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Please welcome Sharon Lathan

 Please welcome Sharon Lathan. Whose debut novel Mr. and Mrs. Fitswilliam Darcy – Two Shall Become one released March 1, 2009.

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Sharon, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

You are very welcome, Greta, but the honor is all mine. I truly do appreciate you giving me this opportunity to share of myself and talk about my new novel.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? 

My pleasure! Aside from this writing obsession that has consumed my life, I have led a fairly normal existence. I am content as a wife to my fabulous husband of 23 years and as a mother to my two amazing children – a daughter 21 and a son 16. By profession I am an RN specializing in neonatal intensive care, having decided on that career pathway when I was nine! I have worked with premature and ill babies for over 25 years now and can’t imagine ever doing anything else or giving it up. We live in the lush central valley of California at the base of the High Sierras in a moderate-sized farming community on a cul-de-sac. See, pretty normal! 

How long have you been writing?

It has been just over 3 years now since I first started typing the initial short stories of Jane Austen fan fiction that would eventually become my monster saga, the first volume now published! Pretty quickly, I suppose, but then I live in a STAT environment so it seems natural to me. Patience is a virtue I still struggle with, I suppose one could say.

What is your writing process like? 

I just recently learned that I am a ‘panster’ – that is, I write by the seat of my pants. I have seen that term thrown about but did not really know what it meant. Basically I write as it comes to me in a generally chronological manner, but I do not tie myself to a strict word count or concise ‘beginning-middle-end’ type plot. I am writing a thematically plotted story. I know where I am going, but how I get there or what may occur before the end goal is a mystery. As I research the Regency Era and the history involved, ideas will occur. I do take some notes from time to time, especially when I have vivid dreams of great conversations or scenes playing out. But usually I sit at the computer with a vague idea of where I am going next, and just let the inspiration hit me as I type.  

Can you tell us about your latest release “Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Two Shall Become One”? 

“Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy – Two Shall Become One” is the first volume of The Darcy Saga series. My sequel to the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice is a very romantic and sensual but historically accurate and detailed tale of the marriage between Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. This first novel begins immediately after the wedding and takes the reader on a relaxed, intimate journey through the first five months of marriage. This is a story of true love, of two people who are deeply committed to each other. I believe I have succeeded in creating a realistic rendering of how newlywed lovers grow in their relationship amid the realities of estate life in the early 1800s. My story is not about tossing trauma, hardship, or difficulties in between the Darcys, but in showing how they deal with life as a couple. The drama, when it rears its head, brings them closer together. In short, this is happily-ever-after!  

Do you have any other books coming out this year? 

In September the next installment, “Loving Mr. Darcy – Journeys Beyond Pemberley” will be released, followed by “The Darcys at Year’s End” in January of 2010. These next two novels are longer and more involved as the Darcys travel extensively throughout England with greater adventures and interactions with characters both familiar from the source novel and uniquely my own. Plus, a new Darcy baby will make an appearance!  

What are you currently working on? 

I am simultaneously writing the fourth volume in the Darcy Saga as well as a companion novel centering on Georgiana Darcy. My untitled Volume 4 will continue on with the center focus on Darcy and Lizzy with other friends and family interacting as time marches on. The story of Georgiana is more of a traditional romance. It is set against the backdrop of post-Napoleonic France and tells of her quest for a perfect mate. The tentative plan (according to my editor) is to have those available later in 2010. Guess I better get busy finishing them up!

In the wee recesses of my mind I want to explore other secondary characters, primarily Kitty Bennet and another character all of my own creation who appears in “Loving Mr. Darcy.” These are future ideas, all happily endorsed by my editor and publisher, but still just kernels at the moment. The bottom line is that the inspiration is yet strong and I am not feeling the urge to branch away from the Darcy Saga.    

Where do you get your ideas for your books? 

It seems to be a combination of ideas sprung from the extensive research I do and other ideas that magically materialize! I never really know when something is going to literally flash through my brain. More often than I can remember I have devised whole plots while asleep. Dreams have lead to a wealth of great scenes. I have also stumbled across really interesting historical facts that I just HAVE to write in, leading to some fabulous stuff! Just you wait and see.   

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors? 

I have been reading for as long as I can remember. In fact, I do not remember learning to read – true story – and have been tackling two-inch thick books since I was a young kid. As a reader my preferred genre is fantasy. When I was 12 I read “The Hobbit,” followed immediately by “The Lord of the Rings,” and that was it! I am eclectic and will read just about anything if it is recommended to me or sounds good, but I love fantasy the best. Naturally Tolkien, then David Eddings, Terry Pratchett, Barbara Hambly, Anne McCaffrey, JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Terry Brooks, and the list goes on indefinitely. Lately I have been learning to re-appreciate the romance genre thanks to the wonderful authors of the Sourcebooks Casablanca line.

What books are on your keeper shelf? 

