Good morning, Linda, and thank you so much for joining me at Just Jane 1813 for this interview. As a blogger who discovered the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction much later than many other readers, I was able to read all three of the books in your series straight through and I found myself still yearning to read more! I was mad with curiosity to know what happened to the Darcys after the end of your story, especially after the ending of The Ruling Passion. I have frequently checked your website for updates about your fourth book in this series and today I am thrilled to share with my readers that the wait is finally over; The Darcys: New Pleasures is ready to be released.
As someone who has played a major role in shaping this subgenre, your books have been hugely popular with JAFF readers all over the world. At last count, over 400,000 of Linda’s Pride & Prejudice sequels are in print and e-book. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife has been printed in four languages.
I love the humor and tremendous passion between the Darcys that you have woven throughout your stories, which are all written in your own very singular writing style. Your storylines always contain an element of surprise and more than a few dollops of pure fun!
Can you share with my readers a little bit about yourself first?
I’m an Air Force brat, the second from last of four sisters (the youngest named Lydia). I was a Daddy’s girl. As a tomboy, I was the closest thing he came to having a son. My mother was a bit of a hysteric (not that we didn’t give her just cause). That being the case, I think I have a certain insight into the Bennet family dynamics.
I married my high school sweetheart – a tall, handsome man with gentle ways and loyal heart. His people were ranchers. Along with two equally handsome sons, we raised cattle, milo, and pecans. My only professional writing was a weekly column I wrote for the Austin American-Statesman. It followed neighborhood doings overlooked by the front page.
My husband and I are now happily settled into the Texas Hill Country, where we chase our grandkids rather than calves.
I know you were inspired to write your sequels after watching the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice, which led you to read and reread all of Austen’s work, including her personal letters, and that this experience led you to think deeply about everything Austen didn’t say in her books. I recently attended a JASNA-NY lecture where the scholar Barbara Alice Mann was the speaker, and one of the statements she made that really stayed with me was that we have to stop reading Jane Austen like we are eleven-year-olds, because when we do, we can “see” the adult situations taking place in her stories that we don’t seem to pay as much attention to in her work.
Would you explain to us how Austen’s unspoken words inspired your series?
The Regency Era was tumultuous. Two of JA’s brothers were in the navy taking part in numerous sea battles. Her cousin Eliza’s husband was guillotined in France. But other than officers populating the romantic landscape in her novels, one wouldn’t have known that England was at war.
Miss Austen’s persona is so entangled with the notion of gentility; I was shocked too by her irreverence.
Jane and her sister, Cassandra exchanged letters full of neighborly gossip. In one such letter Jane wrote of a neighbor, “Mrs. Hall was brought to bed yesterday of a dead child, some weeks before she expected, owing to a fright. I suppose she happened unawares to look upon her husband.”
Please share with us what you’d like readers to know about your new book, The Darcys: New Pleasures.
It takes place fifteen years after the end of The Ruling Passion. The central conflict is between Darcy and his now grown son.
What was the process of writing this fourth book like compared with writing the other three books in this series?
Upon deciding that the Darcys’ early marriage storyline had run its course, taking up with their children ready for love was an easy decision. Unfortunately, I like to wrap the Darcys’ story around the events of the day and I didn’t find much I could mine along that vein in 1835.
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, first published as The Bar Sinister was published in 1999 during a very different time for JAFF and a very different time for self-published authors. What have been the most surprising changes in regards to both of these areas? What do you believe the future of JAFF looks like in the next several years?
I anticipated interest would be keen for a racy follow-up to P&P. I couldn’t bear for the Darcys’ story to end and I doubted others couldn’t either. I also wanted to know what happened between their sheets, and I knew others did too. I wouldn’t have been successful without word of mouth and the Internet.
I would have never guessed that e-books would have taken off like they have, so my looking-glass has a great big crack in it now. I do hope that JAFF has not run its course.
Do I dare ask if this is the final book in the series?
I shall lay with the back of my hand to my forehead and see what I can come up with.
When and where can readers get their hands on this new release?
As soon as the printer gives it to me, the soft cover will go on sale on my website, www.lindaberdoll.net, and simultaneously as possible, we will release the e-book through regular channels.
Where can readers connect with you online?
Thank you so much for allowing me to spend this time with you. I can’t wait for the release of this story. I just hope that my poor heart can handle it! Wink, wink! I look forward to sharing some excerpts of your new book with my readers too. Stay tuned for
I look forward to sharing some excerpts of your new book with my readers too. Stay tuned, Just Jane 1813 readers, for some sneak peeks of The Darcys: New Pleasures!
Readers can also check out Linda’s website to learn more about her and her books.
Linda Berdoll would like to offer one autographed paperback copy of her new book, The Darcys: New Pleasures, to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please leave a comment on this post no later than midnight, ET on October 23rd. The winner of this giveaway will be announced on this blog on October 24, 2016.
I’d like to thank Linda Berdoll for dropping by Just Jane 1813 today and for offering her generous giveaway to my readers!