Desperate Measures and Daunting Decisions

I am finding it a little difficult to let go of Mr Darcy. He was my first love, you see, at the tender age of 15. This was the Mr Darcy of the written word, the original character created in the book of Pride & Prejudice, penned by Jane Austen’s fair hand.

Time moves on and life takes over but, in the intervening 35 years, we have met again on occasion (1995 and 2005 remain the most memorable encounters), and though his appearance – and even some aspects of his personality – change on each instance of our re-acquaintance, I have loved him still. (He certainly seems to be aging better than I am!!)

So you see, now I have added my own Mr Darcy to the mix, the one that walks through the pages of A Fair Prospect, I am reluctant to bid him farewell.

As you will know from my posts here or on other Blogs recently, the story was a long time in the making: four years of writing, almost three years of editing. Two volumes are out there now, with the third burning a hole in my desk. The story has long been complete.

So what, you may well ask, is the hold up on releasing the final volume? Surely it’s time to move onto something new? All stories must come to an end. Well, therein lies the problem.

Did you ever read Tolkein’s trilogy, The Lord of the Rings? And did you also see the wonderful films that Peter Jackson made of the story? I hope you did, because if not, this will make no sense!

I remember there being much debate when the final film, The Return of the King, came out, over the ending – or should that be ‘endings’. As is often the case, loyal fans of the books were disappointed that there wasn’t more story after the ring was destroyed. They wanted to see the scouring of the Shire and so on. For others, it was the film with too many additional scenes after the main climax (I think there were at least four or five fade outs), and Elijah Wood once said that Jack Nicholson had walked out of a screening after the second fade out, saying ‘too many endings, man’!

So here is the danger: having put Darcy and Elizabeth through so much angst across three volumes, was the right ending going to be that moment when they throw the ring into the fires of Mount Doom? (Should I have put a spoiler alert on this? You do know that the trilogy was originally called The Fellowship of the Darcy, The Two Darcys and The Return of the Darcy, don’t you?) 😉 Anyway… if it isn’t that moment, when is it? How much more would a reader want to hear of their story?

For reassurance and guidance, I returned to Pride & Prejudice to remind myself of what Jane Austen had chosen to do, soon realising that she too had not been able to leave her couple without taking them beyond the moment when they come to an understanding. She too had added further chapters and a short epilogue.

I have now, therefore, done the same, extending the story beyond where it originally ended. Is this the right thing to do? Will someone put the book down after one of those chapters and say, ‘too many endings, man’?

I am still undecided, but May is looming, and with it will come the daunting decision on what is definitely going to be Darcy’s last scene before I hit that ‘approve proof’ button. Watch this space for further updates as I tweak and polish!

In the meantime, I am pleased to say that Darcy’s Dilemma is now available in paperback in all the usual online bookstores, in the Kindle store and on Smashwords.com for all other eBook formats (it will be in the Nook, Kobo and iBook stores very soon too).

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35 Responses to Desperate Measures and Daunting Decisions

  1. Carol Hoyt says:

    Cassie, I understand your dilemma now! Mr Darcy is hard man(character ) to leave behind. He and Elizabeth’s struggles pull us into their story. Just knowing that mutual love and admiration is waiting at the end makes us all sigh with delight and happiness. Darcy and Elizabeth live on in many book recarnations . There are never too many endings! Just more opportunities to sigh and smile!!
    Do what you do best! They will tell you when it is too much !

  2. Carol OBrien says:

    I just read your first 2 books in the last 2 days. I cant wait to read the third one. I hope you have it release soon. I have thoroughly enjoyed your books. Please continue writing. Why let go of Mr Darcy? I can easily see a fourth book coming out of this.

    • LOL Carol. A fourth?!?! I am working on making Volume III available as soon as I can. If only it weren’t for the day job….

      • Carol Hoyt says:

        Cassie, those pesky day jobs ! It seems that most of my favorite authors have the same problem I do! Thanks for spending some of your free time entertaining us!!

    • Dana says:

      Carol I agree! I have been reading books that start where the movies/novel left off. Just as long as authors keep it true to the nature of who the characters are, readers would love to see the story continue!

  3. Margaret Hale says:

    I was hoping you were going to say it was already released! I have really enjoyed your version, and I CANNOT wait for the last book! I’ve considered begging you for an early release. I don’t care if there are typos! I am confident, no matter how you decide to end the story, it will be fabulous. But I do want to say, provide a little of your extra endings.

  4. Margaret, I love your name! Do you happen to know John Thornton? 😉

    There will definitely be a few extra endings!

  5. Thatrater says:

    Waiting with baited breath; checking daily now. Please, please, PLEASE release SOON!!!!!!

  6. Jane Odiwe says:

    Cassandra, I think there can be many Mr Darcys, essentially the same, but found in many novels. Of course, this one is your first love, but you know, when you’ve sent this last one out into the world, another Darcy story may well come to haunt you. It happened to me, and I’m sure it will to you, too.

