Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brenda Webb and A Most Unlikely Couple

Brenda Webb is my guest today and I am so happy to finally have her visit. Brenda, I apologize again for having to postpone your post until today and I appreciate so much your patience and understanding! I truly enjoyed all your thoughts. Thank you for sharing with us how you came to love Jane Austen and began your own writing career. Now, dear readers, please welcome Brenda Webb. She is also having a very generous giveaway!


How and when did your interest in Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice take root?

I have always been a voracious reader and had plenty of books to read thanks to my father’s love of reading. He belonged to a book club and went to the library often, taking me with him. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was a teenager because it was required for an English class, but I didn’t take a great interest in Jane Austen’s books until I was a lot older (and wiser).

As an adult, raising a family, caring for elderly parents and working full time filled my days, and it was not until I saw a rerun of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and watched the 2005 movie version that I realized what I had missed in my reading as a teenager and reread the novel. After that, there was no turning back. I realized what a gifted writer Jane Austen was, and I wanted more P&P!

Aren't you glad you saw that rerun? After rereading 'Pride & Prejudice' and wanting more, what drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing PnP variations?

I had begun a story earlier and still have it, though I haven’t finished it. It is a modern tale about a rock band made up of three brothers and the girl who falls in love with one of them.

After I rediscovered Jane Austen and then JAFF, I read everything I could find. I only decided to write when I ran out of stories that interested me. By then, Austen’s characters were so firmly rooted in my imagination that I thought it would be fun for me to start developing my own stories.

Reading everything JAFF you could find, sounds very familiar! Once you started writing your own stories, did/do you have a muse that cause your story to lead you at times or did/do you use an outline and follow it religiously? What is your writing routine?

Though I do have a basic story idea in mind before I begin, I’ve found that I cannot follow an outline. I tried several times, but the story always developed in other directions as I went along. An outline was useless to me.

I guess you could say my muse points out where I’ll begin, giving me the important plot elements initially and then helps me add characters and circumstances as I go along.

Is there any setting that is more inspirational to you or your muse when writing?

The only time I can write is when I’m completely alone and it’s quiet. For me, that’s my office, which happens to be in the corner of my bedroom. I would dearly love to have an entire room for an office, and I think my husband would like that too, since I am quickly taking over the bedroom. But I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I’m content in my little corner.

Little corners can be very good! When you are there in the quiet and writing, or anywhere for that matter, what about the Regency era is appealing to you?

Other than the great looking clothes—tight breeches, tall boots, cravats, waist coats and lovely ball gowns—I love the magnificent homes of that era and the beautifully landscaped estates in the country. I would have loved to have lived back then, but only as a woman of means with a rich husband who adored me! I love the idea that most gentlemen then were honorable and chivalrous, with some notable exceptions.

As a child, I had more responsibility than most because I was in charge while my parents worked. I was expected to be strong and accountable. Growing up with that kind of real life, I doubt I would have chafed very much at Mr. Darcy’s take-charge attitude.  Who wouldn’t dream of a handsome, intelligent man saying the Regency equivalent of, “Relax, darlin’, I’ve got this.”

And, of course, if he looked at me devotedly whilst saying it, that would be the perfect Regency daydream.

Oh, I do like your dreams...tight breeches, tall boots cravats...oh my! Tell us something about your newest book that you love most. (if you can without giving anything away)

My new book, Darcy and Elizabeth, A Most Unlikely Couple, is primarily a love story between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Their love story comes first in all my books, but one element I love involves a secondary character, Colonel Fitzwilliam. I love how Richard deals with Elizabeth’s misguided attitude towards Darcy in my book. He’s really a mover and shaker in this story, and I always love to write about Richard in all my novels. He is my go-to guy for humor and good sense when Darcy is spouting complete nonsense and Elizabeth fails to see what’s right before her eyes.

Colonel Fitzwilliam is one of my favorites, indeed. I look forward to reading your take on him in this new book. What have you learned from writing that has helped you in your daily life?

I’ve learned that you just can’t win over some people, so I write what interests me. I write the stories I want to tell. I write to entertain my devoted readers and those who like the type of “what if” stories I do. I prefer non-canon, detailed stories with familiar characters acting in unfamiliar ways, and publishing my writing has taught me there are many who feel the same way. That lesson led me to start my own website www.darcyandlizzy.com.

