Today it is with great pleasure that we welcome author Sharon Lathan. Please set back and enjoy our interview.
Sharon Lathan Interview, Author of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy
MBA: First can you tell readers who you are? *meaning are you married, do you write only or do you have another job, do you live overseas or are you a US author, etc.*
SL: I used to consider myself average, but these days that does not seem so true! I live in the sunny San Joaquin Valley of California mere miles from where I grew up in the Los Padres Mountains. Aside from brief relocations I have lived in California my entire life. When I was 9 years old I knew I wanted to be a nurse, never vacillated from that course, and by the time I was 21 I was an RN working in the field of neonatal intensive care where I have remained for over 25 years. I have been happily married to the same man for 24 years—and I truly mean the “happily” part, and we have two children together. We live on a suburban cul-de-sac with a dog, a cat, a gecko, and numerous fish going about the typical day-to-day happenings of school, jobs, church, and family fun with the occasional vacation tossed in.
All very average, right? Then a little over 5 years ago I fell in love with a story and much to my surprise discovered a hidden talent for writing! Now my life is crazy and far from average.
MBA: Now can you tell us about your current release in your own words, who are the characters? What is their problem/conflict? Why should we feel a connection to them?
SL: My latest release is In The Arms of Mr. Darcy and it is the fourth volume of my Darcy Saga sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The first three novels covered the first year of marriage between Fitzwilliam Darcy and the former Elizabeth Bennet in detail, ending with their anniversary and the birth of their first child. For this novel I stepped up the pace a bit, spanning slightly over one year. Darcy and Lizzy remain the primary characters as they learn to be parents, travel to exotic locales, celebrate their second Christmas together, and interact with friends and family. I turned the focus from time to time to some of the secondary characters. Kitty Bennet suffers a major heartbreak, Colonel Fitzwilliam searches for love, Caroline Bingley meets an intriguing man who challenges her, George Darcy continues to charm, and Georgiana Darcy makes her debut in society. In keeping with my style of a thematic, saga way of storytelling, the reader travels over the weeks and months with these characters as they deal with their dramas and changes in life. Therefore there isn’t one conflict but several which are resolved over the course of the novel. I believe the connection to these characters are well established first by Austen and then enhanced throughout my first novels.
I also have a novella as part of an anthology titled A Darcy Christmas being released this month in time for the holiday season. Also published by Sourcebooks, the anthology contains three novellas, mine alongside Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart. My offering, “A Darcy Christmas,” is inspired by my saga. Through a series of short Christmas Eve or Day snippets we see the Darcys over 25 years of marriage with their family and friends surrounding. I am so proud of my novella and the wealth of English Christmas traditions I included. It is the perfect Christmas gift!
MBA: If you could travel back in time what or who would you be and why?
SL: Wow! This is an interesting question and one I have never been asked before. Bravo! I wish I could come up with a clever answer. LOL! I am fascinated by the past, by history and cultures especially of Europe, therefore I can’t possibly pinpoint any one person or region I would want to settle upon. Since we are talking the impossible here, I suppose I would want to possess an H.G. Wells “time machine” so I could pop in here and there, chat with famous people and observe historic events, tour monuments and castles, and experience tastes of ancient life in a variety of places. Then I could return to the comfort of the 21st Century with indoor plumbing and hot water before taking another jag!
MBA: When was your first novel or published works published and by who?
SL: My first novel was Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One and it was published in March of 2009. It is the first book I ever wrote! It begins the Darcy Saga series, my vision of life for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Next came Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley in Sept. 2009 and then My Dearest Mr. Darcy in January 2010, the initial trilogy of the saga covering the first year of the Darcys’ marriage and ending with the birth of their first child. All have been published by Sourcebooks Landmark, the leading publishing house for Austen fiction.
MBA: Why do you enjoy writing about Regency England and what sort of research goes into your novels?
SL: I love the Regency Era! I have forever been a student of history, loving each era and culture equally. I did not set out to write within the Regency, but fell in love with these characters and Jane Austen’s novels which happen to be set in the first two decades of the 1800s. Yet the more I read about the history of this time the stronger my passion grew. So it is nice how these matters work for the best, isn’t it?
