Gather round crew. Jack’s doing another interview! Today, the signal flag is flapping high and a hearty “ARRRGH!”is the cry. Come aboard, one and all. Curtsy and bow to Lady Sharon Lathan, Regency Author Extraordinaire!
Welcome, m’lady! Gird your loins, Jack is ready to play!
Jack grins, revealing a gold tooth. “Welcome, Lady Sharon. Care for some rum?”
Thank you, Jack! I am delighted to be on this excursion with the rogues, rebels, and rakes lurking about Captain Katherine’s blog. A mite intimidating as well, I daresay, what with the requisite nautical terms and pirate cant!
“Cant, never could. But do go on, m’lady.”
I dwell amongst the upper crust of London Society, you see. So, be gentle with this novice seafarer as I unpin my hair, loosen my bodice ties, and strap on a sword and scabbard. Take it away, Captain Sparrow!
“Bodice ties? Swords? You do live dangerously, which brings me to my first question, m’lady. If you were born with a compass in your hand, what would it point to?
Home, heaven, and hubby. Yep, I am essentially a simple wench longing for stability with stout walls around and a thick roof above. I avoid the rough seas when possible! I need my loved ones nearby, especially the pirate who stole my heart so long ago, and the Almighty to steer my course.
“Would his name be Jack? No?” Coughs miserably. “You’ve solid footing underfoot. I’ve got pieces of eight in my pocket. Significant treasure, to be sure. If you could have eight pieces with you at all times, what would they be?”
My cell phone, an awesome Samsung Galaxy, is number one. Gotta keep in touch with my mates! Plus, with the Kindle app installed I am never far from prime reading material, including a Bible. I have all my photos uploaded too, so my kids, family, friends, and memories are at my fingertips. Basically this is my portable computer with way more than eight significant treasures rolled into one!
Jack winks. “I believe Katherine has one of these strange shiny boxes. Plays with it all the time, she does.” His eyes widen. ” I’ve got a jar of dirt! No, it’s not shiny but if ye look long enough, ye can barely make out that rum runners have been in there.”
Interesting. Not sure how to tuck it all into a pocket, but my hubby’s espresso machine with bottomless barrels of steamed milk and perfectly roasted Costa Rican or Blue Mountain beans are essentials to life. Of course I need him for barista skills, as well as the many other talents he possesses. *wink, wink
Jack shoots look over his shoulder then winks back. “Barista skills? Talents? Aye, I believe your hubby and I may have been in Tortuga together. Is this when the muse took hold of your sails?”
My imagination has always been creative and my mind spun stories that earned excellent grades in school, but as an RN my focus was on science. When I began writing in 2006, after being inspired by the movie version of Pride and Prejudice and then everything Jane Austen, it remained a “hobby” for over a year. Even when I started looking into publishing I was not imagining it a career or long-lasting endeavor. Now I am writing full-time and loving it!
“And I thought my hobbies: drinking rum, carousing with Katherine, getting out of scrapes, and shooting undead monkeys were exceptional.” Looks to Katherine. “Why didn’t you tell me Lady Sharon was a Rum Nurse? I may need her help chasing away the black spot.”
Katherine’s turn to grin. “Oh, Jack! Lady Sharon is a Registered Nurse not a Rum Nurse.”
Shivers. “Mayhap she’s registered to prescribe rum, eh? Rum does have medicinal value. For instance, Lady Sharon were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape? And I do believe rum works wonders here, right Katherine?”
“Aye, Jack!” Katherine encourages Lady Sharon to offer up her Kraken woes. “Do go on, m’lady.”
“Yes, luv. Tell us about your beasties.”
The monsters dwell in the shadows in vast quantities, and I daresay the Krakens residing amongst the polite veneer of Austen society are some of the worst! I was a rookie sailor on the publishing ship, utterly unprepared for the waves. In the early months I came very close to drowning, and needed the occasional pounding on my chest to spew the seawater. But, in time I got my legs under me and learned to weather the storms. I owe it all to the support of my family, and mostly to those readers who adore my novels. I learned the ropes and how to properly set my sails!
“Here’s a pirate tip. Hold your breath, eh? Works wonders when the plank be the thing ye see above the surface. Now, during a broadside, what do you do to mend your sails?”
