Saturday, 1 October 2011


My guest today on My Jane Austen Book club is Farida Mestek.  She lives in Ukraine, but she adores Regency England, where she spends a great deal of her time. She fell in love with it the moment she saw one of the film productions on TV when she was a child, and her love and fascination grew and solidified with every Jane Austen book that she read and reread time and time again.
Having been writing all of her life, she decided to write Regency-set stories herself. At present she has a long queue of characters who wait most impatiently to have their stories told. Her dream is to build a Regency village, the aim of which would be to provide Regency-lovers from around the world with a veritable Regency lifestyle experience.
 Read Farida's guestpost, leave your comment + e-mail address and you will have the chance to win the e-book version of her Regency Romance: "Margaret's Rematch". Open worldwide, this giveaway contest ends on  8th October, when the winner is announced. 

First of all, thank you very much, Maria Grazia,  for the invitation to talk about my favourite author and activity!

Once you fall in love with Jane Austen – it’s for life. You can’t help reading her books once, twice, three times… well… many-many times over and over again. However, there inevitably comes a point when you have to admit that you want, you absolutely need, more!

You can’t get enough of that excellent wit and engrossing conversation, irony and ridicule, balls and fashions, fair ladies and charming gentlemen, manners and morals, love and matches, manors and grounds, carriages and journeys, London diversions and all sorts of people who inhabit the world of her books, many of whom settle in our hearts and dreams for good.

You bitterly regret that our beloved Jane, gifted with so much genius was, unfortunately, given so little time to exercise it and lament the fact that “Sanditon” was never finished. You start looking for other authors and books of the kind or think of your own ways to add and expand Jane’s works into prequels, sequels and spin-offs.

As for me, I don’t think that I’ll ever have the courage to “re-write” a Jane Austen novel. But who knows? I’ve recently caught myself contemplating the fact that I’d wish to vindicate Miss Caroline Bingley in the eyes of the world and show that she deserves our sympathy and well wishes – personally, I think that she was used abominably ill by Mr. Darcy. However, for now I mean to stick to my own characters and stories.

must say that I was extremely cautious and hesitant about writing my very first Austenesque Regency. I craved for something simple, sweet, traditional, old-fashioned and slow-paced, but I didn’t think that I could do it at the time – I knew so little! – yet the moment I decided that I probably should – if only for my own writing and reading pleasure – characters and plots, twists and first lines invaded my mind and I knew that I could not keep them inside for ever.

Yet I waited. Waited for courage to come until, with much trepidation, I showed Chapter One of what was then “Imitation” – a broad hint that I was imitating Jane Austen’s style and language – to an acquaintance who turned out to be another (and you have no idea how scarce they are in Ukraine!) Jane Austen fan and, encouraged by her reaction, I began. Later it became “Margaret's Rematch”.

Looking back, I can confirm that I knew precious little at the time, despite the fact that I’d done my research. But, let’s face it: you can’t do enough research – there's always something else, something new, something more to learn. But I’m happy that it didn’t stop me, because I learn better as I go along.

At the moment I’m working on my two next projects: traditional, epistolary Regencies according to Jane Austen. One is a novel from the hero’s point of view (my main heroine proved to be too ungovernable!) and the other is a short novella that I’m posting on my blog every Wednesday. Letters One, Two and Three are already posted and I'd like to invite you all to stop by Regency Sketches, read the story and leave your feedback.

Thank you!
Farida Mestek 


Margaret said...

Sounds like a wonderful book! It has my name in the title so I have to read it! Thanks!


Farida Mestek said...

Hello, Margaret! Thank you for stopping by! "Margaret" is a lovely name and one of my great favourites. If I could I would give all of my heroine's this name :D

Sophia Rose said...

Congratulations on the publication of your book. And I applaud your courage to get your book published.

Farida Mestek said...

Hello, Sophia. Thank you very much!

Lúthien84 said...

I read the synopsis of your book at Girlebooks and I like it. Congrats for getting it published and hopefully more will follow suit.


Farida Mestek said...

Hi, Luthien84, and thank you very much!

maribea said...

Dear Farida,
I wish you all the best. I write a little myself and I know how much joy writing can give.
I'd love to read your book and come and see your Regency village!!!once you've built it.

Farida Mestek said...

Hi, maribea! Thank you very much! I'd love that too :-))

Rachel said...

Hi dear! I must say that I'm always delighted with all these chances you, so generously, gave us to increase our culture and to have a chance of winning books that sometimes we woldn't have opportunity of read in our countries. Thanks so and so much for this another and lovely chance, my dear! Love Regency so much! Kisses, Rachel :D
Follower's name: Rachel Berault

Farida Mestek said...

Hi Rachel! Thank you for stopping by!

dairigirl said...

Absolute austen addict. I also dream of writing an austenesque novel but don't know how to begin. As for the now ill read everything and anything asutenesque or regncy. Ill be happy to read this book. Ill loolk forward to your village.

Farida Mestek said...

Hi Dairigirl! Thank you for stopping by and the best of luck to you in your writing endeavours!