Friday, January 29, 2010

Guest Review (and Giveaway) - Abigail Reynolds author of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

I apologize to my blog readers that I have been offline this week. A good friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. I will post more on that later.

Today I am thrilled to have Abigail Reynolds the author of the new novel Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World as a guest blogger. This books sounds fascinating and I can't wait to get my hands on it! Thank-you for writing a great guest post Abigail!

The Accidental Writer
I never intended to become a writer, and certainly not a writer of Jane Austen-related fiction. Jane Austen was sacrosanct, and I wasn’t a writer. I’d dabbled a little in high school, co-writing a few chapters of a fantasy novel with a friend, but that was it. For the next couple of decades, my writing took the form of telling myself stories in my head. Some were historical, some romantic, some bizarre. I’d polish the scenes of my mental stories, getting the lines and characters just so, then I’d run the scenes in my head when I was bored. I didn’t put anything down on paper, though I knew the stories well enough to do it.

A few years back, I discovered what I was missing. It was readers. I’d stumbled across Jane Austen fanfiction sites on the internet and read the stories there. My next mental story was From Lambton to Longbourn, the first of my Pemberley Variations. I take my beloved Pride & Prejudice and find a turning point in the plot, then turn it the other way and see what happens. For example, in Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, Elizabeth Bennet finds herself unable to refuse Mr. Darcy’s offer of marriage, even though he is, as she says in Jane Austen’s original, the last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry. What follows is a tale of love growing after marriage, despite misunderstanding and impediments.

So I started writing this story in my head, but this time I knew there were people who might want to read it if I wrote it. Maybe. Possibly. If it wasn’t nightmarishly bad. But the idea of sharing my story intrigued me, so I started writing it down and posting it chapter by chapter on the internet, frantically waiting to see if readers would like it. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. But it taught me the importance of having an audience, even if it’s just one person. When you know your writing will be read, it becomes a dialogue of sorts. The pressure from readers kept me from giving up when I reached difficult sections – after all, I couldn’t let down my dozen or so anonymous readers. So I kept going and eventually posted the final chapter, heaved a sigh of relief, and swore never to do it again.

I’d reckoned without how addictive writing is. Once you start, it’s almost impossible to stop. I lasted a week and a half in writing withdrawal before I gave in to temptation. But now I admitted that I was actually writing, not dabbling. Because I’m a bit of a perfectionist I took some helpful classes that improved my writing no end, though my otherwise insightful teacher assured me several times that no one would ever be interested in Jane Austen-related fiction.

The next thing I knew, I had six books and lots of readers begging for more.

But I’ve never forgotten the importance of an audience. I’ve come to know a few of my readers, and I think about them when I’m writing. Not out of desire to please them, but to motivate myself. So here are my thanks to my readers, because you’re an essential part of my writing process.

That, and I really like thinking about Darcy and Elizabeth.

Thanks for inviting me!

Giveaway Details

Danielle of Sourebooks has been kind enough to offer two copies of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds for this giveaway.

If you would like to enter this contest do any of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this post. You must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner. (1 entry)

2. Blog about this giveaway or post about it on your sidebar. (1 entry)

3. Become a follower or leave a comment that you already are a follower of this blog. (1 entry)

There are three ways to enter, but you can put all three entries as one comment.

I will be using to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday February 12th.

Good luck!


  1. Please enter me,
    thank you.
    I follow your blog

    I am sorry about your friend.
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  2. I love all things Austen, so please enter me into the drawing!!!

  3. This looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. I follow

  5. Laura - I am so sorry about your friend, Laura. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Abigail - Thank you for the great guest post! I love stories like this--how an author came into her writing and career as an author. I haven't reached the point of wanting an audience, but I know what you mean about creating stories in your head. That is so me! I am glad though that you decided to make your writing public. We, as readers, definitely benefit from your words and stories.

    Thank you, Laura, for hosting Abigail!

    I'd love to be entered for a chance to read her book. My e-mail address is literaryfeline[AT]gmail [DOT]com.

    I am a subscriber to your blog through Google Reader, but I'm never sure if that counts as being a follower.

  6. Please enter me in the giveaway - my email is I adore Abigail's work (it inspired mine) and am extremely anxious to learn how this new version of The Last Man in The World compares with the original. It is fascinating to learn that she wrote in her head for so many years. I wish my mind worked that way!

    Laura - I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

    Please enter me in the contest:

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thanks so much!

  8. So sorry about your friend.

    +1 This sounds like an interesting book.
    +1 old follower

  9. Laura, I am sorry to hear of your friend's passing.

    Please enter me in this great giveaway.

    I'm a follower.

    I will post about this in my sidebar soon.

    Thank you!


  10. Hi Laura,

    Please enter me in the contest. I sent you my contact info on Goodreads. I will add this blog to my dashboard on blogspot.

    I enjoyed the interview. It is interesting to hear how people end up being writers. And how they stick with it!

  11. Enter me in the contest I'm a follower and your in my sidebar for your contests.

  12. I love books and I love visiting these book lovers blogs.

    If I happen to win this wonderful giveaway, contact me through my wordpress blog.

  13. I'm reading this right now - interesting to read about how you became a writer. I always hear stories about those who were "destined" to be writers from the time they were born, but its nice to hear something a little bit different.

  14. I'm sorry to hear of your friend's passing.

    Please enter me into the giveaway too.


    mdperera at hotmail dot com


    please enter me in the giveaway.

    I am a follower.

  16. would enjoy reading this book...thanks for the opportunity to read it.

    sorry to hear of your friend's passing


  17. Please count me in, would love a chance to win.

  18. I follow your blog and would love to read this book.

  19. Laura,
    So sorry to hear about your friend, but I'm glad you're back.
    Best wishes,

  20. Great giveaway, please count me in. I'm also a follower. juliecookies(at)

  21. I would like to be entered, thanks!


  22. Already a google friend follower!


  23. I blogged about your giveaway, so please put me down for another entry!

    You can see my blog here:

  24. Great giveaway!
    I'm a follower!

  25. oh i was so excited about your giveaway I am jumping up and down right now. wow I love books.
    here is my email and I am following...

  26. Please enter me.

  27. I am a follower.

  28. I am a follower.

  29. Cool, I didn't find this too late!
    I'm a new follower.


  30. The book sounds so intriguing. I would definitely want to read it. Pride and Prejudice is one of my most favorite books of all times.

  31. Became a follower (Elena Shkinder-Gugel).

  32. I am a follower!

    And this is my comment. Yay!

  33. I love P&P derivative novels, this one sounds right up my alley, please count me in. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!


  34. I am a follower of your blog.


  35. This book sounds intriguing, please enter my name in your giveaway! Thanks.


  36. I have recently started looking for Jane Austen themed books/sequels and this one sounds quite interesting! Thank you for the review and contest :)

    teagirl1 at telus dot net

  37. Hi,
    I'd love a chance to win.
    1) Become a follower.
    2) Leave a comment.


  38. Please count me in. I would love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  39. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the chance.

  40. Follower

  41. I found your blog through goodreads; please enter me in the drawing:



  42. This giveaway ended on February 12th. Winners have been chosen and notified.

  43. Please enter me!
    Please anyone else seeing this, don't use my email ever (unless you want to send me books)