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Friday, June 10, 2011

CLOSED Interview and Giveaway with Sharon Lathan

With me today I have Sharon Lathan, author of numerous Pride and Prejudice sequels. She also contributed a Dear Jane letter from the pov of Fitzwilliam Darcy, which you can see here.
Now lets get down to business:

The "Serious" Stuff (well, as serious as I get)
Why Jane?  What drew you to Jane initially, and what compelled you to try your hand at her stories?
I fell in love with the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice and an obsession was born! More can be read about that on my website. From there I went on to read the novel and immerse myself in Regency life and Jane Austen discussions, finally discovering online fan fiction. After reading a ton I realized I was not finding the continuing story as it was running through my head. So I decided to write it myself! The rest is history, as they say.  
What are some of the difficulties in writing a story using established (and beloved) material?  And is anything sacred, or is it all fair game? 
I know many do not agree but I believe it is all fair game. Like it or not, Jane is gone. There are no set “rules” to how a clever writer can or should go about carrying on another writer’s characters. With respect, one would hope, but the modern artist becomes the creator and must instill her unique voice upon the story. The difficulties, obviously, are that not everyone agrees with this assessment!   
If you could completely rework any Austen character, who would it be and what would you make of them?
Funny you should ask since I have done this quite a bit! LOL! One of the joys in writing a sequel is not just in carrying on the life of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, but in turning the focus to the wealth of secondary characters, many of whom are no more than a name. In my upcoming novel - Miss Darcy Falls in Love - I devoted the entire book to Georgiana Darcy. She is most definitely completely reworked.   
Jane has inspired an entire genre, which few authors can boast.  What do you make of it, especially the mash-up craze?  Are you a purist, modernist or mash-up-ist?
I am not a purist for sure. I suppose I am a modernist. I have no problem with the mash-ups, whether by that you mean tossing in monsters or crossing two JA novels, but that hasn’t been my choice. I haven’t taken the story into a modern time period since I love the Regency Era, but I do write in a manner I  believe appeals to a contemporary readership. Additionally I do not have the pure purist attitude that a writer should try to copy Austen’s voice precisely.   
What's your favorite scene you've ever written?
Oh man, I don’t think I can answer this! I have so many that I love for various reasons. I am very fond of Lizzy and Darcy’s wedding night. I also love how I wrote the birth of their first child. In my latest novel there is a dramatic battle/confrontation sequence that I really love. Those are just the first three that popped into my head!   
If you could be a fly on the wall during any Austen scene, what would it be and why?
I would be lurking behind a tree during while Lizzy and Mr. Darcy are walking near Longbourn (with Jane and Bingley notably not in the vicinity) and finally declare their love for each other. I really want to know just how Mr. Darcy “expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do.” I suspect he wasn’t as prim as some like to think he was!   
What's next for you?
Miss Darcy Falls in Love will be released in November 2011. Currently I am working - slowly - on the story of Dr. George Darcy. He is Mr. Darcy’s uncle and a creation all mine. It will be fabulous but I have no idea when I will ever get it done.   
Quickfire Silly Stuff from the mind of Sharon Lathan, author of The Darcy Saga sequel to Pride and Prejudice and the upcoming Miss Darcy Falls in Love
Your Regency Heiress name?    
Marchioness of Warrow (read my novels to meet her!)  
Your “truth universally acknowledged”?   
That all readers reach the end of a book and no matter how satisfied are a wee bit sad that it is over and therefore wish that there was more.   
Jane, twitter-style: If you could tweet 1 message to Jane (140 characters or less) what would you say?
?Lady C learns of FD’s offer to EB months later & on eve of B&J’s betrothal - How?!?  
Play matchmaker: Which 2 characters from different Austen novels would you pair up.
Lady Catherine and Sir Walter Elliot. These two people need to get la... um, married. I imagine their mutual ideas of self-worth and impeccable taste would be in agreement with each other. And of course Sir Walter would be so puffed up to have a lady of higher rank on his arm that he would readily do anything she asked, which would suit Lady Catherine just fine! 
Your favorite Austen character?
Mr. Darcy - *sigh*
Favorite  "villain"?  
Mr. Wickham - At least he is a villain to me! 
Character you most want to shake? 
Lydia Bennet - I have no tolerance for stupid females. 
Character you'd least like to be related to?
Lady Catherine - Family gathering would be no fun at all.
Would you rather: 
-- be stranded on an island with Lady Catherine or Mr Collins?
Mr. Collins. At least he would be amusing and as a “man” I could put him to work
-- attempt to "reform" bad boy Henry Crawford or bad boy George Wickham?
Henry Crawford. But then I am thinking of my Mr. Wickham, who is bad indeed and not apt to be reformed! 
-- have Lady Catherine or Mrs Bennet as a mother-in-law?
Mrs. Bennet. She is annoying but somewhat understanding and humorous. Plus, if she gets too irritating I can just hand her a valium to calm her nerves and all will be well in short order!

Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling novels Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, In The Arms of Mr. Darcy, and The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. Sharon also wrote a novella as part of an anthology with Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart, A Darcy Christmas. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information, please visit  www.sharonlathan.net. Come to Austen Authors – www.austenauthors.com where Sharon and twenty-five other authors of Austen fiction blog together.

