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Sunday Serial

Continuing my – oh lor’ I don’t know what to call it! Probably “a YA historical Western written in diary form” would be most accurate. The last bit was here and the Skidmore family were facing some horrible weather.

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Feb 11th Wednesday

Looks like the storm blew out over night. Everything’s washed clean, even the hog pen, but the cows and ponies look sad and battered, poor things. The best of the saddle horses and the milk cows were in shelter, so they were luckier than the O’Connels.

The Aransa river rose high and backed up the creeks. There’s water everywhere this morning, though I suspect it’ll drain fast enough. But last night it rose far enough to undermine the bank and more water flooded across the O’Connels yard. The corner of their house got washed out and this morning the whole thing is leaning. It would have fallen right over if it wasn’t for their chimney. That’s solid river stone so at least they don’t have to build that again if they decide to build in the same place.

Pa says that’s the worst flood he’s seen since he’s been here so they might think it’s worth it. I wouldn’t because the rivers a different shape there now. Who knows what it’ll do next big storm?

janesMy guest today is a fellow resident of this green and deliciously damp corner of the UK – a place that has more sheep than people and it’s own language, mostly made up of vowels. She also writes a cracking historical!

She’s here today in celebration of the release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Austenesque stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome Sandra!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

It’s the overall economy of language which appeals to me, and which I feel lends so much elegance to her work. That, and the way she draws such memorable characters with the sparsest description.

Any quote would end up far too long for a blog post – just go read one of her books, they’re not long!

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

I had two ideas of what & who I might write about when I first saw the submission call for A Certain Persuasion. I don’t think there was every any doubt in my mind that I would be writing a historical story, featuring at least one of Austen’s characters.
My first thought was to write about one or more of the secondary female characters – there are, after all, a wonderful abundance of intriguing women in the Austen-verse.
My second idea was “Oooh, I could write Age of Sail!” – after all, it’s a kind of going back home for me to be writing about ships and sailors. So I curled up and re-read both Persuasion and Mansfield Park, and found myself drawn to the character of William Price. Not that the story went where I expected it to. One of the lines which stood out to me from Mansfield Park was that William seemed to have absolutely no urge to marry, only to save enough money to set up a household for himself and his sister, Fanny… but you’ll have to read the book to see what happened when I started exploring what happened to him once he stepped off Austen’s page😉

An excerpt from near the start of Man of War…

The first time Robert Oakes dared suggest to his second lieutenant that a slight change of trim would benefit them, William inwardly dismissed him as impertinent while making a mental note to check his disciplinary record. After an hour, with the wind unchanged and progress not quite as swift as William had expected, he ordered the change of trim suggested by Oakes and was pleased to note an improvement in their speed.
After making his discreet enquiries and learning that Mr Oakes was as far from a troublemaker as an ordinary sailor could be, William wondered what had made the man speak up in such a fashion. Whenever he could, he watched Oakes at his work, and found himself impressed by the young man’s persuasiveness when working with his less willing crew-mates, as well as his knowledge of his ship and profession. He noted also that Oakes behaved correctly with the midshipmen, a task which did not always come easily to experienced able seamen. Polite and deferential, as he should be, Oakes also guided and taught the young gentlemen, honing their knowledge of sea-craft in a manner which seemed quite in advance of Oakes’s seemingly young age.
On a sloop such as the Thrush, it was easier to see and to know the men as individuals than it had been on the Antwerp. Over the course of his first fortnight aboard, William observed that it was this ability to discern and know one man from another that enabled their captain to maintain such good discipline. Far from the tales spread in fearful whispers of ships lorded over by a rule of iron, aboard the Thrush he saw about him the Navy’s ideal of every man working together from a sense of comradeship with his crew-mates and respect for his officers.

What are you working on at present?

Why, a story for Manifold Press’s next anthology, of course!

