Holidays with JaneWriting Fear Free

Meet the Holidays with Jane Writers: Cecilia Gray

One of the most interesting aspects of participating in the Holidays with Jane series is getting to know and work with other writers. We all came together because of our love of Jane Austen’s novels, and each of us wrote stories based on all six of Austen’s books.

We all started with the same source material, and yet, every story is unique. Each writer focused on different aspects of Austen’s works, different characters, and different themes.

So with the release of Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts, I thought it would be fun to meet some of the writers and get to know them and what makes their take on Jane Austen unique.

Jennifer says: Hi Cecilia, welcome to my blog. Can I just tell you how cute your profile pic is?

www.ceciliagray.comTell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a pop culture and food fanatic which is why I spend way too much time eating, watching television, and reading books.  You can read more about my young adult and regency romances at

What is your favorite Jane Austen book to read?
I go back and forth between Persuasion and Emma, depending on whether I want deep angst or bubbly wit.

What is your least favorite Jane Austen book to read?

Northanger Abbey. I know it’s clever and works on many levels…but I just can’t get on the Tilney train. (Apologies to all the Tilney groupies!)

Jennifer says: Henry Tilney is no Frederick Wentworth, but he’s better than Edmund Bertram, surely! Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps we should have a Tilney vs. Bertram throwdown.

Anyway, now that we know more about you and your Austenesque preferences, tell us about your writing process.

Do you write an outline? Are you a planner, or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Lots of planning. So much planning. Probably overplanning. Most of my series have overlap and integration, so I have to be OCD about the process. For example, my new sweet regency romance series, Kiss A Belle, follows five sisters as they find love, and each story has the same parties, events, and conversations from different points of view. The spreadsheet is unimaginably overdone.

Where and when do you do the majority of your writing?

Beggars can’t be choosers. 🙂 I write anywhere I can. I’ve written on a park bench outside a Malaysian restaurant while waiting for a table.

Jennifer says: Now you’ve made me hungry.

What was your favorite scene to write in your current story?
One of my preoccupations with Jane Austen’s Persuasion is imagining the relationship between the hero and heroine when they were younger. We’re left to imagine their conversations and confidences, so my favorite part of writing a modern twist on Persuasion was to show my hero and heroine meeting, falling in love, and engaging in a love very un-Austen-like lip locking!

Jennifer says: I’m all for lip locking! I can’t wait to read it. In fact, keep an eye out for our upcoming group read and live tweet of Holidays with Jane: Thankful Hearts.

Thanks for stopping by, Cecilia!

Don’t forget to check out more of Cecilia Gray’s sweet stories about smart girls and nice guys.


4 thoughts on “Meet the Holidays with Jane Writers: Cecilia Gray

  1. I always love to hear about an author’s writing process! I can understand planners more than by the seat of your pants writers. And we definitely need a throw down between Tilney and Bertram! I prefer Tilney over Bertram any day! Lol!
    Congrats on this latest ‘Holidays with Jane’ book!

    1. Yes! Another supporter of the Tilney vs Bertram throwdown! I bet Jane Austen never imagined her characters engaged in a steel cage grudge match

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