The Darcys of Pemberley Blog Tour with Shannon Winslow

The Darcys of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Shannon Winslow on her book blog tour in celebration of the release of The Darcys of Pemberley, a new Pride and Prejudice sequel just published by Heather Ridge Arts.

What a thrill it is for me, a first-time author, to be kicking off the launch of The Darcys of Pemberley with a guest post on Austenprose! Thank you, Laurel Ann, for inviting me to share a little about my journey and about the book itself.

You might call me a “late bloomer.” That term certainly applies to my writing career and even to my acquaintance with Jane Austen, the latter becoming the inspiration for the former. Shame on my high school English teachers for never introducing me to the author of what is now unquestionably my favorite novel: Pride and Prejudice! Instead, I have an impulse buy at Costco about seven years ago – a certain video with the handsome face of Colin Firth on the front – to thank for it.

I was in love. No other way to explain it. And not just with Colin Firth. I loved the story of Pride and Prejudice, and soon all Jane Austen’s novels. I bought and watched all the associated videos. I reread all the books. But then what? I was still hungry for more Jane Austen.

Aha! I discovered a Pride and Prejudice sequel at the library, and another at the book store (I had no idea then that there were many more). Alas, the two sequels I found weren’t really what I was looking for after all. They didn’t satisfy me. They didn’t answer all my questions. What happens after the wedding, I wondered? How would Elizabeth and Darcy deal with the first major crisis in their marriage? Does Georgiana have a secret love … or a secret admirer? What trouble will Wickham get into next? Does Lady Catherine ever get her comeuppance? And perhaps most perplexing of all, how could Charlotte bear her life with Mr. Collins!

What I really wanted, of course, was a Pride and Prejudice sequel written by the original author. I wanted more time enjoying her wit, her writing style, and the delightful characters she created. So, what would Jane Austen have written in her sequel? She does give us some indication of how she imagined her characters’ lives unfolding. I took my cue from her own words in the novel’s final chapter, and I sat down to write one day.

The first idea that came to me – I’m not sure why – was doing away with Mr. Collins. Now, I’m not a blood-thirsty, vindictive person by nature, and I would never plot someone’s demise in real life, but I’ll admit I had a great deal of fun doing it in fiction. I was hooked on writing from that moment. So you see, Mr. Collins’s death was not in vain; it furthered a noble cause, serving as the inspiration for my writing career and for The Darcys of Pemberley. In fact, I think he would have been gratified that, rather than fading away into obscurity, his death was memorialized centuries later in a novel and further expanded upon in a short story (Mr. Collins’s Last Supper).

Now I was not only in love with the story of Pride and Prejudice, but also with writing. I researched the Regency period for accuracy. I immersed myself in the literature of the time to develop a feel for the language. Story possibilities continually played out in my head, and I could hardly wait to put them on the virtual paper of my computer screen. Once started, I lost all track of time. Housework began to suffer and dinner was often late on my writing days, but I was having the time of my life!

Nine months after its inception, the first completed draft of The Darcys of Pemberley was born. I was proud of it, and with all the blind partiality of a mother, I thought my first literary child was practically perfect. It was strong enough to attract the interest of an agent and editors even then, but has since benefited from the refinement of countless rewrites (fortunately, I enjoy that part of the process as well). After years of hard work, I’m delighted that my “baby” is finally published and ready to meet the world.

One reviewer has described The Darcys of Pemberley as a good sequel for “purists.” I take that as high praise. My goal from the beginning was to continue Darcy and Elizabeth’s tale as I imagined the original author would have – faithful to her style, her sensibilities, and the wonderful characters she created. Although I don’t presume to rival the genius of Jane Austen, I hope I have in some measure done justice to her legacy.

Author Shannon Winslow (2011)Author Bio:

Shannon Winslow, her two sons now grown, devotes much of her time to her diverse interests in music, literature, and the visual arts – writing claiming the lion’s share of her creative energies in recent years.