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Bio:
Sandra lives in the mountains of Mid-Wales with her husband. Their garden is full of fruit and veg plants as well as home to a small flock of rare breed chickens, and she is a servant to two cats.
Sandra loves indulging in stories because she gets to spend her time with imaginary friends, and the research and observation required to write fiction open her eyes to a myriad different ways of seeing the world. Find her on Twitter @SLindseyWales, Facebook (Sandra Lindsey) – or curled up out of the way reading a good book!

website link: http://www.sandralindsey.wales

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A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe

janesMy guest today is an author for whose work I have huge affection – partly because he sometimes writes about places I know and partly because he’s just so good!

He’s here today in celebration of the release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Austenesque stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome, Adam!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

I’ve always been intrigued by something Mrs Jennings says to Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, about how dull life will be with the two Miss Dashwoods absent:

“Lord! We shall sit and gape at one another as dull as two cats.”

Admittedly cats are not particularly entertaining when they’re asleep, but then no more is anybody else! In fact, I do wonder whether Miss Austen had her tongue firmly in her cheek at this point – and not for the first time, obviously – because anyone who has more than a passing acquaintance with cats will know that their lives are never dull, and nor are those of the people they look after. If they’re not exploring where they shouldn’t be, or kindly tidying up cotton reels or corks or other small objects, then cats are almost certainly begging for attention by getting between humans and their work. I’m sure Jane worked in a room with the door shut and didn’t allow interruptions of any sort, but it’s irresistible to imagine her working away on her ‘bit of ivory’ – perhaps describing Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes – when some tabby monster with no manners jumps up, sticks its tail up her nose, and demands to be fed. No, Mrs Jennings, I’m afraid I won’t allow it; you and Colonel Brandon may have to make your own entertainment for a while, to be sure, but cats are very rarely dull at all!

Regency gent sits on cat while lady looks on in horror

“Miseries of Human Life: squatting plump on an unsuspected cat in your chair.” 1808

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

The relationship between Emma Woodhouse and Harriet Smith has always intrigued me; it’s a mentor/mentee relationship, but Emma herself is still very young – although she has had a good upbringing from Miss Taylor and is certainly mature for her age in many ways. Harriet, on the other hand, is young and has perhaps been over-protected. In a bizarre way, it’s almost the same sort of dynamic (I use the word advisedly!) as that between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson; the older and wiser character ‘adopting’ the younger and more vulnerable one. I also think the very unfixed quality of Harriet’s emotions – she staggers about from one unsuitable crush to another – together with Emma’s own determination not to marry, allows for the intriguing possibility that in the right set of circumstances they might even fall in love with each other, and the comparatively recent precedent of the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ would at least allow them not to feel quite so alienated by the discovery as might otherwise have been the case.

Here’s Emma, the morning after Mr Elton’s proposal, telling Harriet what’s occurred!

“Harriet, my dear, you must prepare for a disappointment,” she began. “Mr Elton is gone from Highbury – and gone, I am afraid, quite out of countenance with me; I have offended him too far and too greatly soon to be recovered from, I think.”
Harriet’s astonishment was great, and her foremost inclination to demur. “Oh! – but I’m certain you could never – I mean, Miss Woodhouse, surely it must be impossible – ” However she was unable to reconcile denial of her friend’s guilt with the discourtesy of rejecting her confession altogether, and stumbled inarticulately into silence. “I am sorry indeed to hear it,” she continued, recovering. “I am confident there must have been a misunderstanding. I cannot believe that you had any intention of offending him.”
“Oh, but I did!” exclaimed Emma, warmly. “When I learned what it was he wanted, I said whatever I could to prevent him speaking to me any further. He had asked, you see – He had asked me if I would be his wife.”
“Good heavens!” It was the strongest expression ever to have passed Harriet’s mild lips, provoked as it was by astonishment rather than sorrow or despair. “Oh, but it demonstrates such excellent judgement on his part; indeed, I would hardly have thought him equal to it!”
Taken aback at this response, Emma could say little to the purpose but “Indeed, Harriet? Surely what it demonstrates is ambition coupled with an absence of refinement?” She explained to her friend how Mr Elton had intruded himself upon her in her carriage after visiting the Westons at Randalls, and how he had declared himself in love with her and evidently expected her to demonstrate a similar devotion in return.
“But if he loves you – ?” began Harriet, and then could find no words with which to continue.
“If he loved me,” said Emma, “the strength of my answer would surely have wounded him, but I believe he is not and has never been in love – except, perhaps, with himself! He is not a man of emotions, Harriet; he is calculating and entirely concerned with his own advancement, and he thought a few syrupy words and hackneyed sentiments would induce me to accept him. He was too presumptuous, too forward, and esteems me too little if he imagines I can be taken in by such obvious hypocrisy! It does him no credit that he thinks so meanly of me – or indeed of any woman else!”

