Friday, November 13, 2009

Willoughby's Return Interview with Serena from Savvy, Verse and Wit!

Well, I've come to the end of my blog tour - I'm feeling a little bit sad, it's been so lovely to 'meet' and hear from everyone who has made comments and entered the competitions. Thank you to all who have interviewed me and spent time reviewing Willoughby's Return, I greatly appreciate all your efforts on my behalf.
There's still time to enter the competitions - I'll announce the winners on Monday!

Here's an interview I had with Serena from Savvy, Verse and Wit

Most authors dealing with classic characters fell in love with them early on, but wanted something more. Is this how you felt about Willoughby, and what is it you sought to do that Jane Austen had not?

Rather than falling in love with Willoughby, I suppose it was really that ideal of romantic love that I fell in love with early on, and the relationship that Willoughby first shares with Marianne Dashwood. Jane Austen painted him initially as the epitome of the dashing hero and that is very attractive!

I wanted to discover if Marianne had truly recovered from the heartbreak that he caused and wondered how she might react if he re-entered her life. I also felt we needed to know more about Marianne’s relationship with Colonel Brandon who is her husband, a subject Jane Austen hardly touched upon.

Willoughby is often considered the villain of Sense and Sensibility, is this what attracted you to writing about his character or was it something more?

He is a villain, but I think his character is more complicated than that. I think a little part of me wanted to believe that he was not all bad and even Jane Austen made him remorseful in Sense and Sensibility. What was more important to me was examining the way Marianne perceived him – we see him through her eyes – and I wanted to take her feelings on a journey.

Many readers are eager to know which character or characters authors most identify with, so in your latest novel, which of the characters do you identify with and why?

I’d like to say Marianne or Margaret Dashwood, both romantic and passionate heroines who think with their hearts not their heads. Like Marianne, I can wax lyrical on a falling leaf from the sky and a picturesque scene, but that’s where the comparison ends. I think these days I probably identify more with Mrs Jennings, the interfering busybody friend of Colonel Brandon – I have a habit of asking totally outrageous and embarrassing questions of my children’s friends much to their great mortification!

Why choose Jane Austen novels versus other classic authors' novels?

I just love them – I’m actually obsessed, as my family will tell you. Jane’s writing is the best and her books work on so many levels. I’m still discovering new wonders in every one, which is just as well, as there are only six.

Who is your favorite Jane Austen hero and why?

Captain Frederick Wentworth. The story of Persuasion has a special significance for me and that’s why he’s my favourite. It is the most wonderful love story – whenever I go to Bath my husband and I like to stroll along the Gravel walk and follow in the footsteps of Anne and Captain Wentworth. I also think Colonel Brandon would be gorgeous and I have to include Mr. Darcy in this trio of equally splendid heroes.

Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

I just asked my youngest son what he thought for an answer to this question and he immediately answered – your computer! I’m afraid it’s true, but it’s really my writing that is the obsession. I also Google anything and everything on Jane Austen every day – I told you I was obsessed!

Which books have you been reading lately, and are there any you would like to recommend?

I’ve been reading Jane Austen’s Letters and Persuasion, Emile Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise, Samuel Richardson’s The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Sarah Waters’ Dancing with Mr Darcy, and Sue Wilkes’ Regency Cheshire. I’d recommend them all.

Finally, following Willoughby's Return, do you have any other projects in the works? Do they deal with other classic literature or do you see yourself flourishing in the Jane Austen market?

Sourcebooks will be publishing my next book, Mr. Darcy’s Secret, in the Spring 2011, so that’s exciting to be having a third book published by them. I have started two other books which are both Austen related. I have other non-Jane books I want to write, but I’m really happy living in Austenland at the moment. I’d be really interested to hear what kind of books your readers would like to see – more Jane Austen inspired fiction or maybe another classic author. What do you all think?


Alexa Adams said...

In both Lydia Bennet's Story and Willoughby's Return you rehabilitate disgraced characters, which I really enjoy. Perhaps Maria Bertram is irretrievable (though I know at least one writer has made an admirable attempt) but what about Isabella Thorpe or Mr. Elliot? Though not disgraced, Charlotte Collins and Mrs. Smith nee Hamilton could also use happier endings. I would really love to see more books inspired by both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

Will you tell us what's Mr. Darcy's Secret is about?

Laura's Reviews said...

Great interview! I love Alexa's questions - and wonder what the answers are!

Jane Odiwe said...

Well, I'm not giving away any clues except to say that Alexa has mentioned a couple of the characters I am writing about in my present work in progress!

Mr Darcy's Secret:

Elizabeth Darcy believes her happiness is complete until she acknowledges that her idyllic life at Pemberley is not all it appears. Mysterious affairs concerning Mr Darcy’s past threaten the very downfall of Pemberley plunging new bride Elizabeth headlong into a chain of dramatic events to challenge everything she believes in, ultimately testing the Darcys' love and their future life together. However, nothing can daunt our sparkling and witty heroine as Elizabeth and the powerful, compelling figure of Mr Darcy take centre stage in this romantic tale set against the dramatic backdrops of Regency Derbyshire and the Lakes amongst the characters we love so well.

Georgiana's story runs alongside - I have enjoyed writing this book enormously!

Alexa Adams said...

Ha ha! I can't wait to find out who it is!

Joyce said...

I'm afraid my curiosity always gets the better of me regarding P&P sequels. So, I hope the 'Secret' is not anywhere approaching the supernatural, as was the case in Amanda Grange's latest.

Jane Odiwe said...

Alexa, it's likely to be published in 2012 - I hope you can wait that long!

Hello Joyce, no nothing supernatural! This was my working title before Amanda's book came out. Sometimes my editor suggests a new title, so we'll have to see.

Milka said...

Mr Darcy's secret sounds AMAZING! He is my favorite Austen hero along Edmund Bertram.

Jane Odiwe said...

Thank you Milka - he is irresistible, isn't he?