All of the ones listed above. Stephen King’s “The Stand” and Gunslinger series. Anything by Taylor Caldwell. Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series. John Jakes “Kent family Chronicles” series. “Centennial” and “Shogun” by James Michener. I better stop since my ‘keepers’ currently inhabit 4 stuffed bookshelves in my house!  

Do you read books other than romance books?

Primarily, yes. I went through a romance phase in high school and college, and still have a small collection of Judith Krantz, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart. But I had not picked up anything in the ‘romance’ section of the store for some 20 years until my sister got me hooked on Diana Gabaldon. Even then it was because I thought it more historical with fantasy elements due to the time-traveling. But I realized that romance as a genre had advanced into realms I appreciate. So now I am delighting in the various paranormals that are popular as well as a few contemporaries. Ever desiring to broaden my horizons!  

What was the first romance book you read?

In my younger years it was probably something by Danielle Steele or a Harlequin lying around my grandmother’s house! I truly do not remember as it was never a favored genre, I confess with a cringe. Of course, many of my childhood favorites, such as “Little Women” and even the Little House on the Prairie series have romantic elements to them. In recent years it was “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon (which I personally still feel is mis-classified) and then “Line of Scrimmage” by Marie Force. Marie is a friend and fellow Sourcebooks’ author, but her novel is fantastic. I am methodically working my way through the novels offered by my group of friends, and they are all terrific. Next is to expand beyond my friends, but so much time is spent writing my own books that I do not have as much time to read as I used to! Rather tragic, but one pays the price.  

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

This I cannot even fathom. I imagine it would make sense to start at the beginning, right after the wedding. I am sure a movie version would need to truncate the leisurely pace of the first chapters when nothing particularly dramatic happens. Reading about casual strolls around the gardens in the moonlight and touring the Manor are fine, but watching it in a movie might be painfully dull! There is action later on, and quite a bit in the second volume, so the time could rapidly move to those places.

Naturally I cannot imagine anyone but Matthew Macfadyen or Keira Knightley! But that would be highly unlikely. Heck, who am I kidding – a movie is highly unlikely! LOL! So I’ll stick with that and imperiously declare that it must be Keira and Matthew or no on else.   

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

Well, of course I have to say Elizabeth Darcy! She is such an amazing character, both as Jane Austen created her and as I have evolved her. I am probably more like Jane, in all honesty, but that is why I adore Lizzy. She is strong and witty and intelligent and bold, while also being kind and caring and generous. Plus, she is married to Mr. Darcy, every woman’s dream, especially as I write him – hint, hint.   

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I think I have forgotten what ‘spare time’ even is! However, I do have a serious TV addiction that must be fed. My DVR is perpetually on overdrive. I do try to read as much as possible, that being a passion I cannot ignore. And, just spending time with my husband and family, in whatever pursuit we feel like doing at the moment, is essential to my life.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?

I am always encouraged to hear of the genuine love of anything Austen without the acrimony and, dare I say, prejudice that pervades some quarters of the fandom. It isn’t just about how a reader feels regarding my offering to the field (although that is nice too), but the sincere delight in discovering the world of fine classical literature and hopeful romantic tones that comes from Jane’s contribution. So, I love it when people write to me of their happiness in having more, in whatever shape it takes. I think that is fantastic! And I can’t imagine that Miss Austen would be disturbed by this.

To find out more about Sharon Lathan and her books you visit her website at: http://www.darcysaga.net/

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7 Responses

  1. I’m really excited to read this interview. I loved Pride and Prejudice and always wondered what happened to the characters after the book ended!

  2. Sharon, I admire your ability to write in the historical setting. I too love to know ‘what happens next’ in characters lives- perhaps a bit of the modern television era training us to want to continue to be involved and know that the happily ever after lasts beyond the final words on the page.

    The stories sound intriguing and I’ll be looking for you.

    Thanks for the great interview!

  3. Hi LuAnn and Viv! I am so happy you stopped by, took the time to read, and responded. Thank you for the kind words. Naturally I am very proud of the story I am weaving for these marvelous characters. It is just my interpretation and desire of their future, of course, but I have to say I think it a good one! 🙂 I hope you will agree when you read it.

    Thanks again, Sincerely, Sharon Lathan

  4. Hi Sharon!

    Wonderful interview! I’m also a fan of Pride and Prejudice so how neat that you are carrying to story on! I will look for this book the next time I’m at the bookstore (which seems to be almost every single day anymore!!) 🙂

  5. Thanks Blanche! Gradually I am filtering out everywhere now that the book is officially released. Target is carrying me as well! Hope you love it!

  6. Hey Greta and Sharon great interview!
    I always learn something new when I read your honest and detailed responses Sharon.

    I absolutely adore your Saga and can hardly wait until you officially launch the second and third books and I am also excited about the fourth Title. Georgiana and Kitty and characters we love in amidst your story will be such a joy to read in their own novels.

    Best wishes to my fav “panster” author.
    TSBO devotee
    Vee

  7. Wow. I know I’m going to love the book on Georgiana. I always enjoyed her. She’s so sweet!

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