Thanks so much for hosting me, Maria Grazia! The Secrets of Pemberley is told entirely from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. In the book, Elizabeth’s diary becomes important, and as a long-time fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I decided to do video entries for each of diary entry I’ll be sharing on the blog tour. I hope you enjoy as we get a bit of insight on what Elizabeth Bennet felt when seeing Darcy again for the first time after his proposal and reading his very different letter.
Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Thursday, 29 March 2018
The one where Mr. Darcy turns detective: non JAFF detective fiction influencing Lover’s Knot (or Regency Sleuths whom I have loved…)
Thank you to Maria Grazia for having me back at My Jane Austen Book Club. It is a pleasure and an honour to visit with my new book, “Lover’s Knot”.
“Detective” is not an epithet that fits particularly well on the shoulders of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. At least, not at first sight. The Regency is not the right period for a start, being well before the heyday of crime fiction and prior to the literary evolution of the “gentleman detective”. The formation of the police as we know and understand them had only just begun. What is more, fighting crime just isn’t what everyone’s favourite hero is about. Mr. Darcy’s world view was likely narrower than that of your average sleuth. He is, after all, a gentleman of the landed classes, a reluctant character of the ton, a man of means and a man of his age. His focus is family, home, close friends, dependants. He doesn’t look too hard at the wider world and nobody asks that he does.
Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Several months ago, when author Shannon Winslow was still in the research phase of her just-released novel, she sat down with one of the principle subjects of her story. As it turned out, the lady was less that fully cooperative.
Winslow: Thank you for meeting with me, Lady Catherine. As you know, I am writing a novel entitled The Ladies of Rosings Park, and so naturally I wanted to speak to you, among others – to get your opinions and some background information. You understand.
LC: You are wise to come to me first, for I can save you a great deal of time. You shall find there is no need to speak to anybody else afterwards, because I can tell you what you need to know. I am very well informed.
Winslow: I don’t doubt that for a minute.
LC: Now, to begin with, I will set you straight about your title. What do you mean by ‘the ladies’ of Rosings Park, as if there were more than one? I am the mistress here. Certainly your title should more correctly be The Lady of Rosings Park or perhaps Portrait of an Illustrious Lady. That has a nice ring to it.
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
What a great place to begin the blog tour for my latest book! Thank you, Maria Grazia, for hosting me. I enjoy visiting your book club and discovering what you’re reading.
Most of my previous books have been written in Elizabeth Bennet’s voice, but I’ve ventured into new territory in The Child. It’s written strictly from Darcy’s viewpoint. Today, I thought we might start where he does, on the steps of St. George’s Church in London.
Monday, 19 March 2018
It’s such a pleasure to appear once again on My Jane Austen Book Club. It’s very kind of you, Maria Grazia, to allow me to stop by on my Mysterious Mr. Darcy blog tour today, especially when I was held up by the flu and had to delay my visit.
Maria asked me if I could talk about my preferred scenes from Pride and Prejudice. I must admit I found it difficult to narrow them down – well, I love anything and everything to do with P&P! However, in the end, I realised I did have some particular ones I love to watch, so I have chosen three of them. Okay, they are not necessarily the top three, since obviously there are more major scenes like the proposals that are the top. However, these are the scenes that really linger in my mind, for better or for worse.
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Hello John and welcome to My Jane Austen Book Club. I’d like to start our chat with a question that came to my mind as soon as I read you were publishing, Pride and Prometheus , a mash-up tale based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Do you think Jane and Mary could have ever been friends? (time lap apart)
I think that it would be unlikely that they would be friends, if only because of their different life choices. Jane was the conservative daughter of a clergyman and was raised in polite upperclass British society. She cared about the strictures of society and what was and was not proper behavior.
Mary was the daughter of two radicals; her mother Mary Wollstonecraft wrote one of the first arguments for women's equality, A Vindication of the Rights of Women and her father William Godwin was a supporter of the French Revolution. Mary ran off with the poet Percy Shelley when she was seventeen while Shelley was still married to his first wife. Shelley abandoned his wife and son to go off with her. If Mary were a character in a Jane Austen novel, she would be the "bad girl" or the "ruined woman" who violated every rule of society, like Maria Bertram in Mansfield Park.
Thursday, 15 February 2018
The Language of the Back Cover
By Don Jacobson
With the advent of e-books, readers now no longer have to go to the bookstore or library to pull their favorite author’s work off the shelf. All they need to do is download a copy and immediately start flipping pages.
Oh, yes…and that flipping invariably happens on the first item nested in the Table of Contents. In most cases, that is Chapter 1. What is rarely seen is the front cover.
