Showing posts with label Author Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Author Interview. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress – Blog Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
I’m very happy to be welcoming a new visitor to the blog today. Gailie Ruth Caress has published a book called Fearful Symmetry: A Pride & Prejudice Variaion with Quills and Quartos, and the blog tour for the book visits here today. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then we’ll move on to an interview with the author. There’s also a giveaway to accompany the blog tour. Read on for details!

Book Description 

Darcy had never known such a woman, one who could rush into an inferno and emerge as bold and brilliant as burnished brass, bright as any mirror.

Fitzwilliam Darcy had planned to leave Netherfield Park and all thoughts of the enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet behind him—until one night when he saw smoke rising from Longbourn and realised she was imperiled.

Elizabeth Bennet found Mr Darcy arrogant and insufferable right up until he became her hero, pulling her and her sister from the fire that devastated their home, and could have claimed both of their lives. Seeing how he put his own life at risk to pull her from the fire, how could she help but change her opinion of him?

Thrown together again in the refuge offered at Netherfield, Darcy and Elizabeth’s unexpected bond gains strength. But disapproval, debts, and doubts all arise when the costs in time and expense involved in rebuilding Longbourn threaten to widen the gulf in standing between Elizabeth and Darcy in the eyes of society. Amidst these perplexities of destruction and decorum, can love’s courage overcome calamity?

Author Gailie Ruth Caress
Author Interview with Gailie Ruth Caress

Thank you for having me here, Ceri! I feel so honored to be invited to come visit for an author interview.

I’ll do my best to be a good guest and behave myself. **Sits and pours some tea** Let me see if I can tackle these good questions on your list!

1. What inspired your Pride and Prejudice variation?

In 2012 when I began to write Fearful Symmetry, I was still actively processing what felt like the rather abrupt end to my carefree youth. My excellent father had passed away from a long and rough battle with cancer just a few years prior, when I was twenty-one years old—very close to Elizabeth Bennet’s age in Pride & Prejudice. In the weeks and months after his death, I graduated college and entered the workforce during the 2009 US economic recession. It was a rough year to say the least, and I felt like I’d had to hurry up and finish becoming a fully-fledged adult very quickly, and without a lot of support or stability. In Fearful Symmetry, the housefire that guts Longbourn in its early chapters similarly catapults Elizabeth out of her idyllic, sheltered life as a young country miss, and she must rise to new responsibilities and open her eyes to a deeper understanding of the real challenges of the world she inhabits. It’s ultimately a coming-of-age tale for her, and it served as a bit of “narrative therapy” for me!

The title of my novel comes from a line in a poem called “The Tyger,” a work pulled from William Blake’s collection called “Songs of Experience,” which he wrote as a counter-themed collection to his “Songs of Innocence.” Fittingly, the journey Elizabeth takes in my novel not only borrows from some of the fiery imagery from “The Tyger” (hello, housefire!), but it also moves her into a brand-new world of experience, and out of the innocence of her halcyon days at Longbourn.

This was a story I would compose in spurts and then set aside—sometimes for years at a time. But there was something healing for me in the experience of writing this new path for Elizabeth. The worlds and characters of Jane Austen feel “safe” to us since they are known and familiar, and I think that sense of safety helped me to gather courage as a writer to explore some of the more difficult parts of my own life within these fictional confines. Because I know, in Elizabeth’s world, I can count on making my way towards a resolution with a happy ending even when my own might be far more uncertain.

I think this form of narrative “therapy” worked; finishing the manuscript for this novel under pandemic lockdown definitely helped me retain some hope for the days to come!

2. Besides Jane Austen, what other books are your favorites and why?

I should start off by saying I’m a long-time fan of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South. I also survived my angst in middle school reading Jane Eyre; and then in high school, when I wasn’t working my way through The Lord of the Rings, I was diving into postmodern gothic-inspired works like Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire) and Thomas Harris’s (Silence of the Lambs) novels.

I really loved Gaskell and Brontë’s narrative voices, which convey their leading characters’ keen emotional self-awareness without being cloying. I was fascinated by Tolkien’s world-building. And I was constantly in awe of Rice and Harris’s story craft. Each of their books’ plotlines feel like a rollercoaster! They launch the reader out of their seat with some kind of revelation or action sequence in the very first chapter, then the middle-plot develops a steep and unstable arc of conflict and growth, and finally the whole tale just rolls downhill at a gathering pace towards a breathless ending each time. It’s mesmerizing. Harris in particular knows how to pace his pages, and he never wastes a word.

