Hello, welcome to Songs and Stories! Would you like a cup of tea? Or perhaps coffee?
A spot of tea with cream and sugar would be lovely.
What was it like the first time you read Pride and Prejudice? What led you to open it?
If I remember correctly, the first time I read it was during an English class when I was about fourteen years old. My motivation for reading was strictly academic, as it was required for that class. At that age, I was not properly awed by Mr. Darcy or Jane Austen’s works, and when I read them after seeing the 2005 movie, I was amazed at how much they had improved! Funny how a little life experience and not being forced to read can improve a novel. I’ve loved Austen ever since.
Are there any authors other than Jane Austen that influenced your writing?
I do not know if they influenced my writing, but I grew up reading stories by Margaret Mitchell, Zane Grey (my father had all his books), and Anna Sewell. Later, I read Boris Pasternak, Pat Conroy, Jackie Collins, Barbara Taylor Bradford, James Patterson, Barbara Cartland, Catherine Marshall and Janet Oke. I have always read anything worthwhile I could get my hands on.
In writing Fitzwilliam Darcy: An Honourable Man, what kinds of scenes did you find the most difficult to write? Which were the most fun?
The scenes that are always the most difficult to write are the love scenes. I try to write scenes that are sensual and romantic and never want to cross the line into anything graphic. I have the most fun writing the repartee between Darcy and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. I see his cousin as a bright spot in Darcy’s somber world and someone who tries to raise his spirits. I love writing Richard’s dialogue. It’s always interesting to see what mischief he’ll come up with.
Are you planning on publishing another book soon?
When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet for the first time, he is already married to another woman. Forced into a loveless marriage to the widowed Lady Gisela Grantham because of his father’s sins, Darcy is obliged by honour to remain in the marriage to hide a dark secret.
That unhappy part of his life, however, is quickly coming to an end as he meets the love of his life in a little-known village in Hertfordshire. Mr. Darcy’s Forbidden Love is a Pride and Prejudice variation, not a simple retelling. It is the story of a love that was meant to be—a passion too strong to be denied.
Have you considered writing a variation on any of Jane Austen’s other books? Personally, I would love to see your take on Persuasion. :) Ooh, or Northanger Abbey since you have such a lovely gothic writing style... And, I just have to ask because you quoted it in An Honourable Man and I love it so much, have you ever thought about writing a variation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell?
The thought has crossed my mind, but for now, I support my forum, DarcyandLizzy.com with the proceeds from the sales of my books, and my readers prefer Pride and Prejudice based stories. So, when I am done with writing to support the forum, perhaps I will tackle a Persuasion or North and South variation.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what is your remedy? (I have been attempting to discover my own cure for years, so this question comes in under the realm of personal research.)
If I waited until I felt like writing, I fear my books would never be written, so I force myself to write even when I don’t want to. There are very few days when I do not write something. I find that often all I need do is begin and the words follow.
And now, for something completely different...
White, milk, or dark chocolate?
Matthew Macfadyen or Colin Firth?
Matthew Macfadyen, though I do love Colin too.
Night Owl or Early Bird?
Thank you so much for letting me ask you all these questions!
It’s been my pleasure. Thank you for asking me.
And now, for the giveaway! Brenda is giving away a physical copy of one of her books, either Mr. Darcy's Forbidden Love or An Honourable Man, and a kindle copy for international readers. To enter, leave your e-mail in a comment below, as well as your choice of book and format and something nice for Brenda. :) For extra entries, share this giveaway as much as you can and send me the links! Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. This contest runs until Jan. 7th, 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time. Clicking on the covers above will take you to the books' Amazon pages. Good luck and Merry Christmas!