The writings of Heather Lynn Rigaud

Welcome to Austen Nights, the home of author Heather Lynn Rigaud. Heather's writing is focused on updating the classic works of Jane Austen, taking these classic characters where they've never gone before. She welcomes you to enjoy 'Sweet Austen days and Hot Austen nights!'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happiest of Holidays

(I'm sorry I've been such a bad blogger. I promise to try and post more, even if I posts aren't amazing works of writing)

I want to wish you all the Happiest of Holidays. Merry Christmas, Blessed Solstice, and may the New Year bring joy and prosperity to all!

I've been a madwoman getting everything together for the holidays: gift shopping, cookie baking, concert attending, as well as being Super-wife & -mother. But I feel I'm doing my job well. The boys are happy, the husband's as happy as he can be (poor man really wishes he was independently wealthy) and the home is homey.

My wonderful editor has come back to me with more cuts for Slurry. Some of them are negligible, but at least one is going to hurt. *sigh* While it's a wonderful thing to be a published author, you pay for that joy in the editing process.

It will make the book better (keep repeating that) and I want Slurry to be the best book it can be. And hopefully the pain of editing will pass quickly.

(The great thing about a blog is you can go on and on about yourself, and it's okay)

Anyway, I'm pleased to report that my favorite gift of the Holidays (so far) is an amazing handmade knitting bowl. It's a fabulous work of art that's also functional. I love it. The potter is an on-line friend who's work is in an number of increasingly important museums. which is totally cool, but even if she wasn't almost famous, I'd still love this bowl.

If you want some custom, useful art, her web page is here. I highly recommend her mugs, which are custom made to your requests. An excellent gift. Kogi's custom clay!

Happy Holidays! May the coming light overcome all our darkness's.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shortie from Editing

Okay, I know it's tacky to comment on your own writing, but I really love the headline: Fitzwilliam Darcy and Black Lizzy- A Match made in Hell! 

And the work continues. 

Richard's Music

What do Creed:

(Whoa, looking at that video again, was that freakily like Katrina or what? Even to the
stinkin school bus! Holy cats!)


And Audioslave:

have in common? (Goodness knows, it's not religion!) They're all what I think of as 'Richard's Music". Dark gritty lyrics & vocals, Short, repeatative phrases. The percusion, while not being solo material, is important and strong. This is what Richard's spirit sounds like to me.

And there's a reason why I'm listening to it this morning.

More later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shhhhhhh! Serious writing going on here!

(And if you believe that, I've got a bridge for sale)

Can I tell you  secret? Sure I can. It's my blog, I can do whatever I want! It's this: MSWord has been running on my computer for the past full week. Maybe longer.

Okay. I know. As secrets go, that's pretty weak-sauce. But its a major change for me. MSWord is a processor hog and it slows everything down. I usually have it turned off, unless I'm working on something. And yes, that's the key: I'm working on something.

I'm working on my final draft of Fitzwilliam Darcy- Rock Star! It's due next Monday. I'm excited, and it turns, giddey and nauseous. But it's all good.

The biggest change my dear readers who've read it before will notice is the songs. I couldn't expect Sourcebooks to buy the rights to all those songs, and I couldn't in good conscienous ask those artists to sell their songs for my work. (Just picture that for a moment- go ahead) So I wrote new songs for the book. It was hard, but I'm pleased with how they turned out.

And I have a list of all the 'official' Slurry songs in the front of the book, so you can still use the orginal soundtrack.

That's what I'm doing. It's very crazy, and fun at the same time.

Love you all!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Um, Seriously?

So, I watched Mansfield Park last night. This was the 2008 version with Billie Piper. I have to disclose that I've never read Mansfield Park (it's the only Austen novel that I've not read) or seen any of the other movies. I've been warned by friends I trust that I probably wouldn't enjoy the book. I do plan on reading it, and I do own a copy of it, I've just never had the self-control to do so. (I'm really bad about skipping dentist appointments too.)

But I was familiar with the basic plot: poor cousin goes to live with rich cousins. Finds them largely depraved. Gets rewarded for virtue in the end.

