Thursday, January 19, 2012

Interview with Victoria Connelly, author of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy (and GIVEAWAY!)

 I apologize for my absence from the blog this week.  I have a large "pile" of reviews that I need to get posted.  Hopefully if I get them out one a day I will get caught up again.    I am a new instructor at our local technical college.  Sadly I am not teaching a course on Jane Austen or on Victorian Literature, but I am using my day-job experience to teach a bunch of great students about some hand drafting skills.  It's taken up a lot of my time to get the class planned, but now that I'm into it, hopefully I'll be able to keep up more with my blog!

This interview is coming a day late, but I'm sure you'll still find it as fascinating as I do.  I am happy to welcome, Victoria Connelly to this blog to talk about her new book, Dreaming of Mr. Darcy.  She also wrote the excellent A Weekend with Mr. Darcy, a book that I LOVED and that is the first book in this trilogy. As I get caught up posting my reviews over the next week, keep your eye out for my review of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy.  And now without further ado, Victoria Connelly. 

LAG:  How did you first fall in love with Austen?

VC:  Jane Austen is such a special writer. I love her warmth and her wit. I adore her characters and the family relationships she portrays, and I love that they make mistakes but are allowed second chances at happiness. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was a teenager and saw the lovely 1940s film version starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. After that, it became a lifelong obsession!

LAG:  What gave you the inspiration for your current trilogy?
VC:  I’d been visiting lots of Jane Austen locations including her home in Chawton, Hampshire, which is now a lovely museum. I kept thinking how beautiful these places were and how much fun it would be to write about them and the idea for a trilogy happened very quickly. It would be three separate books about three sets of Austen addicts and each would be set in a different Austen location: Hampshire, Lyme Regis and Bath.

I also wanted to explore what it was like to be an Austen fan in the twenty-first century and how so many of us use Austen to escape from the stresses and strains of the modern world. It’s fascinating to me that she’s as popular as ever.

LAG:   Do you dream of Mr. Darcy or Captain Wentworth?
VC:  Of course! They are two of literature’s most wonderful heroes. I think Mr Darcy will always be my favourite because he learns so much from Elizabeth and is willing to change for her. He also wants to protect her and her whole family which is so touching.

Captain Wentworth is fabulous too. A man who can tell their loved one: ‘I am half agony, half hope’ gets my vote!

Dreaming of Mr. Darcy Description (from the publisher):
A romance worthy of Jane Austen herself

Praise for A Weekend with Mr. Darcy:

"Sunshine on a rainy day. A charmingly written slice of warmhearted escapism."

- Lisa Jewell, bestselling author of Roommates Wanted

"Lively, funny characters ... the romances of this novel brilliantly reveal one thing that Miss Austen always knew: true love is often a complicated, but beautiful, mess."

- Luxury Reading

Fledging illustrator and Darcy fanatic Kay Ashton settles in the seaside town of Lyme to finish her book, The Illustrated Darcy, when a film company arrives to make a new adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Kay is soon falling for the handsome bad boy actor playing Captain Wentworth, but it's the quiet screenwriter Adam Craig who has more in common with her beloved Mr. Darcy. Though still healing from a broken heart, Adam finds himself unexpectedly in love with Kay. But it will take more than good intentions to convince her that her real happy ending is with him.

About Victoria Connelly:
Victoria Connelly was brought up in Norfolk and studied English literature at Worcester University before becoming a teacher in North Yorkshire. After getting married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales, she moved to London where she lives with her artist husband and a mad springer spaniel. She has three novels published in Germany and the first, Flights of Angels, was made into a film. Victoria and her husband flew out to Berlin to see it being filmed and got to be extras in it. Her first novel in the UK, Molly's Millions, is a romantic comedy about a lottery winner who gives it all away. A Weekend With Mr Darcy is the first book in a planned series to be set in the world of Austen addicts, which is a wonderful excuse for Victoria to read all the books and watch all the gorgeous film and TV adaptations again. Victoria is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and has a short story called Mummies and Daddies - set in the mummy rooms of the British Museum - in their 50th anniversary anthology, Loves Me, Loves Me Not.

