Bio: Amanda Grange is a popular author of historical fiction specializing in creative interpretations of classic novels and historic events, including Jane Austen’s novels and the Titanic shipwreck. Her novels include Mr. Darcy’s Diary, Mr. Knightley’s Diary, Captain Wentworth’s Diary, and Darcy, Vampyre. In her latest novel, Wickham’s Diary, Amanda tells the tale of Wickham, before Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and how he became the man he is and maybe, if he could change.
After reading and loving A Darcy Christmas last year, in which Amanda Grange contributed a Chrismas novella, I knew I had to read her newest novella out this spring, Wickham's Diary. I really enjoyed this fun book, and you can read my review at The Burton Book Review.
Every once in awhile an author gets a guest post topic requested by the blog host.. and this time we asked Amanda Grange (Austen Sequel Author Extraordinaire!!) about how she would go about convincing die-hard Austen fans of the merits of Austen sequels.
Please welcome Amanda Grange with her thoughts:
Hi, and thanks for inviting me along today to talk about convincing die-hard Austen fans of the merits of Austen sequels. Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of die-hard fans don’t need convincing. They love Austen’s novels, they love her characters and her plots and they’re eager for more. They know I’m not Jane Austen, but they appreciate the trouble I take to make sure my Austen diaries are accurate and take into account everything Jane Austen said about her characters. Of course, my books also go into the realms of interpretation, but (with the exception of Mr Darcy, Vampyre) I go to great lengths to make sure they capture the spirit and the letter of the originals.
If readers still aren’t sure, I tell them about the way in which the diaries fill in the scenes we hear about in the originals but never see. In Mr Darcy’s Diary, we see Darcy going to Ramsgate and finding that Georgiana is about to elope; we see him follow Wickham and Lydia to London and arrange their marriage; and we see events after Darcy and Lizzy’s marriage, when they settle down at Pemberley.
With some of the books, I write the back stories of the characters as well, and this gives fans a view of things they have never seen before, things which are only glimpsed in the originals. This means they get to read something new, which at the same time feels familiar because they know that Austen provided the template for it. For example, in Captain Wentworth’s Diary I spent almost the first half of the book writing about Anne and Wentworth’s initial courtship, which took place before the start of Persuasion. Everything in Captain Wentworth’s Diary fits in with what Austen told us about Anne and Wentworth’s past, but it’s turned into a large section of the book, instead of the few paragraphs we have in Persuasion. I did the same thing with Colonel Brandon’s Diary and I particularly loved doing this because he has such an amazing back-story, full of heartbreak and tragedy. By the time I’d written it I was in floods of tears, and by the time I finished the whole book I really felt he deserved his happy ending!
Wickham’s Diary is a little different to my other books. It’s not a full length novel like my other diaries, it’s a novella, and it’s a prequel to Pride and Prejudice. It starts when Wickham is twelve and ends with his attempted elopement with Georgiana. I wanted to write the novella because I was intrigued by the fact that Wickham and Darcy started life as boyhood friends but later became implacable enemies. It gave me a chance to write about Wickham as a boy and a young man, and to see Darcy at those times of his life as well. So Wickham’s Diary gives die-hard fans a chance to revisit some of their favourite characters in new situations, which at the same time ties in with everything Austen told us about the characters.
A bit more of Amanda's work:
Darcy's Diary / Mr Darcy's Diary
Mr Knightley's Diary
Captain Wentworth's Diary - Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review
Edmund Bertram's Diary
Colonel Brandon's Diary
Henry Tilney's Diary
Wickham's Diary - a novella
Mr Darcy, Vampyre - nominated for the Jane Austen Awards..
and now for the Grand Finale!!! Sourcebooks is graciously offering two lucky followers of HF-Connection a free copy of Amanda Grange's newest release, Wickham's Diary! This is open for US & Canada followers.
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