To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Absolutely! On March 1 my debut novel will be released by Sourcebooks. "Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One" is a very romantic and historically accurate sequel to Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice." Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
By profession I am an RN specializing for over 25 years in neonatal intensive care. It is my passion and even if I was so blessed as to `make it big' as an author, I can't imagine giving up caring for the babies. I am also a wife and mother, two other passionate aspects of my life.
If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why?
Well, doesn't everyone want to be Lizzy Bennet-now-Darcy? Ah, to be so quick-witted, spunky, impertinent AND married to the insanely rich, handsome Mr. Darcy! Alas, I fear I am more like Mr. Darcy: reserved, awkward, and introverted. Too bad I can't add rich to that assessment.
Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
Fitzwilliam Darcy was having the most extraordinary dream of his entire life. Elizabeth was there, although that fact was not unusual since she had graced the vast majority of his dreams for months now. This dream, however, was exceedingly more erotic than any of the previous ones, and, yes, there had been several! Darcy was enjoying this dream enormously and did not want it to stop. So it was with tremendous dismay that he felt the beginning tendrils of consciousness return. He valiantly fought against them, but the tingles in his right arm persisted no matter how many times his subconscious self tried to move the offending appendage.
The cold blast of wakefulness was like a knife to his heart. He had really liked that dream! So acute was his disappointment that one can imagine the soaring heights instantaneously reached when he realized that the object of his dream was in his arms. In fact, it was her head, which had at some point during her sleep had crept from his chest to the inner aspect of his elbow, that was causing his arm to burn. The irony of it did not escape him and he chuckled softly.
Memories of the fine dream, coupled with the vision of her beauty before him, were temporarily enough to drive away the ever-increasing discomfort to his poor extremity. For some moments he manfully bore the pain and watched her sleep. It was an enchanting sight to behold. Her lush lips were slightly parted, her thick lashes resting peacefully on her rosy cheeks, her mane of hair scattered haphazardly about, and her creamy neck and shoulders visible. Darcy could quite contentedly have stared at her all day, but now his fingers had lost all feeling.
Resolving this issue was suddenly one of the most problematical calamities of his life! He did not want to wake her, nor did he want to remove his arm completely. He thought maybe he could roll her gently back towards his body, a pleasurable prospect, but his arm now had not only lost all sensation but refused to comply with his brain's request. He saw no choice but to use his left arm, which would probably mean waking her up.
There seemed to be no other option, so he began to reach for her. Just at that moment, she stretched her body, sighed deeply, nestled closer to his side, and moved her head back to his chest. Darcy sent silent thanks to whichever guardian angel takes care of these sticky situations.
His relief was short lived, sadly, due to the sudden rush of blood that ignited a blaze of fresh pain in his unfortunate arm. He gritted his teeth, and his whole body tensed and shuddered in his effort not to cry out and wake his peacefully sleeping wife. Eventually the torture subsided and he was able to move his arm again. Naturally he made good use of it by hugging his wife against his side, resting his hand on her silky hip.
Well, that was interesting, he thought. Certainly a drawback to sleeping with someone that has never occurred to me, but most assuredly worth the experience. He lifted his head slightly to view the clock. A quarter to nine! Darcy could not remember the last time he had slept so late. Of course, neither could he remember the last time he had slept so deeply and contentedly, nor woken up feeling so amazingly refreshed and blissful. He sighed and closed his eyes again, a joyous smile on his face.
As pleasant as his dream had been, the reality of his wedding night was vastly superior. They had ended their first night of marriage by loving each other before the fire on the bearskin rug. Elizabeth's initiative, coupled with the location of their union, had added another dimension to what they had already discovered to be a most delicious activity. Darcy never claimed to be a particularly creative man, but how he could not have imagined being with Elizabeth in a site other than his bed surprised him. He was a trifle embarrassed, but he now found his mind drifted to all sorts of promising possibilities. Pemberley had any number of secluded areas, both inside and out, that would work nicely. Good God, man! Listen to yourself! But the self-chastisement was ignored and the erotic ruminations manifested themselves physically.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
"Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy" is only the beginning. The Darcy Saga currently consists of 3 volumes to be published by Sourcebooks. "Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley" will be released on September 1, 2009. "The Darcys at Year's End" will hit the shelves in January of 2010. My saga continues the life of the Darcys, their friends and family members, beyond the first year of their marriage. I am constantly writing more! Volume 4 is nearly complete, and I am concurrently writing a companion novel that recounts the romance of Georgiana Darcy.
