It is my pleasure to welcome Victoria Connelly, author of the recently released A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, to Psychotic State Book Reviews today to discuss her new release, what it is about Mr. Darcy that keeps the readers coming back and, most importantly, Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen!
Hi Victoria! Welcome to Psychotic State Book Reviews. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers. You have a new book out - A Weekend With Mr. Darcy. I recently read it and absolutely loved it. What can you tell us about it?
VC: It’s a romantic comedy about two couples who meet and fall in love at a Jane Austen conference in Hampshire. But not everybody is telling the truth about who they really are…
Why Jane Austen?
VC: Jane Austen is such a special writer. I love her warmth and her wit. I adore her characters and the family relationships she portrays, and I love that they make mistakes but are allowed second chances at happiness. Oh, and I love a handsome hero on horseback!
The Austenesque genre is a busy one and full of rabid fans! Do you feel an added sense of pressure by taking on such a task?
VC: There are some fabulous books out there but I think mine is different because it’s about the fans and what it’s like to be an Austen addict in the modern world. Mine isn’t a sequel or a spin-off and it doesn’t time travel back to Regency England – it’s set in the here and now about modern people obsessed with Austen.
Why do you think it’s Mr. Darcy at the top of the Austen male food chain versus other Austen heroes, like Henry Tilney, Captain Wentworth, Colonel Brandon, etc.?
VC: Austen has created some of the very best fictional heroes, hasn’t she? But there’s something special about Mr Darcy. He’s willing to change for the woman he loves and there’s something incredibly sexy about that. I think we’ve all made mistakes just like Elizabeth and it really makes you think about how we are often mistaken about people.
Who was your favorite character from A Weekend With Mr. Darcy to write about and why?
VC: I think I enjoyed writing about my hero, Warwick, the most. Without giving too much away, he is so naughty and just digs himself deeper and deeper into trouble and I was dying to know how his story was going to end. He’s also a writer and writers love writing about other writers!
How did you get into writing?
VC: I’ve always written. My first attempt at a novel was when I was fourteen but I wasn’t published until I was thirty-five – that’s a long apprenticeship! I had many, many rejections but I didn’t want to do anything else so I kept on writing and sending my work out to agents and publishers. The first book I got published was actually made into a film so it was worth all the work and the waiting!
Do you have a special place where you write?
VC: I write at a Victorian pine table in a study I share with my husband but I have to make sure he’s out of the room before I begin!
Take me through a normal day in the life of Victoria Connelly . . .
VC: In the summer, I like to get up early. I open the hen coop (we recently rescued some ex-battery hens) and then switch the computer on and fiddle around with emails, blogs and Twitter and Facebook. I then walk the dog, take care of the hens and settle down to a good day’s writing. For me, that means about 1,000 words. I take a good long lunch break, walk the dog again in the afternoon and continue working into the evening. What I love about being my own boss is that there isn’t a rigid timetable to observe so, if it’s a gorgeous day, we’ll go out and work will get done another day. Sometimes, the computer can stay on until midnight. That’s one of the downsides of being self-employed and working from home – you never really switch off from your work!
Do you have any advice for struggling writers?
VC: Don’t give up! If you love writing and want to be published, keep going no matter how many rejections you receive. Read loads and write lots. Most of all, enjoy your writing time – your love and enthusiasm will see you through the tough times.
When you’re not penning your own novels, what authors do you enjoy reading?
VC: I adore the romantic comedies of Sophie Kinsella, the novels of Miss Read and H E Bates, Deborah Wright, Cathy Woodman and Freya North. I also enjoy a good thriller and love Scott Mariani, Robert Goddard, James Rollins, and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
What can your fans expect in your future works?
VC: There are two more Austen addicts books to come over the next few months: Dreaming of Mr. Darcy comes out in January and then Mr. Darcy Forever in April 2012. (Note from Lori: Hooray!)
If Jane Austen were to wake up tomorrow morning in 2011, what do you think she would be most amazed by?
VC: The huge industry surrounding her books – that we’re still reading them all and adapting them for TV and film. I love to know what she’d make of it all!
Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?
VC: Colin Firth but I wouldn’t ever say no to Matthew Macfadyen, you understand!
And lastly, what one word would you use to describe A Weekend With Mr. Darcy?
Thank you so much, Victoria, for stopping by and best of luck with A Weekend With Mr. Darcy!
For more information on author Victoria Connelly, please visit her website.
To read my review of A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, please go here.
To purchase A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, please visit my Amazon store.
A WEEKEND WITH MR. DARCY BY VICTORIA CONNELLY
Full of characters obsessed with Jane Austen and set in Jane Austen locations in England, this lively modern Jane Austen romantic comedy trilogy features two pairs of lonely hearts who find each other and themselves at a Jane Austen Addicts weekend.
Dr. Katherine Roberts is a Jane Austen lecturer at St Bridget's College, Oxford, who secretly loves the racy Regency novels of Lorna Warwick. But Lorna is really a man who's slowly been falling in love with Katherine. He's hoping that the Jane Austen Addicts weekend will be the perfect opportunity to declare his feelings...
A fair (and hotly debatable) question for you, fair readers. Does Colin Firth top your list as Mr. Darcy or do you prefer Matthew Macfadyen? Do tell! (I am Colin Firth all the way!)