Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Amanda Grange GuestBlog: Letting Go Of Pride And Prejudice

CONTEST TODAY!!! 3 randomly chosen commenters each wins a copy of "Mr. D, V" courtesy of Sourcebooks! Please have email addy available if you enter.

From Michelle:
I’ll admit it: I’ll take a gander at any incarnation of an Austen classic. But when I heard about Amanda Grange's “Mr. Darcy, Vampyre," I totally knew we had to meet the author. And, look at her pic: She seems like such a nice woman, despite the fact that she’s gone and found a funky dark-n'-sexy way to make Darcy even hotter. Check out Amy Kennedy’s Take on MD,V here. But first, please offer Amanda your warmest, “I vant to dlink his blahd” Bella buongiorno…
From Amanda: Thanks for inviting me, Michelle, it’s wonderful to be here, and a big hello from England to all the Bellas!

It’s a real pleasure for me to be chatting to you all today because ever since I was a little girl I’ve always loved everything about books. I love talking about them and thinking about them and blogging about them! I love the way they look, the way they feel and even the way they smell. I like to read everywhere, in the garden, or curled up by the fire or in bed. In fact, when I was a child I was often in trouble for reading under the covers when I was meant to be asleep. I just couldn’t bear to leave the interesting people and exciting places I found in each new book.

As I grew older, my favourite reading became romances and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages until I knew that everything would work out between the hero and the heroine. Then I usually put the book away, satisfied. But some books left me wanting more. One of them was "Pride and Prejudice" and that’s why, back in 2005, I wrote "Mr Darcy’s Diary," because I wanted to spend more time with my favourite hero. There’s just something about that blend of arrogant outer surface and warm human being beneath that makes me melt.

But even that wasn’t enough. I found I was curious about what happened next, so I wrote a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice." Because I was reading a lot of Regency Gothic novels at the time, my sequel became a paranormal called "Mr Darcy, Vampyre." It starts where "Pride and Prejudice" leaves off, but when Lizzy and Darcy they go on their honeymoon, Lizzy discovers that Darcy has a secret!

So my question to you, Bellas, is this: Which romantic hero do you find it hard to let go? What is there about him that makes you long for more? And what kind of future would you like to imagine for him?

For a thrilling excerpt from "Mr. D, V," click here. Please check out Amanda's Vampyre devoted blog here, and follow Mr. Darcy, Vampyre on twitter!
Check out a new "Heart to Heart" post today!


donnas said...

Besides Darcy? There arent many to compare. But I do also love Roarke from the In Death series by JD Robb.

Sounds like a great book.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Chelsea B. said...

I was just reading about your book the other day on Amazon because I was really wanting to read more into the world of Pride and Prejudice! SO this would be really awesome to win! I've heard really great things!.

And as to the question--Well, besides Mr.Darcy, of course....;) I would have to say Edward Cullen! Don't make fun, I can't help myself :)

Shawna L. said...

shawna Lewis

Well...I am in love with Nathanial in the book "Into the Wilderness".
I can just imagine Him & I living VERY happily in our cabin in the Lake in the Sky!!!
He is just Dreamy and I read the book a long time ago but still think about him often!!!

Cecelia said...

Con (Constantine) from Robin McKinley's Sunshine is rather hard to let go (especially as there's a questionable amount of closure at the end of the book). I would love to see more of him.

Great question!


Amanda said...

Hello Bellas! It's morning here in the UK and I'm sitting at my computer with my cup of coffee and reading your replies. Great choices! I know what you mean Celi.a, some heroes are just so hard to let go. I've never read Into the Wilderness, Shawna, so now I'll have to look into it. Edward Cullen? Good choice, Chelsea, he'd be around for ever :)
And Donna I agree, there aren't many to compare with Darcy, but good choice in Roarke.

Amanda Grange said...

I was reading all your comments on Amy's wonderful review yesterday (Thanks, Amy, glad you liked it, I loved writing it!) and I thought I'd join in the conversation.

