I want to give a big, warm welcome to Teri Wilson, the author of the book “Unleashing Mr. Darcy.” On behalf of myself and my Just Jane 1813 readers, I want to express our excitement for Teri, as her book is released this weekend, on January 23, 2016, in a Hallmark Premiere Movie, also titled “Unleashing Mr. Darcy.” A romance writer for several year, Teri is now experiencing the good fortune of watching her JAFF book become a Hallmark Channel Movie, which for many of us, has been a delightful experience.
As Teri is busy preparing for this event, I was honored that she so graciously agreed to visit Just Jane 1813 and has allowed my readers to ask her the very questions that they wanted her to answer about her book, along with her experiences as she was involved with the process of making this movie.
Teri, thank you for visiting us today. I know you’ve been involved with promoting the movie, which has involved visiting other blogs and participating in a variety of interviews. Just Jane 1813 readers put together my questions for today’s interview, and they were really eager to have the opportunity to speak with you. I have to ask you this question first because I can imagine this is a question that every fan asks you. What was your reaction to getting the call that Hallmark was making your book “Unleashing Mr. Darcy” into a movie?
Tears. Lots and lots of tears. I cried immediately. And I was extremely surprised. I’ve shed a lot of tears during this entire experience. I’m normally not so over-emotional, but this is every writer’s dream come true.
So, you get the call, and eventually, you get over the initial shock of this amazing opportunity. Can you divulge for us what roles you played in the process of making this movie, such as casting the characters, and where does the decision to use the name Donovan come from?
As far as adapting the book into a film, other than being on-set for three days during filming, I was not involved at all. When an author sells the rights to their story, their part is finished. A screenwriter wrote the screenplay, which is based on my book. Of course I knew about the casting decisions before they were made public, but I didn’t have any input. That being said, I love the cast. Ryan Paevey will be an amazing Mr. Darcy. His voice is perfect. (And he’s obviously extremely handsome.) When I was on-set watching him in the monitor, I had the most ridiculous smile on my face. And Cindy Busby is just fabulous as Elizabeth. She’s in pretty much every single scene of the entire film.
When I wrote the book, I named Mr. Darcy’s character Fitzwilliam, just like in Austen’s classic. He went by the nickname Will. But my publisher wanted to change some of the names, including Mr. Darcy’s. It was actually my son Cameron’s suggestion to rename him Donovan.
As a fan of Jane Austen, and a romance novelist, what inspired you to combine the idea of dogs along with “Pride and Prejudice?” Is this story based on your own dog, and if so, what breed is your own dog?
The dogs in Unleashing Mr. Darcy are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and I have two of them. Their names are Bliss and Finn (sound familiar?), so yes, the dogs in the book are based on my actual pups.
I first had the idea for Unleashing Mr. Darcy while I was at a dog show, showing Bliss and Finn. There’s quite a bit of down-time at dog shows between grooming the dogs and waiting for your turn in the ring. I was hanging out ringside reading Pride & Prejudice, as it’s always been a favorite book of mine. (I also love all the retellings, too!) Showing my dogs always made me really nervous, and I just kind of started wondering what it would be like if Mr. Darcy was the judge. It would certainly be intimidating (and also amazing). I tossed the idea for the book around in my head for nearly a year before I actually began writing it. I honestly thought no one would ever be interested in it. I though it was too much of a niche idea. But I kept dreaming up scenes and conversations between the characters, and I finally had to just get it down.
The Border Terriers and the characters of Sue and Alan are based on an actual couple I met at a dog show and their ridiculously well-behaved dogs. Like the characters in the book, this couple split their time between England and America. I helped them show their dogs that weekend and was immediately inspired to base characters in the book on them and get Elizabeth to London.
Well, I’m a bit of a nervous wreck. Haha. I’m just extremely excited and can’t wait to see the movie. The film is still being edited and set to music. I will not see it for the first time until Saturday night at my viewing party, which I’m having at a local movie theatre. They are streaming the movie live from the Hallmark Channel onto the big screen. We’re having a red carpet and everything. I’ll be posting lots of photos on social media, so hopefully everyone can share in the excitement.
Oh, I am always writing something! I write short, fun, non-fiction pieces every day for HelloGiggles.com, a women’s entertainment website that was founded by Zooey Deschanel and is now a division of People Magazine. And I’m always working on a book. I just turned in a new book proposal to my agent last Friday morning. It’s the latest book in my Alaska series for Harlequin Love Inspired. I had an Alaska book come out just this month called ALASKAN SANCTUARY, and it takes place on a wolf habitat. My next book will be released on March 8 from Tule Publishing and is called THE ART OF PASSION. It’s a modern retelling of Pygmalion/My Fair Lady with a fine art theme. The heroine, Dr. Harper Higgins, is an art professor and Vincent VanGogh scholar. The hero, Tom Stone, is a former soldier and brooding artist.
Some of my favorite Austen-inspired books are Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Mr. Darcy Ruined My Life, Me & Mr. Darcy, Austenland and the Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy.
You know this is going to be one steamy, hot premiere! If you’ve read the book, you know it’s not just for dog-lovers.
“Unleashing Mr. Darcy” is a modern day JAFF story, based on the lives of Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott and billionaire dog breeder, Donovan Darcy. After meeting at a dog show, sparks fly between this couple, who seem to be resisting their attraction to each other. Yet, their involvement in the world of dog shows has them thrown together into each other’s company. Will their passions unleash to bring them together or will they just continue to willfully “misjudge” each other?
“Unleashing Mr. Darcy” is available for purchase at Amazon.com.
Have you checked out Teri Wilson’s newly released website? It’s truly a work of art! Learn more about the making of this movie and to stay up-to-date on information regarding the movie’s premiere at Teri’s site.
You can also have a look at Hallmark’s website to see exclusive photos and find out how you can view the movie on its premiere night.
Check out my Facebook page, C.A. Pepe, Just Jane 1813, and my Twitter account, ElizabethBennetDarcy, for my own viewing photos during the viewing on Saturday night. I’d also love to see our Just Jane 1813 readers enjoying their own movie viewings this weekend, so please share pictures from any viewing parties you attend this weekend during the airing of “Unleashing Mr. Darcy.” If you take pictures during your viewing, please post them on social media under the hashtag #unleashingmrdarcy! Live tweet during the commercial breaks! Let’s make some noise Saturday night!