*** GIVEAWAY ***
Sharon has graciously offered a signed copy of Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy to one lucky winner!

To enter, leave a comment for Sharon or give us your answer to one of the above interview questions.
Make sure I have a way to contact you.

US only. (But international peeps can enter to win a copy of another of Sharon's books, The Trouble with Mr Darcy!)

Ends June 30th

Click to be taken to the Main Page & Schedule


  1. LOL Sharon!
    I think Mr. Collins was the one who "informed" his patroness of the impending proposal from Darcy and that Charlotte "helped" him. LOL!!

    As for being stranded on a deserted island...one thing for certain Mr. Collins would indeed put everyone to sleep by a: reading Fordyce's Sermons and b:Pontificating the attributes of his esteemed patroness: Lady Catherine. LOL!!

  2. Sharon, I love the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, too. For me, Matthew will always be the perfect Mr. Darcy. Sorry, all you Colin fans!


  3. Hey Christy!! Yes, I agree that it was Mr. Collins by way of Charlotte, but at the same time it is odd if one looks at it totally logically. But this is a novel so vague plot devices are okay. LOL!

    Another good point on Collins - sleeping even in sand with scary bugs and such lurking about would not be a problem.

    Hi Margay! I knew you were a fellow Matthew Macfadyen fan! Yep, I am with you and make no apologies.

    Thanks again, Misty, for having me here.

  4. Oh, and the giveaway must be US only I am afraid. Waiting for mailing cost to lower is as fruitless as waiting for gas prices to decline. :-(

  5. Oh, yes, Sharon, I love Matthew and can't wait to see him in the Three Musketeers movie!

  6. Would you rather:
    -- be stranded on an island with Lady Catherine or Mr Collins?

    Mr.collins for sure..


  7. Hey Sharon!
    For some reason I have this strong perception that dear Charlotte was somehow (to put this kindly!) quite the attentive "Eavesdropper".

    Prior to marriage...I believe her to be quite attentive to the news of the Bennet family which she reported to the Lucas family.

    After marriage...I believe that she "overheard" Darcy privately confide to Colonel Fitzwilliam during a visit to Rosings. She then informed Collins who then made haste to inform his esteemed patroness, Lady Catherine. This would explain the letter exchange between him and Mr. Bennet at the end.

    I also have the strong perception that both Charlotte and Collins were hopeful opportunists who hoped to find favor, if not rewarded for their efforts. LOL!!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Great interview answers, Sharon! Honestly, I think I might actually prefer Lady Catherine to Mr Collins for company on that island. At least you could put all that supposed knowledge to the test...she may be a great proficient at raft-building! I have never found Mr Collins to be amusing and I think I might hurt him if left alone with him for too long.

    I can't wait to read Miss Darcy Fall in Love! And I'm excited that you're writing Dr George's story! He's awesome.


  10. This is such a great interview! Thank you so much.

    sassysasha817 at gmail dot com

  11. This is such a great interview! It is always nice to see other Matthew Macfadyen fans as well. ;)
    wolfluvr420 at yahoo dot com

  12. Thanks for coming by everyone.

    Christy, your scenario is as plausible as any other. You should write the story down!

    Monica, you do have a point about Lady C. Of course, I somehow doubt she would be truly proficient at anything remotely resembling manual labor, not that she would confess she wasn't!

    Sassy, Wolfluvr - welcome and thanks for commenting!

  13. I think Miss Anne was behind it! She did not wish to marry Darcy because he would, for the most part, ignore her on his visits and that is not very conducive to romance. So, when she was out for a carriage ride (with the ever-present Mrs. Jenkins) and saw Darcy storming out of the Collins' cottage, she realized that something was up and paid very close attention to both Darcy and Elizabeth afterwards. As it was the first time she had seen her cousin display genuine emotion, she decided to help him out and save herself at the same time. She then enlisted the aid of Mrs. Jenkins, who pretended that she had overheard the servants gossiping and informed Lady Catherine of the "rumours." At least, that is what I think. :)

    Thank you!


  14. o i love this! im such a huge fan of p&p. i watch the 2005 movie constantly. i loved Matthew Macfadyen, he plays the perfect mr. darcy!! :) Would you rather be stranded on an island with Lady Catherine or Mr Collins? wow, thats a hard one. if i had to pick one it would be mr. collings. hes anoying but i could block him out and he'd be useful. lady catherine on the other hand would drive me nuts, i'd definitely end up hitting her. lol thanks!

  15. I'm going to answer the would you rather questions.

    Mr. Collins. Lady Catherine is too much of a pain in the butt to be stuck on island with, and I don't think she'd volunteer to help hunt down and prepare dinner.

    I'll say Wickham for this one, as I haven't read Mansfield Park.

    And I'd rather have Mrs. Bennet as a mother-in-law. She may be crazy, but Lady Catherine is just too stuck up.

    Thanks for the giveaway! You know my e-mail address :)

  16. My favorite villain is Mr Willoughby. I don't think he is a true villain in Jane Austen's time period's standards but definitely is today. I love his character so much I named my car after him lol


  17. Character you'd least like to be related to? Caroline Bingley, hands down! She reminds me of the "mean girls"...you know what I'm talking about. Hate that!


  18. I'd love to answer my favorite character, but I haven't read any of Jane's books yet! I know...I need to get with it!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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