Friday, 1 June 2012

MEET KAREN AMINADRA AND GET A CHANCE TO WIN HER "CHARLOTTE" , A CONTINUATION OF PRIDE AND PREJUDICE


Karen Aminadra (pronounced Amin-ah-dra) is an author and an English language teacher who lives in Northamptonshire, England with her husband. She was born in London and grew up in Hertfordshire 'the land of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice'. She has travelled and worked all over the world including South America, Russia and Europe. 

She writes Jane Austen Continuation Novels, and other Fiction Novels with a good helping of historical romance, crime and mystery. She loves to read, loves English history, and Georgian architecture. Meet her and get a chance to win an e-book copy of her Pride and Prejudice continuation: Charlotte.



Hello Karen and welcome to My JA  Book Club! I’m glad to have you as my guest both as a colleague ( a teacher like me!) and as a Janeite. My first question is : How did you come to write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice focused  on Charlotte’s married life to Mr Collins?



It happened after having a conversation about Charlotte with a friend of mine.  We talked about what married life to Mr Collins would have been like for her.  An idea then took root in my mind and the novel was born. 
Charlotte is a character that always intrigued me.  She always left me wondering what her life would have been like, what trials and tribulations she had to endure at the hands of Mr Collins and Lady Catherine.  She had told Lizzy that she was content, but how long would that have truly lasted in the face of such a life?  And with such loneliness?

What were your thoughts reading the passage in P&P where Elizabeth bluntly reproach her best friend, Charlotte, who is going to accept a marriage for convenience to Mr Collins?


Lizzy and Charlotte had a very close relationship.  Lizzy felt she was able to speak to her in such a way.  However, she did let her emotions run away with her.  Had she thought more about it she would have seen Charlotte’s point of view and reasons for marrying, which she does eventually when she visits Kent.

Malcom Rennie as Mr Collins
Is it really possible to come to love Mr Collins? You must have had him undergo a radical change!

Yes, I believe it is.  I’ve had a lot of feedback in that area in particular, many readers have come to love him.  As you can read in my book, it’s not one major event but a series of events which bring about a change in him, much as it is in real life when a person changes.  It certainly was not my intention to have Mr Collins change at all, but I am glad he did! ;-)




David Bamber as Mr Collins
If I say Mr Collins, which is the image that comes to your mind? Mr Hollander’s or Mr Bamber’ s characterization of him?

Oh, I would have to say that for me Mr Collins is a mixture of  David Bamber’s and Malcolm Rennie’s Mr Collins.

What is it that you most admire in Charlotte ?

Her inner strength and her ability to look on the positive side of situations.

If you could change any other Austen character’s destiny, for whom would you write a different story?

I don’t think I’d write a different story but I would prefer to continue where Jane left off.  Perhaps with Louisa Hurst, or Isabella Thorpe.  Maybe even Maria Rushworth and Henry Crawford!

Is Pride and Prejudice your best favourite Austen novel?

Actually, I love Northanger Abbey best.   I think Jane’s sense of humour shines out the most there in Henry Tilney, in fact the whole book is a lot of fun.

Which of Jane Austen’s heroines do you feel you resemble most?

Probably Anne Elliot, she is also the one I admire most and also the one I feel most sorry for. 

Have you visited Jane Austen’s  places? Have you got a favourite one?

Lyme Regis - The Cobb
Yes many, as I mentioned in my interview with Candy Morton I grew up near Redbourn in Hertfordshire, which is believed to be Jane’s Longbourn.  I also used to shop and even worked in Harpenden which is Jane’s Meryton.  Jane’s home in Steventon was not very far from where I grew up either, just a short drive away and a great day out.  We often visited Bath when I was at school, the Roman baths are wonderful.  So yes, I am very familiar with Jane’s places, but my fondest memories are of holidaying as a child in or near Lyme Regis.  We went there almost every year.  That coast is very popular for Brits to visit and I love walking along the Cobb there, usually getting soaked by a wave or two!  I always imagine the Naval ships there, and Captains Wentworth, Harville and Benwick walking along looking wonderful in their uniforms.

What is it that you most admire in her and in her world?


The politeness, manners and respect that seem to be getting  lost today.  A friend of mine mentioned the thing he loved most in Jane’s books is that each person in a conversation waits patiently for the speaker to finish before saying anything.  Wouldn’t it be nice to never have someone interrupt us when we speak?

Is your “Charlotte” going to be published in a printed version?

Yes, it is available now from my publishers website It will also be available from all good stockists worldwide including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, WHSmith, Waterstones and TheNile.com.au very soon. 

What is next for Karen  Aminadra?

I am writing a novel set in 1911/12.
Driven by jealousy, greed and desire, nothing will stop Gregory Rogers from taking that which he believes is his. He'll do anything to gain money, Bancroft Hall and the power that comes with the title of Baronet. Including murder...Until his eyes fall upon the beautiful Jane. Can she rescue him from himself? Will she be the one thing that he cannot ruin in order to have?
It’s due out this summer, and I’m very excited about it, as it was the first book I started many years ago and am motivated to finish now.  