In addition to several short stories (one a finalist in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It contest), Ms. Winslow has authored three novels to date. The Darcys of Pemberley, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is her debut. For Myself Alone, a stand-alone Austenesque story, will soon follow. Her most recent project is a contemporary “what if” novel entitled First of Second Chances.

Shannon lives with her husband in the log home they built in the countryside south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier.

Visit Shannon’s website and blog, and follow her on Twitter @JaneAustenSays and on Facebook as Shannon Winslow.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of The Darcys of Pemberley by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you most about reading a Pride and Prejudice sequel, or which character in the original novel is your favorite, by midnight PT, Wednesday, August 24th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, August 25th, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

The Darcys of Pemberley: The Continuing Story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, by Shannon Winslow
Heather Ridge Arts (2011)
Trade paperback (326) pages
ISBN: 978-0615517155

© 2007 – 2011 Shannon Winslow, Austenprose

57 thoughts on “The Darcys of Pemberley Blog Tour with Shannon Winslow

  1. Well there wasn’t a whole lot of details on the plot of the story but it sounds like she has tried to keep to the flow of the original so I think it might be a good read. I want to see how she develops the answers to the few questions she posed. Specifically, What trouble will Wickham get into next? and Does Lady Catherine ever get her comeuppance?

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  2. Bravo Shannon, It will be such fun to discover your vision of Darcy & Elizabeth’s future and see what Charlotte makes of her liberation from Mr Collins. I’ve always had a soft spot for Charlotte. I also hope to see more of droll Mr Bennet.

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  3. Read it….couldn’t put it down!! Finished it in a day and a half! Shannon stays true to form of Austen’s original “P & J”. I felt as if I were still in the original story, just continuing chapters. You will love the twists & turns, and how
    everyone turns out, I sure did!!

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  4. Oh, that’s perfect! Kill him off! Ha ha! I have always wondered how poor Charlotte faired as time went by. At what point would she begin to resent Mr. Collins, would she finally tell off Lady Catherine (which should certainly give Mr. Collins a heart attack at the very least)! Would she come to resent Lizzy for sticking to her guns and finding not only love but great wealth? Life could hardly seem fair to Charlotte, I would think!

    I can’t wait to hear how you accomplished the dastardly deed! I’ll be watching for this book!

    Julie

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      • I would love to read the Short Story – can I assume from the title, that it was “something he et”? Is the story available anywhere?

        Jujlie

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        • It tells how Mr. Collins discovers (tragically, too late) why gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. “Mr. Colliins’s Last Supper” is currently unavailable since it’s one of ten finalists in the “Jane Austen Made Me Do It” short story contest. Check out my “short stories” page at my blog (link above) if you want to know more!

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  5. Ooops – how Charlotte “fared”, not “faired”…. Why, oh why, do I proofread AFTER I’ve published?

    Julie

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  6. I am really looking forward to this book. Elizabeth is my favorite character in all of literature and I would have to say that Darcy is my second favorite. I think the most attractive feature about the 2 is that they both undergo radical changes in their thinking in order to be better people. I think today’s readers might be tempted to think that they changed so the other would like them better. I think that is a shallow way to think of these two characters. They both admit that their thinking changed because they realize from exposure to the other that they were both prideful and prejudiced. They resolved to change because to remain the way they had been was to be wrong. They weren’t afraid of taking stock of their characters and them taking steps to correct them. Neither expected to be able to see each other again but yet they still made the changes. Their personal honesty is their most attractive feature.

    But don’t misunderstand me, Colin Firth does make my heart race. What woman wouldn’t want to be desired for her wit, intelligence, ability to be comfortable in several circumstances, and her beauty? Any guy who finds Lizzy attractive for these reasons is worth his salt. Did I mention that Colin Firth IS Darcy?

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  7. What intrigues me most about this sequel is the referenced reviewer comment that it’s a “sequel for purists.” Well, I’m a purist. I read the first two or three sequels when this craze started a few years ago and was bitterly disappointed. I also appreciate Shannon’s mention of how much work has gone into revising her book since the first draft. These details lead me to think it might be time to give another Austen sequel a try.

