Monday, August 3, 2009
Blog Tour: Marsha Altman author of the Pride and Predjudice Continues Series
Please give a warm welcome to guest blogger, Marsha Altman, author of the Pride and Prejudice Continues series. My reviews of her first two books can be found here and here.
Make sure you read the entire post because there is a surprise at the end.
I’m Marsha Altman, and I’ve written The Plight of the Darcy Brothers, a sequel to The Darcys and the Bingleys, which is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. And it is a series; book 3 (Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape) is due out in Feb 2010. Jenny asked me a few questions which I was more than happy to answer.
Obviously you are an Austen and Pride & Prejudice fan, but is there another reason why you chose to do the “P&P Continues” series? Or do you consider these books your homage to Austen?
I just get inspired to write about different things, usually spontaneously, or owing to a recent source of inspiration. I started working on my series about six months after the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie came out, after which I reread the book and re-watched the miniseries. As to whether I consider my books a homage to Austen, I can’t bring myself to go that far. Let’s be serious: I’m not doing her any favors and she can’t tell me one way or another, so I’ll just continue to do my work and hopefully get some readers will enjoy it, but I did not start writing because I felt a need to pay tribute to her. I paid tribute to her by visiting her grave, which financially was a little harder but otherwise a far more efficient method than writing a series of fanfic novels.
Would you ever consider writing a sequel series about another Austen book, like Emma or Northanger Abbey?
Not really. I see no reason to view all of her writing as a whole and assign equal credit to each of them. Each book has its individual merits and there is a lot of literary criticism devoted to which one is the best one. In terms of inspiring people and remaining a consistent part of popular culture, Pride and Prejudice is the most important. Everyone who’s literate knows who Mr. Darcy is (a slight exaggeration perhaps) but couldn’t tell you the difference between Fanny Price and Emma Woodhouse.
I think, from a historian’s perspective, it’s important not to consider her “six novels” sacrosanct. History views them differently and she probably did the same. In fact people forget that both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were both published posthumously, so whether she considered them in “final” form for publication is a subject for some debate. As an author, I have to say that I’m not sure I would feel about my family publishing unedited material for material gain, much less my unfinished work (Sandition), works I abandoned (Lady Susan), or stuff I wrote when I was a kid (Juvenilia).
What are some of your other favorite books?
In terms of books I’ve reread many times: Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Haj by Leon Uris, and about half of Philip Dick’s novels. He’s hit-or-miss. I want to put Lord of the Rings in here because I feel compelled to do so, but I actually only read it twice and I don’t think I could read it again. I’m very inspired by sci-fi, like Snowcrash, One in Three Hundred, and Swastika Night. Graphic novels: Watchmen, V for Vendetta.
What are you currently reading now?
The Persian Boy by Mary Renault is the next book of fiction on the list.
Do you have plans to write other books? Would they be historical fiction?
Most of my material is actually urban fantasy or science fiction, but it’s a much harder market to break into. I’m current writing a modern vampire novel, which has a lot of historical flashbacks to the Ancient world and medieval Europe, so I’m always, always reading some history book or another.
Is there another historical period that interests you?
Tokugawa Japan, which lines up with the Regency period pretty well even if Japan was a closed country at the time. For a long time I was into medieval history, but that’s really a very broad spectrum of history and it depends on the place and time period in terms of my interest. I know a lot about Judaism in late antiquity, but that’s mostly from studying religious texts from the period. Currently I’m reading a lot about ancient Greece, specifically the 4th century BCE, for another project. I also enjoy history books about pre-1951 Tibet, but they’re very hard to find and often entirely unreliable because Tibet was such an isolated country because of its geography.
What would be your lazy day dream? Like, if you had a Saturday or Sunday afternoon all to yourself what would you do? Relax, read, a hobby?
I would play the stack of video games on my shelf. I’m afraid to start any of them because I tend to get deep into the game until it’s over, so if I have a writing project on the table I don’t even get started on a game or I just won’t get any work done. I’m mostly into RPGs and adventure games. When Fallout 3 came out last fall and everyone I knew was playing it, I bought Fallout 1 & 2 to catch up on the story, but I haven’t opened the box yet. I said, “Well, it’s play Fallout or write a novel this year. What’s it going to be? Oh wait, I need to pay my rent. The novel, I guess.”
About the Author
Marsha Altman is a historian specializing in Rabbinic literature in late antiquity, and an author. She is also an expert on Jane Austen sequels, having read nearly every single one that's been written, whether published or unpublished. She has worked in the publishing industry with a literary agency and is writing a series continuing the story of the Darcys and the Bingleys. She lives in New York.
The woman likes Jane Austen, sci-fi novels, and playing video games. How could you not love her? Girl after my own heart.
Thank you for the great post Marsha! I will be looking forward to your future books.
And now on to the surprise part. Thanks to Danielle from Source Books, I am able to host a giveaway for Marsha's two books. The prize will be 1 set of both books for 1 winner. Here are the rules:
*Leave a comment on this post telling me what some of your favorite books are, or your favorite video game. Make sure you leave your email address too.
*Earn an extra entry by posting about this contest on your blog or in your side bar.
*Open to residents in the U.S. and Canada. Sorry but no P.O. Boxes please.
Deadline for entries is midnight, EST, Monday, August 24, 2009.
Thanks again to Danielle for providing my review copy and the prize above, and thanks also to Marsha for stopping by and chatting with me.
Good Luck everyone! And thank you, dear readers, for stopping by. I appreciate you all.