About the Author - Kathryn L Nelson

Contact Kathryn at kathryn@klnelson.net

My mother* said that I was born with my arms wide open. She was too polite to say that my mouth was flapping too. While people are as important to me as air, words are my sport. The only character trait more valued than snappy verbal agility in my Scandinavian family was to be a hard worker, so since I have always aimed to please, I worked hard at being verbally agile.

I studied languages with reckless abandon in college, thereby increasing the circle of people with whom I could attempt communication to include Spanish-, French-, Russian- and Arabic-speaking peoples. That's where my husband came in, a Kuwaiti student at the University of Minnesota. His English was excellent, my Arabic improved, and we went off to live in Kuwait. Not once, but three times. When our son Nayef came along, we learned to speak Down syndrome, the most delightful of all the languages I know. It was Nayef who drove me to start a school in Kuwait, and Nayef who brought us back to Minnesota for more education.

I rejoined my brother in our family electrical contracting business, and since wit is not so important in that circle, I stuck with plain hard work for many years. But the 1995 BBC/A&E version of Pride and Prejudice tickled my dormant word fancy and I found myself suddenly obsessed with Jane Austen. Sitting at my computer late at night, I read and reread her texts and then practiced shamelessly putting new words in the mouths of her captivating characters. The elegance of Ms. Austen's language, combined with her dazzling intelligence, took me constantly by surprise and kept me working into the wee hours of the morning, chasing down a turn of phrase, a revelation of character. I simply couldn't let these people go until I had crawled inside of them and poked into the corners.

Once inside, I itched to learn how they would go forward, how life would put a spin on their temperaments. Would the rough edges come off or grow more prickly? What would 'happily ever after' look like in the daily lives of the Darcys of Pemberley, their friends and families? When my ramblings assumed the shape of a four inch pile of printed paper, I began to think I had written a book. Pemberley Manor humbly pays homage to Jane Austen's genius.

Nearly ten years passed in the unraveling of this story, and as it crept more and more often into my daylight hours, I realized I could be a contractor or a writer, but hardly both. It wasn't a very difficult choice for me, and I'm quite sure my brother - and everyone else - was relieved to see me stop trying, unsuccessfully, to focus on business.

Flinging myself into writing has given me such giddy satisfaction that I can scarcely believe it. I'm in the midst of a contemporary novel now - a story more reasonable for a person like me to write - about three generations in my Minnesota neighborhood. I hope, however, that my years of apprenticeship to Jane Austen will have left their mark.

*If you'd like more insight into my amazing mother, see Mabel for Strongest Woman in Minnesota Memories 7 at http://www.minnesotamemories.com

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©2007-2010 Kathryn L Nelson, Pemberley Manor ©2006 Kathryn L Nelson, ISBN:E9781402212857

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