What’s next for Sharon Lathan?

In November my seventh book was released – Miss Darcy Falls in Love – and the dust of that stampede had not yet settled before my loyal readers were asking me, “What is next?” I haven’t been secretive about what I am currently working on… I simply haven’t had the time to boldly broadcast it or put something on my website. In truth, I am very excited about my current work-in-progress and can’t wait to talk about it!

A bit of history: Several years ago I decided to expand on the Darcy family and give Mr. Darcy an eccentric uncle who had been away from England for years. After researching I made him a doctor who had traveled widely through India. Initially he was supposed to breeze in and breeze out, but in the classic way of all awesome characters with forceful personalities he took over, asserted himself, and pretty much told me he was staying! I fell utterly in love with Dr. George Darcy and so did my readers. I daresay some love Dr. Darcy more than Mr. Darcy! Some of his adventures were told within the pages of my Saga. However, most of his life has remained a mystery, even to me. Now, thankfully, I am given the opportunity to spend lots of time with George and discover more of his journey.

This is the official summarizing synopsis that I gave to my editor last June–

George Darcy is the second son of a wealthy landowner in Georgian Era England. At 22 he is one of the youngest medical doctorate graduates of Cambridge University and admitted licentiate from the London Royal College of Physicians, and thus considered a brilliant, rising star in England’s field of medicine. Yet Dr. Darcy refuses the easy, comfortable pathway and enlists as a physician with the British East India Company, embarking on a personal quest to broaden his education and practice his craft without the restraints imposed by British society.

Dr. George Darcy will cover roughly thirty-five years in the life of this incredible, eccentric man. Using vivid descriptions of the culture and atmosphere, the story will trace his early steps as a new doctor in a strange land on to his eventual return to England and his childhood home thirty years later. This is a story of India and the people as well as of the diseases and medical care available. Primarily, however, this is the story of one man who strived to change the face of medicine while yearning to fill the void left within his soul upon the death of his identical twin when they were 12. His search for family, enduring love, and lost companionship is a quest not wholly realized until returning to England and Pemberley. There a new generation of family and friends will heal the physician, and to his greatest surprise, the true love of his life awaits.

What do you think? Intrigued? I hope so! Luckily my editor Deb Werksman was, and so was the management team at Sourcebooks, including publisher Dominique Raccah. I signed the contract in late October! Now I am busily writing a manuscript that must be done by this spring for a planned release early in 2013.

Naturally I am hoping that this will be a story that appeals to lots of readers, even those unfamiliar with Dr. Darcy or even Jane Austen. In a way I am skirting the edges of true Austen literature with this novel. Still, it is set in the broad Regency Era and all of the Austen characters will make an appearance. In fact, you will meet some only mentioned, such as Darcy’s parents and grandfather. For a hint of that you can read the first chapter which I have posted on The Austen Authors Writers Block.

Dr. George Darcy – A Sampling of what is to come

I have lots of wonderful adventures planned for George. Most of this novel will take place in India and other parts of the far east, but George does return to Pemberley a few times to visit the family. The novel will end as an overlap with my Saga and if you read Miss Darcy Falls in Love you got a hint of who George spends his final years with.

For the present I am immersed in Indian culture, medicine, romance, and history as I dwell with a man I adore. I tried to hunt down an era-specific portrait that closely resembled the Dr. Darcy I see in my head but that was tough. I initially described him thusly: “George Darcy, a man of some fifty years, so resembled his nephew it was uncanny. They were of an identical height, although Dr. Darcy was far leaner, almost skeletal, with sharp angles at every joint. His eyes were the same brilliant blue, hair the same brown, though with streaks of gray at the temples and wavy where Darcy’s was straight. His handsome face was a thinner, lined mirror image of Darcy’s, with skin tanned bronze by the harsh desert sun.” Since my Mr. Darcy is inspired by Matthew Macfadyen, you can image what Dr. Darcy looks like to some degree, especially when young. The portrait to the left and on the WIP: Dr. George Darcy page did strike me as close to my vision. I also really love the below image! Something about the eyes. Put that yummy dish into a waistcoat and cravat and you have George!

As time marches on I will post about my progress and share tidbits now and again. Keep an eye on my Facebook page and website for that. Now, for an added treat I am sharing a short, very short, snippet from a random chapter. I don’t want to give too much away as yet! Speculation is fine though. LOL! Enjoy…..

