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.
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.