Now it is my turn to celebrate with my Casablanca sisters and our faithful visitors. It is fabulous to be able to share this experience with these wonderful authors. Plus, since they have been through it before, I can watch and learn! I have some thoughts to share and then I want to hear from you. I will be giving away a signed copy, so read on and be sure to comment!
Loving Them Sagas!
I think I was eight when my mom bought me the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was captivated. Over and over I read those books, always wishing for more. I cried along with Laura when Jack the dog was lost in the rushing river, and cried again when he returned. I held my breath all during the Indian visitations. But I remember being equally enthralled learning how they made maple syrup and butchered the hog and harvested the wheat. Then there was “Little Women” and every other Louisa May Alcott novel. Growing up with the March girls was a pleasurable experience whether it was when Amy dramatically fell through the ice and almost died or when they were performing their silly plays. It was the sheer joy of experiencing a life that was so different from my own, learning of the past while becoming friends with these characters.
Serials have forever fascinated me. I suppose that is partially why I was drawn to fantasy. Thanks to Tolkien, fantasy writers seem destined to create trilogies at the very least and often way more. I love that because I never want to leave my favorite characters or worlds behind. I want to know as much about them as possible, no matter how trivial or mundane. And as much as I love the action, the sword fights or demon attacks, I am content to ride along as they gradually complete the mission.
Literature is abounding with serials, continuations, or even single books that recount the history of a family or group. I think of John Jakes’ Kent Family Chronicles or anything by Michener or Clavell. Howard Fast’s generational series is still a favorite, and Taylor Caldwell’s “Captains and the Kings” is one of the best examples of an individual novel that covers decades of one man’s life. In some cases there may be one overall conflict running throughout or the quest to save the world that they are striving to accomplish. But not always. By definition, a plot is not exclusively a single matter to resolve, but can involve numerous issues or even be thematic. A book can be just as relevant and legitimate if it rambles through one stage of life to the next with intriguing characters as it is if it has a main dilemma ending with an explosive climax.
My debut novel - Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Two Shall Become One – was conceived as a serial. The opening chapter of a leisurely, romantic, verisimilar tale of two people journeying through life. All the books included in The Darcy Saga are based on the desire to show how two people learn to be married, grow together, and evolve as they deal with the typical problems and activities of the era. I realize now that my life-long love affair with epic, continuation stories has affected me more than I thought! Thankfully, a multitude of readers have agreed with my philosophy, desiring the same for themselves, and better yet – Sourcebooks concurred!
Thus, today I am here to shout aloud: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is Launched!!
The official release day was March 1, but the truth is I have been in Target since late January and in Barnes & Noble for a couple weeks now. The sales figure reports are terrific so far, enough to convince Target to extend my time there and to put me in the Historical Romance Fiction top 40 on Amazon, so hopefully I will reach the stratosphere like the rocket in this photo! Only time will tell, but I am enjoying the ride wherever it goes.
Now that I have summarized the objective of my saga, what about the specifics regarding this book? Excellent question! So glad you asked! First off, I encourage anyone remotely interested to dash over to my website where I have page after page of information: The Darcy Saga. But here are a few brief answers……
Book One is set during the honeymoon phase, covering only the first 5 months of marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy. And here’s a shocker: They are happily married! *gasp* Yep, lots of sweet loving, enjoyment in being with each other, learning how to live together, the delight in mutual discovery, and so on. Darcy is in love with and kind to his wife and Lizzy is in love with and kind to her husband.
The pace for roughly half the novel is leisurely. No big surprises or wild adventures or major conflicts until the latter third. Again, this is on purpose. Lizzy is entering a whole new chapter as Mistress to a vast estate. Both of them are innocent as marital partners. I wanted to relate the daily and weekly freshness found in their new roles. I want the reader to relax, curl up in a comfy place, and smile as they immerse themselves into the pleasurable experience of young love.
The focus is very much Lizzy and Darcy. Additional people are gradually introduced, eventually a whole ballroom of them to wade through. But it is the Darcys’ tale, and it is their characters that I develop. We are at Pemberley the entire time and I intricately describe this backdrop. Setting the stage, detailing the lifestyle, and conveying the atmosphere was as important to me as cultivating the characters of our lovers.
I could go on and on – have been known to do so, matter of fact – but I’ll leave it there and encourage everyone to jet over to The Darcy Saga to glean more information. Plus, I am concluding my week long Launch Fete with a wealth of games, videos, excerpts, and a chance to win one of 5 signed books! It has been so fun and there are two days left to join in.
Lastly, to bring it back to the beginning point, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is the inaugural book to a series. One adventure follows the other, weeks flow into years, and people evolve as the business of happily-ever-after continues. “Loving Mr. Darcy ~ Journeys Beyond Pemberley” will be released in September followed by “The Darcys at Year’s End” in January of 2010. At least three more books are coming after that. So much to look forward to!
Do you like a good serial? I named a few of mine. Tell me about one that you particularly adored. And to extend the festivities - I will be giving away another signed book to one lucky commenter here at the Casablanca Authors blog! Hopefully I have enticed sufficiently! Share your thoughts, leave an email address for the drawing, and I’ll announce the winner on the 5th.
Oh, and don’t forget: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Two Shall Become One can now be purchased EVERYWHERE! Whoo Hoo!!