What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
I adore the research! It is almost the best part. History has always been a passion for me. So much so that I often get lost in reading about some obscure fact, completely forgetting what I was looking for in the first place. Primarily I turn to the internet, scouring and bookmarking hundreds of websites covering the Regency/Georgian era of England and anything else I need to know. Jane Austen's novel is invaluable, of course, and I have several other reference books on etiquette and society of the day.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Not a critique group in the typical sense. I began my writing road by posting on several Jane Austen Fan-fiction sites before finally creating my own website and posting there. In the process, before I published, I amassed an enormous readership. Many of them have been very vocal in telling me what was good or bad! All of it, whether meant to assist or criticize, has helped me tremendously. Now I have a selection of trusted friends who are my beta-readers for new material.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
My pleasure. The second volume, "Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley," follows the newlyweds as they travel to numerous areas of England, highlighting their sojourn in London for the Season.
They drove along the Thames, Darcy pointing to interesting landmarks as they appeared. Slowly they ambled along, the frequently dirty docks and warehouses along the river replaced with fine business establishments and humble residences as the Thames veered to the south, finally disappearing from view. Traffic thickened as they entered an obviously upscale district.
"This is Pall Mall Street," Darcy explained, "and this area is St. James's Place. There is the Royal Academy of Arts and there is Christie's Auction House. Mr. Anders, take us around the Square, please." He pointed out several of the residences lining the massive and impressive square, "Only titled gentry live here, dearest. Continue, Mr. Anders, to the Palace, please, and then halt." It was only a block or so down Pall Mall to a beautiful building with a well guarded, arched, and iron gated portico. "That is St. James's Palace, Elizabeth, home of the Prince Regent, as you know." "Have you ever been inside, William?"
He smiled, "Divers times for various fetes. The first was with my father and Lord and Lady Matlock. I was twenty and had the great fortune to be presented to King George III. It was a highly formal affair, as they all are, and I was nearly petrified with anxiety. Imagine me at Meryton multiplied tenfold, and you may vaguely visualize my unease!" He laughed at the memory.
Lizzy was staring at her husband with fresh awe. Despite his wealth, which she was slowly learning to be comfortable with, and the incredible power he wielded at Pemberley, within society, and at his numerous business enterprises, she had never actually thought of him hobnobbing with royalty. Even the Earl of Matlock, so intimidating to her originally, was now simply his uncle. It was more than she could digest at the moment. "How was he? The King, I mean," she stammered.
"Gracious and formal. He was an impressive man in appearance, quite tall and broad. His illness was not as apparent then. Most in society were aware of its existence, but certainly not the general public. Of course, I spoke not at all other than the designated greeting then was ushered on. If I had a preference I would gladly never step foot through those gates, or any of the other Royal enclaves. Of course, when one receives an invitation to the palace, one accepts it."
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
My goal has always been to give Mr. Darcy and Lizzy the happy marriage that I believe all fans of "Pride and Prejudice" imagine and desire. What I have written is a continuing tale of life lived to the fullest with the emphasis on the joys to be found with the one you love. The Darcy Saga series is a journey of happy-ever-after with fun, humor, history, sensuality, drama, character interactions, and so much more.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I love reader feedback, especially if it is positive! I can be emailed through the link on my website or communicated with via the Darcy Chat forum. I also have a Facebook Fan Page. Additionally I am so fortunate as to be a part of the wonderful Casablanca Authors, our blog at: http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com and the Awaiting Diana Books Blog at: http://awaitingdiana.blogspot.com
Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
Sharon Lathan: I would love to! Here is a snippet from chapter 4, titled "A New Day Dawns" --
My inspiration, what set me on this pathway, was the 2005 movie adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. To this day I am still captured by visions of the movie, every aspect of it. Reading the source material, staring at photos of England, listening to the soundtrack, all of it helps to keep me in the proper frame of mind. Additionally I have lived my own love story! My husband of over twenty years is truly my soulmate, my dream-man who reminds me daily in every thing he does that perfect love does exist. That is why I can write about it for the Darcys.
Thanks for joining us again. Before you go please tell our readers how they can get your books and how to keep abreast of your work. Do you have a website, newsletter, etc.
"Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One" is now being sold at Target department stores all across the US. The official release date is March 1, whereupon it will be available at all bookstores and online retailers. I have a fabulous website! It focuses on all aspects of my novels with updates, a Regency glossary, novel passages, a portrait gallery, Jane Austen facts, and every bit of information one needs to make an informed decision regarding my novels. I also have an interactive blog. Come on over at: www.darcysaga.net