Just over a year ago, Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds, two Austen-inspired authors with unnatural amounts of energy and leadership, invited me to join a community of writers developing a cooperative blog to celebrate Jane Austen. The blog, Austen Authors, gathers readers and writers, Janeites, and Darcy fans each day for a dose of Austen-related comradery. Whether it be to launch a new Austen-inspired novel, share a piece of historical research, or report on current Austen-related events, the blogsite brims with enthusiasm and life. Where there had been nothing, there is now an efficient organization that serves fresh content daily. Where there had been nobody, there are now hundreds of visitors and subscribers who, in this crazy-busy world gather to share a common interest.
This week we celebrate one year of cooperative blogging on Austen Authors and, from a personal standpoint, I’m pausing to reflect on how much I’ve gained being an AuAu (that’s what we call each other for short). Little did I know I would be joining a virtual sorority (plus Jack), developing close ties in spite of vast geographical diversity (including an ocean), and meeting many times a day in cyberspace. But turns out the blog is the tip of the iceberg. Where there had been silence, there is now a discussion loop that frequently pops into my email, posing questions and answers on topics of interest to all of us. Where there had been isolation, there are now 25 like-minded writers puzzling over common problems, meeting for book signings and conferences, and sharing the ups and downs of the journey.
Join us on Austen Authors this week as we celebrate a year of blogging under the dedicated leadership of Sharon and Abigail. Long may they energize us all!