3. What do you do when you are not reading or writing?

Right now, I am taking care of my two wild little boys, ages five and two, which is my main daily challenge as a mom. You might also find me trying not to fall on my face at Jazzercise class (yes, Jazzercise! I’m a former show-choir kid and musical theatre geek, so I fit right in). Sometimes I sew, bake, help people build websites, and sing. My husband is a pastor in a rural church, so I help organize church events and children’s ministry, gather community resources for folks in the margins, and sometimes lead Bible studies for adults that let me be nerdy in my hermeneutics by pulling in socio-historic and linguistic context for scripture. And that last bit involves me researching, which I also love to do. I’ll be looking to return to the work force in some form or other in 2021, but I’m grateful I could stay home during this terrible pandemic so my whole family could literally survive the virus (since we all had it in November, and it was awful!).

4. Do you have any plans for a second book?

Oh yes, but it’s not a sequel, if that’s what you mean. I’m trying to be secretive about it. I suppose I could tell you that it’s a “crossover” between two of Austen’s works—but I won’t give away which ones! I’m also working on a short story woven out of some side-plot threads I had cut away from Fearful Symmetry. I admit I have a soft spot for gothic tropes, and they’ll appear in this shorter tale featuring a bit of the paranormal. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Thank you so much for having me by to chat today! I really enjoyed this interview!

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I hope you enjoyed this interview, because I certainly did! 

I think all our experiences shape us but some big experiences are like a milestone in our lives that we can see as life changing when we look back, there is us before the event and a different us afterwards. It's amazing to me that Gailie Ruth has weaved her loss into something as creative and lasting as a book.

I am so glad Gailie Ruth told us about her reading habits, too, because that’s something I always find interesting. I have actually read all the books she mentioned, most of them more than once! Big thanks to Kristi from Quills and Quartos for her input to this post 😊

If you are wondering about the poem, I am sure you will recognise it. Here is the first stanza:

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

I am not a big one for poetry, but I love this one, it’s very dramatic! I know it's written by Englishman William Blake but if I read it aloud I go full on Welsh sounding. I think it's something we learn at school here, if we read poetry we all sound like Dylan Thomas!

Author Bio

Gailie Ruth Caress, author of Fearful Symmetry, never dreamed of writing a debut novel in her own pleasure-reading genre when she was a no-nonsense, 4.0-chasing English major who won prizes for her academic essays at Hanover College in her home state of Indiana. Forced to readily adapt after a pivotal loss in early adulthood, she became a dabbler in many forms of expression and relationship-building—from opera and ballroom dance to nonprofit education and mentoring. And yet, she committed mid-Pandemic to the challenge of completing the manuscript of the story that kept her up at night, driven by a need to borrow from the courageous vulnerability of her favorite Jane Austen couple in a landscape transformed by disaster.

Her everyday life continues to hold unexpected adventures. Her two small boys and a duo of sassy tabby cats run wild on the Illinois prairie around a parsonage, where they keep her busy alongside rural community and ministry work with her pastor-husband. Learn more about Gailie Ruth at gailieruthwrites.com.

Book cover: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress
Buy Links

Fearful Symmetry is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. It’s also available in audio!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Giveaway Time 

Quills and Quartos are giving away an ebook of Fearful Symmetry to a commenter on this post. They will choose the winner on 19 March.

If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)


Blog Tour Schedule

Visit the other stops on the blog tour to learn more about Fearful Symmetry.

Blog Tour: Fearful Symmetry by Gailie Ruth Caress

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Friday, 9 August 2019

Mrs Collins' Lover by Bronwen Chisholm - Author Interview and Giveaway

Book cover: Mrs. Collins' Lover by Bronwen Chisholm
Today I’m very happy to be hosting a first time visitor to Babblings of a Bookworm. A very warm welcome goes to Bronwen Chisholm, who has written a new Pride & Prejudice variation, Mrs Collins’ Lover. As I don’t know Bronwen very well, she has agreed for an author interview, and she's brought a giveaway too!

Let’s take a look at the blurb for Mrs Collins’ Lover, and then we will pour out a virtual cuppa and have a chat with Bronwen.

