Elin Gregory interviews our A CERTAIN PERSUASION authors!

A CERTAIN PERSUASIONIt’s a real honour to be hosted on the blog of Elin Gregory, a deservedly well-loved and highly respected author of historical fiction and romance. Recently she has been interviewing the authors involved in our Austen-inspired anthology, A CERTAIN PERSUASION.

If you’d like to know what the authors appreciate about Jane Austen’s use of language, what inspired their story in the anthology, and more – please follow these links!

  • Sandra Lindsey, who wrote an Age of Sail story featuring a character from Mansfield Park.
  • Adam Fitzroy, who wrote a story that took Emma in a rather different direction.
  • Julie Bozza, who retold Sense and Sensibility with one crucial difference.
  • Fae Mcloughlin, who wrote two stories with modern-day characters who are influenced by Austen’s works.
  • Sam Evans, who plagued a modern-day Darcy with participation in a ‘reality TV’ celebrity dance show.
  • Eleanor Musgrove, who wrote stories set in the future of Sense and Sensibility (beautiful!) and the past of Pride and Prejudice (intriguing!).
  • Lou Faulkner, who did exquisite work with two minor characters from Persuasion.
  • Narrelle M Harris, who retold Persuasion in modern-day Melbourne.
  • Atlin Merrick, who wrote about two original characters in a Regency-era setting.
  • JL Merrow, who looked into the future of two characters from Mansfield Park.

I hope you enjoy the interviews! And please do share the love with Elin, who has been such a welcoming host.

Author interview: Lou Faulkner

A CERTAIN PERSUASIONThis series of mini-interviews features the authors who contributed to our Austen anthology A CERTAIN PERSUASION.

First up is Lou Faulkner, who wrote the story A Charming Marine Prospect which opens our volume.

Blurb: Birds of a feather flock together, they say, and William Elliot and Richard Musgrove strike up an instant rapport when they meet in the vicinity of Lyme, a few years before the events of Persuasion. But is their relationship any more to be trusted than the unstable landscape of the nearby Under-cliff which they explore together?

Q: How did you discover Jane Austen and her works? What was the initial appeal? Has she surprised you since then?

I first encountered Jane Austen at school. I must have been about fourteen, and we were studying Pride and Prejudice. The first night’s homework was to read a few chapters. I just carried on reading. It was the line about Darcy determining not to look at Elizabeth that hooked me; I just had to find out how they ended up together, because obviously they were going to.

After I finished that, my mother oh-so-casually remarked that she liked Jane Austen because she was funny, and I made my way through the rest of the six novels. They are indeed very funny, but the more I read them, and the more I learn about the Georgian period, the more I see in them. For instance, the dark themes that are glossed over, but are definitely there; slavery, prostitution, destitution, the double standards of society, the stain of illegitimacy, the sudden violence of duelling. But it’s only since going into Persuasion in fine detail that I’ve realised just how much social commentary is in there, with the moribund gentry being mercilessly shown up by the meritocracy of the Royal Navy.

Q: Which Austen character do you like best? Which do you identify with most?

My favourite Austen character – well, not so much a character as a couple. Because Admiral and Mrs Croft are the very picture of what a married couple should be – even more so than Mr and Mrs Gardiner! The image of the Admiral, though undoubtedly a lion of the seas, not being quite in charge of his gig while on land, and his wife adroitly saving the day, sums up their marriage for me.

I find it difficult to identify with any of the characters – they’re so fully and vividly themselves that it’s impossible to imagine myself in their shoes. Instead, I’ll consider why Persuasion was my choice for this project. Jane Austen is not usually a great one for descriptions – people, interiors and countryside are barely described in the physical sense. But in Persuasion there’s a wonderful autumnal feeling, and evocations of the landscape of the south-west that put you right there, at the misty ending of the year. I don’t know why this particular novel was different from the others in this respect, but it made me as a writer want to go out into those landscapes and see what happened. I’ve walked the Undercliff at Lyme Regis myself, years ago. It’s a long tough tramp, and it really is memorably strange, so I found it easy to put that weirdness into a story. Plus I felt that Dick Musgrove got very short shrift from his author; and of course there was only one possible pairing for him!

Q: Why do you think the Regency is such an appealing period to write and read about?

