RWA Online Chapter Interview

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Karen Jones of RWA Online, my “local” RWA chapter. Karen was kind enough to provide me with the opportunity to share it with everyone here.

Interview With Brigid Huey

by Karen Jones

What inspired the story line for A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods? A Chance Encounter is a Pride and Prejudice variation, so it is, of course, inspired by Jane Austen’s work itself. I was outside on a blustery day, and I kept imagining Mr. Darcy dashing up on horseback to lend his aid to Elizabeth Bennet during a blustery, stormy afternoon. The rest of the story came from there.

Book Blurb:

A surprise meeting.

A baby alone in the woods. 

And a second chance at love.

Fitzwilliam Darcy returns to his beloved Pemberley with one thing on his mind—to forget Elizabeth Bennet. Riding ahead of his party and racing a storm, he happens upon the very woman he wants to avoid. To his astonishment, she is holding a baby whose name and parentage are unknown.

Elizabeth Bennet never dreamed she had wandered into Pemberley’s woods on her afternoon walk. But when she finds an infant alone in the storm, she turns to the last man in the world she wants to see—and the only one who can help them both. 

As the mystery of the baby’s identity intensifies, Elizabeth finds Mr. Darcy to be quite different from what she expected. But when the child’s family is discovered, will the truth bring them together or tear them apart?

What was the most difficult aspect of writing A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods? Because my work is a variation, I have to walk a fine line of creating something new while staying true to the characters as they were created by Jane Austen. It was hard to create something original within an established literary world so loved and admired.

What is the sexiest thing you had a character in A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods do? At one point in the story, Mr. Darcy falls asleep while holding an infant. Elizabeth accidentally happens upon him while he is sleeping — he’s disheveled and generally ruffled in a delightful way.

This book is set during the Regency period in England. What aspects of the Regency period interest you? There are many things I love about Regency England, but I think my favorite might be the clothing. I love researching the different styles of the day, especially the gowns the ladies wore.

As an author, what has been the most joyful thing that has happened to you? The day I got the email from Meryton Press that my novella had been accepted for publication was hands down the most joyful author moment of my life. I was blown away that a complete stranger had read my work and liked it enough to publish it. Like many of us, I suffer from imposter syndrome!

What is the most difficult aspect of writing? For me, the most difficult aspect of writing is finding the time to write. I homeschool my two children, and they are both still young. Within the actual process itself, I would say final edits are the hardest part. I want to rush through them and be done! For some reason it’s easier for me to slog through the first couple of drafts. The cleaning up that happens in the final draft tends to overwhelm me.

Did you ever have a character surprise you? Yes! In one of my current works in progress, I just found out that a character is gay. He had been the whole time, of course, I just hadn’t noticed. He’s a minor character, and now I find I want to develop his story more! This is actually the first time this has happened to me as a writer.

When did you start writing and why? I have been writing since I was a kid. I don’t remember consciously deciding to write — I just had a story in my head that I wanted to get out onto paper. I had a wide ruled notebook (I still have it) that I filled with a story about college friends, aliens, and dating. I never finished that story. Someday I will! 

Why did you decide to become a romance writer? I had completed three stories before I realized I was a romance writer. I had some fantasy, science fiction, and historical works in progress, but they were ALL romances really. One day when I was reading about romance novels online, I read about the defining attributes of the romance genre. That is, the story must revolve around a romantic relationship and it must end happily. In a flash I realized that romance was all I wrote. I cannot write a sad ending — I don’t think I have it in me. I write stories that I would like to read. And I like to read romances!

Where is your book available? My book is available on Amazon in both print and e-book formats.

What is your next project? My next project is to find an agent! I am also polishing up two novels: one untitled and The Foll Stones. My goal is to find a publisher for them in 2020.

Published in the January 2020 issue of LoveBytes, the newsletter of RWA Onlinehttp://rwaonlinechapter.org/

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Australia

One of my current works in progress, Fidelity, features a hero from Australia. As I’ve followed the news coming out of Australia, I can’t help but wonder how Graham (my character) would feel about it all. The fires have been raging since November of last year. I wish I could say I’ve been following the crisis from the beginning, but I have not.

I have a long relationship with anxiety and depression, and I have learned over the years that too much news leads me into a spiral. Yet, now I find that I’ve let myself swing too far into isolationism. What I really need is a news summary that I can dip into and then get out of as soon as possible, so as not to be sucked into the swell of almighty depression that comes from realizing you are living in a terrible age full of apocalyptic suffering. See what happens?

In an effort to bring myself up to speed, I did a little research this morning on what has been happening in Australia. I thought it was worth sharing.

First, if you need a good summary of what’s been going on, try this Time article. Warning, it includes videos of the destruction which are disturbing. The article contains some very helpful graphics, too. Toward the bottom of the article, it contains links to various charitable organizations that are helping those affected by the fires. Next, head to NPR for a good article about the crisis, just published on January 10.