Well, not exactly. The reader certainly saw the cover when visiting the website from which the book was obtained. And, yes, the cover does appear in a thumbnail form in the e-book reader library. However, the postage stamp’s worth of color art does little to provide anything more than the barest sense of theme and message.
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Good morning, Maria Grazia! Thank you for hosting me at your blog, My Jane Austen Book Club. It’s a pleasure to be here to share an excerpt with your readers from my latest JAFF release, “The Sweetest Ruin,” which is a “Pride & Prejudice” modernization that’s set in Las Vegas, Nevada and London, England.
This excerpt takes place after a certain couple has spent some time together getting to know one another, wink, wink. I hope your readers enjoy this sneak peek into “The Sweetest Ruin...”
Thursday, 7 December 2017
Thanks so much for having me Maria Grazia! I’m so excited about this Christmas season! It’s been a doozy of a year in these parts with Hurricane Harvey just being the icing on the cake. So much has happened that it calls for not one, but two Christmas books. The two books go along with The Darcys’ First Christmas, kind of forming bookends to the story. Darcy and Elizabeth: Christmas 1811 tells the behind the scenes story of what might have happened during the Christmastide Darcy spent in London, while the militia (and Wickham!) wintered in Meryton. From Admiration to Love tells the story of the Darcys’ second Christmas as they try to hold Georgiana’s coming out at the Twelfth Night ball as Lady Catherine and Anne de Bourgh descend as very unwelcome guests. (The story was such fun to write, I hope you love it as much as I do!)
Monday, 4 December 2017
Friday, 1 December 2017
THE MARRIAGE OF MISS JANE AUSTEN VOLUME III IS OUT! INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR COLLINS HEMINGWAY + GIVEAWAY
Welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club, Collins! Congratulations on your latest release and thanks for accepting to answer a few questions. Here's the first one: most of the authors writing in the Jane Austen world are doing sequels to her books or variations on her plots and characters. You chose to write about Austen herself. Why?
I had two different ideas come together. The first is that I wanted to tell a serious story of what life was like for women in the early 1800s. This was a time when everything was against them, from society to biology. I wanted to test the heart and soul of an intelligent, sensitive woman. As I began the early scenes, the voice that kept coming to me was that remarkable voice. Also, I had a literature professor at university, long ago, who encouraged me to see the depth of Austen’s writing as well as its brilliance. The literary constraints on a woman of that day limited Jane to courtship novels and forced her to deal with important issues in the background or in passing, with secondary characters.
Through the years, I kept asking myself: What would have happened if Jane Austen had been able to put her talents toward the serious issues of life after marriage? What if she had been able to write directly about some of the big social issues of the day? What if she herself had faced the good and bad of married life, as most women of that era did? How would all that come together in a story involving a man very much her equal—though unsuitable, perhaps, to her family.
Monday, 27 November 2017
Was Captain Tilney the Darcy of Northanger Abbey?
Ok, stay with me here.
I was really excited to have the opportunity to write Captain’s Tilney’s story for my recent project with Christina Boyd’s Dangerousto Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentleman Rogues. He’s always intrigued me — strange, I know, but I guess I like a bad boy. Sure, I know his younger brother Henry is supposed to be the real hero of the story but if I’m being completely honest here, I would have to say that squeaky-clean Henry and sweet-but-silly Catherine don’t really fascinate me.
Thursday, 26 October 2017
Hello, I'm Lona Manning, author of A Contrary Wind: a variation on Mansfield Park. and author of true crime articles available at http://www.crimemagazine.com/category/authors/lona-manning.
And I'm Kyra Kramer, author of Mansfield Parsonage and the nonfictional historical books, Blood Will Tell, The Jezebel Effect, Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell, and Edward VI in a Nutshell.
Lona: Please join us for the knock-down drag-out (maybe) Fanny versus Mary debate of the decade/epoch/millennium. We will take turns posing each other questions. Please feel free to join in, in the comments!
Kyra: Everyone who comments will be entered in a draw to win a gift pack of Austen goodies from Bath, England.
Monday, 23 October 2017
White House Secrets
All right, I’ll confess that this title is somewhat misleading. Everything I will discuss is publicly available information. But it is information that I personally didn’t know before I started doing research for my new modern Pride and Prejudice variation, President Darcy. I live near Washington D.C. and I knew a fair amount about the presidency and the White House in general, but in order to write a book with several scenes set in the White House, I needed to do a lot of in depth research. In the process I learned some interesting and new facts about the president’s home.