Re-watching Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley and the yummy Matthew Macfadyen has a wonderfully therapeutic affect! It is also very inspiring to re-read the plethora of positive feedback I have received. Satisfied fans have a profound replenishing ability. Other times I need to walk away from the glaringly blank page to do something entertaining or relaxing.
Jack winks and takes a swig. “True satisfaction is found with rum. I do not deny the therapeutic affects of that particular course. But I’m curious, m’lady. Once the course for that coveted horizon – your writing journey – had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port?”
In retrospect it was a swift voyage.
“Were ye aboard the Pearl by chance? Fastest ship at sea, she is.”
No, I began writing seriously in March of 2006, started seeking an agent/publisher in October, self-published my first novel in June 2007, and then was accepted by Sourcebooks a month later! By the end of 2007 I was under contract for three novels, the first one—Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One—released on March 1, 2009. Since then I have seen seven more novels and one novella anthology published. Quite a whirlwind, in truth!
“A perfect storm, I say. Wouldn’t ye agree, Katherine?”
“Most definitely, Jack. Very impressive, Lady Sharon!!!”
Jack shimmies closer. “Did you see Tia Dalma? No? Pirates have a code, more like guidelines anyway, but what code do ye sail by?”
I wing it. Free as a bird, so to speak. Or, as it is termed in literary parlance, I am a “pantster.” I make notes, of course, research like crazy, and do have a general game plan as to what is going to happen with the Darcys and their friends. But I like to let the winds take me as I move along. For me this offers freedom. I suppose you can relate to that, right?
“The Darcys? Are they pirates? Do they sail in the Caribbean? If so, who is your all time favorite pirate?
Jack, my love, until recently I would have chosen you. Alas, my heart has now been wrest away and captivated by the engaging smile, roguish charm, and stunning blue eyes of Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. *sigh Second place goes to Ragnar Lothbrok, the Viking played by Travis Fimmel on Vikings. Vikings count as pirates, yes?
“Jack, you have to agree that Colin O’Donahue and Travis Fimmel walk a mighty fine plank.”
“I don’t begrudge a woman her say. Both pirates have earned their due. But can they do this?” Jack balances on spinning wheel rolling down hill. “And that was without any rum, m’lady,” he shouts on the way down.
Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Sharon began writing in 2006 and her first novel, Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One was published in 2009. Sharon’s ninth novel – Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship – is Book One of the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo recounting the betrothal months before the Darcy Saga began.
Miss Darcy Falls in Love was chosen for World Book Night US 2014.
Sharon is a native Californian relocated in September 2013 to the green hills of Kentucky. She resides with her husband of thirty-years, and grown son. Currently retired from a thirty-year profession as a registered nurse in Neonatal Intensive Care, Sharon is pursuing her dream as a full-time writer.
Sharon is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, JASNA Louisville, the Romance Writers of America, the Beau Monde and Hearts Through History chapters of the RWA, the Louisville Romance Writers, and serves on the board of her California RWA chapter, the Yosemite Romance Writers.
Every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story. What story do you have to tell? (Here’s where the blurb for your book comes in.)
Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship (Book One of the Darcy Saga Prequel Duo)
How did Lady Catherine restore Mr. Darcy’s hope to prompt his second proposal? Did Caroline Bingley yield gracefully? Were the Bennets and Meryton citizens approving?
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are betrothed!
Readers of The Darcy Saga have shared in the romance, life, and marital escapades of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. Now the “prequel to the sequel” recounts the weeks in between as two new lovers prepare for happily ever after.
Embark on the journey as Darcy and Elizabeth overcome the rocky past and discover the depth of their love. Delight in budding passion and sweet romance. Enjoy the wedding planning and adventures during the initial weeks of their engagement.
A Season of Courtship promises Hope of the Future.
For more information about Sharon, the Regency Era, and her novels, visit her website/blog at Happily Ever After Comes True
***ARRRGH! We’ve truly enjoyed playing pirate. But here be the best part of having Lady Sharon at Rogues, Rebels & Rakes, me hearties! She be offerin’ treasure. Aye, two giveaways to be exact. Yes, two! Comment and she’ll pick two pirates to win Ebook copies of her book, A SEASON OF COURTSHIP. Huzzah!!! (Announcement of winner to come Tuesday, July 1st!)***