My weekend in Orange

My weekend in Orange

What a great weekend I had in Orange, CA! As I have alerted over the past weeks, on Saturday September 22 I was part of a panel discussion on Jane Austen Sequels and Adaptations. The 1st Annual Big Orange Book Festival took place on the gorgeous campus of Chapman University. At 9am I joined fabulous author Syrie James – The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, Dracula My Love, Nocturne – and Dr. Lynda Hall, professor of English at Chapman University for an interactive discussion. It was a blast!

Talking Jane Austen for the crowd


Among the topics we covered: how we began writing our unique novels, how writing has changed our life, how we adapt the writings of 19th century authors for a modern readership, what we have learned from life by Jane Austen, our theories on why Austen remains so popular 200 years later, the influence of the cinematic adaptations on Austen’s popularity, and writing the unusual secondary characters.

Dr. Lynda Hall, Sharon Lathan, Syrie James

We were a nice mix. I write sequels with an emphasis on the romantic aspects and came to Austen later in life. Syrie writes from an imagined Jane Austen point-of-view, cleverly filling in missing pieces of her life. Dr. Hall is, of course, the scholar writing academic dissertations about Austen novels. We kept the discussion light and fun, ending with questions from the listeners.

Most of our listeners came up afterwards to say hello and have us sign books. Cool! I was especially thrilled to meet the lovely Lori Hedgepeth, a longtime fan of the Darcy Saga. I love, love, love meeting my fans!

Sharon and Syrie

Afterwards it was time to relax in the “blue room” with several other authors present at the festival for presentations. It was a pleasure to meet romance novelist Nancy Holder. We attended the talk on Sherlock Holmes history by expert Leslie Klinger. It was fascinating!

Bill Desowitz, Sharon Lathan, Syrie James, Nancy Holder, Leslie Klinger


Thankfully Syrie, Lynda, and I were free after that. Free to stroll the festival and enjoy an extended lunch. Guess what we talked about? Yes, Jane Austen! But lots more too. Lynda is a new friend, but Syrie has been a pal for a long time, although this was our first extended hang-out session. It was fabulous! Lunch at the Filling Station in Orange was super delicious too.

Our books in campus store!

My husband accompanied me for the weekend, making it a nice getaway for us. We ate at our favorite Indian restaurant one night and Outback another, relished the fine weather for a long walk, and visited The Huntington Museum on Sunday. All in all a terrific weekend!




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Dear Sharon!
I think it is great how many events you have about Jane Austen in the United States.
I´d really love to visit these events, but here we don´t have them and yours are too far away.
So I take part through your blogs and pictures!
Thank you!

Lori Hedgpeth

Thank you so much for the wonderful shout out! It was a pleasure and a thrill to meet you and Syrie, after listening to such a fantastic and in-depth discussion on our lovely Jane Austen and veering into Dracula territory. I could have discussed these subjects all day!
I had hoped to attend the panel with Leslie Klinger but unfortunately didn’t make it – – I was meeting a girlfriend for lunch at The Filling Station. It’s obviously a popular option! I hope you enjoyed your lunch as much as I enjoyed mine.
BTW, gorgeous cover for the upcoming Passions of Dr. Darcy!

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