Friday, May 29, 2015

Family tree beta

Recently one of my readers commented that they needed a family tree to keep track of people, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. So much so that I have been working on one and think it will be included at the beginning of Legacies when it is published.

There's one thing I haven't decided whether I am going to include yet at this point because it is historically spoilery. Basically, I can either call it a family tree through July, 1815 (which is when A Constant Love ended), as I am now, or I can call it a family tree through the end of A Constant Love.

So if you're not afraid of the historic spoiler (it's not really a huge one), please take a look and let me know what you think of including it, or the family tree in general, in the comments. Here's a high-quality version if the Blogger one isn't legible enough.

 

Friday, May 22, 2015

A few pieces for piano and cello

These are some favorites of mine, and serve as a good musical accompaniment to this part of "A Change of Legacies," if you're interested in listening along.

Ralph Vaughan Williams is well beyond the Regency, but his music is so quintessentially English, and so beautiful, I listen to him quite a bit while I am writing.



Also a bit beyond the Regency, but we are eventually going to catch up to Schubert. Camille Thomas and Beatrice Berrut do an amazing job with this; I really wish they would release an MP3 of this because I would buy it right up.




This one actually makes an appearance in ACL2: Beethoven's Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor. António Meneses and Maria João Pires play it with a nice, quiet intimacy that I think matches how it would have been played in the story.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Constant Love now available for Nook

So at some point recently, I asked myself, "Why didn't I publish A Constant Love to Nook?" And I didn't really have a very good answer for that question. I have a Kindle myself, and there's quite a thriving market for JAFF on Amazon, so I was much more focused there, but now that that's taken care of, I decided to look in to publishing for Nook.

As it turns out, it's not really any more difficult than Kindle or paperback publishing, and that is to say that all the difficulty lies in all the editing before you start getting serious about a platform or platforms.

So...there is now a Nook version available as well! Now that I've committed to Nook I will be making all of the stories in the series available in this format, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Would Elizabeth and Georgiana have been presented at court?

This was a question I asked myself as I was doing the edits for A Constant Love, because some readers had expressed doubt as to whether this would have been the case for two women who were not of noble birth, and particularly Elizabeth, whose father owns a fairly small estate.

The impression I had got from Georgette Heyer's Regency World was yes, if they were expecting to move in society during a London season. Particularly Georgiana, given her grandfather was an earl, and, at least in ACL, she has a close relationship with the current earl and countess. She had an aunt, Lady Brandon, who was familiar with court and would have wished to present her, and Georgiana is also the only female in this generation of her family healthy enough to come out into society (Mr. Collins certainly thinks Anne de Bourgh would have been presented, were she not so sickly).

Elizabeth is the trickier one. She has no noble connections, so who is to present her? Her mother and Mrs. Gardiner? Neither of them is of gentle or noble origins. And yet it also seemed to me the sort of reaching and perhaps inappropriate sort of thing Mrs. Bennet would have done, to present her daughters at court, no doubt with some degree of snickering from the other ladies there. Perhaps more significantly, Sir William Lucas indicates a familiarity with St. James's, which to me indicates Charlotte Lucas would have been presented, and if Charlotte Lucas was presented, I expect Mrs. Bennet would have then felt she needed to present her own daughters.

I also wanted to keep the story moving at the same pace. If Georgiana was to be presented, and Elizabeth had not been presented, Mr. Darcy might have presented her as his new bride, but that would have made that scene longer and more complicated than I wished to have. I also liked that this scene was exclusively female, and as much as I love Mr. Darcy, his presence would have changed it. And I did think it was necessary that they had already been presented before attending the ball at Carlton House later in the story.

So I kept it in, both because I thought it was a reasonable possibility, and to keep the story flowing as I wanted it to. There are other times when I had to sacrifice a bit of accuracy to do so -- for example, the Thames isn't nearly as straight as the sailing scene makes it out to be, but attempting to add that into the mix, while explaining sailing, was going to needlessly complicate things. Hopefully these little sacrifices have been worthwhile!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

About the yellow dress


For those of you reading the new Kindle or paperback copies of A Constant Love who've been with me since the beginning, you may have been puzzled by this particular change:

"Elizabeth had been very pleased with how all of the dresses in her wedding trousseau had turned out, but among them she had a few favourites, and she was pleased to see when she went upstairs to change that Sarah had set one of them out. It was a lovely pale yellow muslin that flattered her complexion, and Jane – whose patience made her easily the best embroiderer of all the Bennet ladies – had done the trim. Sarah could not have known this, but Elizabeth was pleased her sister would be able to see the results of her handiwork."

