In the past two years, I’ve written (among other things) four mysteries for adults. Three were part of a historical series. One novel featured Jane Austen.
This week I got an email from a woman in charge of collections at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, England.
It was about my Austen novel, A Dangerous Tide, and her decision to add it to the museum’s Reading Room.
Felt Like a Dream
Sue Dell, from the museum, said the following: “Having reviewed your book we have decided we will place your book on our public shelves in the Reading Room at Jane Austen’s House. It will remain on the shelves for 12 months. We like to show the public that Jane still inspires writers today, and your story is a lovely example of this.”
I read the email several times before it sank in. My novel featuring my all-time favorite author, Jane Austen, is sitting on a shelf in Jane’s house in England, just down the short hallway from the dining room where Jane sat at her tiny, twelve-sided table and
wrote Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and others.
I was more thrilled by her email–and my book being placed in their Reading Room–than any award I ever received for a book. Below is a photo of one side of the reading room, and the other photo shows Sue Dell adding A Dangerous Tide to the shelves. [And below that, I'll share a dozen photos of places in Jane's house that appear in the book.]
The Fun of Onsite Research
The events in the book were purely fictional, but the historical setting is accurate, the historical events of the time are real, and the Austen family is based on a lot of research done over the years of enjoying her books and movies and biographies.
For those of you who subscribe to the series (and for my friends who’ve read the book), I thought I’d share some photos of my trip to Jane’s house last September. I have included photos of places featured in the book’s story.
In no particular order then…