Your favorite P&P-inspired novel: a chance to vote

There’s a contest going on at Goodreads.com, the Jane Austen Sequel Group, in which you may vote for your favorite Pride and Prejudice – inspired title. An Assembly Such as This is one of the contestants. If you are so inclined, I would be honored…

Pamela

PS You will have to join the Jane Austen Sequel in order to vote, but it’s a great one to belong to and you have options to keep notices under control.

Original Cover

Readin’ and Writin’ at the Festival

     If you can get to the Decatur Book Festival, I’d love to meet you!
I’ll be in the JASNA tents, #101-103.

Reading from my books: Saturday at 2:45/Sunday between 1 & 2.

Writing my name in books and talking Austen: Saturday 11:15 – 12:30, 3:00 – 5:20/Sunday 12 – 1, 2 – 4

Still Making Waves

What a wonderful and deeply gratifying surprise to find Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman highlighted in a Library Journal article this week reviewing P.D. James’s new mystery Death Comes to Pemberley!

Aidan, Pamela. An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman. Touchstone: S. & S. 2006. 288p. ISBN 9780743291347. pap. $14. Aidan, Pamela. Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman. Touchstone: S. & S. 2006. 320p. ISBN 9780743291361. pap. $14. Aidan, Pamela. These Three Remain: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman. Touchstone: S. & S. 2007. 464p. ISBN 9780743291378. pap. $16.

While no one can match Austen, readers open to a good effort may appreciate Aidan’s take on Pride and Prejudice told through the eyes of Darcy. In this series spanning three volumes (the last is the best), Aidan wisely nods in Austen’s direction rather than attempting to mirror her. She fills the trilogy, which covers the events of Darcy’s rocky courtship of Elizabeth, with period detail, humor, literary references, and a touch of the gothic. This inventive retelling largely keeps the plot whole while necessarily filling in the spaces of Austen’s novel where Darcy is absent. He must, for example, account for his time away from Elizabeth and engage in proper reflection to overcome his judgments on her class and family. Fans willing to be entertained will be charmed by Aidan’s leisurely consideration of Darcy’s character.

About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ‘s online feature Wyatt’s World and is the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers’ advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader’s Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

You can read the entire article here:  http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2011/12/readers-advisory/ra-crossroads-love-murder-jane-austen

Art and Life

Christmas at Pemberley 1797...a great Christmas 2011 gift, especially for the younger Austen fan!

I was reminded recently how funny life can be, especially the “writing life” as it intersects “real life.” I know I’m not the only author who ever scanned airports and their book stores hoping to see one’s books on shelves or, more so, in traveler’s hands. On the other hand, rarely do I say anything about being an author when making an acquaintance for fear of the blank stare at the mention of my pen name or the patronizing “And what is it that you write, again?” But this past summer in rather unexpected ways, two instances occurred of my two lives bumping into each other in wonderfully serendipitous ways.

The first was at my nephew-by-marriage’s wedding. I was seated next to a couple at the rehearsal dinner whom I’d never met. We were making  the usual polite conversation, discovering how we were related to the wedding party when one of my brothers-in-law leaned into the conversation and announced, “You know, Pamela’s a writer.”   Great!, I thought. Now I’m going to have to explain to polite disinterest what exactly I write. (None-Janeites, as you have undoubtedly discovered, are extremely uninterested in Austen-inspired anything) So I launched into an apologetic for my work, “Are you familiar with Jane Austen? Well, I wrote P&P from Darcy’s point of view. My pen name is Pamela Aidan.”

The woman turned to face me and looked at me with widening eyes, “Do you mean to tell me,” she stuttered, “that I’m sitting next to thee Pamela Aidan, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman?”  Well, yeah, I admitted, amazed that she had actually heard of me. “I love your books,” she exclaimed. “They are on my bedside table at home. I’ve read and re-read them!” Wow, not only heard of me but liked my books–really liked them!  And she was a general public-type person not someone at an Austen conference or website! Wow!