What are you working on at present?

The sad answer to that is ‘very little’. I’m doing some research for a project which has been languishing in my files for many years and really ought to be revived, and which I hope to be able to pull together in time for publication in 2017, and I’ve also got a short story bubbling under for another Manifold Press anthology project, the details of which are due to be announced shortly. I’ve been going through a very bad spell with my writing lately, and I’ve found it difficult to concentrate on anything for long enough to make any appreciable progress. I haven’t given up, however, and I have loads of lovely people cheering me on; it’s just all taking a great deal longer than I would really like it to, I’m afraid

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A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe

janesMy guest today is an author whose work I adore, and she also gives some of the best hugs around.🙂

Welcome Julie!!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?
For me, Jane Austen’s brilliance isn’t about any “high astounding terms” as with Marlowe’s Tamburlaine. It’s more that she has a very clear eye and sharp mind when observing herself and others, and a very precise and concise way of using the English language. Not to mention her delightfully dry wit.
I have a couple of examples here from her letters: “What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance.” I freely admit to being inelegant at the best of times, but I hate hot weather, and Austen’s words immediately remind me of that frumpy, inescapable sense of discomfort it always brings.
Here are her thoughts on decorating her hat: “I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit.” You can just hear the dry ironic tones choosing the lesser of two absurdities.
And a last one, expressing quite the opposite of the usual sentiment: “Our little visitor has just left us, and left us highly pleased with her; she is a nice, natural, open-hearted, affectionate girl, with all the ready civility which one sees in the best children in the present day; so unlike anything that I was myself at her age, that I am often all astonishment and shame.” Her more acerbic judgements of those around her are often quoted, so here is a nice one to balance them out!

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

When I was writing the call for submissions, I tried to come up with some ideas that might provoke my fellow authors into writing a story. One of them was “What if Elinor Dashwood was repressing her love not for Edward but for a woman?” – and while I’d been hoping to write something dealing with the rambunctious heroines of the Juvenilia, the idea about Elinor was the one that made it into print.
The story is basically a retelling of Sense and Sensibility, with brother-in-law Edward Ferrars swapped out for cousin-in-law Ada Ferrars. And this is how it starts, with me cunningly borrowing and adapting some of Austen’s best lines:

“It is enough,” said Mrs Dashwood. “To say that Ada is unlike Fanny is enough. It implies everything amiable. I love her already.”
Elinor smiled at her mother’s warm response, so typical of her enthusiasms. “I think you will like Ada, when you know more of her.”
“You love her, Elinor,” said Marianne. Her look expressed her full meaning more fervently than her tone. “You love Ada already.”
Elinor glanced at Marianne to acknowledge the truth that the sisters had never shared with their mother, but she responded honestly when she said, “I cannot deny that I greatly esteem her.”

What are you working on at present?

