Art & Life

Pemberley Christmas, 1797 makes a great Christmas 2011 gift!

I was reminded recently how funny life can be, especially the “writing life” as it intersects “real life.” I know I’m not the only author who ever scanned airports and their book stores hoping to see one’s books on shelves or, more so, in traveler’s hands. On the other hand, rarely do I say anything about being an author when making an acquaintance for fear of the blank stare at the mention of my pen name or the patronizing “And what is it that you write, again?” But this past summer in rather unexpected ways, two instances occurred of my two lives bumping into each other in wonderfully serendipitous ways.

The first was at my nephew-by-marriage’s wedding. I was seated next to a couple at the rehearsal dinner whom I’d never met. We were making  the usual polite conversation, discovering how we were related to the wedding party when one of my brothers-in-law leaned into the conversation and announced, “You know, Pamela’s a writer.”   Great!, I thought. Now I’m going to have to explain to polite disinterest what exactly I write. (None-Janeites, as you have undoubtedly discovered, are extremely uninterested in Austen-inspired anything) So I launched into an apologetic for my work, “Are you familiar with Jane Austen? Well, I wrote P&P from Darcy’s point of view. My pen name is Pamela Aidan.”

The woman turned to face me and looked at me with widening eyes, “Do you mean to tell me,” she stuttered, “that I’m sitting next to thee Pamela Aidan, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman?”  Well, yeah, I admitted, amazed that she had actually heard of me. “I love your books,” she exclaimed. “They are on my bedside table at home. I’ve read and re-read them!” Wow, not only heard of me but liked my books–really liked them!  And she was a general public-type person not someone at an Austen conference or website! Wow!

The second incident occurred to one of my sons rather than myself, making it even more serendipity. A new adult fellowship leader at my son’s church introduced herself to the group and in the process recounted related the story of when she had been involved in a car accident and could do nothing but sit and wait for the police to arrive. To help keep herself calm during the wait, she pulled out the book she was reading and dove in, lessening her anxiety until help arrived. Later, as my son helped her put chairs away they talked about what they liked to read. “Have you ever read any Jane Austen?” she asked him.

“Funny, you should ask,” he replied. “My mom writes Austen-inspiried novels and I’ve edited books for her publishing business’s authors who write the same type of thing.”

“Who’s your mom; I may have read her.” He told her.

“Oh my…you won’t believe this,” she replied. “It was one of your mom’s books that I was reading while I waited for the police in my story.”

As an author, you never know what ripples may be stirred when you send your work out into the world. You hope they are good ones and pray they’ll be uplifting, comforting, or at least entertaining.  What a joy to have proof!



4 thoughts on “Art & Life

  1. Jennifer G.

    You know, I had to explain the word “serendipity” at dinnertime just a bit ago…. How’s that for…Oh well, you get it! HA HA! I would love to run into you in person to tell you how much I love your books. However, I am NEVER in airports and rarely allowed in bookstores (alone to browse the adult reads…) so the chances of it happening are just too slim. However, I would like to say how thankful I am that you do indeed WRITE and so well and that you have found others who like to write like you. You have filled a spot in my reading life that was so bleak and empty! Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies!


  2. Sophia Rose

    I think you have more fans than you think. I would have been the one you ran into at the medical specialist’s office that always brings along a book because no matter for the fact that you have an appointment you still have to wait. During several of my appointments I read through most of the author’s on this site because I had just discovered the delightful world of Austenesque fiction.

    Thanks for the post!


  3. Susan Kaye

    I loved the story about Son No. 3, but upon hearing about your reception experience, I think I like it equally.

    I am a chicken, when pressed I say I write historical fiction, the questioner’s eyes glaze over at the thought of all the terrible possibilities in that, and I am free of my long-winded explanations of Austen-based fiction and why I like writing someone else’s characters.



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