Aug 7, 2009

Interview With Amanda Grange, Author of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre

If you missed my review of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange, feel free to check it out.

Amanda Grange was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions about her latest novel and her writing. Don't forget the giveaway following the interview.

Please welcome Amanda to Savvy Verse & Wit:

1. How difficult was it to return to Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice following your successful book, Mr. Darcy's Diary, and then transform him into an immortal vampire in Mr. Darcy, Vampyre? Could you explain part of the process?

I did it by taking a step back and seeing a larger picture, one in which Mr. Darcy had a terrible secret. Then I looked at Pride and Prejudice from this new vantage point and I saw that it fit in well. It gave Darcy a new reason for his aloofness, his reluctance to fall in love and his absences for long periods of time in Pride and Prejudice. I then imagined a future for Lizzy and Darcy where this great secret lay between them and I explored the effects that would have on their relationship as well as thinking about the extraordinary things that would happen to them. I wanted to create a story that would test their love to the limits, and the rest followed quite naturally from there.

2. Most authors dealing with classic characters fell in love with them early on, but wanted something more. Is this how you felt about Darcy, and what is it you sought to do that Jane Austen had not?

Yes, that’s exactly how it happened with me. I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was about 13 and fell in love with the whole Austen world, including Darcy, but I still wanted more. So I sought to provide more with Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, which of course is the one thing that Austen didn’t do.

3. If you were to create a playlist for Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, what five songs or scores would be on that list?

Interesting. I think one would be Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, I think that would go very well with the first chapter of the book. Then I’d have Yesterday by the Beatles, when Lizzy starts to realize that something is wrong. I’d have Angels by Robbie Williams for a part of the book where Darcy watches Lizzy sleeping, and Something by the Beatles for when Darcy is explaining his love for Lizzy. And of course I’d have Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf!

4. Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

You mean apart from Jane Austen? The thing about one obsession is that it doesn’t really leave room for any others (apart from chocolate!)

5. In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, you've created an exciting and exotic world in which Darcy and Lizzy go on their wedding tour. What inspired you to write these vivid settings? Was there any particular paintings or travels that inspired you?

The inspiration came originally from The Mysteries of Udolpho by Mrs Radcliffe. Udolpho is mentioned a lot in Jane Austen’s own Gothic novel, Northanger Abbey, because both the hero and the heroine have read it and thought it was wonderful. In Udolpho, the heroine travels through France, crosses the Alps and goes on into Italy.

I wanted Lizzy and Darcy to follow her journey as an homage to Udolpho and I thought Janeites would really enjoy it as they would get the references. Having made that decision, I then based the descriptions on my memories of my own holidays in Europe. I remember my first holiday to Italy vividly. I had never been out of England before and the light was incredible. Here in England it’s often dull, with low lying cloud, and the colours are muted, but in Italy everything was dazzling.

There’s a bit in Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, when Lizzy and Darcy arrive in Venice, which says: “Light was everywhere. It poured from the sky and it danced from the water. It leapt from the gilding and twirled from the stones.” That’s exactly how it seemed to me the first time I went there.

6. Many readers are eager to know which character or characters authors most identify with, so in your latest novel, which of the characters do you identify with and why?

Hm, that’s difficult. I think I identify with Lizzy and Darcy equally. I try to put myself inside the heads of my characters when I write, and I found myself equally at home with both Lizzy and Darcy.

7. Which books have you been reading lately, and are there any you would like to recommend?

I’ve been reading Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie and I’d happily recommend it. I love Agatha Christie. Her plots are superb and I think her writing style is underrated. It’s actually very difficult to write in such a seemingly simple style and still hold a reader’s attention. I’ve now moved on to Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. I haven’t got very far with it yet but so far I’m really enjoying it.

8. Finally, following Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, do you have any other projects in the works? Do they deal with other classic literature or do you see yourself flourishing in the Pride & Prejudice market?

My next project is a prequel to Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. Oddly enough, I don’t have any interest in writing books based on other classic stories. Somehow it’s just Pride and Prejudice that keeps inspiring new ideas in me because I can’t get enough of the characters or the perfect love story of Lizzy and Darcy.

If you want to check out the other stops for Amanda Grange, go to the Mr. Darcy Vampyre blog.

Sourcebooks has kindly offered 2 books of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre for 2 of my readers in the United States and Canada.

1. For one entry, leave a comment about one of your favorite parts of the interview.

2. For a second entry, Tweet, Facebook, or otherwise spread the word about the giveaway on your blog, etc.

3. For a third entry, let me know if you already follow or just started following.

Deadline is August 14, 2009 at 11:59 PM





56 comments:

Sue said...

I enjoyed reading what Ms. Grange is reading. I'm always curious what people who write are interested in and inspired by.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Pam said...

I love the question about the playlist and the answer. I love books and love music and love how you tied them together. Brilliant and creative question!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I already follow you.

melacan at hotmail odt com

Anna said...

Great interview. I think it's neat that the wedding tour follows Udolpho's book. Interesting.

No need to enter me, but I've posted the giveaway in my sidebar.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Janel said...

I loved it when she talked about going to Italy, how the light was different there. I think creative people are much more perceptive to things like that. Thanks for the great interview!

jgbeads at gmail dot com

Janel said...

I am already a Follower.

jgbeads at gmail dot com

bermudaonion said...

How can you go wrong with Jane Austen and chocolate!

Wanda said...

I liked the part, in the interview, about obsessions because I, too, am a lover of chocolate.
Please enter my name in your draw.
Thanks.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Wanda said...

I just became a follower of your blog.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Debs Desk said...

I loved the question about what are you reading and recommend. I always love to find out what authors read. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I am a follower.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, man. I want to be friends with Amanda!

No need to enter me, Serena. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book.

Jenny N. said...