    Congratulations, Shannon! It sounds like you have really worked hard and done a good job!

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  8. When I first discovered P&P sequels, I couldn’t get enough. However, after being disappointed with some, I am more selective now. Even with limited info, I have put yours on my “must read” list:) Also, it’s NEVER too late to discover Jane!!

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  9. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, Ladies! It’s always exciting to hear from other JA fans, and so satisfying to finally be able to share this book!

    Danielle – It sounds like you wanted to know a little more about the plot. Here’s a sort blurb:

    Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been married for almost a year, and their heated arguments are a thing of the past. All that passion is now directed into more satisfying pursuits. But how long can the honeymoon last? The couple’s idyllic life together at Pemberley is jeopardized by secrets they begin keeping from each other, the troubles of their closest friends, and the threat of a villain in their midst. The Darcys of Pemberley is the tale of two romances: the continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s story, and the courtship of Miss Georgiana.

    Hope that helps.

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  10. Mr. Darcy is my favorite (of course) and I find it intriguing how different people think that Darcy and Lizzy and the others would behave or react to certain events. It is fascinating how you can have so many differing opinions on the same character’s personalities.
    Thank you for sharing, I would love to read this book!

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  11. Shannon, congratulations on your new book. You must be so excited! Your hard work has made you a success.

    My favorite character in Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet. She is smart, beautiful, and does not bend to tradition. She is a great role model. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

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  12. Shannon: I wish you every success in the promotion of you new book. I am still astounded at the quality that is evident in every sequel, prequel, and “what-if” that I read in this genre’.

    Elizabeth Bennet is by far and away my favorite character and I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a great deal of Miss Austen embodied in this admirable heroine.

    However, my most intriguing character is Miss Anne DeBourgh. I think she is one of the saddest and most tragic people in all of Miss Austen’s works and I have always wondered how she would do if she got out from under her domineering Mother’s thumb. I have always visualized her regaining her bloom and health if she was romanced by the right young suitor and could gain her independence.

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    • Jeffrey-
      I just had to respond to your comment about Anne! She plays an important role in The Darcys of Pemberley. I, like you, wanted to make sure she had a better fate. I hope you get a chance to read abou it. Shannon

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  13. Shannon, I too, am a late bloomer. My re-introduction to the wonderful world of Jane Austen came from a good friend and author. She suggested I watch ‘Pride and Prejudice’, the miniseries, that you mentioned with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I was hooked. Of course, seeing Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy certainly didn’t hurt anything. His every mannerism was perfect, as well as his tortured look of unrequieted love. I have watched several versions with the different actors and actresses and none compare. Jennifer Ehle played Elizabeth the way I imagined her to be.

    I look forward to reading your book. It sounds like it will be a very good read. I am interested in your idea of how the lives of the Darcys and their friends unfold.

    It was interesting to read of your beginning. Congratulations on your publication and I hope you have much success.

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  14. In my previous comment I failed to mention my favorite character, specifically, although I am sure it is quite obvious…Mr. Darcy, of course! The many twists and turns to the original, the wonderful plots and the author’s take on the original make the sequels an entertaining read.

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  15. what intrigues me is seeing how another author can be faithful to language, characterization, description of the period and mannerisms of Jane’s writing while giving us a believable interpretation and storyline in their sequel…

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  16. I have to say that the editor’s remark that this book was a good fit for JA “purists”, made my heart skip a beat. I look forward to reading Mrs. Winslow’s story of my favorite heroine. Good Luck with the book tour. Any chance you will make it to the east coast?

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    • My husband and I ARE planning a trip to the DC/Baltimore area in the fall, but it’s intended as more of a sight-seeing trip than a book tour. It would be fun to work a little book sighing into the schedule, though ;)

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  17. The plot summary sounds interesting. I am looking forward to learning more about Georgiana and her romantic pursuits. Also, I am interested to read about Charlotte as a young widow.

