I have been a wee bit absent this past week for a very good reason. Are you ready to hear? Yeah!
Alright, as a little background: From the moment I conceived of writing the engagement months for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, I imagined covering the time thoroughly. To do so it seemed very possible I could write two books rather than one. In fact, that was my plan up until a couple of months ago. For various reasons I altered my plan to include the events in one book. I titled it Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship and created the cover accordingly.
Then, the more I wrote I kept dreaming up additional ideas I wanted to include and, well, long story short, I realized I had a dilemma. If I wrote everything I wanted, it would not only take longer to complete — thus delaying the release — but would probably be too big of a book to publish for a decent price. To make it reasonable I knew I would need to cut portions or forego writing certain parts.
The other option was to go back to my original plan. That being to split the “prequel to the sequel” into two volumes. By doing so I can release the first half by March, as I wanted, and then complete the rest for a June to July release. Each volume will be a normal sized novel — that being approximately 95,000-100,000 words, or roughly 260-300 pages each. Altogether that is more Darcy and Lizzy, just spaced over time!
Above is the cover for Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship. It is the same, other than the notation: The Darcy Saga Prequel Book One. The manuscript is complete and partially edited. My editor, the marvelous Gretchen Stelter of Cogitate Studios, is finishing the final four chapters this very second. While she completes that, I have spent the past week getting the manuscript formatted for eBook publishing (Kindle, Nook, and Kobo to begin) as well as print. This is a learning curve for me, being my first foray into the modern world of independent publishing. So far everything is going very well. *knock on wood*
At this moment I am confident the eBook will be available by mid-March, if not sooner. Hopefully the print version will be ready at the same time, or very shortly thereafter. The publishing process for print takes a bit longer, so I will post updates on that. Part of the print preparation was creating the backcover and spine, which I did this week and reveal now. *All images can be clicked for larger view.
Book One, A Season of Courtship, begins at the proposal and extends roughly one month, leaving the brides-to-be in London on a shopping expedition. Lots of fun happenings, I promise!
Book Two continues exactly where Book One leaves off, with the couples exploring London and their relationships. The final month of the engagement period will be recounted, including the wedding ceremony and reception/breakfast afterward. Seeking a title from the final chapters of Pride and Prejudice, as I did with A Season of Courtship, I chose a phrase within the same sentence!
For Book Two, it is about half written. My tentative plan is to finish up, have Gretchen edit, and be ready to publish by June or July. How does that sound? I am very excited and hope everyone is as well. Today I finished the front cover. I love it and hope you all do too. Feedback is welcome 🙂