On this blog we are featuring one of the nicest people in JAFF and that is Leenie Brown. She is also one of the most prolific writers in our genre and I am certain you will be just as fascinated as we are at what she has on her plate right now. So, without further ado, here is what Leenie has to say.
What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse?
Currently, I am working on three stories ─ each at various stages of completion.
• I am giving With the Colonel’s Help a quick first edit before posting pieces of it each Thursday on my blog. As with all my Thursday Three Hundred stories, this story will find its way to the story thread on the forum here.
• I have just completed the manuscript for my first Austenesque novella called His Beautiful Bea. This story incorporates touches of Mansfield Park in it but with an original plot and characters. Beatrice Tierney, the heroine, is fashioned after Fanny Price and has a crush on the younger of two sons of a baronet, who is her neighbor. I have just started working on the first round of edits for this story.
• I have just started a new story that has no official title yet. It is also based on Mansfield Park. It will be set after the conclusion of Mansfield Park and will (hopefully) show the redemption of Henry Crawford.
My muse is inspired by many things ─ music, movies, books, art, nature, historic places… I have been known to jot down story notes during the sermon at church, in the very low light of a theatre, during science class when a particular illness or poisonous mushroom is discussed in a lesson… I find inspiration just about everywhere.
What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it? What prompted you to begin writing?
I stumbled across JAFF a few years ago after reading a North and South variation, and I decided to see if there were variations of Pride and Prejudice. There were! I was delighted! I have always loved writing and creating stories. When I was young, I would act out stories based on books I had read when playing. So for me, discovering JAFF was like discovering playing all over again. I began by reading, but it wasn’t long until I wanted to jump in and write my own stories. I never expected to share them or publish them. I have to credit my husband with that.
As I began spending more and more time writing, my husband started asking when I was going to let someone see my writing. I told him I wasn’t planning to let anyone see my writing “because it wasn’t good enough.” He said that was silly and asked how I would know if it was good or not if no one ever saw it? So to placate him—he had threatened to break into my computer and share my stories for me—I began posting some of my stories online and eventually worked up the courage, with his somewhat pushy encouragement, to attempt publishing. And I haven’t looked back, and I am so thankful for his continuing and constant support.
Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?
I prefer Regency both when writing and reading. There’s just something about that era that I find captivating.
I do not write for any other fandoms, but I have written some nonJAFF regency.
I used to have hobbies ─ I suppose I will have them again one day. Perhaps in a couple of years when my youngest son is done with high school, I will find them again. J I taught in a traditional private Christian school until this year. This year, I took on the challenge of homeschooling a highschooler, and as the year draws to a close, we are both still enjoying it so we will do it again next year. I do like to tour museums and take walks along the waterfront with my husband, and I read. So I guess I still have some hobbies.
What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing?
Aside from my Kindle version of whichever Jane Austen novel my story is related to and the timeline for that book, I also rely on the following:
thesaurus.com ─ I constantly have it open to double check meanings and spelling as well as to help me vary my word choice so that it conveys the emotion or tone for which I am striving.
Pinterest ─ There is a lot of good visual inspiration here, and it is a great place to pin history articles.
Youtube ─ Every book needs a sound track, right?
Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your character or scenes?
Yes. A couple of examples would be Lydia ─ yes, both examples involve her. In Through Every Storm, some of her behaviour, such as having trouble concentrating and adding columns of numbers, was inspired by students that I have watched struggle with those very things. In So Very Unexpected, the relationship between Lydia and her sisters is inspired by my experiences growing up with four sisters. In fact, when my older sister read the book, she asked me if I was thinking about a particular thing when I wrote a certain section, and I was. I asked her if the relationship seemed real ─ even if it does show Lydia being rather negative about Elizabeth, the sister of whom she is the most jealous. My sister assures me it is. So, bits and pieces of real life do seep into my writing. Sometimes this is on purpose, and sometimes it is serendipitous.
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of Leenie’s books (including her newest). If you have trouble commenting here, you may leave a comment on our FB page for this blog post.
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