Your lessons learned are wise ones. I'm happy you chose to start your own website in the process too. Is there anything special about yourself or your writing that you would be willing to share with us?

As I said, I try to write the type of books I have always enjoyed. By that I mean I don’t write short, simple happy tales. My stories have angst and lots of side stories that are complex and take time to tell in full. That is why they are usually longer than the average JAFF book.

Thank you for sharing those thoughts. Do you have a modern day author that has inspired you? If yes, what was it about their writing that was an inspiration?

I would say Linda Berdoll is a favorite Austen-based author. She, of course, wrote one of the first JAFF variations. I think the fact that she wrote the story she wanted to write, despite being criticized, helped me to be bold enough to do the same.  Two other writers whose stories I admire are Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds. I bought all their stories when I first started reading JAFF and found that their books were well written and anything but boring.  

These authors inspired me and other writers to publish our work. We owe a lot to them.

I have heard others say the same for the authors you mentioned. Now for a very important question, we all have our special reasons for loving Mr. Darcy, what are your reasons?

I love that he is abhors dishonesty, loves completely when he falls in love and recognizes when he has made a mistake and tries to correct it. I love his character.  

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Mr. Darcy is tall, dark and handsome!  

Blurb for Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man:

Amazon
Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man is a Pride and Prejudice variation. Not a simple retelling, it is an intriguing new story.

Leaving England after his disastrous proposal was refused at Hunsford, Darcy spent two lonely years in Scotland and Ireland before returning home to face Elizabeth Bennet, certain that he could regard her as an indifferent acquaintance.

Events that transpired in his absence have left Elizabeth a changed woman.  The victim of a marriage by deception to Count Stefano, she has suffered greatly at his hands.

Will Mr. Darcy rescue the woman he vowed to forget? 

Blurb for Mr. Darcy's Forbidden Love:


Amazon
When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet for the first time, he is already married to another woman. Forced into a loveless marriage to the widowed Lady Gisela Grantham because of his father’s sins, Darcy is obliged by honour to remain in the marriage to hide a dark secret.

That unhappy part of his life, however, is quickly coming to an end as he meets the love of his life in a little-known village in Hertfordshire. Mr. Darcy’s Forbidden Love is a Pride and Prejudice variation, not a simple retelling. It is the story of a love that was meant to be—a passion too strong to be denied. 


Blurb for Darcy and Elizabeth, A Most Unlikely Couple:


 With his persuasive tongue, Andrew Darcy is a very charismatic scoundrel. Having dealt for years with the scandals created by this wayward cousin, Fitzwilliam Darcy has grown weary. Thus, when yet another gentleman confronts Darcy about Andrew’s blatant betrayal of his daughter, Darcy decides he has had enough.

He sets out for Meryton to find Andrew, but no sooner has Andrew left for Manchester to offer for the unfortunate lady, than Meryton is abuzz with a new scandal involving Andrew and a local woman.

Feeling obligated to offer his assistance to the father, Darcy has no idea that accompanying Bingley to Longbourn will change his life forever. For the lady whose reputation is now at stake, Elizabeth Bennet, is the very reason he fled Meryton only weeks before.

Brenda, the blurbs have my interest piqued and I look forward to reading the books. Your post was most definitely worth the wait! Thank you again, for being my guest and sharing with me and my readers your path to becoming an author! Thank you too, for your very generous giveaway.

Brenda is allowing me to host a lovely giveaway, one paperback, US only, and one eBook, internationally, of  her published books. That makes four books total...one paperback and one eBook of Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man, and one paperback and one eBook of Mr. Darcy's Forbidden Love! YAY! Thank you, Brenda. To be entered leave a comment below as I always love reading your 'share in the conversation'!  Good luck to all. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with (at) instead of @. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway will end at midnight, June 17, 2014.   

52 comments:

  1. I've had Brenda's books on my wishlist for a while; I'd love to win this prize! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I'm at frawli1978 (at) gmail ( dot) com, and I'd like to enter for the ebooks please :)

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    1. First, I am sorry I have not answered comments until today. A nagging ear infection has reared its ugly head again. :( Ceri,I am proud to be included on anyone's wish list. :) Thank you for commenting.

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    2. I've had them on mine as well, Ceri! I hope to read one soon.