Book Description

Elizabeth Bennet was raised with a strong belief and faith in God's plan for her life. She knew He had a plan, even if the details were hidden from her. But, when placed in an untenable situation, she turned instead to the arms of a man to find brief moments of joy. Finally, when able to realize the happiness which was always intended for her, the weight of her guilt over her past sins convinces her of her unworthiness. Only through reconciliation with the Lover of her soul can she truly fulfill the life He planned for her. But first, she must forgive herself in order to find redemption.

Remember: In order to be redeemed, there must be sin. This story is intended for mature audiences. Trigger Warning: There are incidents of abuse in this story.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell - Author Interview and US Giveaway

Book cover: Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell I'm welcoming author Allie Cresswell to the blog for the first time. Allie has written 3 books based in the world of Jane Austen's Emma. These books focus on the ladies from the Bates family. The first, Mrs Bates of Highbury is about Mrs Bates when she was younger, The Other Miss Bates is about Jane Fairfax's mother, and Dear Jane is about Jane Fairfax herself.

Book Description

The final installment of the Highbury trilogy, Dear Jane narrates the history of Jane Fairfax, recounting the events hinted at but never actually described in Jane Austen’s Emma.

Orphaned Jane seems likely to be brought up in parochial Highbury until adoption by her papa’s old friend Colonel Campbell opens to her all the excitement and opportunities of London. The velvet path of her early years is finite, however and tarnished by the knowledge that she must earn her own independence one day.

Frank Weston is also transplanted from Highbury, adopted as heir to the wealthy Churchills and taken to their drear and inhospitable Yorkshire estate. The glimmer of the prize which will one day be his is all but obliterated by the stony path he must walk to claim it.

Their paths meet at Weymouth, and readers of Emma will be familiar with the finale of Jane and Frank’s story. Dear Jane pulls back the veil which Jane Austen drew over their early lives, their meeting in Weymouth and the agony of their secret engagement.

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Allie has kindly joined us for an author interview, which is fantastic as I get to ask her lots of nosey questions. She's also brought a US giveaway for a copy of Dear Jane. Read on for details!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks - Author Interview and Giveaway

Blog Tour: Modern Persuasion by Sara Marks

Today I'm joined by Sara Marks, an author who has written as her debut novel an update of Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. To get to know Sara a bit better, I posed her some questions which she was kind enough to answer. Read on for more about Sara's book, 'Modern Persuasion', the author interview and a reader giveaway!

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Darcy Monologues - Spotlight on Caitlin Williams, Review and Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Darcy Monologues, Edited by Christina Boyd
The blog tour for 'The Darcy Monologues' drops by today. This book features short stories from fifteen fantastic authors: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams. Phew! I see some excellent authors in there! The collection has been brought together and edited by Christina Boyd. The stories can be Regency or modern but what each story has in common is that they are from Mr Darcy's point of view.

The very first story in the anthology, 'Death of a Batchelor', is by Caitlin Williams, author of 'Ardently' and 'The Coming of Age of Elizabeth Bennet', and we have a focus on her here today with a fangirl post by author of 'Suddenly Mrs Darcy' and 'The Elizabeth Papers', Jenetta James, who is also a contributing author to 'The Darcy Monologues'. To accompany the blog tour there is an international giveaway, with fantastic prizes for two winners.

I'll start by sharing the anthology blurb and then we'll have Jenetta's fangirl post and an interview with Caitlin Williams. If you are not too tired by then, my review of the anthology follows, plus a chance to enter the amazing giveaway!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Spotlight on Darcy's Hope in Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette

Blog Tour: Darcy's Hope at Donwell Abbey by Ginger Monette
Today the blog tour for Ginger Monette's new book drops by. 'Darcy's Hope in Donwell Abbey' is a follow up to 'Darcy's Hope: Beauty from Ashes' which came out late last year and concludes the story. You can read a bit more about the first book here. These WWI-set books find Captain Darcy and Lizzy Bennet initially at odds; they will need to overcome their pride and prejudice, plus whatever the war may put in their paths... I'll share the blurb with you, plus an excerpt of the new book and an interview with the author, Ginger Monette. There's also a chance for US visitors to win a prize! Read on for more info.