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  18. My favorite character tends to be the main strong female lead whichever novel it is. I like that Austen’s females don’t have to be gorgeous or have high finances – tho’ some do. I like their strength of character, their wit, convicttions, honesty and integrity. That does it for me every time. And for the men I must like the strong, quiet but witty types. Captain Wentworth, Henry Tilney, Colonel Brandon, then of course Darcy. None per se in Mansfield Park.

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    • Yes, Julie. It’s available! Go to my blog (link above) for a sample. From there you can link to the book on Amazon (Kindle, paperback) and Smashwords (all other e-book formats). No waiting required!

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  20. My favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice are Elizabeth and Darcy!! This book sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to read it!

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  21. I love reading P&P sequels and variations. I own almost all of them. I’m not exactly sure why I love them reading them. I just love reading different perspectives on the same characters. I just bought the kindle version of this book. Can’t wait to read it!.

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  22. It’s just such a universal love story and we all know the characters enough, having read and re-read the book over the years, that we feel like the characters are old friends. And we just want to catch up with our old friends and see if they’re still happy and just be a part of their lives.

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  23. I think the last four commenters have all said the same thing in different ways. We know and love the characters. We can’t get enough of the story, and so we never want it to end. That’s why we read sequels; that’s why I write them.

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    • I certainly agree in that we just can’t get enough of the story!! I know that’s why I read the sequels ;) So glad that authors like yourself are continuing the story so that we can have more of it :)

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  24. Ooh, I love P&P sequels–I just love seeing what happens next. Every author has a dfferent take, but they are all happy endings (eventually!). Can’t wait to read this!

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  25. This sounds like such a wonderful story!! I LOVE Pride & Prejudice sequels!! I will definitely have to get my hands on a copy of your book! It’s already on my to-read list ;) I think what intrigues me most about a P&P sequel is the “what next”… I like to see what could happen with those characters if the story had continued, or focused, on them. Who comes to call on Georgianna?? How does Charlotte “deal” with her new life & husband? Does Mary ever stop her brooding? What happens to Kitty in the coming years during her marriage? All very fascinating to me! :)

    I discovered Jane Austen a bit “late” myself, having never read any of her works in high school. I was actually recovering from a major surgery when I first saw the movie Sense & Sensibility on TV…. I loved it SO much, that when it came on again an hour later I had to watch it!! LOL While S&S is the movie that drew me into Jane Austen, it’s actually Pride & Prejudice that I love THE MOST! Of course my all-time favorite characters are Darcy & Elizabeth… I loved the attractions between the two of them, even though they “fought” it, and then when Elizabeth realized that she was in love with Darcy. I just LOVE when Darcy tells her that she has “bewitched” him and he never wishes to be apart from her from that day on…. Oh, be still my heart!!! LOL

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    • Ooops!! I meant to say “Lydia” and not “Kitty” when referring to what happens in the years following her marriage…. Sorry for the confusion! ;) I was just so excited, and my fingers were flying to fast for my brain to keep up! LOL

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  26. I like the interest the Shannon has in Georgianna, a character that always gets overlooked. Also, Elizabeth’s first fight sounds interesting! :)

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  27. I have to go with most people’s opinions and say my favorite character is Elizabeth, simply because of her wit.

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  28. I love that so many people see the potential in continuing the story! And I love the fact I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of JA and P&P!

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  29. While Lizzy & Darcy are my favorites, I also really like Jane & Bingley. They are just sweet, nice characters who seem to genuinely like people! :) I would also love to read more about Georgiana & Anne, as well as Colonel Fitzwilliam.

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  30. This sounds like a great book. I love the possibilities that can come from the questions you ask and do wonder about the fates of Mr. Collins and Charlotte and any details of Georginia’s life. I’d love to read this continuation story.

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  31. Shannon, I just finished the book, and it was wonderful! It really sounds like Jane Austen just went on writing. And the things that happened to the characters–fabulous. And the little bits of romance between Darcy and Lizzy…This book is a winner!!!

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