Thanks, it’s lovely to be here!
Terra ~ What made you try to fit vampires into a Pride & Prejudice storyline?
Amanda ~ The idea came to me quite a few years ago when I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on TV over here in the UK. I thought that Buffy and Angel would make a good Lizzy and Darcy, and the idea of Mr. Darcy as a vampyre just grew from there.
Terra ~ Your descriptions of the different parts of Europe are fantastic. I actually felt like I was on vacation while reading this. How much research did you have to do to get such wonderful renditions of the cities as they might have been in that time period?
Amanda ~ I’m very lucky because I’ve actually been to most of the places in Mr Darcy, Vampyre and they haven’t changed as much as you might think. The old buildings like Notre Dame in Paris and the palazzos in Venice are still there and they are breathtakingly beautiful. If you ever get a chance to go to Europe then I really recommend seeing them! To add some depth to the descriptions and to make sure they were right for the nineteenth century I read travel books from the Regency era and I studied paintings of the time as well.
Terra ~ Poor Mr. Darcy and his plight and fears! How hard was it for you to make his character strong but tender and fearful? What is the one thing you like best about our beloved Mr. Darcy in this story?
Amanda ~ I think I’ve always seen Mr. Darcy as strong and tender so that wasn’t too hard for me. What was difficult was making him seem afraid but not letting the reader – or Lizzy! - know exactly what he was afraid of, at least not until about half way through the book. As to what I like best about him – oh, goodness, that’s a hard question! I could give you a hundred things, but one?! Let me think. If I’m allowed only one, then it has to be that he is wholeheartedly in love with Lizzy, body and soul.
Terra ~ In your story you portrayed the vampires as sinister, violent and distrustful as well as playful, loving, trusting and just down right fun to be with. How difficult was it to go from one side of the spectrum to the other in the same race? Do you think that vampires are much the same as the human population with their emotions to some extent?
Amanda ~ Yes, I see them as having their own characters. Just as some humans are evil and some are good, so it is with the vampyres in the book. I really loved writing both sorts of vampyres, especially as they have such long pasts. I found I knew a lot about them and their histories, even though all this knowledge didn’t find its way into the book, and their histories gave them their characters.
Terra ~ What scene is your ultimate favorite in the storyline and why?
Amanda ~ Oh, that’s another tough question! I think it would have to be the scene when Lizzy tells Darcy she’s going back to England. She knows there is something very wrong between them but he won’t tell her what it is because he doesn’t want to frighten her. Lizzy feels rejected and miserable and poor Darcy is in torment, wanting to confide in her but wanting to protect her from the truth at the same time. I feel for them both so much in that scene.
Terra ~ Do you have any plans on writing future renditions of Jane Austin books into paranormals?
Amanda ~ No, not at the moment, although I think Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility is probably a vampyre! But I do have plans to write more about Mr. Darcy as a vampyre.
Terra ~ What is your favorite time period in the romance world and why?
Amanda ~ The Regency, without a doubt. I love the clothes, the carriages, the houses, the men, in fact everything about it.
Terra ~ Not only have you given Pride & Prejudice a paranormal flavor but you have also given it a bit of Indiana Jones adventure. Was it difficult to incorporate all these things without losing sight of the original storyline?
Amanda ~ In a way it wasn’t too hard because I know Pride and Prejudice very well. I’ve read it many times – it’s my favourite book! – and I’ve even written another book, called Mr. Darcy’s Diary, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. So in a way, adding more elements like the paranormal and adventurous parts was just a natural progression for me. Whenever I felt like I was losing sight of the original I would just read a few pages of Pride and Prejudice so that I could put myself back into the right frame of mind.
Terra ~ Do you have any particular tips, tricks or rituals that help you ease your way through the story when writing? How long did it take for you to come write Mr. Darcy, Vampyre?
Amanda ~ My tips change all the time! Sometimes one thing works, sometimes another. I try not to leave the keyboard too soon if I’m stuck, because if I sit and think about the problem I can often see a way to move forward, but sometimes I find it easier to do something completely different like going for a walk.
As to how long it took me to write Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, it’s taken a long time because I’ve been thinking about it for years. The ideas have come to me gradually over that period and I think that’s why the books is so rich, because it’s been simmering for ages.
Terra ~ How many more surprises do you think Lizzy will find out about her beloved Mr. Darcy especially were the storyline to continue onto another book?
Amanda ~ I think there will be plenty of surprises in store for Lizzy. Darcy has had a very long life and a very long history. I think as Lizzy comes to know him ever more deeply she will learn a lot more about him!
The wedding day is magical but when Elizabeth and Darcy embark on their wedding tour, Elizabeth discovers that Darcy has a secret . . .
My dearest Jane,
My hand is trembling as I write this letter. My nerves are in tatters and I am so altered that I believe you would not recognise me. The past two months have been a nightmarish whirl of strange and disturbing circumstances, and the future . . .
Jane, I am afraid. If anything happens to me, remember that I love you and that my spirit will always be with you, though we may never see each other again. The world is a cold and frightening place where nothing is as it seems. It was all so different a few short months ago. When I awoke on my wedding morning, I thought myself the happiest woman alive . . .
Leave a comment or question for Amanda and your email addy to be entered to win one of two copies of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. US and Canada only!! Sorry Folks! Believe me when I say this is too delicious to miss.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange is not your typical Pride & Prejudice rendition. This story is a true love story with paranormal influence and a grand adventure no less exciting than that of Indiana Jones.
I think almost the entire population of the cultured world must know about our beloved Mr. Darcy and his beautiful Lizzy. What they don't know is the dark secrets that will chase the couple all across Europe thrusting them into a frenzy of action and adventure while questioning their love and their sanity.
A heady mixture of events that will lull poor Lizzy into a thrall yet send her skittering away at the drop of a pin. Shattered nerves be damned!
Our author has given us a treasure of culture to please even the most delicate palate, a delicious romance of times gone by and a fantasy world that will surely make you quake in your boots. Ms. Grange has taken us through the most important cities of Europe that will make the ton of England titillate in anticipation for the tasty tales of a wedding tour that is sure to be the best of the best.
Bravo I say, Bravo!
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (August 1, 2009)