I thought about the rights and wrongs of sequels a lot a few years ago when I was thinking of sending Mr Darcy's Diary, my first Austen inspired novel, to my publishers. Here were my convoluted thoughts.

Would I like it if someone wrote more about my characters? (I'd written about a dozen Regencies by then, none of them based on anyone else's novels) and I thought, well no, I don't think I would. So I almost didn't send the book to the publisher. Then I thought, what if someone wrote a sequel in two hundred years time? And suddenly I felt completely differently. I thought I'd be so delighted that people were still reading my books in two hundred years that I wouldn't mind at all, in fact I'd be flattered that there was still so much interest in them.

Then I thought, But I'm not Jane. Like Lisa, I wondered what she would think, but as she had a good sense of humour, like Princess Bumblebee, I think she'd find it hilarious.

I also remembered that she took the title of Pride and Prejudice from Fanny Burney's Cecilia, - 'The whole of this unfortunate business, said Dr Lyster, has been the result of PRIDE and PREJUDICE. […] if to PRIDE and PREJUDICE you owe your miseries, so wonderfully is good and evil balanced, that to PRIDE and PREJUDICE you will also owe their termination.' - and so I realised she wasn't against writers influencing each other. In fact, it used to be common in previous centuries.

So all in all I decided it was OK for me to write retellings and continuations of Austen's works. But that was a personal opinion and I know other people feel differently and I respect Emily and Stacy's opinions.

As Austen herself put it, in Emma, "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other."

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hi Amanda,
first, I must tell you how much I'm looking forward to this read! How can anything be sexier than Darcy as a vampire! :) I first came across this book at RWA, in the goody room. One glance at the cover and I was sold. I picked up the beautiful card, and read the back and knew I would be reading this book!!!

Now to your question. There are so many romance novel heroes that I adore. Too many to pick from. So, I'll stick with literature. The hero that is always in my thoughts, is Richard Thornton from North and South. I've loved that character since high school (gasp, even more than Darcy) and when Richard Armitage came along to play him, ooh, my, my!!!! It cemented the whole Thornton image for me.

Since I write pretty steamy historical romance, I'd like to see the next continuation in his story be their relationship as a married couple, although, with the way he broods, I could totally see him as a vampire! Imagine that wedding night scene!

Good luck with your release!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas, and welcome, Amanda! So pleased to have you here today to talk Mr D, V! I think folks are intrigued by this book as I was when I heard of it. I'm so pleased everyone's so excited. And I"m glad of your last post, Amanda, that you've shown us a bit of the genesis of your decision, how you've not written of Darcy to take a poke at Austen in an iconoclastic way.

I must say as Seinfeld would have, in my opinion, 'not that there's anything wrong with that.' It's almost impossible for writers not to 'borrow' from one another. All artists, really. Gosh, where would Beethoven have been w/out Mozart and M's contemporaries? Artists build on those who come before, even those artists who create 'something new.'

And continuing w/the musical theme, musicians long have riffed on themes of those who've come before because it's interesting, and if the tune's beloved, it appeals to many and also flexes the creative muscles of the artist.

Um, and I'd like to see more of the courship between Kat and Nate the Cap'n's son from Witch of Blackbird Pond. And I think I'd like it a little hot, please. I mean, it'd take place aboard ship n' all...

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Oh, Michelle, Witch of Blackbird Pond, how could I forget Nate!!! That's the book that made me want to be a writer at the tender age of 10!!!! Even at that age I was aware of the sexual tension briming between them!

I'm going to go have dig out my copy now!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

What a great story, Charlotte! It's my fave book evah. I dig hearing stories of how others love it, too.

I'm in nyc today for meets w/ bn folks, but I'll be checking in throughout the day.

hi, Celi.a! I've got to put him on my tbr list cause questionable closure drives me nutty also.

oh, yeah, shawna; Nathaniel. sigh. stand-up guy.

