My guest today isSharon Lathan. She's on her blog tour to launch the latest novel in her "The Darcy Saga": "Miss Darcy Falls in Love". Enjoy her brilliant Q/A post and leave questions for her in your comments, she's ready to answer. Don't forget to add your e.-mail address if you want to be entered in the giveaway contest!
Time for me to ask myself the questions I think folks want to hear. Or at least ones I think are fun! Totally, shamelessly stolen from other interviews on random blogs, I will confess, or based on questions I have been asked in emails, etc. But let’s see if we can have some fun. Take it away Sharon!
Is there a behind the book story to Miss Darcy Falls in Love?
Georgiana Darcy was created by Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice. Her part is small and we learn very little about her other than her near-elopement with Mr. Wickham and that she is very shy. When I continued the story it was essential to have Mr. Darcy’s younger sister be around. I couldn’t very well ignore her existence! As the novels moved forward in time Georgiana’s character matured and she started speaking to me. I knew a long time ago that she had a unique story to tell and that I would have to write it. Miss Darcy Falls in Love is a stand alone book, easily enjoyed on it’s own merits, but Georgiana’s evolution from young girl to mature woman is within the pages of my Darcy Saga.
What is the official synopsis?
Noble young ladies were expected to play an instrument, but Georgiana Darcy is an accomplished musician who hungers to pursue her talents. She embarks upon a tour of Europe, ending in Paris where two very different men will ignite her heart in entirely different ways and begin a bitter rivalry to win her. But only one holds the key to her happiness.
Set in post-Napoleonic Empire France, Miss Darcy Falls in Love is a riveting love story that enters a world of passion where gentlemen know exactly how to please and a young woman learns to direct her destiny and understand her heart.
What about the books you have written before Georgiana’s novel?
My five book series - called “The Darcy Saga” - is a continuing series starting on the wedding night of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Roughly four years of their marriage is covered in the five novels titled, in order: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, and The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. I also wrote a novella for a holiday themed anthology titled A Darcy Christmas with Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart. My novella is “A Darcy Christmas” and is a companion to the Darcy Saga giving a glimpse of the family via short vignettes that cover Christmases over 20 years. It was released last Christmas but with the season now upon us, A Darcy Christmas would make a fabulous gift!
Have you changed how you write based on reader and/or critic responses?
I learned a long time ago not to read critical reviews. In general they are unkind and not helpful. My readers appreciate my novels, love them even, as evidenced by my continued sales! Yet even there my head could spin if I was not careful because opinions and desires vary. In the end it is about what my heart wants to write. My writing has evolved over time and each novel has a different focus, but each one is true to who I am and what I want to write.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I am writing the saga of Dr. George Darcy which will be a 2013 release. He is a character of my creating, introduced in my second book - Loving Mr. Darcy - and he stole the show so thoroughly that he not only stuck around but has earned his own novel! George is eccentric, brilliant, flamboyant, larger than life, humorous, and in all ways amazing. He has traveling through the East for 30 years, perfecting his craft and living a rich life full of adventure and romance. His return to England will overlap with the portions I have already written for him in the Saga, but a surprising future awaits him. I am so enjoying this book!
How do you build the relationship between the two characters in Miss Darcy Falls in Love so that it feels real?
With Georgiana and Sebastian it was about comprehending how each of them felt during certain situations, what they thought about particular occurrences in retrospection, and how their unique pasts played into what was happening between them. Although titled Miss Darcy Falls in Love, this story is about Sebastian Butler as well. His journey is as profound as Georgiana’s journey is. I change POV perhaps more often than some writers do, but for me it was essential that their relationship advanced in stages that made sense. “Hearing” their individual thoughts at a given time feels more real to me because there are so many misinterpretations and misunderstandings going on that the readers needs to know why they leap to the conclusions they do.
Tell us a little about your favorite “hero” type guy.
I love strong alpha male type heros if written well. Yet, I honestly prefer the quieter hero who is not flashy or rough. I see my Mr. Darcy as the kind of man I admire as a hero. He is intelligent, commanding when in the right context, a manly man while also being urbane and cultured, romantic and soft, even a little shy, and severely loyal. I think of heros like Aragorn in Lord of the Rings or Maximus in Gladiator. Guys who can wield a sword with ease, but have a poet’s sensibility and deep commitment to love and honor.
Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?
Again, I enjoy reading about a kick-ass heroine who can karate chop her way through a dozen big bad guys. Yet, I prefer a woman who understands that being a “heroine” does not have to involve physical toughness or going against the norm. I like writing women who comprehend the power and importance of love, being a wife and mom, running a household, supporting your man, etc. Georgiana, for instance, is a woman who has a yearning for music and composing, her heart seeking a way to express her gift, but also wanting love and family with the appreciation of how special that role is. I guess I am rather old-fashioned in that way!
How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
Hectic. Blessed. Spirit-filled. Exciting. Rural. Romantic. Domestic. Exhausting.
How would you describe perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness will be when I am in heaven with my Savior. Until then I will settle for hanging out with my husband, kids, and other family members and friends. Toss on a great movie and some sort of decadent chocolate treat, and I am feeling pretty close.
What’s your greatest fear?
Spiders, with bugs a close second. Seriously. Just ask my husband, who has gotten so used to the shrieks he no longer responds by running to the gun safe under the assumption that I am being brutally attacked. He simply grabs the paper towel and casually strolls to wherever I am huddling and shivering in terror. He kills the beast that was out to kill me, and then wants to show it to me! Why do men do that? Will seeing my worst enemy squished make me feel better or scream less when it’s brother seeks out revenge?
What are your most overused words or phrases?
I think my editor finally broke me from using “literally.” I was literally using “literally” once or twice in each chapter! I was also busted on more than one occasion by the Adjective Police (that again being my editor) so have gotten better about that. All the fines have been paid, so that is good.
What do you regret most?
I honestly do not have any life decision regrets. Not that everything has been roses, but a person learns from the trials better than from the successes, so I would not change that. I do regret not appreciating my body more back in the days when I weighed 115 pounds dripping wet! I should have stuck with my Jane Fonda Workout Program and Jazzercise.
If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
Are we talking super-talents? If so, I want to be Mega Energy Woman whose superpower is that she never gets tired, never needs to sleep, and has a brain that is overcharged all the time. All that hyper activity would probably increase my metabolism so I would be skinny too. (see previous question) Then I could embrace my fantasy profession guilt-free! (see next question)
What’s your fantasy profession?
A food critic, but one of those top notch ones that only eats at 5-Star restaurants and gets flown all over the world just to eat from the best establishments while being fawned over.
Where can readers find you?
Austen Authors: www.austenauthors.com
Facebook Page: Sharon Lathan Novelist
I think I shall stop asking Sharon questions now and give you a chance to quiz her. Anything else your curious mind is dying to know? Post your query and I, er, she, will respond. Thanks to Maria Grazia for hosting me today. And since you have been such a terrific audience, Sourcebooks has agreed to give away one copy of Miss Darcy Falls in Love to a lucky commenter (US or Canada only please). I will add on a signed bookplate and bookmark! Be sure to leave your email so I can reach you. Deadline for entry is midnight on 12/5. Good luck!