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    3. Brenda, so sorry to hear your ear is acting up again. We have had a time, haven't we! I hope you feel better soon.

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    4. Thanks so kindly,Janet. Yes we have had a time getting this interview up and running. "laughs"

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  2. I have read both 'Mr. Darcy: Forbidden Love' and 'Fitzwilliam Darcy An Honorable Man". I am very much looking forward to "Darcy - Elizabeth An Unlikely Couple.". Brenda always has plenty of angst in her stories but they always end in an HEA. I have her 1st 2 as ebooks. My email is skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. You are just who I write for Deborah Ann!

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  3. Janet and Brenda - great interview! As a beginner, it greatly interests me to find out who, what, and how inspiration hit. Thank you so much for letting us inside your writing routine. Also, I appreciate the giveaway. jdawnking at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm sorry but I forgot to ask - when might we expect the new release?

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    2. So happy the interview interested you Dawn. Darcy and Elizabeth - A Most Unlikely Couple will be published this fall or early winter, God willing. I am currently posting chapters at DarcyandLizzy.Com and will publish when I finish posting it! Come on over and read if you aren't already.

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  4. Great interview! I'm always excited to add another JAFF to my reading list! I've read An Honorable Man (so moving!) and have Mr Darcy's Forbidden Love on my wishlist.

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

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    1. Always great to find a JAFF fan reading my books Monica. I would love to hear what you think when you finish one. Reviews are very much appreciated!

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  5. I love how your dad took you to the library for his club. That's great! And that's funny about your hubby worried about your office taking over.

    These books all sound good and I haven't had a chance to read any of them. Thanks for the interview and for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. Yes, Sophia, I definitely got my love of reading from my Dad. As for my office taking over, I am debating getting a smaller bedroom suite so I can have more office space. :) I hope my hubby will go along with it! "smiles" Since you have not read any of them, if you go to DarcyandLizzy.Com you can read the current one online before I publish it.

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  6. I own both books and liked them very much, so don't enter me in the giveaway. I am a big fan and my most pressing question is: WHEN will your new book be published??? I can't wait! Great interview!
    Catherine Commons
    catcommons[at]comcast[dot]com

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    1. How kind of you to let me know you liked my books, Catherine. I am aiming for fall or early winter! I would like to have it published before Christmas.

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  7. Thanks for a lovely interview, ladies. I really like hearing about how people came to discover the works of Jane Austen and then started out writing JAFF for themselves.

    It was my Mum who used to take me (and my sister) to the library. I couldn't wait until I was old enough to "graduate" to the grown-up section (think it was at age 14). I nearly said "adult section" but that would have given totally the wrong impression!

    Brenda's books are already on my TBR list so it would be great to win one. They sound intriguing. I do like some angst before the HEA. Thanks for such a generous giveaway.

    angmardee (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh you made me giggle with your 'adult section' comment Anji!

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    2. Oops! I meant to reply to you first, Anji!

      I know exactly what you mean about the library! We had a very lovely library and in the summer it was so inviting for it had great air conditioning, something rare in the summertime where I lived. Often we would stay there and read for a time before heading home with our arms stacked with books.

      I do hope you get to read my books! Perhaps you will be a winner!

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    3. Thanks, Anji! I bet you and your sister had a wonderful time going to the library with your mum. Sounds like fun to me too. Oh Brenda, I can just picture you and your dad in the cool library reading, then leaving with those tall stacks of books!

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  8. Thanks for the entertaining interview, Brenda and Janet. Although I have heard of Brenda's books before, this is the first time I know her as a writer and lover of Jane Austen's novels from this interview. Thanks for the generous prizes too. Please enter me for the e-books as I'm international.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I hope you have opportunity to read at least one of my books, Luthien84! I have been pointing out that on my forum, DarcyandLizzy.Com I am currently posting my latest, unpolished story. You can read it there before it is taken down and published. I hope to see your smiling face on the board.

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    2. Thank you for stopping by and good luck!

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  9. Brenda is a new author for me, I have just come back from adding them to be wish list at amazon. Love to win a copy of an ebook

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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    1. How kind of you to add me to your list Vesper. I hope you win a copy too!

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    2. Good luck! Maybe you will be one of the winners!

