Friday, March 21, 2014

Inspiration for A JANE AUSTEN ENCOUNTER




Hi Marilyn, it’s so nice to be back, it’s been ages since we’ve visited on “Marilyn’s Musings.”  I love having a chance to reconnect with your readers and let them know about my latest release A Jane Austen Encounter.

I need to explain first that, although the title might sound like it, A Jane Austen Encounter, is neither a Regency period Austen spin-off nor a time travel adventure— as much fun as either of those might be. A Jane Austen Encounter is a contemporary mystery in my Elizabeth & Richard literary suspense series.
English professors Elizabeth and Richard are celebrating twenty years of marriage with their dream vacation— visiting all of Jane Austen’s homes in England. But not even the overpowering personality of their Oxford guide  nor the careful attentions of the new friends they make can keep their tour free from lurking alarms. When a box of old documents is donated to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath Richard volunteers to help sort through it. Only hours later he finds Claire, the Centre Director, bleeding on her office floor.

Like all stories. This one has deep roots in my subconscius. To get to the bottom we have to go back more years than I care to count to when I was a sophomore at Nampa High School. Somehow, my English teacher, little Mr. Hodgsen— who looked like Charlie Chaplin— knew me better than I knew myself and while everyone else in my class was allowed to choose their own reading book, he required me to delve into the English classics. I’ve never looked back. Nor have I quit saying thank you to Mr. Hodgsen because my love for Jane Austen has grown and flowered for more than half a century.

That made Jane Austen a natural subject for one of my literary suspense novels, having done Dorothy L. Sayers and Shakespeare in earlier installments of Elizabeth and Richard’s story. (The Shadow of Reality and A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare)

Because one of my goals as a writer is to give my readers a “you are there” experience, I try never to write about a place I haven’t visited. That meant tagging along when I sent Elizabeth and Richard on a wonderful trip, following the Jane Austen Trail. And now I invite my readers to join our adventure:

Steventon Church
Come along to the beautiful city of Bath; stay in the Chawton House Library and visit the charming cottage where Jane’s writing flowered and the nearby Steventon church where her father was rector and her own faith established; stand by her grave in Winchester Cathedral; and enjoy your time at the lovely country estate of Godmersham. But don’t let your guard down. Evil lurks even in the genteel world of Jane Austen.

Let me whet your appetite with a few more pictures from my trip.

Cottage where Jane Austen wrote

Godmersham Estate
House Where Jane Austen Died
If you want to see more, my complete research album is here: http://j.mp/PkNfPS

Donna Fletcher Crow at the Jane Austen Centre
Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 43 books, mostly novels of British history.  The award-winning Glastonbury, A Novel of the Holy Grail, an epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work.  She is also the author of The Monastery Murders: A Very Private Grave, A Darkly Hidden Truth and An Unholy Communion as well as the Lord Danvers series of Victorian true-crime novels and the literary suspense series The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries. Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho.  They have 4 adult children and 13 grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
To read more about all of Donna’s books and see pictures from her garden and research trips go to: http://www.donnafletchercrow.com/ 
You can follow her on Facebook at: http://ning.it/OHi0MY

Thank you so much for visiting today, Donna! You always have such wonderful photos.

Marilyn aka F.M. Meredith

4 comments:

Donna Fletcher Crow said...

Thank you, Marilyn, it's lovely to be your guest today. Thank you for doing such a great job posting the pictures.

Sheila Deeth said...

What a wonderful trip! I might have to try to weave some research into one of my trips back home some day.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I love all your photos, Donna!
Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.

Donna Fletcher Crow said...

It was such a pleasure to be here, Marilyn. Thank you again for hosting.
Sheila, "back home" has such a lovely ring. As much as I love having our daughter live on this continent (in Calgary) I do miss having close family in England.