Today is my turn to blog at Austen Authors and since we are kicking off our Month of Christmas Fun I wrote about my love for this holiday and how I applied that to my writing. I am posting the entire blog here for your reading pleasure. However, I am encouraging everyone to click over to Austen Authors for two very important reasons:
1) At the end of my blog post I have a link to a bunch of excerpts! All are taken from Christmas passages within Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, In The Arms of Mr. Darcy, and A Darcy Christmas. A holiday gift from me to all of you!
2) The December contest prizes are fabulous! You have to check it out and join into the fun as often as possible to have a chance to win! The post for our contests is up today – along with the challenge Fortnight Quiz – or you can read on the Contest Page.
Pop on over to Austen Authors to read it and the excerpts together. Merry Christmas!
ONLY 23 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!
Alrighty, now that we have that over with let’s talk about Christmas in the Regency! Well first let’s talk about the holiday season here on Austen Authors. Not sure how it happened but my blog date ended up falling on the day we are launching our Month of Christmas Fun. OK, I know how it happened: I do the scheduling! So here I am to ring in the season of Santa Claus, mistletoe, presents, and tinsel on a tree. We will do our collective best to festively get into the spirit with holiday themed blogs, quizzes, essays, and more. Embracing both the past and the present, the Austen Authors will be sharing our love of Christmas with you all month long. Does that sound like fun or what?
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I grew up where it snowed enough to make angel forms, where my dad was able to chop down a fresh tree, where the stockings really were hung by the chimney with care, and where we strolled door to door singing carols. These memories of traditions that seem to have been largely forgotten inspired me to create richly detailed Christmases for the Darcys. Writing a saga has many advantages, one being the joy of passing several holidays with Darcy, Lizzy, and the others.
However, as with everything I write I not only have to travel back in time some 200 years, I also have to think like a Brit! The historical part is far easier for this American Girl let me tell you. What in blazes are wassail and Christmas pudding? Boxing Day? Twelfth Night? You mean there really were 12 days of Christmas? I just thought that was an annoying song! I knew there weren’t decorated trees or Santa Claus, but what about other greenery or Father Christmas? Lots to figure out and I have an abundance of websites bookmarked to prove how extensively I searched. I also have what I think is a delightful several chapters in my first novel – Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy – that recounts my vision of the newlyweds first Christmas together at Pemberley.
Time passed, both with me and in my saga, and suddenly it was the Darcys’ second Christmas together! Now they had a newborn son and even more friends and family coming to visit – Mrs. Bennet at Pemberley! – So it was time to hit the books, er- internet, once again. The foundation was laid for the traditions I had given the Darcys (heirloom decorations, mistletoe ornaments, church service, packages to the tenants, certain romantic interludes, etc.) so the challenge was to make it unique, special, and grander. This I think I accomplished. You can decide for yourself when you read my fourth novel in the Darcy Saga series, also my latest release, In The Arms of Mr. Darcy. The book starts with the Bennets arriving at Pemberley and carries through on the celebration to an eventful Twelfth Night masque. Just ask Caroline Bingley!
You would think my streak of Christmas writing would then be put on hiatus for a while, wouldn’t you? Well, right in the midst of this I receive a call from my editor Deb Werksman asking me to – Are you ready for this? – write a Christmas themed novella! I Know!!! How lucky am I? This girl who loves Christmas!
It was truly a dream come true. In my novella, “A Darcy Christmas” that is one third of A Darcy Christmas, I decided to delve even deeper into English Christmas. I saw a chance to look into the future of the Darcys and the future of Christmas celebrating. If enough time passed they could have a Christmas tree! And so they do. “A Darcy Christmas” was originally titled “Christmases at Pemberley” because I take the reader on a journey of 23 years touching on separate holiday celebrations spent at Pemberley via a series of vignettes. As with everything in my Saga it is the story of love and family with the theme being life lived as abundantly and happily as possible. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect Christmas reading experience?