Monday 10 December 2018

I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox - Audio

I am a big admirer of Karen M Cox's works, which generally take Austen's works to another era. The books I have read are mainly based on Pride & Prejudice, but last year Karen released I Could Write a Book, which transported Emma to the 1970s. I loved the book, and you can read my review of it here. Karen is currently going through the process of having I Could Write a Book converted to audiobook, and has come here to post about that. I'll share the book description with you first, and then hand over to Karen.

Book cover: I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox
Book Description

“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich…”

Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world.

I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered, and predictable, if a bit confining.

Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who’s come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country.

Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.

Rich with humor, poignancy, and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming of age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.

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Welcome to Highbury
The Real “Highbury”

Hello everyone!

And thank you, Ceri, for inviting me to stop in at Babblings of a Bookworm.

I have some news to share: after a long wait, the audio book version of my “modern” (1970s) variation of Emma, titled I Could Write a Book, will be available very early next year (which is actually next month!) We are anticipating a release on 5 January, 2019 to ring in the new year.

I’m so excited about this new project, in part because I think I have found the perfect narrator, Emily Rahm. She has just the right amount of Southern flair for I Could Write a Book’s Emma Woodhouse, and her other characterizations are spot-on as well. I think you all will love her rendition of the book.

Today, though, I want to take a look back to when I was first imagining the world of I Could Write a Book. I’ve always thought that two of the most important “characters” in Emma were places: Donwell Abbey, where Emma begins to see Knightley as he truly is, and not just as her own particular friend; and the village of Highbury, the backdrop for all the humorous, secretive, kind, silly—very human inhabitants to play out the drama of their lives. I think one reason I found Emma such an engaging read was because these “character-like” places reminded me of my beloved Kentucky home. Highbury seemed familiar enough to be right outside my door, and the Bluegrass area horse farms spoke to the elegance and tradition I expected in a Donwell Abbey. When I first began collecting images and thinking about settings for I Could Write a Book, I found two real-life places that “spoke Austen” to me.

In the fall of 2012, I took a tour of Lane’s End Farm in Woodford County. The quiet grace and sophistication of the farm suggested to me what a 20th century Donwell Abbey might be like: a place respectful of tradition yet willing to adapt to modern ways. Perhaps it was because Lane’s End was founded by Will Farish in 1979, around the same time period as I Could Write a Book is set. From the majesty of rolling fields to the poignancy of the thoroughbred cemetery to the beautiful offices of the horse breeding and boarding business, Lane’s End was such a perfect fit for my Donwell that I could almost see George Knightley standing in the doorway. In fact, seeing him there in my mind’s eye inspired one of my favorite scenes in the book.

Introducing Donwell Abbey
The town of Midway is the other place that informed so much of I Could Write a Book. It is actually in the same county as Lane’s End Farm. Originally named “Middleway” because it was half way between the big town of Lexington and the state capital, Frankfort, Midway’s streets and buildings pay homage to its Victorian-era beginnings. It’s small (a little over a mile square), and charming, a place where Emma and Mary Jo Smith (the Harriet character in) would sit outside on the sidewalk and lunch on salads and sweet ice tea, surrounded by quaint shops and friendly neighbors.

When I first beginning envisioning a story and writing first draft, I go to the settings in my mind (even if I’ve never been there, I watch video or read descriptions) and walk around a piece.

I recorded this video right before I Could Write a Book was released, so it’s summertime, not the way it looks now. It’s a nice breath of summer, given how cold it is here. 

Enjoy your brief tour of “my Highbury”!

Coming soon: I Could Write a Book by Karen M Cox in audio
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you all enjoy Emily’s interpretation of Emma and the other “usual suspects” in our audio version of I Could Write a Book, which will be available in early January on Audible, Amazon, and Apple books. 

Author Karen M CoxAbout the Author

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of novels accented with romance and history, including 1932Find Wonder in All Things, and Undeceived. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, and a story titled, “I, Darcy” to The Darcy Monologues. The Journey Home, an ebook novella companion piece to 1932, is now available.

Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.

Channeling Jane Austen’s Emma, Karen has let a plethora of interests lead her to begin many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker—like Elizabeth Bennet.

Connect with Karen:

• Website • Amazon Author Page • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest • Instagram • Tumblr •

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  1. I live the video of your Highbury! Looking forward to the audiobook

  2. That is very interesting and I love that you're putting it on audio Karen.

    Fun post, Ceri!

  3. I think it's a story that lends itself to audio - I was just so grateful to find Emily. I think she did a wonderful job!


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