My research is as exhaustive as I can possibly make it. Primarily I hit the internet. Nearly everything a person needs to know can be unearthed if you search diligently. Along the way I have accumulated some reference books and contacts that offer answers to questions I can’t find. I hunt down words and phrases, check and recheck facts, and dig deep for interesting facts to put into my novels. I love history… did I mention that already?
MBA: What are some of your upcoming projects?
SL: The Trouble With Mr. Darcy ,the fifth volume of the Darcy Saga series will be released in April of 2011. Once again the reader is spending time with the ever-growing Darcy family and friends. This novel sees the marriage of Kitty Bennet, the birth of the second Darcy child, and the return of George Wickham! Lots of issues for Mr. Darcy to deal with!
After that, in the Fall of 2011, my companion romance novel centering on Georgiana Darcy will be released. Set in post-Napoleonic Empire France, Georgiana Darcy is now a woman ready to fall in love!
MBA: Who do you credit your love of writing to and why?
SL: I can’t credit my love of writing to any one person, but rather to every author who has ever captivated me with their words. I have been reading literally for as long as I can remember. I love every type of novel and genre there is. Above all I adore stories that are full of details and rich characters, that take me on a journey I can lose myself in, and that touch my heart in some way. My awe of writers and the diversity of styles is of long standing and I suppose as I was reading the prose of others I was learning how to weave a tale. At least one that intrigued me! I write what I love to read, in the style I love to read, and with the depth of detail I love to read. I remember how certain books have touched my soul and know the indescribable joy that comes from reading a wonderful story. To be able to give that to another person through my words is an honor.
MBA: Do you feel a deep connection to your characters and why?
SL: I do. I love them! I fell in love with the characters as portrayed on the screen, deepened that love when reading the classic novel by Austen, and they are now so far burrowed into my heart I don’t think they can ever escape! One of the best aspects of writing a serial, saga style tale is the ability to allow my characters to grow. I never have to say goodbye! For me, as much as I love the scenery and history within my story, it is the characters that drive the plots. It is them, each of them, that I want to showcase and give life to.
MBA: What advice would you have for aspiring authors?
SL: Above all, follow your heart. Keep writing and write what you feel deep in your soul. Don’t get caught up in rules or what someone says you should or should not do. Trust your instincts and persevere. You can’t give up or give in to negativism. Have fun with your characters; love them and the life you are giving them! That passion will come through, believe me!
If only everyone could be as happy as they are…
Darcy and Elizabeth are as much in love as ever—even more so as their relationship matures. Their passion inspires everyone around them, and as winter turns to spring, romance blossoms around them.
Confirmed bachelor Richard Fitzwilliam sets his sights on a seemingly unattainable, beautiful widow; Georgiana Darcy learns to flirt outrageously; the very flighty Kitty Bennet develops her first crush, and Caroline Bingley meets her match.
But the path of true love never does run smooth, and Elizabeth and Darcy are kept busy navigating their friends and loved ones through the inevitable separations, misunderstandings, misgivings, and lovers’ quarrels to reach their own happily ever afters…
Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, and My Dearest Mr. Darcy. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides with her family in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information, please visit www.sharonlathan.net, as well as the two group blogs Sharon contributes to: Come to www.austenauthors.com and www.casablancaauthors.blogspot.com.
Thanks to the great Danielle at Sourcebooks I’m thrilled to offer readers a chance to win 1 of 2 copies of IN THE ARMS OF MR. DARCY. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only. No PO Boxes please. Giveaway will run today only Oct 14th. If you’ve won the book somewhere else please notify me if you win again so another winner can be chosen. Books will be coming from the publisher, please allow 6-8 weeks for delievery of book.
Now you want to know how you can win? Right? Well to win you must comment here, you must also visit Sharon’s website here:http://www.sharonlathan.net/ and tell me one thing you love best about her website or one thing you’d love to see on her website. And you must visit Sourcebooks, INC here: http://www.sourcebooks.com/ and tell me what you think is the best about their website (meaning do you love how easy it is to use, do you love that they have a HUGE button for discounted books? Do you love the colors? anything, just tell me what you love best).
Good luck to everyone! And if you have something you’re dying to ask Sharon please feel free to ask.
*Notice if you enter by only saying “enter me please” you will NOT qualify for the giveaway*