Jane Austen is very special to me, because she reminds me of my mother. My mom, Irena, was born in a refugee camp in Germany after her parents were released from concentration camps at the end of WWII. When the US allowed her family to immigrate, and they sailed into Ellis Island, all they had were the clothes on their backs. Living in poverty, my mother grew up with practically nothing. Any toys that were given to her were sold, but once she was given a book. No one wanted the book, so she could keep it. The book was Pride and Prejudice. She read it over and over, losing herself in the world of Elizabeth Bennet, her sisters and the taciturn, yet dashing, Mr. Darcy. The characters became her reliable friends at a time when life was far from stable.
Inspired by my mom (who is my hero, if you couldn’t tell), I began reading Jane Austen’s books as a teen, where I too fell in love with her characters and wit. Now that Irena is a grandmother, living comfortably down the street from me, she holds Jane Austen days, where she and her girlfriends spend the day in their PJs watching all the Austen movies. So, put on your coziest PJs, pop some corn and join our Pride & Prejudice day. Mom and I will be watching with you!
Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond. When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.