Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends 2) blog tour with author Juliet Archer

Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends 2), by Juliet Archer (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Juliet Archer on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Persuade Me, the second book in her Darcy & Friends contemporary series published today in the UK by Choc Lit.

I’m thrilled to be here at Austenprose – thank you, Laurel Ann, for inviting me and ‘hi’ to everyone out there!

By the time you read this, I’ll be at the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath. My burning question is – will it rain, so that Captain Frederick Wentworth can offer me his umbrella? Because, weather permitting, I’m doing two guided walking tours of central Bath, visiting the places that Austen made famous in the original Persuasion and some additional ones that I’ve used in my contemporary version, Persuade Me. We’ll be going to Milsom Street (where the fictional Molland’s is located), the Pump Room, the Theatre Royal (I’ve substituted a play there for Austen’s concert at the Assembly Rooms), the Royal Crescent Hotel, and so on.

Which leads to another question: what inspired me to modernise Persuasion? I can give you the answer in two words – Captain Wentworth. Man of action, man in uniform, striding about the English countryside with a pierced soul and an almost broken heart – what more could we wish for, especially when he’s brought to life on the small screen by Ciarán Hinds or Rupert Penry Jones?

You see, although I have every intention of updating Pride & Prejudice, for the moment my focus is on Austen’s other novels. And I know there are plenty of readers who are looking for occasional distractions from Mr Darcy. I’ve already updated Emma (The Importance of Being Emma (2008)) and PersuasionNorthanger Abbey‘s next.

However, I reserve the right to ‘darcify’ a hero if I think he needs it. Take Mr Knightley – the man on the page, rather than the portrayals on film. Old enough (technically) to be the heroine’s father, lurking around for twenty-one years without any sign of interest in the opposite sex, then winning Emma over with the immortal line, ‘God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover’!

I wanted to keep Knightley’s essential character, of course; but he needed to have more obvious attractions for the modern reader – who may or may not know Austen’s original. So I gave my Knightley a makeover: cut the age difference between him and Emma; boosted his sex appeal by introducing a glamorous girlfriend; and, to justify Emma’s apparent inability to fancy him for most of the novel, fabricated an episode in their past, where he unthinkingly humiliated her in a big-brotherly fashion.

With Wentworth, on the other hand, it was simply a case of bringing him bang up to date. I suppose the modern equivalent of the Napoleonic Wars would have been Iraq or Afghanistan, but I gave my Dr Rick Wentworth a different career completely. Still sea-related – he’s a marine biologist – and one that takes him to the other side of the world from England: Australia, the only place where he can study those tiny, beautiful sea dragons in the wild. In Persuade Me, it’s his passion for marine conservation that’s brought him fame and fortune, thanks to the media’s fascination with hunky scientists.

After many years, Rick’s back in England – but only to promote his book and open his sister Sophie’s new garden centre. He has no plans to look up Anna Elliot, the girl who ditched him at the insistence of her disapproving family.

And then, unexpectedly, their paths cross …

Well, you know the rest! But this is Jane Austen for the 21stcentury, with fresh insights into the hearts and minds of her heroes. The same characters now have to cope with mobile phones, the Internet and far more liberated attitudes to social and sexual interaction. Yet some things never change: the vanity of Sir Walter Elliot, 8th Baronet; the wilfulness of Louisa Musgrove; Anna’s quiet longing for another life.

My publisher Choc Lit – ‘where the heroes are like chocolate – irresistible!’ – has 3 copies of Persuade Me to give away worldwide. To have a chance of winning, please leave a comment saying what you like, or dislike, most about Persuasion.

And I’d love to hear what you think of Persuade Me. Just drop me an email – juliet@julietarcher.com – or post a review on Amazon.

Thank you for listening – it’s been lovely ‘chatting’ with you!

Juliet Archer

Author Juliet Archer (2011)Author Bio:

Juliet Archer is a 19th-century mind in a 21st-century body. Actually, some days it’s the other way round. She’s on a mission to modernise all six of Jane Austen’s completed novels, in a series called ‘Darcy & Friends’.

Her debut novel was The Importance of Being Emma, inspired by Austen’s Emma and a desire to give Mr. Knightley a makeover. It was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. The second novel in the series, Persuade Me, will be published on 15th September, 2011, and she is currently writing the next retelling in the series, Northanger Nights.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire, Pride & Prejudice country. Unlike Anne Elliot in Persuasion, she resisted well-meant advice and married young, before graduating from the University of Nottingham with a First in French and Russian. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society, her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysist, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of background for her novels.