As a Brit living in Australia, I’m constantly amazed at the popularity of the Regency over here. Such a short period in the history of a not very popular country – yet Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, to give just the two biggest names, are perennial favourites. More recently I’ve found that other fiercely independent nations such as South Africa and the USA also have healthy Regency readerships. I suppose it’s that so much was going on during those few years – the fight against Napoleon both at sea and on land, the Industrial Revolution getting under way, the wonderful clothes and the full-on gutsy nature of Georgian society. There’s just so much for a writer or reader to choose from!

lou-faulkner-iconAuthor bio: I live in a little house with a big garden in the far south of the world, and most of my life has revolved around books: selling them, lending them out, and more recently, writing them. Apart from bibliophilia, I’ve done a variety of different things, including years spent learning falconry, and I enjoy trying hands-on pursuits that might give me material for my stories: blacksmithing, tall-ship sailing and flying. I will attempt things in my writer’s persona that I would never contemplate as myself: this does not, however, extend to bungy-jumping.

Links: Facebook

A CERTAIN PERSUASION Buy links: AllRomance; Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords

Three new titles now available!

1 November is here at last, and our three new titles are now available! This includes two New Adult novels as well as an anthology featuring modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by the novels of Jane Austen.

A CERTAIN PERSUASIONA CERTAIN PERSUASION showcases thirteen stories by eleven authors, each of which takes something of Jane Austen’s as its source – and from that point on nothing at all is certain. We meet compelling reinterpretations of canonical characters such as Elinor Dashwood, William Elliot, Emma Woodhouse and – of course! – Fitzwilliam Darcy, and are also introduced to new ones who will linger in the memory – Adam Ashford Otelian, Robert Oakes and the enigmatic Lint, to name but a few. For anyone who has ever ‘thought beyond the page’ about Jane Austen’s work, this book is a real goldmine of intrigue and adventure. (And you will also make the close acquaintance of Mr Beveridge’s Maggot – really, need we say more?)

The authors include some familiar names and some new to the Press: Julie Bozza; Andrea Demetrius; Sam Evans; Lou Faulkner; Adam Fitzroy; Narrelle M Harris; Sandra Lindsey; Fae Mcloughlin; Atlin Merrick; JL Merrow; and Eleanor Musgrove.

Buy links:

SUBMERGEIn SUBMERGE by Eleanor Musgrove we meet Jamie, wandering innocently into the web of friendships and intrigues that surround a popular local club. Soon accepted as one of the ‘family’ he finds himself beginning to fall for manager Miles, but events occur which make him very reluctant to trust either the new man in his life – or, indeed, anybody else around him.

Buy links:

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STARTO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR by Michelle Peart takes us to the unfamiliar world of Abaytor, where Edward and his new friend Burn are thrown headlong into a series of adventures and perils in the course of an extraordinary river journey – one which will leave them both profoundly changed, and also looking for answers to a greater mystery.

Buy links:

Hooray, hooray, it’s the First of May!

It’s the day we’ve been looking forward to and working towards for such a long time – release day for our two new titles.

A PRIDE OF POPPIES is our long-awaited anthology of modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War, all the proceeds of which will be donated to The Royal British Legion to assist in their excellent work with returned service people. Ten authors have contributed to this project, and our editor Julie has worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition; we’re (we believe justifiably!) extremely proud of the finished result, and we’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it!

The authors include: Julie Bozza; Barry Brennessel; Charlie Cochrane; Sam Evans; Lou Faulkner; Adam Fitzroy; Wendy C. Fries; Z. McAspurren; Eleanor Musgrove; and Jay Lewis Taylor.

Alongside that, we are delighted to be bringing you another standout historical novel from Jay Lewis Taylor: THE PEACOCK’S EYE is a love story with a richly detailed background of the Elizabethan theatre and the complex political climate of a time in which nothing could ever truly be considered safe or certain. In such a world, trust will always be elusive – and love, perhaps, even more so. This is definitely a book to lose yourself in, and forget about the twenty-first century for a while!

We’re looking forward enormously to meeting those of you who are going to be joining us at our Queer Company event in Oxford next weekend. If anyone is still undecided, there are a few places left and just enough time to secure them – but registrations must close on Sunday 3 May – so register now, and don’t miss out on this ‘small but beautifully formed’ gathering for readers and writers in the Quiltbag genre!