The second incident occurred to one of my sons rather than myself, making it even more serendipity. A new adult fellowship leader at my son’s church introduced herself to the group and in the process recounted related the story of when she had been involved in a car accident and could do nothing but sit and wait for the police to arrive. To help keep herself calm during the wait, she pulled out the book she was reading and dove in, lessening her anxiety until help arrived. Later, as my son helped her put chairs away they talked about what they liked to read. “Have you ever read any Jane Austen?” she asked him.

“Funny, you should ask,” he replied. “My mom writes Austen-inspiried novels and I’ve edited books for her publishing business’s authors who write the same type of thing.”

“Who’s your mom; I may have read her.” He told her.

“Oh my…you won’t believe this,” she replied. “It was one of your mom’s books that I was reading while I waited for the police in my story.”

As an author, you never know what ripples may be stirred when you send your work out into the world. You hope they are good ones and pray they’ll be uplifting, comforting, or at least entertaining.  What a joy to have proof!

~Pamela

“Just an old, little man”

Andrew Davies

That was how screenwriter Andrew Davies described himself in response to the standing ovation that greeted his ascent to the stage podium at the jam-packed JASNA session so many were ecstatic to attend. I think the self-deprecation was genuine–for the most part, but the gimlet gleam in his eye as the applause continued may have revealed how welcome the audience’s denial of such a label truly was. Physically, Mr Davies IS little, not much taller  at all than myself at 5’2″ and he is a bonafide senior citizen, having been born in Wales in 1936. But the appearance of this “old, little man” necessitated the kind of security measures one would not expect to encounter at a Jane Austen conference. One’s JASNA credentials were checked at the door before entry was permitted. You see, there were real threats from the Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South/Wives and Daughters) crowd that they intended to crash the proceedings!

Davies talk was entirely delightful, just what one would hope in terms of inside stories and fond memories of his various film adaptations of the novels we love so well, delivered with an endearing modesty and continued love for each one. I especially appreciated his review of his Sense and Sensibility, which I had placed secondary to Emma Thompson’s version. But as he went through some of the difficulties in bringing that work to screen, illustrating them with clips from the movie, I came to a higher opinion about both his version and the actors in it. Although I will always love Thompson’s version, Davies’ version demands more from it’s actors in it’s subtlety of expression and faithfulness to a more restrained and circumspect portrayal that is likely closer to the manners and conduct of the time and the characters as Austen drew them.

Of the many tidbits of insider information that Mr Davies shared with the audience, here is the first of two I will pass on.

CONTEST!

A copy of Young Master Darcy will be awarded to the name drawn from a hat of the pool of correct answers. Enter by subscribing to my blog and then commenting on this post. Remember to include your email address in your comment/vote. Entries will be taken for two weeks (Nov 1 – 14th) and the winner announced on the 15th.

Which of the following three scenes from Davies’ dramatization of Pride and Prejudice is his personal favorite?  Good luck!

~~Pamela

Elizabeth reads and responds to the letter/Darcy's voice over

Darcy responds to Elizabeth & Georgiana in the Music room

Wet-shirted Darcy startled by Elizabeth's presence at Pemberley

Lone Star Jane

Four more days until the Jane Austen Society of North American’s Annual General Meeting! This year the AG is in Ft Worth in the Lone Star state of Texas and will focus on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense & Sensibility. Wow, 200 years and still conquering hearts all over the world! Jane, you are amazing…and deservedly so!! We, your literary daughters, salute you as a true lone star in the literary night sky.

My husband and I attended our first JASNA meeting several years ago when I was invited to speak at the Boise, ID chapter at their annual tea. What a great experience that was and one we hope to repeat. (Hint, hint!) Last year we went to the AG for the first time, mainly because it was held in Portland, OR, a city within reasonable distance from our home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We had a great time promoting Wytherngate Press and Susan Kaye’s and Laura Hile’s books in the Emporium. We had to observe the other “doings” from the outside, though. Conference attendance is a bit pricey.

BUT this year we’re swinging for the whole enchilada (a little Tex-Mex lingo since we’ll be in Texas) and attending the meetings as well as setting up the Press in the Emporium. An added benefit is the chance to visit with my family in east Texas and see my grandchildren, as well as celebrate together my mom’s 80th birthday!

If you’re going to the AG, please stop by our Wytherngate Press table and say hi. And…more on the AG as it gets closer.

~Pamela