As a child I discovered the joy of losing myself in a book. As a teenager, my very first purchase with pocket money was a bookcase. My few books, received through birthday and Xmas presents, were proudly displayed and I began collecting more. When I started at secondary school my world opened up, as this was the first time I’d seen a library. Further education training as a Junior Primary teacher gave me access to another wonderful library and at some point during these years I discovered Jane Austen.
Child-rearing and teaching left little time for my own reading but I would snatch precious moments when I could. While reading a range of authors I would return every so often to re-read Jane Austen. Once the family were grown, my reading time expanded. Retirement in 2005 brought even more time to explore different genres. By chance I noticed an ad for the local Jane Austen Society, nervously went along to my first meeting and found myself in a group of like-minded people.
After being an observer for some time, I began participating more in discussions and became brave enough to be one of those giving presentations to the group about life in Jane Austen's era. Realising that I loved this process of discovery and pursuing an interesting trail of information, I wanted to keep going. Over the last few years I have researched Jane's education, the places she lived, the changes in landscape design and what she knew of the British Navy and the slave trade through contemporary news and her sailor brothers.
Who knows where further research will lead me?
Many thanks go to Tricia Smith Design for her beautiful work designing the look of 'Jane Austen's Sweethearts'. You can see more of her work here.
Jane Austen’s Sweethearts was originally a one-off activity for my local Jane Austen Society in Adelaide, South Australia. First played mid-year 2012, the group enjoyed the game, suggested it had commercial potential, and urged me to keep working on it. Undecided how much knowledge of Austen's books would be needed to make the game enjoyable, I finished up with 2 versions - one easier than the other. With two games I didn’t know which to choose. A friend said “Why do you need to choose? Make both games and put them in the same box”.
After testing and refining the game with different people, the games are now ready for you.