I’m a major fan of mysteries, but through my ‘formative years’, I absorbed every romantic suspense (historical or gothic? even better!) I could find. So, when we divvied up Austen plots, I claimed Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen wrote it as a twist on the wild gothic literature that was popular at the time.
I think I like researching as much as I like writing—maybe that’s true for all my other joys like quilting and fairy gardens. Half the fun in pinning a new find on Pinterest is the hope I’ll someday have the chance to make it. How about you?
1880s Austin Texas was a joy to jump in to. A growing city with a new university, a new capital building, and new bridges across the Colorado, it also had some dark history that became ideal for a slight parody of Austen’s own gothic parody. You see, Austin had its own version of Jack the Ripper referred to as The Servant Girl Annihilator. If you’re wondering how I could use that in a story I planned on giving a comedic edge to—well, you have a point. Tragedy can never be fuel for whimsy, but I feel I was able to reflect on it correctly, and focus instead on the cheery, fascinating city of Austin that still makes it a draw for visitors and residents today.
My novella, Alarmingly Charming, is the fourth story in our Austen in Austin, Volume One. The authors shared antique maps; information on stores, restaurants, hotels, streets; photos. I even found a website that offered hundreds of antique postcards covering Austin’s history. These are the gems a writer grabs at. We may add and remove, but we always like to have an effective ‘real’ basis for our story’s setting. For me, a map is at the top of my list! Give me an old map of a town or city and I can tell you who is walking along the street. But as enjoyable as research is, eventually it comes to getting the story on paper (er, the monitor?).
Here’s a link to the antique postcard site: www.austinpostcard.com
I’d love to hear from you today. I’m giving away an Ebook of Alarmingly Charming, per this blog’s
Have you ever become enamored with a place solely through fiction? And have you then made the trip
to visit it as well? Thanks so much for your time! And a big thank you to Crystal for hosting me! Oh, and P.S.
what’s a great quilt shop in Austin?
For future reference…
Buy Austen in Austin and Alarmingly Charming: www.amazon.com/dp/1939023777
Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she's currently stuck on.
Find her online at...
- Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/-/e/B018QCI2AS
- Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/Debra-E-Marvin-433266640199533
- Twitter: twitter.com/DebraEMarvin
- Website: debraemarvin.com
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/debraemarvin/
- Group Blog- Inkwell Inspirations: www.inkwellinspirations.com