Today I’d like to introduce you to a young, up and coming romance author, Sheena Austin. Sheena’s first book, “Returning to Mr. Darcy”, was published by Kingston this past July.
She and I have a few things in common. Both of us were born in Maryland, but later moved to Virginia. We both have a weakness for cats.
Let’s hear more about her life and writing.
Welcome, Sheena Austin!
Before you were offered a contract for your book, you self-published on Amazon. Would you advise this route? What would you have done differently?
If I could do anything differently, I would have taken my chances and submitted to Kingston Publishing sooner. However, I did not know about them until after two months of being self-published. Kingston Publishing has given me more marketing tools and exposure than I had on my own. It would have saved me on paying for editing and I wouldn’t have had to go through several editors and beta readers who ghosted me. It was a total nightmare not finding someone reliable to help me out when they said they would. While self-publishing had it good moments, I would say meeting a great group of authors and readers was the upside to it. Now that I’m with a publisher I get to meet more great authors who are supportive and uplifting.
The inspiration for Returning to Mr. Darcy was, as anyone can guess, Jane Austen’s “Pride and the Prejudice”. What in particular led you to formulate your story?
Honestly, it started out with a scene that kept popping into my head and Mr. Darcy worked himself into it later.
Did you do any research on the times, or just take your cues from P&P? I did some research and took some cues from P&P.
I went to Colonial Williamsburg and my boyfriend and I went into the apothecary shop and I picked her brain about drugs used back then.
The surreal elements of the story are major components to “Mr. Darcy”. Are you a fan of Sci-fi, horror and/or suspense?
I am honestly more of a sci-fi fan. I don’t like horror at all. I do like suspense, I’m a huge fan of Dean Koontz.
Most of the story is quite serious, but when one out-of-time/out-of-the-world visitor shows up and claims to be Lady Agatha Christie, I nearly choked on my drink! Do we also have being Agatha Christie fans in common?
I love Agatha Christie! I fell in love with her while reading “Murder on the Orient Express.”
Was it a particular fondness for Jane Austen’s works that led you to choose a form of her name for your nom de plume? (I have a real fondness for her heroes!)
Yes, it was! It took me awhile to figure out what direction I wanted to go with my nom de plume. I need my privacy and I don’t need future employers to find out that I write semi naughty romance novels!
What other types of works do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy mysteries, YA, fantasy, and time travel romance.
Do you plan on continuing with romance writing, or have you considered other genres? Do you write in any other form (poetry, lyrics, short stories)?
I’m currently working on a sequel to “Returning to Mr. Darcy,” but that is up in the air, whether I will publish that later on or not. I also submitted a YA fantasy piece to an anthology for charity. I used to write tons of poetry, but I haven’t written a poem in a couple of years.
Your intimate scenes are descriptive enough to make Mr. Darcy an adult-only read. Have you considered writing YA? I ask because I know that, like so many other writers, you have been a teacher. Also, please tell our readers about your teaching career plans.
As I stated above, I wrote a YA fantasy short piece for an anthology. I have two more YA pieces that are in the works.
For my teaching plans, that is up in the year. I have been applying to Special Education positions, but nothing has stuck yet. I hope one day to be working in an Autism classroom.
Learn more about Sheena and her works by clicking on the links below:
Author page: https://www.facebook.com/SheenaAustinAuthor/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/199919593950377/?ref=br_rs
Thank you for being my guest, Sheena Austin!