Read an excerpt from Miss Darcy Falls in Love
Visit Sharon Lathan's web site
About Sharon Lathan
Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. Her previously published novels are: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, A Darcy Christmas, and The Trouble With Mr. Darcy. Releasing in November, 2011, Miss Darcy Falls in Love is Georgiana's tale of love and adventure while in France. Complete with a happy ending. In addition to her writing, Sharon works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley.
Back list (all available and in print):
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One
Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley
My Dearest Mr. Darcy
In The Arms of Mr. Darcy
A Darcy Christmas (anthology)
The Trouble With Mr. Darcy
An Interview with the Sharon Lathan
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Sharon, thank you for talking with us at TRS! Your featured book is Miss Darcy Falls in Love and it is part of The Darcy Saga. First, I have to ask, what made you a Jane Austen fan? What did you enjoy so much about the world of Pride and Prejudice?
SL: Thank you for having me! I love interviews. The questions are always varied and it sure helps to have a prompt for to what to say. LOL!
I am a “late bloomer” when it comes to my love for Jane Austen. I came around via the cinematic adaptations and read the novels later. I love period dramas of all eras and types, so I saw most of the Austen films that came down the pike. However, there was something very special about Joe Wright's 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. I have been known to wax quite eloquently about how that movie affected me, but in the interest of time I'll just say I loved it! I have always been a history buff and the Regency Era with the gorgeous clothes, polite social mores, precise speech, and so on struck a nerve. The characters were so rich and vivid, the story humorous and emotional, and I admit I adore a sappy, happily ever after ending. I was hooked! Reading the novels followed and that really sent me over the edge. The combination of the visual and the written was powerful and a true obsession was born.
HH: What can you tell us about the books that came before in this series?
SL: Simply put, I did not want the story to end. I wanted to keep Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and everyone else alive and moving forward. So I gave them additional life! Initially it was selfishly just for me, but when people began to read it online and I realized they wanted the Darcys to live on as much as I did, I kept going. The result is The Darcy Saga, a 5 novel series that begins on the wedding day of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, moving through time some 5 years. I also wrote a novella titled "A Darcy Christmas" that is one third of the anthology A Darcy Christmas where I give snippets of the Darcys over 20 years. Although I did not necessarily plan it, the novels flow from one to the other in a true "saga" style.
HH: How does Miss Darcy Falls in Love continue it?
SL: Miss Darcy Falls in Love is a companion novel and independent. The timeline of the events in this novel fall during events in my fifth Darcy Saga novel - The Trouble With Mr. Darcy - but the setting is France not England. The story focuses exclusively on Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy's younger sister, who is 20 and touring the Continent with her uncle and aunt. Only a few of the familiar characters from my series are in this novel, but they are minor. I wanted Georgiana to be the star and to create entirely new characters for her to interact with.
This is my first truly independent novel with a clear, encapsulated story with a beginning, middle, and end. Georgiana, of course, has been in the previous novels, maturing from the shy 16 year old introduced in Pride and Prejudice to the woman I have created. She has become quite pushy, actually, and insisted I tell her tale.
HH: What else do you have in store for readers in this world?
SL: Miss Darcy Falls in Love is set in 1820, mostly in Paris, in what was the post-Napoleonic Empire. I touch on the historical aspects of this period of restoration for France, however, my main focus for Georgiana and the people revolving around her was to delve into music as a driving theme.
I also wanted to explore the concept of loving two men, but in different ways. How does Georgiana learn to understand her heart when each potential lover stirs her and are worthy gentlemen? That was lots of fun!
HH: What sort of research did you do for this series?
SL: It was a big shift of the gears for me. Regency England I know well after 5 novels. France? Not so much! I went back to the basics: politics, culture, language, social structure, geography, architecture, and so on. Yet for all that, the biggest challenge was learning about music. I can't even read a scale so grasping even the rudiments of musical composition took lots of work! Luckily I have a friend who is a concert pianist and music teacher. I owe him a huge debt of thanks.
HH: What do you think Ms. Austen would think of your work?
SL: I think she would be taken aback by all of the fan fiction. Then I think she would laugh hysterically! She had a marvelous sense of humor, so I don't doubt she would love the fun so many authors and readers have enjoyed due to her work. As for my stories specifically, I can't imagine why she would not appreciate and be thankful that I have given them rich, exciting, happy lives. Even if it isn't what she would have written -- and I have no delusion that it is -- I am positive she would be pleased.
HH: What else do you have in the works?
SL: Currently I am writing of a character entirely of my creation. Dr. George Darcy is the uncle of Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice, an eccentric, brilliant, world traveled physician that I introduced in my second novel. He remained and grew in my heart. Now I am traveling back in time to 1780 India to tell the story of this remarkable, trail-blazing man. It will span some 35 years of his travels in the East with the British East India Company, delving into the history of medicine, and the romantic relationships of his life, finally culminating with the future he encounters after returning to England.
HH: How much of your day is devoted to your writing career?
SL: It varies greatly. At the moment I am planning my daughter's wedding in less than two months, so writing is not a top priority! But usually I try to work in at least a couple hours or more if I am not working the "day job" or attending to some other project. Life never does let up, does it? And of course the time spent on aspects of the writing career that do not involve actual writing take up even more time!
HH: What's your favorite way to interact with readers?
SL: I am recently learning to appreciate Twitter. But that is a new phenomenon and not yet a comfortable favorite. I much prefer Facebook and my personal website. I answer all the emails sent to me, in as timely a fashion as possible. I love to guest blog as that is a way to meet new people on their turf. Lastly, but in no way least, there is Austen Authors, the group blog I began with Abigail Reynolds that now has 24 authors of Austen-literature. We have a great time chatting with our visitors!
HH: Any conference or appearance plans this fall?
SL: As a matter of fact, yes! On October 12th I will be flying to Fort Worth, Texas for the Jane Austen Society of North America's Annual General Meeting (AGM for short). Among the workshops, Regency Ball, and tons of fun stuff, I will be joining a group of 30 authors for an open-to-the-public book signing. The date is October 16, Sunday, from 8:30 -10am in the Renaissance Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth. Anyone in the area, please stop by! For more information on that, here is the link: http://www.jasna.org/agms/fortworth/index.html.
I usually try to arrange at least one local book signing when a novel comes out, and of course I will be “appearing” all over the web on my Virtual Book Tour starting in late October.
HH: Thank you!