Well! I haven’t really talked about this a great deal, as it is an odd little project that I fear no one will want to read except me.
One of my Favourite Ever experiences in the theatre was seeing the play The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont performed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (the beautiful indoor theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe in London). It is a hilarious play, and surprisingly (even shockingly) post-modern. It features two plays within a play.
My idea was to wrap another layer around the play’s layers, and write about a modern-day performance, including the actors and what happens backstage as well as ‘novelising’ the play itself.
If I can persuade Manifold Press to publish it, I hope you’ll see it in the first half of next year!

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Bio:

Julie Bozza is an English-Australian hybrid who is fuelled by espresso, calmed by knitting, unreasonably excited by photography, and madly in love with John Keats.

Links:

Blog: http://juliebozza.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliebozza
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/juliebozza

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A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe

janesMy guest today is new-to-me-author Fae Mcloughlin who, I believe, is enjoying her debut in this terrific anthology.

She is here today to help my celebrate A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Austenesque stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome Fae.


Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

I love Jane Austen’s descriptions and use of metaphors. This account of Pemberley House is a favourite; I particularly like the stream that is full of its own self-importance.

“It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned.”

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

I knew that I wanted to set Thirteen Hours in Austen in modern times and that I wanted to write about a fictional Austen museum at night. I’ve always wanted to spend a night in a museum, to wander the corridors alone and really get a feel of the exhibits, instead of dodging kids, pushchairs, and the people that read every word and don’t move on. So I took a uninterested young lad and an exuberant cos-player and let them have an empty museum adventure.

He flounced in front of me like a drunken ballerina, all arms and out-of-control legs, forcing me to retreat against the brickwork. ‘But, like Mr Wickham I’m charming, an excellent conversationalist, and possess a gift for making friends. Unlike him, I’m not wicked, although sometimes it might be fun to be so,’ he said and winked.
I smiled. There was something appealing about the nineteenth-century soldier amongst rubbish of the twenty-first. I held out my hand. ‘Ashley, Ash.’
‘Hello Ashleyash, I’m Mr Wickham.’ He clicked his heels and shook my hand with a surprisingly firm handshake.
‘No, you’re not.’
‘Okay, I’m Noah and you’re still out of bounds.’
I took one last draw on the e-cig then said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m off.’
‘What is that?’ Noah pointed towards the vaporiser.
‘Um, an electronic cigarette. Have you not seen one before?’
‘No. Why do you smoke that and not a real cigarette?’
Did he live under a rock? ‘Erm, for health reasons.’ I turned to leave.
He caught my arm and there was urgency to the grip. ‘Did you dress up today? It’s the museum’s most popular activity.’
I pulled away. ‘Nope. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.’
‘Oh, you’re out of luck, the wardrobe department has run out of pins.’
‘Ha-ha.’ I turned towards the door.
A red jacket filled my vision and blocked the way. ‘Why are you here if you hate Austen so much?’ Noah asked.
‘My mother dragged me along on some kind of parent/child bonding thing.’
Noah leaned in, he smelt of mints and brass polish, and his breathing was quick and low. ‘I bet you a week’s wage I can make you fall in love with Austen before the night’s out,’ he murmured.
‘My week’s wage wouldn’t buy a novelty eraser from your shop.’
‘If they are your thing then my week’s wage would buy you a thousand.’ He waited, his eyes round, and his lips parted.
The only people who spend a night at the museum are boffins and Ben Stiller. It was lunacy, but I said, ‘What the hell. Nothing to lose—’
‘—and a lot to gain.’ Noah took my hand.

What are you working on at present?

At present, I’m researching Spitfires, particularly how you eject from one, so I can contribute towards Manifold’s WW2 anthology – Call to Arms.

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Bio:

Writing is my first love but my other passion is photography, in particular taking pictures of big skies, random cloud formations, plane trails, sunsets, rainbows, and the weather.

When I’m not tapping on a keyboard or standing on my garage roof taking pictures of the sunrise, I like to make perfectly smooth ice balls and plink them into Jack Daniels.