Visit Juliet at her website Juliet Archer, on Twitter as @JulietArcher and on Facebook as Juliet Archer.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Persuade Me by leaving a comment stating what you like or dislike most about Jane Austen’s original novel Persuasion by midnight PT, Wednesday, September 28th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, September 29th, 2010. International shipment. Good luck!

Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends 2), by Juliet Archer
Choc Lit (2011)
Trade paperback (416) pages
ISBN: 978-1906931216

© 2007 – 2011 Juliet Archer, Austenprose

54 thoughts on “Persuade Me (Darcy & Friends 2) blog tour with author Juliet Archer

  1. My favorite part of Persuasion is the wonderful love letter. I also really like how well Anne and Wentworth know each other and how well developed their relationship is. I don’t think there is anything I dislike about it. :)

    Persuade Me looks great! I can’t wait to see Wentworth as a scientist. :)

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  2. I love the underlying melancholy and regret of Persuasion. It makes the resolution that much more meaningful, knowing how much they’ve both gone through and grown because of that.

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  3. Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. I’m not exactly sure why. It is just more passionate to me than the others. It’s a maturing kind of love – definitely shows how a person can hold onto heartbreak for a very long time. I think it also says “don’t give up”. I love the letter in Austen’s work. It is the most romantic thing and I can’t imagine experiencing it myself. I also loved the description of Anne Elliot’s friend Mrs. Smith – very insightful into what matters in a personality. I would love to read your modern version. I’m so glad you are doing Northanger next. There’s way too little done from Northanger Abbey.

    Don’t I wish I could be at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath!

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  4. i’m in love with Persuasion! everything! the story, Anne, Frederick, the settings, the tensions between Anne & her man – oooo seriously lovely stuff!!
    looking forward to your version, Juliet =) sounds like your creativity is well drawn… or written?!!
    wishing you much cont’d success….

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  5. Naming my favourite part is easy: it is Captain Wentworth’S heartbreaking letter! I love how finally we get a glimpse into his feelings and discover that Anne wasn’t the only one suffering through all these years that he wasn”t able to move on either. Makes my romantic heart melt every time :-)

    My least favourite? Hm.. that Captain Wentworth flirts with henrietta and Louisa in front of Anne, poor Anne :-( I also don’t care for Mrs. Clay, wouldn’t miss her if she were axed from the story ;-)

    Thank youf or the chance Juliet I am curious to read your version of the story :-)

    And I LOVE Emma, can’t wait to read about your Mr. Knightley :-D

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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  6. Like others I love Captain Wentworth and the beautiful letter. Having a ‘hunky scientist’ in the updated novel sounds very appealing. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  7. Thank you for the personally autographed advanced copy of Persuade Me, Juliet. So, to the rest of you fortunate enough to possibly win this also: Good luck and Neener-neener!
    With apologies to Pride & Prejudice fans, I personally think Persuasion is Miss Austen’s greatest love story and ranks as one of the finest romances in all of literature.
    Initially, it seemed like the easy road for you to just modernize a popular classic but after reading through it twice I realized how complicated, difficult, and exhaustive the creative process must have been to “paraphrase” this into the here and now.
    The fact that it was written in such a charming English style only enhanced its authenticity. The Importance Of Being Emma….here I come! Bravo….

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  8. I’m fascinated by life in Bath for the wealthy so enjoy the scenes that take place there. One day I hope to visit myself even though I know times have changed so much.

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  9. I love Persuasion just ’cause of the enduring love–Anne isn’t a stunner, but Frederick knows her, and loves her, even when there is no hope. Can’t wait to read a modernised Persuasion!!

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  10. Besides Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel. I just love how it is so full of hope for a bright future for Anne. And if there’s anyone deserving of happiness, it is Anne Elliot. She is such a loyal, steady character, she needs to have that passion Wentworth provides for her. What I don’t like is her family – her father and sisters are hideous people who don’t deserve all Anne does for them.

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  11. Persuasion is my favorite book and Captain Wentworth my favorite hero. I am excited to see what a modern retelling of it will be like. This sounds like it will be a good book. Can’t wait to read it!

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  12. Persuasion is one of my all time you mus read this books – and Persuade me sounds good. Thanks for giving me a lead on a writer and some good titles.

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  13. I love Persuasion and each time I read it, I love it a little more. My favorite part is the beautiful love letter Captain Wentworth writes to Anne!!

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  14. I love the letter, and I love it when Wentworth tells Anne that he shut his eyes and would not understand her–because that’s exactly what he did.