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  10. I look forward to reading another author that you have interviewed, Janet. Looking forward to adding her name to the list of authors to read. Would love to have one of her books in my library. martitaylor1949 (at) yahoo.com

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Marti! Good luck with the giveaway. If you haven't checked out DarcyandLizzy.com, be sure and do that. You can start reading her latest there.

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  11. Thank you so much for your comment. I am pleased to know that the interview caused you to add me to your reading list. If you do have opportunity to read one of my stories, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

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  12. Currently at the edge of my seat reading a most unlikely couple on Darcyandlizzy.com and I already have Fitzwilliam Darcy: a honourable man, so I enter with a hope that I win your second book as I'll confess, I have read it yet. My email address is E.martin2190(at)Gmail.com and without giving to giving too much away I'll plead and say for the next post on a most unlikely couple, Darcy, Pemberley... Pleeease! And leave the spoilt brat behind with her poisonous friends I do hope she gets what's coming to her.

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    1. So thrilled that you are reading my latest tale on the forum Elesha! I hope you win a copy of the 2nd book too! As for leaving the spoilt brat behind, you got it! :)

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  13. Thanks so much for putting up the interview with Brenda. I'm currently following her story "A Most Unlikely Couple" on D&L.com. I love how Brenda's stories just draw you in from the first paragraph, and even though we all know that DA will give us HEA in the end, it's the challenging twist and turns that make her stories so much fun to read. Thanks again from a devoted fan, Jen Red.

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    1. You have always been so supportive, Jen. Thanks for leaving a comment here! Hugs,

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    2. You are welcome, Jen. I appreciate you popping in. I am excited about starting this current one, myself! With all the good things I'm reading about it, I can hardly wait!

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  14. Thank-you for the interview with Brenda this month. I have been following you since you started at AHA and started your own site. I am waiting to read your current story until you are closer to the end as I was on edge waiting for updates on your other 2 stories and I like to read most of it at once if possible. I would also like to be entered into the drawing for either of your books. Thanks!!! Cheryl
    cmatt5819(at)aol.com

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    1. I feel your pain, Cheryl, for I like to read finished stories best of all. So glad you are on the forum!

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    2. I'm so glad you visited, Cheryl. I hope you will come back often. Good luck with the giveaway.

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  15. Thank you for a interesting and enjoyable interview. I am following your latest story on D& L.com and enjoying it

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  16. Happy to hear that you are reading along with me on the forum and thank you for commenting. ;)

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  17. Great interview, Brenda! I found JAFF in a similar way to you. I have not read any of your books yet, but they are on my list. I'd like to be entered into the drawing. Thanks!! Kathy klnba@live.com

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    1. Thanks Kathy! And to whose who do not know Kathy is posting her first story on D&L right now!

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  18. Thank you Brenda for a great interview. I became a P&P fan after of course reading Jane Austen's wonderful book and watching the BBC version. I have both your previous books and am following your latest one in D&L. I love your stories and how they keep you on the edge of your seat with the angst, but in the end we know there will be a HEA.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Maureen. You have been one of my biggest fan and I appreciate you so much. Hugs,

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  19. I went on Amazon to put A Most Unlikely Couple on my Wish List and this book is not on your page Brenda. Has it not been released? odara7rox[at]rcn[dot]com OK, in reading the comments I see it has not yet been published so I click on Amazon's "click here to be notified when this author has a new release" so I will know to grab it up.

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    1. Thanks for putting it on your wish list Sheila. No, it hasn't been published yet but will be after I finish posting it on my forum.

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  20. I read both of your other books and posted reviews - now over to DarcyandLizzy.Com to check out your WIP

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  21. You are so kind to tell me. All encouragement is appreciated. Can't wait to see what you think about the new book. :)

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  22. Darcy and Elizabeth, A Most Unlikely Couple has a beautiful cover. Congratulations!

    NovEllaandBanannabelle (at) Gmail (dot)com

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  23. I'm glad you think so NovElla. I had an artist draw it. :)

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  24. Glad I checked out the Blog, and saw that you were interviewed. I liked to read how you started reading Austen, and then how you started writing. I have both of your published books, but so far have only read Mr. Darcy's Forbidden Love. I will also be getting A Most Unlikely Couple when it comes out. Thanks for all your hard work, MaryBuz

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  25. So happy that you enjoyed the interview Mary. Your support on the forum has been so appreciated. It is readers like you that I have in mind when I write my little tales.

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