Chelsea, no funning on this end. Though my 12-year-old son would feign queasiness. :) You now know my YA crush, right? Nate 4 evR!

Ah, donnaS, you're in good company with Roark!

Margay Leah Justice said...

I think Mr. Darcy is a given, but I'm also fond of Mr. Knightley, Edward and Carlisle Cullen, Captain Jack Sparrow (I know he's a movie character, but I just can't get enough of him).

amy kennedy said...

Amanda, so happy you're here today. I feel the same way about books -- Kindle will never have my heart -- I need the feel and look and smell of them, probably why I love working in a library.

I'm so glad you read the review and the comments. And you are right, if anything of mine were still around 200 years from now, and people loved it so much they couldn't leave it alone? I, too, would be thrilled.

Oh yeah Charlotte, Richard Thornton...mmmm. Now all I can think of are OPC -- other people's choices. Rourke, yes. Kit, yesyes. Ah, I would like a love story about Aragorn, but I always liked the woman he fought beside in the big battle (cut me some slack -- it's been 35 years since I read these) more so than, was it Arwen Evenstar? Anyways I liked the woman more tan the elf.

Celi.a I love Robin Mckinley -- but haven't read Sunshine.

amy kennedy said...

Oh, Margay, Cap'n Jack Sparrow -- good one. Which reminded me of the book The Windflower, and Captain Rand Morgan, he was not the hero, but I would love to read a romance with him in it -- actually, one with his helper mate (I'm sure that's the correct term) whose name escapes me -- shocker -- as well.

Amanda said...

Ah, Richard Armitage! Someone make a film of Mr Darcy, Vampyre quick and sign him up for Darcy!
And a continuation of North and South, Charlotte - well, how about this for a tile? North and South and Vampyres? :) What are you waiting for?

Vanessa Kelly said...

Hi Amanda, congrats on the book! I have your lovely postcard from the RWA convention sitting right by my desk, waiting for my next Amazon order.

Heroes we want to see more of...hmm. Obviously Darcy tops the list, since he's generated a whole industry. And I totally agree with Margay about Captain Jack Sparrow. Fortunately for us, a new movie is apparently in the works sometime in the future.

I've always wanted to read some sequels of Georgette Heyer books. Some of her heroes are so compelling and sexy that I think they deserve a follow-up. Maybe those books are not in the public domain yet, but I wish someone would take that project on!

One of the things I love about Julia Quinn and Eloisa James is that they do let you see their characters several years down the road, in their extra chapters or epilogues. So satisfying - and a great marketing idea! Give your readers what they want, and we usually want more.

BTW, Amanda, I'd forgotten that the title of P&P came from Cecila. I studied Burney in university - how could I forget that?! Thanks for the reminder. Cecilia is a great book.

amy kennedy said...

Vanessa, I like the epilogues and extra chapters too, and with some books I would like a new installment every month. Maybe that's why I love series books so much, like the JD Robb books and Charlaine Harris books.

Amanda, maybe North & South & Transylvania.

I'm on my way to an appointment, but I'll be back.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Hi Amanda, wow what a great book. Hmmm greatest romantic heros, well my number one would be Jamie Fraiser from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, w/Mr. Darcy a close second (sorry) and I also love the Eve Dallas and Roarke series by JD Robb. I tend to go toward the series more especially when I find those characters that I find hard to let go.

Monica Burns said...

Morning Bellas, Amanda, your book sounds terrific. Darcy and vampires...a win, win combo.

But I have to be a heretic and confess that Edward Rochester is who I'll always be mad for. His soul is so romantic and he's so intense. That's what I love in a hero. Intensity. Ok, so a great body and alpha tendencies are also welcome! LOL

Becke Davis said...

Michelle - I cracked up at your "look at her pic" comment! Let's face it, a lot of us look like "nice women" -- and then you get to know us! :)

Looking forward to reading your book, Amanda!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Ooo! Monica! Mr. Rochester. Yes, I'd like to see lots more of him.

