For Sharon's guest post, I really wanted to know more about how being a published author has felt and how things have changed for her.
Publishing a Happy Ever After Dream
The first several dozen times anyone referred to me as a “published author” I looked over my shoulder to see whom they were addressing. I associated being published with being famous and rich and eccentric and wildly artsy. Of course that is not the norm for a published author, as I now know. The vast majority of us live in anonymity pursuing our ho-hum lives with little changing except that we are busier than we ever were before. I still encounter people at my work or at church who do not know I have books on a store shelf. I have yet to have a single person, even in my hometown where I have been in the newspapers several times, recognize me while I am shopping or waiting in the doctor’s office. I keep waiting though!
So although neither Oprah nor Ellen have called me up to guest on their TV shows – and I am not holding my breath! – there have been some nice experiences and perks along the way.
All jesting aside, I never wanted to be famous. I still don’t. Rich I would be willing to try though! But neither thought entered my mind when I began submitting my tale of happily ever after for Jane Austen’s famous lovers Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. My only motive was to reach a broader audience with what I believed was a positive story that people would enjoy and maybe even be inspired by. I knew that my prospects were limited within the online community and self-publishing world where I initially began. I knew that there were hundreds, perhaps thousands or tens of thousands, who would appreciate a warm story of marital happiness and a life lived to the fullest if only they could find my saga.
Thankfully Deb Werksman at Sourcebooks agreed with me and made my dream come true.
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One was released in February of 2009. To my joy the response was overwhelmingly favorable. I was right! There were people who loved Austen, loved these characters, and loved the idea of them being happy together! Sure, some folks did not get it. They wanted the unhappily-ever-after. That’s fine. I trusted in the hope for love that we all hold inside our hearts. That search for Mr. Right – or in this case, Mr. Darcy – that compels us to read another love story or watch another sappy chick flick!
Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley came next in September 2009, followed by My Dearest Mr. Darcy in January 2010. I held book signings, was interviewed for articles, flittered all over the net to talk about my novels, received some excellent reviews, and went to conferences. I kept writing and preparing for the next novels. I joined the Romance Writers of America, joined JASNA, and joined local chapters for both. I connected with hundreds of writers, many who are now my dear friends and supporters in this crazy business. I have met some of those famous writers who are on Oprah or in People Magazine or hit the NYT bestseller list.
Every second of that has been fabulous. I am incredibly blessed and enjoying myself to the max!
But you want to know a secret? The best part of all, the experiences that I treasure closest to my heart are meeting the fans. Whether that is face-to-face, via an email, on Facebook, or on my website, nothing compares to hearing from the people who pick up one of my novels and read it. That is when I know that my dream has come true. I have reached people who want a happy story! I have given a multitude of readers the life they imagined for the Darcys. My tale has restored the hope in something remarkable transpiring after the curtain drops or final page is turned.
What have been my favorite experiences as a published author?
Making readers happy and hungry for more. I have never asked for anything else. I plan to continue doing so!
In The Arms of Mr. Darcy is officially released today and carries on my theme of Regency life with Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, their son, their family, and their friends. Love abounds not only with Darcy and Lizzy but everyone else! Arriving later this month is A Darcy Christmas, an anthology with Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart. Find out how I envision the Darcys’ celebrating Christmas over the decades.
Thank you, Becky, for hosting me today. It is an honor to be on your website and an honor to say that you are one of those readers who have fulfilled my dream.
Learn more about my stories at my website: www.sharonlathan.net. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I am also part of two fabulous blogs: Austen Authors at www.austenauthors.com and Casablanca Authors at www.casablanca.blogspot.com
IN THE ARMS OF MR. DARCY BY SHARON LATHAN—IN STORES OCTOBER 2010
If only everyone could be as happy as they are…
If only everyone could be as happy as they are…
Darcy and Elizabeth are as much in love as ever—even more so as their relationship matures. Their passion inspires everyone around them, and as winter turns to spring, romance blossoms around them.
Confirmed bachelor Richard Fitzwilliam sets his sights on a seemingly unattainable, beautiful widow; Georgiana Darcy learns to flirt outrageously; the very flighty Kitty Bennet develops her first crush, and Caroline Bingley meets her match.
But the path of true love never does run smooth, and Elizabeth and Darcy are kept busy navigating their friends and loved ones through the inevitable separations, misunderstandings, misgivings, and lovers’ quarrels to reach their own happily ever afters…
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 with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. Fore more information, please visit www.sharonlathan.net.
Sourcebooks eBook Promotion: Sharon Lathan’s bestselling book, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, (epub: 9781402235184, pdf: 9781402228865) will be available for free download from 10/5 – 10/11. Please visit http://www.sourcebooks.com/special-offers/ebook-deals.html for more information!
Thank YOU Sharon for guesting today! Check back for my review of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, as well as a great giveaway of TWO copies of her newest novel, thanks to Sourcebooks.