You can find out more about Charlotte and my new project on my website www.karenaminadra.com, you can also find out more on my blog http://karenaminadra.wordpress.com/

GIVEAWAY  

Get a chance to win a paperback copy of Charlotte leaving  a comment and saying why you are looking forward to reading it, and if you’ve already read it on the Kindle, what you liked best.
After the winner is chosen, on June 7th,  it will be posted to you hot off the presses! This giveaway contest is open internationally. Don't forget to add your e-mail address if you want to be entered in the contest.



21 comments:

Andrea Staten said...

This book sounds very interesting!
Although I prefer the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, the version with Kiera Knightly shows more of a connection between Charlotte and Mr. Collins. After they are married, Charlotte is often seen looking fondly at Mr. Collins in their scenes together.
My idea of Mr. Collins has always been that he is not who he appears to be. He is a nervous person who is trying to hard to be something he is not in order to please his family and Lady Catherine. He's upset with who he has become but sees no other way around it. Inside, he is an entirely different person.
Perhaps Charlotte can help him discover who he really is in this book! :)

Andrea Staten said...

oops my email is nikostar@gmail.com

Candy M said...

Hello! I agree about the manners of the day, I like how they would wait politely while you spoke and didn't interrupt. I wish people were more like that today. I know I'm guilty of that myself sometimes, my only excuse is that they don't always take a break and allow me to speak before they switch subjects! :)

I loved it when Lady C bursts into the door demanding to know what the Darcy's are doing there.

Gabriella Parisi said...

Wonderful interview!

We have just spoken about Charlotte Collins in my friend's blog: Un tè con Jane Austen (A tea with Jane Austen), so it would be really interesting to read possible developments of her married life! And to come to love Mr Collins - an impossible challenge IMHO!

pottypo(at)yahoo(dot)it

Miss Claire said...

I'd really like to read the life of Charlotte Lucas/Collins, her point of view on the world and everthings!

Thank you for posting!

My email:

missclaire(at)hotmail(dot)it

Aurora said...

This novel sounds really intriguing. I would like to read it.
I am always happy to read such inspiring interview that so many people love Jane Austen and her novels and this period.

Zora.brozina@gmail.com

Mary Simonsen said...

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Karen during the past few months. I wish her every success with Charlotte. I'm quite jealous of her being able to visit JA sites whenever she wants. I also agree with her about Anne Elliot. The older I get, the more I like Anne.

Linda said...

I've always felt sorry for Charlotte. It would be fun to read a novel in which Mr. Collins becomes more likeable. I hope to win a paperback copy of this novel. I live in the US.
lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

Catherine said...

Turning Mr Collins into a loveable character is an achievement! I would love to see that. Chosing Charlotte as a main character for a sequel of Pride & Prejudice is original and intriguing.
Thanks for the international giveaway.
cyrano123 (at) live (dot) fr

Tara Finlay said...

Charlotte is one of my favorite characters and I am excited to read an adaptation starring her.

Mystica said...

Nice to see the spotlight on Charlotte! Thanks for the chance to win.

mystica123athotmaildotcom

cyn209 said...

excited to read about another Austen minor character!!

thank you for giving us your perspective, Karen!!! can't wait to read it!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

doremijen said...

Charlotte sounds great! Checked out the reviews on Amazon. Usually buy Kindle, but would love a hard copy. Jen Red

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sylvia-66 said...

I have focused on Charlotte lately, very much: some posts on my blog, Un tè con Jane Austen, have sprung a lot of comments from followers and readers. I love this character. And I'd love to read this book!
sylog2416@gmail.com

Janet Kerr said...

I just found this website and pleased to see your book on "Charlotte". I am very interested in reading this! Please enter me in your draw.

janet_kerr(at)msn.com

Lúthien84 said...

Thanks for the wonderful interview, Karen and Maria. I would like to find out from Charlotte how Mr Collins is a changed man. What events could have make him change his outlook and the impact it will have on his marriage.

evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

Susan Kaye said...

People look down their noses at Collins and his writing little things for the ladies, but I'm a writer and I rehearse my own dialog before my meager social outings all the time!

I like Charlotte and am interested in your take.

susan(at)susankaye(dot)come

Danielle said...

I would love to see more of Charlotte. I think we all pity her because of her decision to marry Mr. Collins. I am anxious to see if I will come to love the Mr. Collins character once we get to see more of him. If nothing else maybe we can understand why he is the way he is.

drcopeland(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jo's Daughter said...

Charlotte to be happy in her marriage, I never believed it to be so. But it would be great if she was. She seems like a nice person and deserving of happiness with her Mr. C

devapajo AT gmail DOT com

Karen Aminadra said...

Hi all!
I have really enjoyed reading all of your comments!
I hope that you all do get to read CHARLOTTE at some point and see Mr Collins in a new light!
Take care and Congratulations to our winner! x
Karen Aminadra