Join me this morning in getting to know fellow Austen Author, Abigail Renyolds.
Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?
* I started writing out of desperation in 2001 when I ran out of JAFF to read, which wasn’t that hard to do in 2001.
I didn’t intend to keep going after that one story, but the feedback was so positive I kept going. As for what keeps me doing it, there are lots of reasons, the primary one being that it’s addictive. I also love the interaction with readers. There are days, though, when I really want to throw in the towel!
What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?
* My very earliest efforts were when I was 13 years old, and while I still have them, nobody but me will ever read them! Actually, when I looked back at them recently, I discovered they aren’t as bad as I thought.
What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?
* I write Regency JAFF because that’s what I liked best when I started reading it. My modern novels were more inspired by the setting on Cape Cod, which is a place I love dearly.
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
*The best is when the words are flowing and the characters start heading off in unexpected directions. It’s like something new has come to life. The worst? Finding the motivation to keep my butt in the chair writing. Ignoring bad reviews is a close second.
If you write in multiple genres how do you make the switch from one to the other? Do you find it a welcome change, crazy-making or a little of both?
* It’s a welcome change when I switch from Regency to modern and back. There’s much less research and guesswork with writing a modern, but the language is, oddly enough, much more difficult for me. Modern writing needs to be very tight and concise, while Regency language is very forgiving of excessive verbiage.
Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?
* I’m not sure I can pick any one thing. Learning about premarital sex in the Regency was a shocker. Another big one was when I researched beverages of the time, and discovered that when all the ladies were throwing back those glasses of ratafia, they were getting a serious alcohol hit. It made me rethink a lot about the role of women in Regency society.
What do you to keep all your research information and plot ideas organized and accessible?
* Anything I can! I keep a list of story ideas on my computer, and I often jot notes about the current story at the beginning or end of the story itself.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?
* Write quickly, edit later. Otherwise my internal editor slows the writing pace to a crawl and the story loses life.
Tell us a little about your current project.
* I’m working on a Pride & Prejudice variation with a few characters from other Austen books appearing in supporting roles. It’s set at a country house party a month after Hunsford. Darcy is still angry with Elizabeth, and he finds out that Henry Crawford has a substantial bet on whether he’ll be able to seduce Elizabeth by the end of the party.
What’s up next for you?
* Another book in my modern Woods Hole series, this one starring Cassie’s younger brother Ryan, and I have plots for several other Regency set Pride & Prejudice variations cooking in my head. I have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all!
You can find Abigail on line:
You can get Mr. Darcy’s Refuge on