The White House is divided into three parts. The West Wing is the most famous part of the White House. This is where the president and his staff conduct the business of government—and is home to the Oval Office, the press room, and the cabinet room. The East Wing houses the first lady’s offices. The center part of the White House has multiple floors. The bottom two floors have public rooms like the State Dining Room and the East Room as well as functional rooms for the staff like the kitchen. There’s also a chocolate shop, bowling alley, and a very large flower shop. Who knew?
The top two floors of the main building are called the Residence and comprises the top two floors of the main part of the White House. This is where the president and his family live. The most famous part of the residence is the Lincoln Bedroom, which has hosted some of the White House’s most prestigious guests. As you can see from the floor plan, the Lincoln Bedroom is adjacent the Treaty Room, so called because in 1898 William McKinley presided over the signing of a peace treaty in this room which ended the Spanish-American War. Today it’s used as the president’s personal study.
Friday, 20 October 2017
I’m delighted to begin the blog tour for A Most Handsome Gentleman at the same site that hosted my first blog tour stops for my other two published novels, Letter from Ramsgate and Alias Thomas Bennet, both of which are now on sale for $1.99. Here at My Jane Austen Book Club, you’ll be treated to an interview with Elizabeth Bennet and an excerpt from the new book, which is a comedy mini-novel suitable for all readers of Pride and Prejudice.
Monday, 16 October 2017
(by Victoria Grossack)
In Jane Austen’s works, the bad guys lie. A lot.
In Jane Austen’s works, the bad guys lie. A lot.
In fact, dishonesty in both word and deed frequently propels the plot. Let’s take a tour through the deceptions in Jane Austen’s six novels and then discuss her depictions of lies, liars, and those who believe them.
Northanger Abbey. One of the things I like about this novel is that much of the plot turns on the lies that characters tell about each other. Most are delivered by John Thorpe, who tells many lies to General Tilney about Catherine Morland, the novel’s protagonist. Northanger Abbey is, as many people know, Austen’s riposte to the over-the-top melodrama of the gothic novels that were so popular in the late 1700s. And although Austen incorporated some gothic imaginings, she was able to devise a lovely little novel with prosaic lies.
Monday, 9 October 2017
The Process Behind the Cover of “Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess”
By this point, Janet Taylor and I have firmly established the overall cover format for Bennet Wardrobe stories. There have been two in the “new style” –The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey and The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque. This latest novella will be the third utilizing the unifying “look.”
One might suggest that if you have the frame, it is a relatively simple process to drop a picture into the hole. However, there is a peculiar zen behind an art director’s craft. As opposed to being almost incidental, what truly drives the underlying creative impulse for the cover design is the core visual. Even if Janet is not creating a new image, she derives the primary background color for the title block and then the complementary colors for the type itself. Wrong choices can have awful consequences.
Friday, 6 October 2017
The fun things you discover while creating a new adventure for Darcy and Lizzy! It was important to my new release, a mashup of Pride and Prejudice and Pygmalion, that Lizzy talk with a cockney accent. But how could I do that to our darling girl? And how much of her quirky speech pattern would the reader enjoy? I hope I hit a near perfect balance as the tale begins with Lizzy speaking in cockney only to blend into proper English.
A Regency tale ~ Lizzy Bennet, a sassy London shop girl is instantly attracted to Fitzwilliam Darcy, the arrogant, handsome visitor to the Bennets’ struggling Covent Garden flower shop. Darcy insists on purchasing Lizzy’s lucky orchid as a gift for his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Will Lizzy sell her family’s much needed good fortune to the haughty know it all?
Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Jane Austen’s masterpieces are littered with any number of unsuitable gentlemen—Willoughby, Wickham, Churchill, Crawford, Tilney, Elliot—adding color and depth to her plots but often barely sketched out to the reader. Have you ever wondered about her rakes, rattles, and rogues? Surely, there's more than one side to their stories. Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, the book designed to expose certain histories about Jane Austen’s anti-heroes, reveals its cover today.
Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Thank you so much, Maria Grazia, for hosting the first leg of the blog tour for Mistaken. I’d like to celebrate the occasion by sharing with your readers a scene that didn’t make it into the finished novel. There were quite a number of outtakes strewn across my virtual cutting room floor by the time I finished writing; I thought this one would give readers a wonderful introduction to some of my favourite characters. It’s dated, as is every scene in Mistaken, so readers can place it within the story. In it, we join Colonel Fitzwilliam, his brother Lord Ashby and their incorrigible grandmother Tabitha Sinclair, as they discuss Darcy’s uncommon state of melancholy.