue in a race against time. This lushly romantic story takes a turn for the swashbuckling when Mr. Darcy has to confront the villainous Wickham and his own demons at the same time… devoted as he is, what battles within will Mr. Darcy have to face?
It has been a heck of a chaotic, and hectic, and every other descriptive word you can think of, month. Holidays, conventions, and family issues have taken up more time that one would think since there’s always 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week and the usual number of days in the month.
So where does the time go? I’ve been reading and writing like crazy all month and now it’s a matter of getting all the database records proofed and their status changed, getting them ready to go live tomorrow night at midnight (or rather midnight where our servers are). The new issues will definitely be available online December 1st.
Meanwhile, it’s back to work.
As those of you who read this blog regularly know, I’m the chairperson of Capclave 2010. Capclave is the Washington Science Fiction Association’s annual convention, held this year in Rockville, Maryland. Our guests of honor this year are Connie Willis, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer. There will also be many other guests — writers, editors, publishers, and of course fans of speculative fiction in all its various designations.
One of the things that we’re very proud of this year is the number and quality of the workshops we’ll be offering to participants. If you are registered to attend Capclave, there is no extra charge for being in a workshop, but space is limited and some have requirements (homework that’s due at the time of the workshop or before you arrive in the case of the VanderMeer workshop).
If you are already a member of Capclave and wish to sign up for one or more of these workshops, send email to workshops at capclave dot org (you know how to parse that email address I’m sure). If you haven’t signed up for the convention yet, check out the website and sign up then send your email asking listing the workshop you wish to be in.
Here’s the full list of workshops:
Workshops at Capclave:
Capclave 2010 is pleased to once again host a number of interesting workshops. Space is still available. If you are interested, send an e-mail to our workshop coordinator.
Online Content Workshop
Putting your comics, music, video, and fiction online is easy. Making it pay is harder, but it can be done. Join webcomic creator and comedy musician Rob Balder as he talks about making a living with the free content model. Get practical advice (feel free to bring a laptop/tablet and samples of your stuff) and work out a specific strategy for growing and monetizing an audience around your work. Two hour workshop.
What makes a story a story? How do you construct a viable plot from a bare (naked) idea? We’ll start at the beginning, and by the end, you should have everything you need to know to plot your story. Allen Wold will lead this 2 hour session.
A good reviewer does more then read free books and say “I like that”. Peter Heck, a regular reviewer for Asimov’s Science Fiction will demonstrate the hallmarks of a good review and how to create one. Bring a at least 10 copies of a review you’ve written and are proud of.
Danny Birt will guide you through looking at writing from the perspective of the single word, and then work up from there, making sure that every word counts. This 1.5 hour workshop is good for beginners to professionals and is limited to 16 participants.
Allen Wold will lead a panel of authors in a hands on workshop. Learn many skills as you work on a short story. Session will be for 2 hours on Sat. and for those interested, a 1 hour follow-up on Sunday. Number of Participants is limited to 12.
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer will critique short stories of 12 participants. Each participant must write and submit a story of no more than 7500 words at least 2 months before Capclave (by August 22nd) to the workshop email address (workshops at capclave dot org). The story will be shared with the VanderMeers and the other participants. This will be a 2 hour workshop.
Hope your as excited about these opportunities to learn as we are to be able to offer them to our convention attendees.