You can follow Fae on Twitter @FaeMcloughlin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe

janesMy guest today is an author who I have met a couple of times at UK Meet and I can’t wait to meet again..

She is here today in celebration of the recent release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Jane Austen themed stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome Sam!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

I have a favorite quote which I was ‘given’ by a friend in 2003. I was going through a rough patch and she sent me a card with this handwritten inside.

It isn’t what we say or think what defines us but what we do – Sense and Sensibility

I think that then it was perfect and still is.

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

The inspiration behind my story in the anthology (and which also answers question 1) is the one below. I studied P&P at university so when I returned to my copy earlier this year this line was highlighted. It obviously stood out then as much as it does now. All I needed to do was add a Soap Actor, a celebrity dancing competition, a pair of breeches and Colin Firth and the was born.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love – Pride and Prejudice

What are you working on at present?

Currently I am taking a small break from writing. I have had a tough year physically and with the exception of Cross and Cast I haven’t worked on very much. I think I’ve needed to heal mentally and physically. After a little bit of encouragement at the UK meeting in September my aim for 2017 is to plan out my Rugby League story and see where things go after that.

Elin: and I can’t wait to read it. Please let us know how you get on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe

janesMy guest today is an author whose short stories delighted in A Pride of Poppies and whose first novel, Submerge, was released on the first of November.

She is here today in celebration of the recent release of A Certain Persuasion – an anthology of Jane Austen themed stories from Manifold Press.

Welcome Ellie!

Jane Austen’s grasp of the English language is justly celebrated. Is there any part that you can quote for us that you particularly relish?

There’s a wonderful sentence in Sense & Sensibility that I always think sums up a lot very concisely: “Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.” I also love Edward Ferrars’ assertion that “Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy.” I can relate! And, of course, there is that wonderful speech of Darcy’s in Pride & Prejudice.“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. […] You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

What inspired your story in the A Certain Persuasion anthology? May we have an excerpt?

This sort of question always makes me wish I hadn’t written two stories! But only for a moment. So if you don’t mind, I’ll take each one separately.

Margaret actually evolved from my first idea when I saw the brief – I like to stay more or less canon-compliant (if you squint a bit) so I wanted to take a look at the Dashwood sister who didn’t get much page-time in Sense & Sensibility, which is my favourite of Austen’s novels. I wrote my other story while I was trying to iron out the details of this one, and then suddenly it came to me that Colonel Brandon was the answer to all my prayers. And he turned out to be useful in the story, as well!

Extract from Margaret:

“Have you raised the idea of a companion with your ward yet, Colonel?”
He sat back a little in his seat, looking almost embarrassed. “No. I mean to do so within the next few days, but I haven’t yet worked out how best to broach the subject. I confess, I am rather afraid that if I wound her pride, she won’t come at all.”
Margaret did not pry into the reasons behind his expression, which spoke of real grief and fear; instead, she set about trying to relieve his anxiety. “Well, I think I know a way you can suggest it without causing any offence. As it happens, I might soon be in need of companionship myself; perhaps you would be so kind as to ask a young lady of your acquaintance if she might oblige, as a very great favour?”
“Well, that could hardly cause offence,” the Colonel conceded, “but how could I then explain the substitution of another girl in your place?”
“Well, unless you think me unsuitable, I don’t believe you would have to make any such substitution. I have not consulted with my mother yet, but I would be happy to act as companion to your ward if she agrees.”

Father Doesn’t Dance started life as a companion piece to Pride & Prejudice, which would run alongside the events of the original novel, with a few differences! That quickly spiralled far beyond the word count for the anthology – and I’m hoping I can develop it separately at some point. For A Certain Persuasion, though, I decided to take the story back in time, to the death of Darcy’s father, and I think it turned out much better that way.