Giveaway Details

Sourcebooks has graciously offered a giveaway of one copy of Dreaming of Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly.

If you would like to win a copy of this book please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the this book or this interview with Victoria Connelly.

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) 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 3, 2012.

Good luck!


  1. I am captivated with this wonderful interview. The books sounds appealing and special. I enjoyed learning about this story very much. Thanks for this chance. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. I loved her first book and am incredibily excited about this one. I always find author interview interesting; you get a little view into their world and their creations. ssandmoen(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

  3. This sounds like a good one. I like that the main character is a Darcy fanatic who falls for the wrong guy and has to be persuaded to like the one who's probably more suitable for her.
    Mary, A Book A Day[maryreadsabookaday [at] gmail [dot] com]

  4. What a wonderful book that would cheer me up for the new year. An author who lives and breathes Austen and lives in such a beautiful area. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. The books sounds great - one of my friends read the first one and went on and on about it. It is the next in my stack of books to read - so I am sure I would love this one too.

  6. The books sound lovely. I would love to read this one eventually. :) I am head over heels with the amazing cover.

  7. Wonderful interview, Laura! The book sounds charming, and I adore "Darcy" books! I will post this giveaway in my blog's sidebar.


  8. I enjoyed learning how the idea for the trilogy came to Victoria. I read the first book and loved it, but now that it is shifting to Lyme, I can't wait for the descriptions of the area (Persuasion was my fav of Austen's novels) and meeting the new JA lovers.

    Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

  9. Fabulous interview, and it's so nice to meet you, Victoria! Austen-inspired romances are such a beautiful way of not only honoring the time period in which Jane lived but her work as a writer. She is timeless, a comfort when you're down. For me, Persuasion and a hot cup of coffee or a handful of Dove chocolates is the best medicine on the planet.

    Best wishes with your writing and congratulations on the release!

  10. Oh, my email addy is Thanks for the opportunity! :)

  11. I love that Ms. Connelly was inspired by the Austen locations she visited, which have always been a dream of mine to visit, as well. It makes this book, and the trilogy, more appealing to me. I imagine this story to be the ultimate Austen escape. It sounds wonderful!


  12. what intrigues me?!?!!? DARCY!!!! isn't that enough??

    does sharing on my FB page count????

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  13. I am dreaming of Mr. Darcy and dreaming of reading this book!Thanks for the giveaway!


  14. The interview was interesting, but I am drawn to the cover!

    nomfreebies AT hotmail DOT com

  15. The interview was nice and Mr. Darcy and the COVER:> It was just amazing!:)


  16. I guess I left my comment on the wrong space! Please enter me in the drawing. I am currently reading Michael Phillip's older series, "The Secret of Heathersleigh Hall". I have ordered #2 and am loving them!

  17. Honestly, I am intrigued by any book about Jane Austen or her characters. Having read a Victoria Connelly book, I definitely want to read more of them and wouldn't mind displaying this pretty cover on my shelf. :-)


  18. How cool is it that the author's lifelong fascination for Jane Austen inspired her to write her own series of Austen novels! delilah0180(at)YAHOO(dot)com

  19. I've always been a Mr Darcy fan and what intriques me is how he is protrayed in this book. Very curious! wanda.bergman(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. I love how she was inspired to write this book after visiting England and Jane Austen historical sites. So exciting -that is my dream someday!

  21. I'm looking forward to reading this. Two handsome love interests, and a blend of P&P and Persuasion! Yes.

    I would so love to visit Chawton! It's wonderful that you were able to go there, and other notable Austen locations to get inspired.

  22. I wish, that I could visit the Austen historical sites. I've always wanted to go to England. I'm glad they are so inspiring. The book sounds great. marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

  23. Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen books and it is always fun to read a modern adaption.