Please join me in welcoming Amanda Grange to Debbie's Book Bag today. Amanda is here to talk about her new Austen inspired book, Wickham's Diary (Check out my review later today!) Sourcebooks has offered two copies of Amanda's book, Wickam's Diary for giveaway. Please see the details at the end of the post.
DEB: Amanda, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
AMANDA: I grew up in Yorkshire in the north of England, not far from the home of the Brontes, so I think writing was always in my blood. I went to university, where I studied music, and then became a teacher, but I had always wanted to write and so I finally took the plunge, becoming published in my thirties. I wrote a lot of historical romances before embarking on my Jane Austen-related books.
DEB: Tell us a little about your book, Wickham‘s Diary?
AMANDA: Wickham’s Diary is a novella about the childhoods and early adult lives of Wickham and Darcy, who grow up together on the Pemberley estate. But whereas Darcy will inherit everything when he grows up, Wickham will have to work for a living. I used that as a springboard for the changing relationship between the two young men and for Wickham’s decline into loose living, until he descended to the depths of trying to elope with Georgiana. It was great fun to write, because although Wickham is what is called “a wrong ‘un” in Yorkshire, he’s also handsome, charming and fun.
DEB: Have you always been interested in Jane Austen inspired fiction? Is this one a sequel, prequel, variation or something different?
AMANDA: I wasn’t really interested in Austen inspired fiction until I started to write it about seven or eight years ago, because I never really knew it existed, but now I’m hooked. Wickham’s Diary is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice, and it was a lot of fun to write.
DEB: What type of research did you do for your book?
AMANDA: I read Pride and Prejudice again, making a lot of notes, so that I could build up an accurate picture of Wickham’s early life, then I researched the practical details such as university life at the time. I worked out a timeline for the events and then I spent a lot of time thinking about his motivations, after which I started to write.
DEB: What is your normal writing day like? Do you have things that have to be in place to write comfortably?
AMANDA: I don’t really have a normal writing day. Sometimes I’m at my computer by about seven o’clock in the morning and I stay there until one or two o’clock the following morning. Sometimes I don’t write a word but instead I think about the characters and plot and I work out the details of the novel in my head. Most days fall somewhere between those two extremes.
DEB: What was it like when you got the word that your first novel would be published?
AMANDA: It was baffling because I didn’t believe it. I’d spent so many years getting rejection letters that when I finally got an acceptance letter I thought it must be a mistake! It was only when I saw the cover sketch that I believed it was real!
DEB: Do have any advice for new writers?
AMANDA: Write. It sounds simple, but there are a lot of distractions for new writers today: how to write books, conferences, meetings, Twitter, blogs etc. All of these things can be useful, but the one thing you have to do is to write. I have some writing tips on my website which might be useful http://www.amandagrange.com/writing%20tips.html
DEB: When your not writing, what kinds of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite author?
AMANDA: I like to read a wide range of fiction and non fiction. I have a lot of favourite authors in different genres. All-time favourites include Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, P G Wodehouse and of course Jane Austen!
DEB: What are you working on right now?
AMANDA: I’m working on a few projects but it’s a bit early to talk about them, although one of them is definitely about Mr Darcy!
DEB: Tell us one thing that people may not know about you?
AMANDA: I love fuschias.
Sourcebooks is sponsoring a giveaway for two copies of Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange.
~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US and Canadian Addresses Only! (Publisher Request)
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST April 29th.
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