In the original version of the story, Elizabeth was wearing a blue silk dress. I happened to think blue suited the Elizabeth in my head (who wavers between looking mostly like Jennifer Ehle and sort of like Jennifer Ehle), and was at the time under the mistaken impression that because silk is more of a luxury fabric today, it would have been so at that time, while muslin, being made of cotton, was popular, but more for day dresses. Further research showed that to not actually be the case -- Indian muslin was the hot new thing of fashion, and a fine, high-quality muslin would have been highly appropriate for a dinner dress and perhaps even worn by some women for balls. Other grades of cotton fabric, such as calico, would have been worn by lower classes of women.

So that explains the fabric change. But what about the color of the dress? Well, I read of one of Jane Austen's letters, written from London to Cassandra, in which she writes:

"I went the day before (Friday) to Layton's, as I proposed, and got my mother's gown -- seven yards at 6s. 6d. I then walked into No. 10, which is all dirt and confusion, but in a very promising way, and after being present at the opening of a new account, to my great amusement, Henry and I went to the exhibition in Spring Gardens. It is not thought a good collection, but I was very well pleased, particularly (pray tell Fanny) with a small portrait of Mrs. Bingley, excessively like her.

"I went in hopes of seeing one of her sister, but there was no Mrs. Darcy. Perhaps, however, I may find her in the great exhibition, which we shall go to if we have time. I have no chance of her in the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds's paintings, which is now showing in Pall Mall, and which we are also to visit.

"Mrs. Bingley's is exactly herself -- size, shaped face, features, and sweetness; there never was a greater likeness. She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments, which convinces me of what I had always supposed, that green was a favourite colour with her. I dare say Mrs. D. will be in yellow."


And who am I to argue with that? After all, Mrs. Darcy is not my character, as much as I enjoy borrowing her. My stories have always been about honoring Austen's work and the real history of the time to the best of my abilities. So I decided she needed to wear yellow prominently in the story, and I thought this first time acting as hostess for a large dinner, her first time appearing in such a role as Mrs. Darcy, was the best time for Elizabeth to wear yellow.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

GoodReads giveaway

I am giving away two paperback copies of A Constant Love on GoodReads. Feel free to join me there and check out my research list, as well.

And many thanks if any of you were behind the lovely review and ratings there so far! I have been amazed by the reception of ACL since I've published it.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Constant Love by Sophie Turner

A Constant Love

by Sophie Turner

Giveaway ends June 01, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to Win

Friday, May 1, 2015

It's here!

So after a much longer delay than I expected, I am very pleased to announce that A Constant Love has finally been published!


You can find it here on Amazon.com, and it is also available in other Amazon stores worldwide (edit 5/19: and also on Nook). The Kindle edition is $2.99, and I intend to continue to keep the Kindle editions for the whole series at a low price. The paperback is $11.99 (but free shipping if you have Prime); I had wanted to set it lower, but the cost of printing and shipping just would not allow it. My goal in this has never been to make a lot of money, but to offset some of my research budget (if you've been watching my Goodreads feed, you can see there are a lot of books involved in making this series as historically accurate as possible). And I'm not going to lie, I got quite a rush when I first saw that Amazon page. A strange, surreal rush.

If you're reading this, I want to thank you for being a part of this journey with me. I'm here today because of the support, feedback, and encouragement of readers who told me it was worth publishing. I write these stories -- all right, I suppose it's probably time to start calling them novels -- because I love to do it. I love the research, and the planning, and the times when the plot just clicks into place, and when I finally put down all of those words in a way that honors Jane Austen's work as much as I'm able to. And I love to publish (although it is by far the most nerve-wracking process out of all of this), because it means I get to hear from people who are reading my work.

So thank you. A Constant Love and A Change of Legacies are the first of a planned six stories in this series (a few weeks ago, it was only five, so who knows how many it will actually be before I hit the end!). I hope you'll all be with me for the whole ride.

Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy, mansplaining, and empathy

I'm a guest at Austenesque Reviews today, talking about these very things !