Now, I have to be fair and admit that I'm not sure Billie Piper was the right choice to play Fanny Price. I've seen Billie in all the Doctor Who's she was in (which were a lot) and I'm acquainted with her work. I think she's very talented. But it's a real, REAL stretch to believe that she's supposed to 'blend in the with background'. I know they can do miracles with make-up, but they didn't in this movie. She's shiney and blonde all the way though, and no, I just don't buy that Edmond, or anyone for that matter, 'overlooked' her.

But ignoring that very real flaw, it's a really hard plot to get behind. Boring girl wins the love of boring boy, after he finds the interesting girl is just too interesting for him. Mary Crawford's crime? Not wanting to get hosed for her brother's fooling around.  Oh my, how horrid. 

Also, I have close friends who adopted their niece, under similar circumstances as Fanny and the Bertram's and the idea of the adopted girl and their son marrying is really, really wrong. I know social standards were different then, but no, I'm just not buying this. 

And I point I've learned that the movie ignored is that Fanny was also religious to the point of being judgmental. Oh, lovely.

It's all so repelling that I'd almost believe that this is Austen doing a really deep social satire that we're just not getting. To compare Elizabeth Bennet to Fanny Price, it's difficult to believe they came from the same author.  But then I remember Elinor Dashwood, and I have to believe it is the same writer. Elinor is just too severe for my tastes, and I end up rooting for Marianne, just because I feel sorry for her.

Anyway, Fanny Price, Mansfield Park, Billie Piper, what do you all think?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Undressing Darcy

Sarah Michele Gellar sometimes talks about how it was for her to be starting mid-season with a show called 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', and having to talk about it with people. And the looks she got.

I sometimes feel like that. I mention that I've got a book coming out, and people ask, "What's it about?" Usually I'm in a non-chatting place, and I say, "Oh, it's a romance" and try and dismiss it as soon as possible. Because I'm a wimp like that.

Other times I explain, "It's a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice." That usually goes over well. Most people have at least heard of Pride & Prejudice. "In which Mr. Darcy is a rockstar." Aaaaannnnddd that's usually where I lose them. 

Mr Darcy? A Rockstar??? (Sometimes there is pearl-clutching at this point)  Most people are too polite to tell me what they think of this idea, but they're faces express it fairly well.

And I get it, there are a lot of crazy fan fictions out there. And much of it is not very good. Plus it's Jane Friggin' Austen! Arguably the greatest English novelist of all time. It's Mr. Darcy, beloved of the ages, that I'm undressing and putting into highly irregular positions! What gall! What cheek! Excuse me while I go and clutch my pearls.

So you can see why I sometimes wimp out when describing my book. It's a romance. Find it in the romance section. Next question. 

But just as Sarah Michele was vindicated when Buffy turned into the monster hit it became, so does Slurry do quiet well when people just read it. I frequently getting notes from people who say something like: I've never read modern JAFF before, but your story changed that! I didn't think I'd enjoy it, but I did!

These kind of notes make me very happy.  :D Because although it is taking Darcy and Elizabeth to a very different kind of place, I worked very hard to have it still be Darcy and Elizabeth. I read though P&P so many times while planning and then writing Slurry so that I'd be getting the same characters. One of the things I'd do is at every plot point, is I'd study what was going on emotionally for each character. What was Darcy feeling here? What was motivating Elizabeth at this time? 

This was very important to me, because like any Austen Author, I wanted to stay with my favorite couple. I just wanted to put them in new clothes. 

I want to thank everyone who read my post today at AustenAuthors. It's all brand new and a bit scary too me, but everyone's support has been fantastic! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let's do a test.

I'm getting ready for my big introductory post at AustenAuthors. No pressure, it just has to be light and engaging and make people who have never heard of me want to read my book. (HL quietly throws-up in the corner) Also, I have to figure out how to post this at the appopriate time.

Hmmm, technology. Okay I can do this. How hard can it be? ... Don't answer that.

So, I'm going to do a little test here, to see if I've got this delayed posting thing down. (Cross your fingers)

Okay, one more question- why does my blog think it's 5:20 in the morning?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rushing towards publication!