Amanda said...

North & South & Transylvania - Even better, Amy!

I know what you mean about Jamie Fraser, Debbie - based of course on Fraser Hines IIRC - my heartthrob from the 70s when Dr Who was must-see TV. For the plots, of course . . .

As for Heyer's heroes, oh yes, they were wonderful. The books are still in copyright though so don't expect to see variations on them.

And how can I argue with Rochester, Monica? He had brooding down to a fine art! The Brontes knew a thing or two about alpha heroes.

Just noticed that Amazon now have MDV in stock!

The Scarf Princess said...

Always happy to see some Richard Armitage love. I adore him too.

As for romantic hero....Evanovich's Ranger rings my bell. I love his mysterious qualities.

amy kennedy said...

Hey Monica and Vannessa, Mr. Rochester lovers, yesterday I was waxing on about how he would have made a fine werewolf. No?

Becke, so true, 'but she looks so nice...'

debbie, I agree, that's why I like the series, same with Ranger, (and Joe)joder. Ilove to revisit.

Monica Burns said...

Ames, what FAB idea. I love it!! I don't write werewolves, but I'd sure as hell would read one.

Becke Davis said...

I loved Rochester long before I discovered Mr. Darcy. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are among the few romantic books that translate well to film, in my opinion.

My favorite Jane Eyre starred George C. Scott and Susannah York -- the soundtrack was so beautiful we used it in our wedding.

I love all the classic films of Emma and P&P, but I haven't seen the P&P starring Keira Knightley. I was at a girls' night out recently where several people raved about that one. Something about Darcy clenching his hands to hold her touch? What about the rest of you -- which was the best filmed version of P&P?

amy kennedy said...

Oh dear, I'm going to have to go with the BBC and Colin Firth, but the Keira Knightly is lovely, and so is Mr. Darcy in that one.

I know Mon!

Amanda, I meant to ask you about the two diferrent covers for Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, one for the U.S. and one for the U.K. -- what do you think? I love this cover.

Monica Burns said...

Ames, here's what seals it for me with MacFayden [sp?]in the latest P&P. That shot with the hand. When he helps Lizzie into the carriage and then the camera zooms in on his hand and he makes a fist and then releases it as if he's been shocked....THAT is a defining moment in the film and the MOST romantic one. I just about swoon every time I see that shot because it says "Im hooked, shes got me, and I'm totally lost."

Becke...I loved Scott and his wife in Jane Eyre, but Tobey Stephens in the latest version of Jane Eyre WAS Rochester. He had the voice down perfectly, the brutality of it when he was talking to Jane in an effort to hurt her, then the pain in his voice when he talked about Adele and his old life. He was BRILLIANT, and up until that moment I had Scott tied with Ciarin Hinds for best Edward.

If you've not seen Stephens version, RUN, RUN, RUN to the store. I promise you, he will not disappoint.

Anonymous said...

How about Heathcliff? Such a tortured man. Even though we get a pretty good idea of his background, I'd love to see more details. And also see him yearn for someone who can bring him to his knees :)


Martha Eskuchen said...

Hello Bellas! Are we toasting Hello with blood today?? Hi Amanda! Thanks for sharing today.
Hmm - hero I can't forget.... hmm - getting too old to remember! Other than Rochester (Jane Eyre) and Mr. Knightly (from Emma) no one comes to mind except heros in books I am currently reading! Now I know I have some Scottish heroes out there... the names will pop up later!

Amanda said...

The two covers, Amy? What can I say? I love them both. I love the classic look of the US cover, especially the cameo, but then again I love the UK cover because it's so dark and brooding.

Misty Evans said...

Heathcliff and still my heart. Vamps, werewolves, I'd take them as characters in any form. I do hope we'll get more than just Mr. Darcy reincarnated from you, Amanda!

Vanessa Kelly said...

Monica, I'm with you on the Tobey Stephens version of Rochester. He was amazing.

