Friday, April 15, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: Amanda Grange

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

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.

1.) Please leave a comment in appreciation of the author on THIS post!
2.) Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

I ADORE Ida Maria's "Oh My God." It's so fun! I recently discovered it on the movie trailer for It's Kind of a Funny Story.

Unknown said...

Ignore that. I totally just posted on the wrong comment form ;)

cyn209 said...

i can't wait to read your book, Amanda!!! good luck & congrats!!!
thanx for the book giveaway!!!!


Mona said...

I have yet to read ANY Jane Austen but it's on my TBR mountain. I am also an eclectic reader. Thanks so much for the interview.

Carol N Wong said...

Thank you for writing this book.
I like your writing schedule. I up by then and going through my mails then. So you are a morning bird.


Unknown said...

Amanda- I had never heard of you before this interview. Your book sounds terrific!! I wonder why you didn't stay in music? My daughter and I both read fiction and she loves the diary format!!!

Beverly said...

Thanks for interview - love learning about authors! Amanda - thanks for taking the time!

Thanks for hosting the chance to win!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I can't wait to read your book. It sounds very good.

Amanda Grange said...

Hi Cyn, thanks for the congrats, and thanks for dropping in.

Mona, you are so lucky if you haven´t read any Jane Austen because you have all that pleasure still to come.

Hi Carol, thanks for your comments.

Iknott, I´m so grateful to the bloggers who host my blog tour (a very big thank you, Deb!) because it gives me a chance to talk to my fans but also to reach new readers. I hope you´ll give my books a try and I hope your daughter will, too. As for why I didn´t stay in music, I guess I just swapped one keyboard for another ;)

Hi Beverly, thanks for your comments´, it´s a pleasure to be here. I would have been here sooner but I´ve been having trouble with the internet :(

Tore, I hope you like the book!

Thanks for all your comments, and another big thank you to Deb.

Anita Yancey said...

I enjoyed the interview. Sounds like a very interesting book. I would love to read it. Thanks for having this giveaway.