Dear Jane Austen, How Did You Do It? by Cathy Maxwell

Dear Jane Austen, How Did You Do It? by Cathy Maxwell

[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Cathy Maxwell posting on the site today. Take it away Cathy!]

Dear Jane Austen,

How did you do it? What was you first inkling that stories featuring the dance of falling in love would be successful? Or that there was a demand for them? Especially one that would survive centuries?

Or were you just trying to tell the tale? And how your book was received was beyond your command as the author?

Did you watch a country dance with one ear cocked toward the whisperings of gossips and think, ah, yes, this would be a best-selling story?  Did you witness young women throwing themselves at the most eligible bachelor in the room, knowing that they were wasting their time on a loser? Or that their social climbing goals would be for naught? Did you observe desperate men fluff their resumes and realize that only the most foolish and gullible of chits would believe them?

And were you aware that everyone rich and poor, the haughty and the humble yearned for love? For acceptance? For someone who valued them above all others?

Of course you did. Otherwise, you would never have placed pen to paper. Or continued writing between your first rejection letter and your eventual sale fourteen years later.

You even knew that, contrary to the current fashion of your time, the dark moment of a book was not the death of protagonist leaving the other partner left to repent their callous behavior until the end of time. No, you ignored such dramatics. Instead, you warned us that the one true fear in life is losing that special person whose “sensibilities” match our own, that someone who will stand beside us in the battles of life, who values us for our intelligence as well as our quirks and imperfections, the mate who is in such perfect sympathy with us that words aren’t necessary.

Did you imagine that sex would become so much a part of the modern books? Perhaps not. However, you grasped as few others that commitment is the true measure of love–whether the characters are noble or from a coarser side of life, or small town vets, or billionaire sports stars, or warring shape-shifters.  You understood how high the stakes are when we give someone out trust.

Would we have gotten where we are today without you?  Absolutely. You had your writers who inspired you. You may have outpaced them but they helped set you on a true course, just as your tales have inspired so many of us. I wonder if the stories we write today would shock you.  Perhaps you knew we would take it further, because that is what writers do. 

And we’ve had a good time running with it.

Thank you, Jane Austen, for taking that risk to follow your dream. For spending time in a chair playing with words. For never giving up after that first rejection letter.  Thank you for showing us how it is done.

Your fan girl,

Cathy Maxwell

About the Author:

Cathy Maxwell has been in publishing for over twenty-five years. Yes, that makes her a war horse, i.e. she has seen a lot of stuff.  Over the course of that quarter of a century, Cathy has written over thirty-five historical romances, hit the New York Times and USA Today lists, been nominated for or won some nice awards, made dynamite writing friends, and has had the time of her life. Her upcoming book has the old school title of HIS SECRET MISTRESS and will be out February 25, 2020. You can find out more about her at Or, if you wish to stalk her, She usually yaks back.

His Secret Mistress by Cathy Maxwell, out now!

At the Logical Men’s Society—an exclusive bachelor’s club—brandy flows like water, bawdy stories abound, and a gentleman tempted to marry is always persuaded to reconsider . . .

Brandon Balfour made the mistake of trusting his heart to the exquisite, strong-willed actress, Kate Addison, with whom he shared one intimate night before fate intervened. Now a decade later, Brandon is a leading member of the Logical Men’s Society—for no woman since Kate has managed to captivate him.

To Kate, the memory of that night still burns strongly, because it was followed by a stunning betrayal. A chance encounter may have brought Brandon back into her life, but that doesn’t mean Kate will ever forgive him. She’s vowed to make him pay—even as she realizes the promises of the young love they once shared are still etched upon her heart . . .

Loving her exiled him.

Trusting him ruined her.

And now, a clash of passions threatens everything each of them ever desired.


Enjoyed this post?

Frolic F Logo



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About The Author

February Horoscopes and Book Recs!

Daily Frolic: New Star Wars Content is Coming!

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top