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  15. I like the way Anne changes and becomes assertivie (while remaining within the bounds of her cullture0. When she tries to convince Wentworth to stay at the concert..a little step but it prepares her for her assertive management when she convinces her brother-in-law to go look at a gun.

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  16. I like the story of second chances in love and the love letter scene where Captain Wentworth pour out his soul. It really touched me knowing that even though he may resent Anne for breaking his heart, deep inside, he still loves her.

    Thank you to Choc Lit and Juliet for making this offer.

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  17. I like everything about Persuasion, one of my favorite Austen novels. I love all the characters, from the lovely Anne and the yummy Captain Wentworth to the hysterical Mary and Mr. Elliott. I adore the Love Letter, the most romantic scene in all of Austen fiction. I love the fact that they go to Lyme and walk on the Cobb. (I made a point of walking on the Cobb myself during my Austen tour of England–it was quite beautiful–and very windy–and I’ll never forget it!)

    Most of all, I love the concept of 2nd chances: of two lovers separated for years, and at last finding their way back to each other.

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  18. This is my favorite Austen novel. I love how Anne is so strong on the outside and so sensitive on the inside. I think she is the most realistic character and the one I can identify with the most. My favorite scene in the book is when Wentworth is talking to Anne and comparing Harville’s sister to Louisa Musgrove. I think it gives Anne the hope she needs. I am a sucker for happy endings and there is no ending happier than one that is preceded by so many years of longing and separation. I love all things Persuasion and I can’t wait to read this treat!

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  19. Persuasion is number 3 in my list of favorite Jane Austen books (1 being P&P, and 2 Sense & Sensibility). I really like the Lyme setting in Persuasion. Anne is amazingly gentle and patient in a family of selfish and vain sisters, and an even more vain and selfish father. Anne’s family irks me to no end for this reason. I love the ending when Captain Wentworth is four feet away from Anne and is writing this amazing love letter to her. It practically brings tears to my eyes as she reads it.

    Congratulations, Juliet, on your new book. I plan to add it to my ever growing list for Amazon!

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  20. I am going to be honest and say I have never read/watched Persuasion– eek– but I promise I will change that! This book sounds positively wonderful!

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  21. I like the fact that the book is set in Bath. It is a true love story that proves that mature love can follow young love if the characters have faith.
    I would love to win a copy of the book.

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  22. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel because I like Anne triumphing as does her Wentworth without feisty personalities, beauty, or accomplishments in the face of differences in class and wealth not to mention the bitterness and regret over the first attempt at love.
    I also enjoy the settings of the sea and the offstage setting/background of the Royal Navy.
    I like the foibles of several of the other characters around them that amuse even while irritating me.
    I look forward to ordering your version of the story and thank you for the opportunity to win it.
    Sundee

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  23. Obviously, what I like about Persuasion is the letter and that even after 7 years apart, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth do end up together.

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  24. I love Persuasion because I can sympathize with the heroine who feels the obligation to put her family’s demands first to her own detriment, but she doesn’t stay that way. She grows, she becomes her own person, and she gets the second chance to redo that one regret in her life. And then there’s that line… I have loved none but you. *sigh*

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  25. I bought The Importance of Being Emma by ordering it from the UK. I loved it and had no idea there would be more books of that order. Yippee! I would love to receive this book! I love Wentworth’s heart breaking letter. “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” If that doesn’t set a woman’s heart to beat faster I don’t know what will.

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  26. Persuasion makes me believe that, no matter what happens in between, if someone is really in love, that love can last forever. I love how the Captain and Ann are still in love of each other despite all the years they were apart…it is so romantic. It gives me hope that maybe someday I will find a love like that.

    PS: I hope u understand what I tried to say because English is my second language.

    Regards from Chile!!

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  27. Persuasion is one of my two favorite Austen books and I love the idea of mature people having a second chance for love that they foolishly gave away when they were young. I also love that Anne is quietly beautiful- not the girl that everyone sees the minute they walk in the room…more like a real person. I also like hunky scientists (see my husband) so I suspect I will like Persuade me!

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  28. In Persuasion, I least like Anne’s family. It is very hard for me to get past that first chapter! I most like Anne’s constancy, although I believe she is a bit too long suffering! I read a snippet you posted and am much impressed, and I love your title!

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  29. I absolutely love Persuasion! I couldn’t think of anything that I dislike about the book. My favortie part? Would have to be the letter from Capt. Wentworth to Anne. My heart melts every time!

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    • mta- I have The Importance of Being Emma and I absolutely loved it! I’m really loooking forward to this book and the rest of the series!

