A couple of days ago, Kerri Spennicchia, Assistant Regional Coordinator of JASNA NY forwarded to me the Jane Austen Centre's newsletter with a note "You do know that “Confessions” has been nominated for [a] Regency [World] Award.”
No, Kerri, I didn't! In fact, as a subscriber to the excellent Jane Austen's Regency World magazine, I'd received the newsletter myself earlier in the day. But I hadn't yet looked at the nominees. Nor had it occurred to me that my book might be one of them.
I've been doing the happy dance ever since.
According to The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, which is the sponsoring organization, "the Awards recognise the contribution of the nominees in furthering the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the work of Jane Austen."
Winners are chosen by the public, so please visit The Jane Austen Centre's website and cast your vote.
I had the great pleasure of visiting The Jane Austen Centre when I was deep into my research for Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and took a trip to Bath. I'd long been curious about the city that figured so prominently in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, and where key scenes in my own novel take place. I'd read a great deal about Bath prior to my visit, but the one thing that all my reading hadn't prepared me for was the feel of the place. Before I'd spent a full day in Bath I was already thinking to myself: I could live here. In a heartbeat.
What struck me more than anything else about Bath was its own heartbeat. Its energy and vitality. Although going to Bath was like going back in time, it was also a vibrant, wholly alive place.
There was so much to do in Bath that every day was filled with exciting adventures. I went to The Jane Austen Centre and breathed in everything Austen. I took one of The Centre's excellent walking tours of Jane Austen's Bath. I also took an unforgettable walking tour of Georgian Bath led by Bill Haxworth of the Mayor's Corp's of Honourary Guides. I went to the Assembly Rooms and thought of Anne Elliot and Catherine Morland, gazed at the façade of 4 Sydney Place, where Jane Austen once lived, walked in Sydney Gardens, went to Bath Abbey, visited the Pump Room and the King's Baths, the Building of Bath Collection, Number One Royal Crescent, and the Victoria Art Gallery. I sketched, bought a suitcase full of books, wrote scenes for my novel.
I left Bath inspired and full of energy, ready to delve back into Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. At the time, I had no idea that my book would ever be published. It certainly never crossed my mind that it might some day be nominated for a Regency World Award. I am deeply grateful to the Jane Austen Centre for this great honor.