I really liked the first question and how Amanda used the vampire concept and made it work with Pride and Prejudice.

jen477[at]hotmail.com

Marie said...

great interview! no need to enter me :-)

Lenore said...

I always have room for chocolate.

throuthehaze said...

I liked the question about the playlist
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

already a follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Amanda said...

Thanks for hosting the interview, Serena, and thanks to everyone who came along and commented. I had a lot of fun writing the book and I'm glad you had fun reading it. This is a great blog!

Serena said...

Amanda: It was my pleasure to read and review your book and interview you! I really loved Mr. Darcy's Diary when I read it, and was anxious to read another of your books.

Thanks for stopping by, checking out the comments, and for your compliment about my blog. It made me smile.

Violet said...

I didn't know there was a book called Mr. Darcy's Diary. Wow.

He is my favorite fictional character so I would probably love both the books. Thanks for the interview.

P.S: Not entering the contest.

donnas said...

I like reading about what inspired her with this book. I always like hearing about where the ideas or background came from.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

I am already a follower.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

donnas said...

I posted on the sidebar here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/

bacchus76 at myself dot com

windycindy said...

I enjoy reading which characters of the author's that they identify with!
Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

windycindy said...

"Tweet!"
http://twitter.com/cmh512/status/3217176604.
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

windycindy said...

I am already a follower of your blog!
Again, many thanks.
Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

robin_titan said...

Love the soundtrack answer :) I'm in love with music, what can I say :D

lc_intocable[a]yahoo[d]com

Anonymous said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I especially liked the question regarding what 'obsessions' does Amanda Grange have! Very insightful, and her answer 'chocolate' was absolutely delightful!!!! I like her already lol

Kristi said...

I love her playlist for the book - Especially Bat out of Hell!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Kristi said...

I tweeted - http://bit.ly/11p0Zv
(kherbrand)

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Kristi said...

I have been a follower for awhile.

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Book Escape said...

I really liked Ms. Grange's take of Darcy having a secret. He does act kind of secretive in his aloofness, right?

I would LOVE to read this one. And, the prequel she's working on.

Of course, I've been following you for awhile and Savvy Verse & Wit is one of my favorites (and I'm not trying to butter you up!)

Becca said...

A very interesting playlist. I love the description of Venice. It makes me want to go there!

rebecca.bradeen(at)verizon(dot)net

PopinFresh said...

I always love to know what authors are reading, so I did enjoy that part, but I think my favourite was the first question. There are two books about Pride and Prejudice adding a supernatural aspect to it. I liked her answer on why her book was different than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

~ Popin
proudbookworm[@]gmail[dot]com

Linda said...

One of my favorite parts of any author interview is learning what the author is reading and/or recommending. Ms. Grange's response was esp. interesting to me since I recently read and enjoyed Mariana. I don't usually choose vampire related books, but I have two granddaughters who are really into that type of novel. Since sounds like a good starter type book for me. Thanks.

And I have been following through Google Reader for several months.

Marie said...

I'm glad to hear that she is working on a prequel, that will be great!

I am a new follower.

marielay@gmail.com

Margay said...

My favorite part of the interview was learning how she came up with the idea for the book.

I am already a follower.

I tweeted about the contest here: http://twitter.com/Margay/status/3286246680

Margay

Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

Heather Long said...

I appreciated the process that she went through. I admit, I've not been keen on the re-imagined classics with a gothic bent, but now I am curious about this.

Grad School Mommy said...

What a great interview with some unique, thoughtful questions! I love your query about the playlist, and was a bit struck at how many contemporary songs she named. I would have thought she'd choose more symphonies/instrumentals. Hmmm. Also, I found it really interesting that she identifies equally with both of her characters.

tworboy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Grad School Mommy said...

And, as of today, I follow! :)

tworboy(at)hotmail(dot)com

teabird said...

Bat out of Hell!! That one made me giggle immoderately. I'd love to read this - I follow here, Bloglines, and Twitter. In fact, I'm a stalker.

teabird 17 AT yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this book.

i liked the question 'what are you reading and what do you recommend'

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

i'm a follwer :)

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

fitz12383 said...

I especially enjoyed her discussion of the playlist.

Please include me in this giveaway.
Thank you!

Amanda
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

lizzy J said...

Cool Post, I just found you thanks to Jo-Jo. I love how her obsession is Jane Austen and chocolate, my fav too! I am a new follower and my e-mail is
elizabethjohnsonart@yahoo.com

etirv said...

The best part of the interview for me was reading about what Amanda Grange's inspirations were!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

etirv said...

I already follow!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Book Junkie said...

Great Interview BTW, I like hearing what has inspired the writer on this book or other works. It is always nice to know!
I am a follower, I have this on my contest blog (bookminded.blogspot.com)

bjwaldron(at)gmail.com

Laura's Reviews said...

Great interview! I would LOVE to win this book. My email address is laarlt78 at hotmail dot com.

Laura's Reviews said...

I just became a follower of this site. My email address is laarlt78 at hotmail dot com

Morning Glow said...

I loved reading about the places/pictures/etc that inspired her while she was writing. I'm a sucker for author's inspiration stories!

Thanks!
Morning Glow
ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

Belinda M said...

My favorite part of the interview was finding out what Amanda is reading and what she recommends too.

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

Belinda M said...

I follow your blog

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

kalynnick said...

The interview was great. I can't wait to read it. I also like the recommendation of Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie.

kalynnick at yahoo dot com

barbrafl said...

I liked the entire interview. I loved hearing how different things inspired her to continue this, and anything with the name MR. DARCY in it instantly earns my approval :)

barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jennifer said...

This sounds great! Jane Austin and Vampires is almost as great a combination as Jane Austin and Zombies. :D

Jennisis (at) comcast (dot) net