“ ‘Finest physicians’ my arse,” McIntyre whispered as soon as the door clicked. “More likely he hopes it is the plague and we’ll succumb to it.”

“At this point it could be the plague and I would not care. As long as I can leave this island and have an opportunity to put my skills to use it suits me just fine.” George countered. “And on the off chance it is a serious infection, it is a blessing he is sending us. Those poor people don’t know how lucky they are that we are coming to help instead of the alternative.”

“And what ‘alternative’ is that, Darcy?”

Dr. White’s growled question startled the men and they halted mid stride to turn about. George’s shock was mostly that the rotund doctor, who had never displayed a hint of grace, had been able to sneak up behind them until inches away. White’s fat face was flushed, his eyes belligerent and hard, and his fleshy hands balled into fists at his waist. George’s amazement tripled and the desire to burst out laughing choked his throat. Did the old dog really intend to engage him in a physical brawl here in the corridor? In the administration building filled with soldiers and one brawny Scotsman? With a man thirty years his junior and in superior condition? It was too ridiculous to fathom but on the off chance fisticuffs was on White’s personal agenda, George stifled the laughter with a cough.

“The alternative of no additional assistance for this Dr. Ullas with the potential of the infection becoming an epidemic and, or, a worsening sequelae for those afflicted—“

“Spare me the fancy dance and technical terms, Dr. Darcy. I know perfectly well what you meant.” George’s expression of innocent confusion was slightly overblown but well done nevertheless. Dr. White did not believe it for a second. “I know you meant the alternative of my medical skills versus yours. Oh yes. Dr. Darcy the brilliant young physician with the prestigious education—“

“Thank you, Dr. White.”

“It was not meant as a compliment!” He stepped closer, his face now a rather alarming shade of purple. “I know you think you are better than me, Darcy, but having a rich father who can buy your way through Cambridge and the Royal Academy in record time does not make you a better doctor!”

“Perhaps that is how you made it through medical school, and it does answer the mystery of how you ever obtained a license or the title of Physician General. Yet believe it or not, I earned my degree the old fashioned way: by being an apt pupil and having true skill. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to organize my instruments and medicines. You know, those necessary implements that real physicians use.”

George bowed and turned away, long-legged steps echoing across the wooden walls as he headed for the far stairwell. Dr. McIntyre fell into his colleague’s wake, leaving the sputtering and fuming Dr. White where he stood in the middle of the hall. It was at the door, George’s hand on the knob and twisting, when White shouted his final volley.

“Mark my words, Darcy. One of these days your arrogance and blunt tongue will bring you grief. I sincerely hope to be there when it happens, and better yet, to cause it.”

To McIntyre’s surprise George did not respond or break his stride. They stepped onto the outside landing and unhesitatingly descended the stairs to the first floor landing. Only then did George slow his pace. He inhaled deeply of the fresh, clean air smelling of camphire flowers and the sea, the sunlight and cool breeze drying the perspiration off his brow and calming his anger.

“Your self control surprised me, Darcy. I fully expected you to clobber him. I would have if he insulted me like that.”

George shrugged, the gesture at odds with the thunderous expression on his face. “Only because I do not want to miss our departure. Besides, he is a bellicose fool and not worth the time or effort. Certainly not worth the risk of damaging my hands on his ugly face.” He shrugged again, this time slightly more convincing, and stopped walking. “Truth is, McIntyre, men like White anger me because of their incompetence and how that affects those who are infirm and foolishly relying on them. At times I have wanted to physically beat some quack for maltreatment, but I never have. What would that accomplish? I would get clapped in chains and they would go on hurting innocent people. The problem is bigger than individuals such as White.” He shook his head and resumed their course along the wide veranda leading toward the front of the building. “Ultimately I am not sure if my skills will change anything, even as excellent as they are, but I intend to do everything in my power. Losing my temper is counterproductive no matter how good it might feel to bash Dr. White’s teeth loose or knock him onto his fat, useless ass—“

The double S morphed into a sound resembling a hissing snake as they rounded the corner to be abruptly drawn to a halt in words and momentum.

Standing not two feet away from George was Lady Sarah Chambers. She was leaning against the flat railing at the corner of the veranda, one hand wrapped around a curved post and the other toying with a diamond pendant hanging from the velvet ribbon encircling her slender throat. She was staring straight into his eyes, a small smile dancing on her lips, and instantly George knew that she had not only heard his diatribe but agreed with his vision of Dr. White sprawled onto his backside.

