The call came from my agent that someone
with a contract from Random House is putting together a Jane Austen anthology and wants a short story. “Are you interested?”
Interested? I thought as I hurriedly dusted off my keyboard. A kick in the pants to get writing again? Of course, I’m interested! Jane Austen Will Make Me Do It.
Months later, as I thrashed about trying to make it all work within the prescribed 10 – 12 pages, my concerned husband listened in patient support as I wailed, Jane Austen Is Not Helping Me Do It!
As the days ticked down and Darcy & Elizabeth refused to cooperate, I read and re-read what I’d written with the growing dissatisfaction that writers tend to feel with their literary children and growled, It’s not my fault.. Jane Austen Is Making Me Do This.
Finally, the re-writes are done, the editors are happy, the Q&A completed, and the check received! Sigh of relief with attendant gratitude to Jane. For after all, from the very beginning 16 years ago, it was Jane who Started It.
Yes, along with Fay Weldon, Elizabeth Garvey, David Rintoul, and Andrew Davies, Jennifer Ehle and, of course, Colin Firth, not to mention the support of Susan Kaye, Laura Hile, and my own dear husband, Michael…I confess that Jane Austen Made Me Do It.
Excerpt from every author’s contribution may be found by clicking on the cover. My contribution, The Riding Habit, begins on page 346 or the 53rd page on the link.