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Blog Tour - Shadows Over Longbourn by Jann Rowland - Author Interview

Blog Tour: Shadows Over Longbourn by Jann Rowland
Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a blog tour to Babblings of a Bookworm to celebrate Jann Rowland's new book, 'Shadows Over Longbourn'. The tour is brought to you courtesy of Claudine, from the Just Jane 1813 blog. Claudine has interviewed Jann Rowland to find out more about him and how he came to write JAFF, and I have the interview to share here with you. Jann also brings with him a giveaway of an ebook of 'Shadows Over Longbourn' for a commenter here. So without further ado, I will hand over to Claudine.

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Excerpt and Giveaway of Mr Darcy to the Rescue by Victoria Kincaid

Book cover: Mr Darcy to the Rescue by Victoria Kincaid
Today I am welcoming author Victoria Kincaid to the blog. Victoria has written three ‘Pride & Prejudice’ variations: ‘The Secrets of Darcy & Elizabeth’ which sees our couple first meet after their painful encounter in Hunsford Parsonage in Napoleonic France; ‘Pride & Proposals’, where Colonel Fitzwilliam is quicker than his cousin to propose, and gets accepted by Elizabeth; and Victoria’s new book, ‘Mr Darcy to the Rescue’ where Elizabeth accepts Mr Collins’ proposal (ewwwww!) in order to provide a home for her family, as Mr Bennet is ill and Mr Darcy has the dilemma of how to save somebody who doesn’t want to be saved.

Victoria has kindly offered to answer some of my nosey questions, and she’s offering an international giveaway of a paperback or an ebook of ‘Mr Darcy to the Rescue’ to a commenter here. So let’s get on with the questions!

Monday, 18 May 2015

An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl – Questions for ‘The Lady’ + Giveaway

Book cover: An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl by A Lady
I recently read a book entitled ‘An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl’ by ‘A lady’. The book contained a note from the author as follows:
‘I do not pretend to understand how I came to find myself in America, or in the twentieth century. Nothing of the kind has occurred to me before, nor to any other person in the whole of my acquaintance. At one moment I was in our dear cottage at Chawton, opening a closet to search for my pelisse, and at the next I found myself deposited in an alien realm of bewildering speed and noise. 
Fortunately, I soon encountered a kindly person – Miss H. Abigail Bok, the author of “A Dictionary of Jane Austen’s Life and Works” – who professed sympathy for my bewilderment and undertook to be my guide and protector in this foreign circumstance. She encouraged me to continue in my writing, assuring me that even in this future world my efforts would find an appreciative readership. She it was who arranged on my behalf the publication of the work before you.  
It is my hope that one day I will return to Chawton and my beloved sister, Cassandra. In the meantime, I am determined not to repine, but to continue deriving pleasure from observation of the peculiarities of character that are to be discovered in any neighborhood.’
I have been given the opportunity to pose some questions to ‘the Lady’ in relation to ‘An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl’, and if you read on, there is also a giveaway opportunity.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Interview with The Darcy Madness author S J Nixon

Book cover: The Darcy Madness by S J Nixon
I thought it might be interesting to find out a bit more about what inspired the story 'The Darcy Madness' (you can see my review of it here), so I contacted the author, who has very kindly agreed to answer some of my questions.

This variation is extremely unusual, with the variation being that Mr Darcy is cursed, as are all Darcy men. Most of them are driven to madness by the curse and end up killing their wives and hence Darcy has decided never to marry and to let the curse die out with him. However, a faulty lock on the Netherfield Library door means that Darcy is forced to marry a woman he finds more than tolerable, though she is less than fond of him...

Here's the blurb (from Amazon):

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man Cursed ...

Cursed to shoulder the burden of a dark insanity that has swallowed his ancestors whole...

Cursed to lose himself to a madness that will destroy everyone and everything he holds dear...

In this original retelling of Jane Austen's timeless classic Pride and Prejudice discover what happens when the Darcy family is afflicted with a dark, terrible secret that leads him to utter those fateful words ... 'Not handsome enough to tempt me,' and how an unforeseen twist causes his determination to avoid marriage at all costs to be unexpectedly thwarted by the compromise of a lady's reputation.

Can Darcy and Elizabeth resolve their differences to fall in love and live happily ever after, or will the Darcy Curse strike again...

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Thank you to author S. J. Nixon for joining me at Babblings of a Bookworm today! I'll get straight to the questions: