For some twenty plus years I have written a family Christmas letter to enclose in my holiday cards that summed up the events of the year for those friends and family members we do not keep in constant contact with. Most years it would be a struggle to come up with enough unique material to fill one side of the page. I mean, how exciting is it to talk about kids and school, jobs that were the same, and one summer vacation? I would be required to dig deep into clever elaboration to make it sound like our lives were thrilling!
Then about four years ago the coin flipped the other way and suddenly there was so much to cover I needed both sides of the page. Some of that was due to my children entering into more interesting areas of life as they matured, but largely it was due to the explosion of activity in my life. This year it was impossible for me to recount the details so a synopsis along the lines of “Sharon remains busy as a nurse and writer” sufficed! Dwelling upon the events of 2010 was enlightening, however, so I decided a retrospective would be fun.
My 2010 excitement began precisely on January 1 since that was the official release date for my third novel, My Dearest Mr. Darcy. My week-long Launch Fete, hosted on my website, involved excerpts, novel discussions/Q&A, and games with signed copies given away. I shared the wonderful reviews and the geeky photos snagged at every bookstore I entered. It was a month of thrills as I skittered all over the blog-o-sphere guest blogging and interviewing. In the midst, I was featured in the Fresno Bee, our local newspaper, and in the online Fresno Famous magazine. I held my first solo book signing at Borders in Visalia and think my jaws still hurt from constant smiling. I gave a speech on author branding and the importance of marketing yourself to my romance writers group and then a talk on women in publishing for the Visalia Networking for Women. And this is still January!
Fun, indeed, but to be honest I was ready for a siesta. February highlights included the cover reveals for A Darcy Christmas and then my fourth novel. At the time it was titled Romancing Mr. Darcy and I somehow managed to complete the edits while still virtual touring for MDMD. Sleep? Nah!
March introduced me to the wonderful ladies of the Hanford High 59 Book Club who had chosen Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy for that month and invited me to their discussion lunch. It was awesome! It was the month for phase two of edits for A Darcy Christmas and Romancing Mr. Darcy (that was still the title). I diligently worked on finishing Book #5 and was informed that the title was to be The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. Like it!
During these early months, I began my association with the newly founded local chapter of JASNA. In April I was honored to speak to the group about how I was inspired by Jane in writing my saga. I have been blessed by this group in more ways than I can count. Everyone has been lovely and welcoming, the various events have been super fun, and my joy in helping them with their website maintenance and serving on the Board is immense. Busily we plotted and planned for the first Jane Fest, that held on May 8 and a rousing success. In other news, all 3 novels finally arrived in digital formats of every kind – yah! – and the new cover and title of novel #4 were agreed upon: In The Arms of Mr. Darcy.
Following on the heels of the Visalia Local Authors Book Fair was Jane Fest. Later that month I received the ARC for In The Arms of Mr. Darcy, the first ARC I have ever gotten, and in June A Darcy Christmas ARCs came to me – 3 copies! In June my interview with Lifestyle Magazine earned a 3-page spread.
July was a pivotal month. I typed The End on The Trouble with Mr. Darcy and began seriously working on Georgiana’s novel. The green light was given and contracts signed. Whew! Very cool is that, but the best part of July was our family trip to see kinfolk in the South and then to Orlando for Disney World and the RWA National Conference. Best Time Ever!
In the writing world, I plugged away at Georgiana’s story but also wrote a short piece for my friend and fellow Sourcebooks historical romance novelist, the fabulous and beautiful Amelia Grey. Her spearheaded project with HCI (the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers) is a compilation with 60 romance novelists titled Fall in Love Like a Romance Novelist. I tell of my own love story with my Mr. Darcy, AKA Mr. Lathan, alongside Kat Martin, Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, Robyn Carr, and many more. In a pleasant coincidence, Fall in Love Like a Romance Novelist is released tomorrow! Available at bookstores and online retailers everywhere. Check it out!
September was focused on Austen Authors. However, I somehow managed to finish the first round of edits for The Trouble with Mr. Darcy (release date April 2011) ahead of my deadline and began the prep for my next release. In The Arms of Mr. Darcy officially hit the shelves on October 1 and another Launch Fete ensued as well as the standard virtual blog tour. I can say it was easier after 3 previous ones and just as much fun!
While enmeshed with release excitement I donned the persona of the Marchioness of Warrow for one night at a Regency Soiree hosted by friends Lord and Lady Rosbrugh. Talk about a blast. My birthday was celebrated with a major bang at Austen Authors, ending up being the best birthday ever. Not too painful turning 30 after all. *innocent smile
A Darcy Christmas filtered out at a sporadic pace throughout October but we celebrated our anthology officially on November 1. A few blog dates and lots of terrific reviews came my way, and I held one book signing at Borders and another at Barnes & Noble in conjunction with JASNA. Celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday on AuAu and with my JASNA chapter fit in well with holiday preparations, November smoothly flowing into December. Final edits were completed on The Trouble With Mr. Darcy and the cover was approved, then on December 18, I typed The End on Miss Georgiana Darcy. Double Whew!
“Brief, Sharon?” Yep, that is the brief version, believe it or not! I didn’t even mention the slick new car I got (a Lacrosse), that my daughter moved out and finished college and found her Mr. Wonderful, or that my son got his driver’s license. I have no time to talk about our three trips to Disneyland or the two to the coast, nor can I elaborate on my continuing passion for sick babies and the awesome new office and library I have. That will have to wait for the sequel!