 

16 Comments for What’s next for Sharon Lathan?

  1. I think I need a 12-step program. I’ve read the 5-book series at least 8 times. Whenever I’m waiting (grocery line, doctors’ office, etc.) I flip open my Kindle and read more. I have the books in print and on Kindle. Can’t wait for the next one! Keep up the great work.

  2. I have read all five saga books! I loved them all! I hope you continue to write about Elizabeth and Mr.Darcy! They are my favorite characters!

  3. I am so very excited for this book! Both myself and my two sisters have read all of your previous books. We have fallen in love with your books and of course the Darcy’s. I LOVE the adventures the Darcy’s get to have through your writing. I cannot wait for more of your books after the newest one… I can’t get enough! Thank you so much for continuing Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy story!!

  4. dear Sharon, I read your Darcy novels two years while in the hospital recuperating from a heart attack. I absolutely loved them and told all the nurses about your exquisite books. I was so wrapped in them that my time in the seemed to fly. I cried and gulped with Darcy and Elizabeth during their tender courtship but especially loved the sexual tension and the complex characterizations. I think Jane Austen herself would have applauded the expansion of her book! These books are definitely a new classic set to be bought and kept in your home to be read over and over again!I can hardly wait to read your next! PLease, DON’T EVER STOP WRITING! THANK YOU, Maria Haile

    • Thank you so much, Maria! What a lovely story. Wow. I do hope you are perfectly well now. I promise to keep writing. You promise to take care of yourself so you can keep on reading!

    • Hi Alexis. The Darcy children will always be an integral part of the Darcys’ story. And perhaps someday a few of them will get their own book!

  5. I ran into “The Trouble with Mr. Darcy” at a store, not realizing that it was the 5th book in the saga, I could not put it down! As soon as I finished I bought the first 4 books for my kindle and spent the most delightful time reading every available hour of the day and night, I am getting ready to start “Miss Darcy Falls in Love.”

    “In the Arms of Mr. Darcy”, “Masquerade” has to be one of my absolutely favorite chapters of the whole saga. I cried with Kitty and Lord Blaisdale sent my heart racing. I am hopeful that one day you will write the story of Miss Bingley! It seems to me she found more that she was offered. Do you have any plans on writing the story of Caroline Bingley?

    I am looking forward to reading “Dr. George Darcy,” specially because I love learning about other cultures, and Dr. Darcy is just adorable.

    Thank you for the fabulous hours of delectable reading.

    Sincerely,
    Adriana

    • Can add my plea for Caroline & Lord Blaisdale’s story as well? I just read the Masquerade chapter and phew!! That got my heart going! Would love to read more!!

  6. Have you ever thought about writing a sequal to Emma or any of the other Austen novels. A sequal to Jane Eyre would also be very interesting.

    • Thanks for your question, Kathleen. I am afraid the answer is no. I have no desire to tackle any of the other Austen novels or Jane Eyre. Sorry! I have my hands busy with the Darcys. LOL!

  7. I really enjoy your books. Elizabeth is one of my favourite of Jane Austin. I was wondering if you could
    write a book about Charlotte Lucas. After reading about her life. It seemed very sad. I was hoping you
    could make a book about her getting her happy ever after.

    • Thank you Salena. I have thought of Charlotte quite often and actually have an idea of an alternative future for her. Maybe someday I will be able to write it! We shall see. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Fantastic!!! I love the cover and I think the pic is wonderful too! Dear Dr Darcy , it will be so good to hear his whole story! I love the excerpt above thank you for sharing, your words always captivate my attention. I immediately get thrown right in the scene.
    I do love your Dr Darcy and find him a necessary part of the Darcy’s life, now that I have made his acquaintence 🙂
    I love your statement about some loving your Dr Darcy more than Mr Darcy!! Haha I can well imagine it but at best I can say they are equally loved by me, with your Mr Darcy pipping just a tad in front 😉
    Love all your work Sharon and I cannot wait to get myself a hold of this wonderful new story!
    TSBO devotee
    Vee

  9. Your books just keep getting better each time! It has been a real pleasure to observe your characters and writing mature within your saga and the fringe novels for your newly created characters. I have thoroughly enjoyed each one and know you are very busy helping George express his personality, but I have to be content to wait a year to get to know him better. I guess that leaves time to re-read the saga again 🙂

I love to hear from you!