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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A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods – Now on Kindle Unlimited!

My book is now available through Kindle Unlimited 🙂

I am super excited to let you all know that A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods is now available through Kindle Unlimited. If you don’t know, Kindle Unlimited is a program through Amazon in which you pay one monthly price and can read as many KU books as you want.

I’m excited for this next stage for my little book!

Cover Reveal Date!

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods Cover Revealed on August 28!

Pride and Prejudates

My daughter came up with that very clever title for me. She knows titles aren’t my strong suit.

I’m very excited to announce that a cover reveal date for A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods has been set! Meredith at Austenesque Reviews is hosting my cover reveal on August 28th! I am beyond excited. Janet Taylor has been working hard on the cover, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone. I hope you love it as much as I do!

The blog tour for my book will run from September 9-21. Stay tuned for more information about which blogs are participating!

Publication Time Approaches!

Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet -Copyright Alan Weller / The Times.

It’s just around the corner

I am so excited to announce that my book, A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods, will be published by Meryton Press at the end of this month! Stay tuned for exact dates for the cover reveal, pre-order, publication, and blog tour!

I am a strange mixture of excitement and nerves. Sharing a story is akin to revealing a part of your inner life to the wide world. However, I must say that I am so happy to be able to share my story with everyone. Cheers to the end of the month!

Regency Knowledge

Leave me here, please.

It has recently come to my attention that what I know of Regency life is but a smattering. A mere tip of the proverbial iceberg. Bits and pieces gleaned from various period dramas and one very research paper. I’ve stumbled upon a few errors in my thinking recently (editors are a wealth of knowledge), and I am resolved to fill in my spotty knowledge of my favorite historical era.

Upon reaching this conclusion, I did what everyone does nowadays. I Googled. And I found a lovely blog full of information by one Maria Grace. She blogs at Random Bits of Fascination, a blog that I highly recommend for its truly interesting and well-researched posts. I particularly enjoyed this one about circulating libraries.

I’m trying to find information about clubs and societies that flourished during the Regency Period. I know about Gentlemen’s Clubs like White’s. But what of other groups? Did people during this period get together for book clubs? Did they form societies to further a common interest like history or art?

I can’t wait to find out.

Cover Designs

A bit overwhelming…

So many options

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working with Janet at Meryton Press to create a cover for my book. Time out! Let me just read that first sentence again. Okay, still not believing it, but ready to move on. Ahem.

Janet is an super-talented designer and I cannot wait to share the finished product with you. Until then, I thought I would share a few of my favorite covers from other Austenesque titles. I found these inspiring, and they helped me communicate to Janet what I love in a cover.

To Conquer Pride

First, this is a great book and you should go read it right now. Second, look at this cover! The painting itself is beautiful, but the placement of the artwork and the mystery of the lady are so intriguing.

These Dreams

Another wonderful story, this cover is just beautiful. So much feeling is conveyed in this painting. As you can see, I love a painting for a cover. Somehow it places the work in an historical context for me.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be able to share more about my own cover (!!) and release date (!!). Until then, check these two books out. Jennifer Altman and Nicole Clarkston have written lovely works that are definitively worth reading!

Music To Write By – A Musical Soundtrack

Every story has a soundtrack

I’ve worked to music for as long as I can remember. I got my very own boom box (yep, I said boom box) when I graduated from eighth grade. It had a tape deck, a cd player, and a remote control. It was glorious. I used it whenever I was in my room, and often played music all night to help me sleep.

When I went to college I got my first ipod, and was never without my ear buds while studying. Often studying would turn into writing as some piece struck my fancy and imaginative ideas bubbled through my mind.

Now whenever I am working on a story I develop a soundtrack. A score, if you will, to the piece I am trying to create. Inspiration on repeat.

A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods

While working on my first every published novella (!!!), I listened to a combination of soundtrack music and classical pieces that might have been popular in Jane Austen’s day. I thought it might be fun to share a few.

Yes! from Jane Eyre, music by Dario Marianelli

I was taken by this music the first time I heard it. It elevated the scene in the movie to something that pulled at my very heart. When I found out it was composed by Dario Marianelli, my intense reaction made sense. Many pieces in my music library are by Dario Marianelli.

Piano Concerto No. 23 Adagio by Mozart

I almost feel as if anything I say will seem pretentious. It’s Mozart. It’s brilliant. And I love to imagine Georgiana playing this piece!

There are others of course. The entire soundtrack to the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (Dario Marianelli, again). The music from the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Patrick Doyle is amazing!

As the slightly scary Berlioz said, “So many musical ideas…!” I look forward to sharing more of mine.