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  30. Persuasion was my first Jane Austen, and has steadfastly remained my favourite. I especially appreciate Anne’s character development, as she matures and learns to stand up for herself. And then there’s those wonderful supporting characters.

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  31. I’ve always loved Persuasion, it’s my favorite Austen novel. I think I tend to identify a bit more with the more introverted Anne than I do with Austen’s other characters. Plus, who can’t love a dashing sea captain?!

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  32. Wonderful interview, and I’m really looking forward to reading this book!! Persuasion is one of my top 3 favorite JA books… I just LOVE Captain Wentworth!! I love that Anne gets a second chance, to finally get the man of her dreams and be happy. And obviously, who could resist that amazing letter from Wentworth??! Ohhh!!! Be still my heart!! LOL

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  33. I found it very depressing. It had a very melancholy feeling to it which I didn’t feel in any of her other books. I have read before that she was beginning to feel very ill and may have contributed to this. I’d love to read this book so thank you for the giveaway!

    Margaret
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  34. Capt. Wentworth is one of my favorite JA heros because of his long standing devotion to his one true love. It has always been one of my favorite books and the most recent Masterpiece version was wonderful. I also love Anne as a very layered and thoughtful character. She is not as witty as Lizzy or charming as Emma but she is wise and pure hearted. I would love to read this modern re-telling!

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  35. I love that Persuasion presents the happy ending that Austen herself never achieved with her own love story with Tom Lefroy. She presented in Persuasion the idea that love waits, grows, and matures when it is real. The only negative about the book, to me, was that it started off slower than other Austen novels. Persuasion was the one Austen book that I had to make myself read until I got into it, while P & P, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey grabbed me from the beginning. Alas, I have yet to read Mansfield Park. I love the idea of a second chance at love that Persuasion presents, and undoubtedly Jane wished was a reality for herself.

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  36. Persuasion’s my favorite Austen novel, and it sets the bar for reunion stories for me. The letter’s my favorite part. :)

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  37. I agree with julianne b. above! It took me a bit to fall in love with this book. But once I got into it I was head over heels in love! The letter… ooohhhh my! Yes… absolutely the letter! The best! The worst.. in a delicious way.. is the agony they must endure with having to be apart seemingly forever … but JA in all her wisdom wouldn’t allow such a tragedy!
    I look so forward to looking for this updated version! It sounds wonderful! I’m also going to look for your update of Emma!
    I’m SO excited! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  38. Persuasion always gives me hope that things, no matter how impossible they seem, will work out in the end. It’s a wonderful love story.

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  39. Don’t enter me (I was lucky enough to already read and review this novel), but I had to comment on what a great guest post this it. I love your focus on Captain Wentworth – he is a great Austen hero that I think gets overlooked for Mr. Darcy.

    I also just love to discuss Persuasion. It is tied with P&P as my favorite Austen novel. The reasons why I love it so are Captain Wentworth, “the” letter, and the romantic story of true love never dying. I love that Anne is considered a spinster and is older than your typical heroine at the time, but is able to still find true love for herself.

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  40. One of my favorite quotes is, “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.” Vol.2, Chapt 1

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  41. Persuasion is a great novel. It is my second favourite in the Austen work. My favourite part is when Wentworth realises all his love and writes the love letter for Anne. I can’t recollect any part that I don’t like about Persuasion, but maybe I can mention that I get sometimes annoyed by Mary’s silliness and her irrational and selfish way of thinking. Among all the fan-fiction about Pride and Prejudice, it is quite nice to be able to read something related to Persuasion, a very tender love story to defeat time. Looking forward to set my eyes on Persuade Me :D

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  42. Persuasion (along with Sense and Sensibility) is my favorite of Jane’s novels. The characters leap off the page and all of them are very human. Although I have many favorite parts, Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne is certainly the most eloquent.

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  43. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel which means it’s my favorite novel of any author! I just think the vulnerability of Anne every time she encounters Captain Wentworth is wonderfully portrayed. And the love letter at the end is so beautiful! I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it!

    Missy

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  44. What I love about Persuasion is that true love truly conquered all. They were able to get past their differences, hurt, and the past and move forward towards a future.

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  45. I love how realistic this couple is: we all had at least one big regret in our life and I can relate to both Anne and Frederick.
    Anne, even though plain and quiet, doesn’t rub me as a saint-wannabe (such as Fanny, whom I love nonetheless) and I find myself cheering for and suffering with her throughout the book, everytime I read it.
    Frederick is probably my favourite Austen’s hero, thanks to his perseverance and that gorgeous letter: I even had it printed and hanged it on my bedroom wall.

    Laura

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