When I learn about crises such as what is happening in Australia, I have a tendency to become so overwhelmed that I do nothing. So I have a three fold plan this time. First, I will choose a charity to donate monitary funds to. Second, I will spread what I learn to those that I know. And Third, I will continue to do my part to help the climate crisis.

Much love to those affected by the fires in Australia. Graham and I are with you in spirit.

The Romance of a Moment

Have you all seen The Decoy Bride? I bet if you have you’re a David Tennant fan, because it’s really not a well known movie. It’s my kind of movie. A bit of comedy, a bit of romance, some silly decisions that are easily rectified to lead us all to…a happy ending!

There is a scene in this movie where a character says, “A wedding is like a sunset: the romance of a moment. Marriage is the sea into which that sun sets.” I just love that. My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. And by celebrated, I mean we took care of our two kids that had the flu. Classic good times.

After fifteen years, I can say that I agree with the lovely Scottish gentleman who said that marriage is like the sea. It’s beautiful and infinite. Turbulent and calm. As a romance novelist, I could ask for no better inspiration.

I couldn’t find the clip of that exact quote, so I give you a clip of the ending scene. Obviously, SPOILERS.

Meryton Press Holiday Giveaway

Head to the Facebook Page to enter!

The lovely folks at Meryton Press are hosting weekly giveaways this holiday season! All you have to do to enter is comment on each new post that contains a quote from a Meryton Press book. Today you can head to the Meryton Press Facebook page and you’ll the above quote posted! Enter for a chance to win a free e-book from Meryton Press!

Music to Write By – The Foll Stones

I’ve been working on The Foll Stones for over 10 years. I started it before my daughter was born, took a long hiatus until after the birth of my son, and finished the first draft during my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. So you can imagine that the playlist for this work is long and varied!

Before I share my favorite pieces from the playlist, here is a bit about The Foll Stones:

When 19-year-old Cleona Willow and her childhood friend Brian are magically pulled from their sleepy Vermont town and thrust into the ancient land of Terratalam, they must join the quest to unite the mythical Foll Stones, or risk being trapped in the strange world forever.

The Music

One of the first scenes that I envisioned is quite dramatic. There’s a swamp, a challenge, and a life-threatening drop. The music that plays is Injection by Hans Zimmer. It’s from Mission Impossible II, of all things. It doesn’t really get good until minute 1:30 (sorry Hans).

The next of many favorites is “Ron Leaves” by Alexandre Desplat. It’s from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, although I’ve forgotten which one. It’s so beautiful and sad and simply perfect for The Foll Stones. There’s a fair amount of bittersweet moments in this novel, and this music is perfection.

Okay more bittersweet coming at you. This piece is called “Remembering Jenny” by Christophe Beck. It’s from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack. It’s sooo good. It’s short, but man the feels it evokes. Incidentally, Christophe Beck composed the score for Frozen. Not the songs or anything, but the beautiful music that plays when the parents are lost at sea? Christophe. Also, when the animated Christophe is running across the ice? Christophe. Okay, enough. On to the beauty.

There are many more songs on my list for this novel. As it comes closer to completion, I’ll be sharing more. I hope you enjoyed this peek inside my musical inspiration!

Thanksgiving

It’s complicated…

Let’s face it – Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday. The relationship between white colonists and the native peoples of North America was complex and fraught with violence. Thinking too hard about the subject can leave you less than thrilled to carve up a turkey and celebrate the first Thanksgiving.

Then there’s the shopping. Let’s all leave our holiday parties early so we can shop and get good deals on Christmas presents. Don’t get me wrong, I love good deals. But I dislike the smash and grab atmosphere that seems to accompany Black Friday.

…but it’s my favorite.

Yes, Thanksgiving comes with plenty of complications. However, I have to be honest with you all. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it because it celebrates gratitude, family, and being home. Thanksgiving for me is warmth, pie, and parades watched on TV. I think that if we try to interpret the holiday in modern ways, we can preserve the tradition that so many love.

Wait, what? Modern and traditional? Yup. Here’s my vision for how we do that. We honor the pain of the Native Americans. We honor the spirit of those first colonist who made it through the winter. We focus on gratitude above all else. Because for me, being grateful creates warm, fuzzy feelings. And the last bit? We explore ways to be more tolerant and inclusive in our daily lives.

So much gratitude

I feel so very grateful for the amazing things that have happened this year. Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine since I was very small. So I would like to extend a very warm thank you to everyone that helped me edit and polish my novella. And a very special thank you to my readers. I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Please consider donating to RAICES

In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing a fundraiser with you all. It’s part of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text’s Don’t Be A Dursley campaign. We are raising money for RAICES, an organization that helps refugees. According to their website, RAICES works to “provide lawyers for children, reunite families, provide social services to immigrants in need, resettle refugees, and more.”  They are based in Texas, but helps families all throughout the United States. To learn more about RAICES, visit www.raicestexas.org

If you want to join the campaign, click here to donate! And thank you!