Eight years ago, this month, my very first book An Arranged Marriage was published. At the time, I thought I might sell ten books if I was lucky.Well, I sold a few more than ten and then a few more and then… Today, after having four more novels published, An Arranged Marriage still remains my all-time bestseller. When the book was released, I had no idea the event would change my life.
I wrote the story in 2004 and posted it online on a few Austen-based fiction sites. It wasn’t the first story I wrote, but it proved to be the most popular. I think it’s the title. Let’s face it―there’s just something about a couple who get along like prickly pears and refuse to admit they’re in love being forced to inhabit the intimate confines of an unwanted marriage. Don’t judge us―we just want to see what happens.
In 2011, out of nowhere, Meryton Press contacted me with an offer to publish. I had never heard of the company and assumed it was a vanity press. I ignored the email for a while, but finally, I mentioned the offer to Debbie Styne, who, at the time, was reading The
Child as a beta for me. She proceeded to set me straight. The rest, as they say, is history. I was shocked, but thrilled when people read my stories online. When readers actually paid money for them, I was blown away. Sometimes, I still can’t believe it.
My darling husband died three years before An Arranged Marriage was published. I regret that he didn’t live to see it happen because he would have been so happy for me. For years, I had dreamed of going to England and visiting some of the places Jane Austen wrote about. I began to toy with the idea in early 2012. While raising children, I had learned to be frugal, and even though by then I was an empty-nester with no one to support but myself, I couldn’t quite justify spending that much money on me. I was used to buying clothes and toys
for grandchildren. My oldest son and his wife came for a visit, and I cautiously broached the idea with them. I expected them to call their brothers and sisters and warn them, “You can’t believe what Mom wants to do now.” Instead, they both cried “Go for it!” Hot dog! I could go without guilt. My good friend Janet Taylor was glad to be my traveling companion, so we set off in August. We had a fantastic time and came home with a boatload of memories.
Publication expanded my world far beyond my little home office in Texas. Through the years, I’ve met people online from all over the globe, and I now cherish many of them as good friends. Our common love for Jane unites us. When like minds meet on Facebook, Twitter, or the various Austen blogs, there’s instant communication. We all know why we love Mr. Darcy. We can quote parts of his first proposal in our sleep. Captain Wentworth’s letter still gives us chills. We ponder why in the world Elinor and Colonel Brandon didn’t fall in love. We consider Emma a spoiled little busybody, but it doesn’t keep us from smiling when lovely Mr. Knightly confesses his love for her. Henry Tilney will always be the perfect gentlemen for many, and some of us will never believe Edmund deserved Fanny no matter how often we read their story.
I’m extremely grateful to Meryton Press, my editor Debbie Styne, and you, my readers, for all the encouragement and support you have given me. Thank you for reading my books. Thank you for leaving comments and reviews. Thank you for your emails and thank you especially for your friendship over the past eight years. May this love of Jane continue to bind us together.
Meryton Press is celebrating the anniversary of Jan Hahn’s first book, An Arranged Marriage,
with a giveaway of the new audiobook that released July 12th, the same month eight years later, and a sale of the ebook!
The eBook is on sale for $.99 from July 18th through July 20th. If you have never read this popular novel, now’s the time to get it. Meryton Press is also giving away five audiobooks of An Arranged Marriage narrated by the ever-popular Stevie Zimmerman.
You may enter the giveaway two ways, doubling your chances of winning. (1) Leave a comment under this post on the Meryton Press blog, and/or (2) leave a comment under the celebration announcement posted on the Meryton Press Facebook page. The giveaway ends at midnight on the 22ndof July. Winners must be able to accept an audiobook from Audible US or Audible UK. Good luck to all.
If you have read this book, what’s your favorite scene? Can you describe it or name it with two or three words? Don’t give any spoilers! 😊