Extract from Father Doesn’t Dance:

As the weeks went by, Lavinia could only watch as her father became more frail and his expression became more worried. She could hardly blame him for his preoccupation; she imagined that losing one’s health so quickly was quite difficult enough without having to contend with the knowledge of an entail that would leave one’s family, if not destitute, considerably less comfortable than one would wish. Lavinia hated to see her father so disconsolate, and so she began to rack her brain for some brilliant scheme that might make him happy. When at last the idea occurred, it was such a preposterous notion that she discarded it immediately, but the thought would not leave her. At last, she knocked on the door of her father’s study, where she was increasingly likely to find both parents closeted together.
“I’ve been thinking,” she told them once the door was closed behind her, “about the entail.”
“You needn’t worry yourself about that, Lavinia. There’s nothing to be done,” her mother began in a soothing tone, but Lavinia turned her head to address her father.
“Has Mr Lowick found the heir yet?”
“No. No, he hasn’t.” Perhaps he noticed the glint in her eye, because he raised an eyebrow as he continued. “If I had a son, it would be quite a different matter. Nothing could be simpler. But with so few men left in my family … well, it’s a little harder to trace the line of succession.”
Lavinia took a deep breath. “What if you did have a son?”

What are you working on at present?

As ever, I have my fingers in several pies – my first novel, Submerge, was released on the same day as A Certain Persuasion and I’m already working on a potential sequel to that, as well asFather Didn’t Dance, the continuation of Father Doesn’t Dance. At the time of writing, however, it is November, which for me means NaNoWriMo, so I’ve put both of those on hold and started something completely different – a novel set in Cambridge in the ’50s, following a fictitious scientist through a short period of his life. So far, I’ve written about a sixth of the story I had in mind, and around half of my intended word count, so we’ll see how that goes when the time comes to edit!

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Bio:

Eleanor Musgrove was born in a seaside town on the South Coast of England, where she developed a love of writing when she was very young. Other ambitions – and homes – have come and gone, but she has always wanted to be an author. After lots of practice, both through writing fan fiction and through participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) most years, SUBMERGE is her first novel. She’s pretty excited about it!
When she’s not writing or reading, Eleanor enjoys going to the theatre, walks in the woods, and getting far too emotionally invested in films and TV shows. She graduated from the University of Kent in 2014 with a BSc in Multimedia Technology and Design, and hopes to one day put it to good use.
If you’d like to keep up with Eleanor’s writing journey, or let her know what you think of her book, she keeps a blog at eamusgrove.wordpress.com.

Links:
eamusgrove.wordpress.com
facebook.com/eamusgrovewrites

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A Certain PersuasionA Certain Persuasion

from Manifold Press

Thirteen stories from eleven authors, exploring the world of Jane Austen and celebrating her influence on ours.

Being cousins-by-marriage doesn’t deter William Elliot from pursuing Richard Musgrove in Lyme; nor does it prevent Elinor Dashwood falling in love with Ada Ferrars. Surprises are in store for Emma Woodhouse while visiting Harriet Smith; for William Price mentoring a seaman on board the Thrush; and for Adam Otelian befriending his children’s governess, Miss Hay. Margaret Dashwood seeks an alternative to the happy marriages chosen by her sisters; and Susan Price ponders just such a possibility with Mrs Lynd. One Fitzwilliam Darcy is plagued by constant reports of convictions for ‘unnatural’ crimes; while another must work out how to secure the Pemberley inheritance for her family.

Meanwhile, a modern-day Darcy meets the enigmatic Lint on the edge of Pemberley Cliff; while another struggles to live up to wearing Colin Firth’s breeches on a celebrity dance show. Cooper is confronted by his lost love at a book club meeting in Melbourne while reading Persuasion; and Ashley finds more than he’d bargained for at the Jane Austen museum in Bath.

A Pemberley-sized anthology featuring authors: Julie Bozza, Andrea Demetrius, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Narrelle M Harris, Sandra Lindsey, Fae Mcloughlin, Atlin Merrick, JL Merrow and Eleanor Musgrove.

Available from Manifold Press | SmashwordsAmazon ARe