Hmmm. Rochester as werewolf. I like it!

Lois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lois said...

Well, I definitely love Austen-inspired books, especially about favorite Mr Darcy. But another one that I love reading inspired books about is the Phantom of the Opera/Erik. I haven't read many, you can find more Austen related books in a bookstore than Phantom, but my all-time favorite is Susan Kay's Phantom; his tragic life and story, gotta love it.

One people aren't fond of, but I like is The Phantom of Manhattan, the one that the story is generally what the sequel Broadway musical is based on (though I'm sure there are many changes). . . me, I liked it, and interested in seeing the sequel if I'm ever that lucky. Most online are very against it, and sure, not everything needs a sequel, but hey, it might be good. So more power to Andrew Lloyd Webber, I say. LOL

And now I'll stop babbling. ;)

Lois, who loves her Darcys, and her Eriks too.

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Hope your time in New York goes great, QB!
Me, still missing the guys! *sob* But, I have RBTB and romance novels to get me through these hard times, hehe. And that guy from Linkin Park. Grrr!
Favorate heroes? Definately Mr. Darcy, and the hero from Emma that escapes me. Also, I read the 'Key' trilogy by Nora Roberts and wanted to see more of the Guardian's (names escape me) their story! You know they fall in love and stuff, but you never really see it!

Tiona said...

As to what I'm reading is Jacqueline Frank's 'Rapture' Never read her stuff before, but so far it is very good!

amy kennedy said...

Lois, Colette Gale wrote an erotic version of The Phantom...Unmasqued.

You might want to try it.

Mon, I also love the site of him walking to her in his wet shirt and doe skin breeches.

Hi Martha, I'm having problems with names today too (today?)

Susan, I loved Heathcliff too, but I loved him more in the film, in the book I realized what a bastard he was -- not that I don't sometimes love bastards, but he hit his wife.

Misty, I'm with you, I'd love more from Amanda.

Princess, don't you love reading to get you through those hard times?

amy kennedy said...

Amanda, what came to mind for me with the covers is, the US cover makes me think more of Elizabeth and the UK of Darcy.

ColleenFL said...

I like Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series. I'm always looking forward to the next book.

Amanda said...

Amy, that's exactly what I thought, a his'n'hers version!

Amanda said...

Just wanted to say thank you to all the Bellas for having me here, it's been fun! It's morning again here in the UK, I'm sitting with my coffee, and now I'm going to read the new blog post because two words caught my eye - those two words being, in no particular order, Jackman and Hugh! Now there's a man I would love to see playing Captain Wentworth!

ev said...

I can't wait to read this book. I will have to get it in paper format so I can add it to the growing pile of P&P stuff. I will need to go see what is out there for P&P stuff.

amy kennedy said...

Amanda, thank you for a delightful day.

Monica Fairview said...

"Nice" post, Amanda! Absolutely brilliant to bring your wealth of historical gothic knowledge into JA's work.

Booklover1335 said...

It'll be interesting to read this new take on Mr. Darcy, and am really excited to read it.

Which romantic hero do I have a hard time letting go...hands down Jamie Fraser. He is my altime fav male hero...after Mr. Darcy of course :)


Caffey said...

It is so hard letting go of Darcy! So besides him, LOL, I think too, a series I love by Jillian Hunter, B
Boscastles, and especially Grayson, the oldest. Each time I read a new in the series, I want to visit with him too! And love to see how he's leading on with the family still. I don't know what I'd do if this series ends which will soon :( But I couldn't help falling for this family.



Hello Amanda, I think it was a stike of Geinus to have beloved Mr Darcy go Paramormal.

Humm fav romantic hero...
Call me a sap but I alway wanted to know what happened to Rick, from Casablanca. Yeah I know Ilsa was " better off with her Hubby" Save the world for better and all that.. But poor Rick after all that time. sigh. I am soooo not going to get my self thinking about that AGAIN.

Lifkdasux at aol dot com