So, this week's been a little nuts. On Monday we had the launch of our wonderful new blog, AustenAuthors, which has already been getting lots of positive notice. On Wednesday, I had the school year begin for my two beloved sons.

On top of all that, I had my first phone conference with my editor, Deb Werksman. She had some great news for me, including the information that Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rockstar! will be coming out in September of 2011! I'm so excited.

After the chat with Deb, I got an email from the art department at Sourcebooks, who wanted some information for the art for the cover of the book. Specifically, they asked for :
Physical descriptions of the hero and heroine: Eye and hair color, complexion, build, age, costume, or anything else significant to the story such as scars, tattoos)

I believe I can supply that! :D

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Beginnings!

In New York where I live, School is just starting this week. The weather is (finally) cooling down and Fall is definitely on it's way. The lazy days of Summer are over and it's time to get back to work.  I'm looking forward to my boys going back to school and having some quiet time to do some writing.

One of the new beginnings that I'm especially excited about is the new Austen Authors blog. This is a blog for writers of professionally published writers of Jane Austen fiction. It will be a chance for the lovers of JAFF to find some new stories, as well as get to know the writers a little better. I'm going to be posting on September 18th, with a 'take no prisoners' post about Sex and Jane Austen. It's one of my favorite topics. (Wink)

I hope you will al visit the new blog. There's going to be give-aways every week, with lots of great prizes and fun games. In the meantime, if you have thoughts you want to share about Sex and JA, please post in the comments. Hope your new beginnings are going well!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Thinking about the Future

So, next year about this time, Slurry Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rockstar! will be published by Sourcebooks press. It's very exciting for me, but it also means a whole lot of changes and a brand new learning curve. Did I mention how I hate learning curves? Also, this one is done in public- ohhh, even better!

I'm attempting to remain calm and to give myself lots of permission to learn and make mistakes, but there are moments. If all goes well, I will publish L&PGTW next. It will probably be re-titled 'Fitzwilliam Darcy, Knight!' or some such thing, but it's all good.

So what comes after that? I need to finish some new stories. And I'm not quite sure how that's going to work. There is the simple question of 'what?' I'd love to do an updating of Northanger Abby, which is so funny I lol when reading it, but my brain's also been spending some time with Anne Elliot, from Persuasion, and she'd like her story told too. She's very loud today, and I'm really drawn to the story of a woman ho gave up on love, who's now in her 30's and is now saying "I'm too old, there's no romance for me" and finding up just how wrong she could be.

Or, there is always Darcy and Elizabeth, who are certainly the most popular Austen pair, and who I have a way with, if you know what I mean. I could ruffle some feathers with 'Pride and Prejudice' with guest stars Charles Bingley and James (not Jane) Bennet. Or I could combine my other love, and set the story in 16th Century Venice. Or I could just go totally off the deep end, and write my SuperHero version of P & P.

But the other question on writing is 'How?' When I wrote Slurry and L&PGTW, I had the wonderful and very insulated community of Hyacinth Gardens to encourage and structure me. I had posting deadlines, that were self-imposed, but that served me very well, and I had wonderful Betas, who kept me from going astray. (and made sure my work was actually readable) Sadly that's all gone, and I'm not sure how well I can write without that community around me.

I'm trying not to worry that too much, having faith that when I need it, the support will appear. I've found that in the past, sweating the process doesn't help me much, and I do much better listening to my intuition, at least when it comes to writing stories.

So, what are your thoughts, dear readers. Is there a community I've missed that I'd be welcome at? (Because anything I write will be adult in nature, and not everyone enjoys that) Do you have any suggestions on the topic I should write? Am I babbling nonsense?

Right now, I want to say thank you for all your support. It's really important to me.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Welcome to Austen Nights. Everything is new here. I'm Heather Lynn and I'm delighted to announce the publication of my book Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rockstar (previously known as Slurry) in the Fall of 2011 from Sourcebooks. The book will be available in trade paperback and electronic formats. I don't have an exact publication date, but when I get one, you'll be the first to know.

I'm hoping to follow Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rockstar, with an updated version of Longborne & Pemberly go to War. And then, I have some new works brewing in the back of my head.