Since today is Miss Jane Austen’s 234th birthday (happy birthday, Miss Austen!), it seemed an appropriate time to make my grand announcement about the next book. All this past summer, I’ve been secretly working away on a special project: a book set in Bath in Christmas of 1803, featuring Jane Austen, Turnip Fitzhugh, and a lot of Christmas pudding. The Christmas Book, as I’ve been calling it, has a name now: The Mischief of the Mistletoe.
The book is loosely– very loosely!– based on the plot of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, The Watsons, which was written around that time. Little did Austen scholars realize that my heroine, Miss Arabella Dempsey, was the inspiration for Austen’s incomplete work! I’ve been having a grand time with Austen’s books and letters, as well as skulking around the Austen exhibit at the Morgan, which couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s one thing to read a transcription of Austen’s extant letters, quite another thing to actually see them.
The Mischief of the Mistletoe will appear on shelves in October of 2010, a few months before Pink VII (nope, no title for that one yet– I may need to appeal to you all for flowery aid sometime soon). I’ll be posting more about the book soon, as well as a special opportunity to read a few advance chapters….