  7. Linda Neilson says:

    Cassandra, I too have read the 1st two volumes, anxiously awaiting the final volume. I plan on rereading the 1st two before the final volume, when it is available on Kindle. I will probably also reread the original Pride and Prejudice while waiting for the upteenth time.

  8. Linda, lovely to hear from you! Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it!

  9. Susaninfrance says:

    Can’t wait for volume III, love to see a 4 & more! Great job!

  10. Crisifatmi says:

    As others have said, I thoroughly enjoyed volume one and two. I can’t wait for Desperate Measures…

  11. Sara Khazai says:

    Hi! We already shared a brief discussion on Amazon, butI have just finished volume II and came straight to your web page for info on the third volume. I’m a university lecturer of English lit in Iran with an MPhil in 19th cent. lit from University of London. Sharing your love of P&P, I have read over 60 sequels /alternatives to it (sounds a bit crazy when you admit to it, doesn’t it?!) and your writing is by far my favourite. I think I’ve said this before, but I really love your diction, humour and character studies. I believe a strong point so far, is your slow pace. Nobody should be in a rush to race through P&P! You’re a reminder of Austen’s own patience over a “bit of ivory”. I hope volume III will not put Darcy through too much angst (I love Austen’s lightness of spirit) and that there won’t be a sudden change into quantom leaps! Just one tiny criticism; I thought it a bit too much when I came to the “overhearing” scene! Predictable & unbelievable! Not worthy of such fine writing really. Please please release the next volume; myself & two others here are waiting for it with much impatience!
    Sara

    • Oh gosh, Sara, thank you for commenting here. I do appreciate the kind things you have said about the writing, especially in the light of your job, your qualifications and your vast experience of reading sequels/alternatives! 😀

      I am SO sorry that you found the ‘overhearing’ predictable and unbelievable. I hate disappointing readers, and I hope very much that you still enjoy the final volume; however, as that scene influences the storyline in Desperate Measures, I am concerned that you will find everything implausible going forward!

      • Sara Khazai says:

        Not to worry: I’m terribly adept at suspending my disbelief! I’ll just take that incident in my stride and have pleasure in the rest! You have what we call in our language, a “sweet pen”. Thank you for deciding to share it with the world.

  12. Victoria Ashraff says:

    Cassandra, please don’t leave us in suspense too long, I’ve just read the first two parts in 2 days and have high hopes for the next part. I love how you have made the story span just a week so far. I can definitely see the Matthew Macfadyen characterisation of Darcy in your writing…definitely the tortured soul!!! Waiting with bated breath….

    • Thanks for stopping by, Victoria. I have booked some time off from work soon to ensure that it all gets sorted! Will keep everyone updated here (which then feeds through to Facebook and Twitter).

  13. SusanFromMinneapolis says:

    Cassandra, I love-love-love your series and am waiting for the third volume with as much anticipation as everyone else, it appears. I too have read a fair amount of P&P fan fiction and there are very few authors I’ve read that can compete with your writing. I truly enjoy the way you’ve captured Lizzy’s spirit, and of course no one with two X chromosomes could possibly resist Darcy! Anyhow, don’t hesitate to throw in extra endings. I think there can never be too many Darcy and Lizzy stories when they’re as artfully and respectfully written as yours are. What does Jack Nicholson know anyhow?

  14. Thank you, Susan, that’s very kind. I am fully focused on polishing those ‘endings’!!!

  15. Kori says:

    Absolutely love your first two volumes! Just finished them and went to download the third and was so disappointed to find its not available yet! I’m dying here 🙂 I can’t wait for its release! Thank you so much. You are a wonderful writer and I have enjoyed your books immensely!

  16. Gail Jenkins says:

    Cassandra, Please!!! Poor Mr. Darcy. I too have read many P&P variations and enjoyed many of them. Your version, however has captured my complete attention. I devoured each book in one day. I’ve cried with Elizabeth and agonized with poor Darcy. You’ve given Georgiana’s personality such depth. I’m all anticipation…. Hurry!

  17. I am so sorry for the delay, everyone. I just want to be sure it’s right. Thank you for being interested and sorry to let you down by it not being out there yet.

    • Carol Hoyt says:

      You are right. You’ve put the love and energy into this book. Take your time. Make it the best for you.
      It will be done when its done. Take deep breathes and know you have friends and fans behind you 100% .

  18. Dana says:

    Cassandra, your books are great and truthfully, I love how you’ve given us more interaction with Darcy and Elizabeth then what the novel has in it. I can’t wait to see how they come together in Desperate Measures! Is it going to be on Amazon soon? I hate to check back every five minutes LOL! I was glad you said you were going to take it a few chapters beyond the novel to wrap it up in a bow for the readers. However if you have more to say, let it go and keep writing. I for one would read it! I have read several of the subsequent books available and I never tire of seeing a different author’s view of what happened with the happy and passionately in love couple.

    Thanks for keeping them alive!
    Dana

  19. Erika M says:

    Nice pics and stories 🙂 I cannot wait to read the new book!

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