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I hope this finds you happily reading an exciting Jane Austen Fan Fiction story with a cup of tea and a snack or two (or three).

My latest story Windswept launched very early on May 9th due to my ineptness with BookFunnel and bad timing on my part in not setting up a pre-order. The reviews have been wonderful. Thank you to all those who have read, who are reading, and who are planning to read this tale. I’d love to hear what you think. (It’s my favorite!)

Last Thursday, my husband and I took a quick trip to the End of the Trail Museum in Oregon City, Oregon to start researching my next project. The staff was patient and informative. We then went to McLoughlin House. There we were welcome to take a seat and ask as many questions as we could think up. It was pretty amazing what we learned about life in Oregon during the 1830’s and 1840’s.

You might be wondering why a JAFF author needs to learn about this period and location. Because of dealing with age-related issues, I decided that Windswept would be my last JAFF. Instead, I would finally write the book of my heart, a romance set on the Oregon Trail. Well, after our trip to Oregon City, I ended up outlining a JAFF where Will Darcy unwillingly leads a wagon train with 750 emigrants from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley. The Bennets, the Lucas family, Bingleys, Hursts, and Major Richard Fitzwilliam join Mr. Darcy for a grand adventure where they will discover love and the true meaning of home.

My excitement level is almost off the charts. I love the history and the location. I love the whole idea of packing up and starting over in another part of the planet with differing cultures. The amount of research I will need to do will exceed that done for Windswept. I will enjoy every minute.

Since I’ve been planning this for a while, my cover designer provided a mockup. What do you think?

Does that look like Lizzy Bennet to you? It does to me. I love her attitude. Can’t you see her and Will Darcy butting heads? I sure can. By the way, that’s the real Columbia River Gorge in the background. While I adore the design, I am not happy with the title though (plus, it’s missing the oxford comma). Here are some other ideas:

Pride, Prejudice, & the Oregon Trail

Pride, Prejudice, & Pemberley West

Pride, Prejudice, & Prairie Schooners

Pemberley West

Do you have any ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Please take care and stay safe. Happy reading!

8 Comments

  • Glynis

    Alas I’m not great at titles. All I can come up with is ‘Darcy leads the way’ whatever you call it it sounds good and I’m glad Richard is with him in case Wickham turns up!

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      Thank you, Glynis. Wickham will turn up. However, he will be a very small part of the story. According to what I’ve outlined, Richard will be as much of a hero as Darcy. He has a very special place in this tale. Unless the characters determine differently.

  • Jeanne Garrett

    That is a beautiful mock up for your cover. That background is amazing. I think your world fandom might have trouble with Prairie Schooners. Many people do not know what those are. However, you could simplify the title with any of the following:

    Pride & Prejudice on the Oregon Trail.
    Pride & Prejudice at Pemberley West.

    As a side note: I found it hilarious when you wrote that you had written your last JAFF. My breath caught until you mentioned the characters in your new story. You may take [or try to take] the author out of JAFF, but you can’t take JAFF out of the author. Your characters were having none of that. They were not about to allow you to leave them in Jolly ole England while you trapsed the Oregon Trail. I had to laugh. Characters will have their say. You just need to listen to their voice. They only get louder if you try to ignore them. I wish you all manner of success with this new venture. Blessing

    • J "Joy" Dawn King

      Thank you, Jeanne. Your point about Prairie Schooners is valid. Your two suggestions are now my frontrunners. I’m leaning toward “Pride & Prejudice on the Oregon Trail” as the title and changing the sub-title back to “A Pride & Prejudice Variation”.

      I’ll honestly admit that I was pretty determined to give Darcy and Elizabeth a rest. They really put me through it with Windswept. (I’m still reeling from the storm.) My intentions were to invent completely new characters for my Oregon Trail adventure/romance. In fact, I already named them Henry “Hank” Elam and Katie McGraw. Well!!! Your observations about JAFF is my reality. Like Lady Catherine, everyone insisted on having their say.

      Jeanne, developing this story is a delight. There will be two original characters who are older gentlemen with slightly rough edges. Their mischief frustrates Darcy and delights Elizabeth, who they call Princess. I picture actors Richard Farnsworth (Matthew Cuthbert) and Ben Johnson (of The Sacketts) as these two men. My Darcy is a young Sam Elliott with a good mustache (although it’s slightly less pronounced because of, well, you know, the first kiss and all.) And for a rarity, I adore this Mr. Bennet. He’s so proud of himself for stepping outside his comfort zone that he is totally oblivious to how much his wife is to blame for their being in Independence, MO. After all, there are far more men than women in Oregon and with five daughters… (She is Maureen O’Hara from McClintock).

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