Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rebecca Ann Collins, Author of My Cousin Caroline Interview and Book Giveaway

Today I have the honor of interviewing guest author Rebecca Ann Collins. Ms. Collins is the author of the new Pride and Prejudice sequel, My Cousin Caroline which came out in bookstores on September 1st. She has most graciously agreed to answer a few questions for my readers.

*GIVEAWAY--I will give away 1 set of 2 books: The Pemberley Chronicles and My Cousin Caroline, to one lucky winner on SEPTEMBER 22nd, compliments of Sourcebooks.

The rules are:
*Leave a comment with your email address for 1 entry
*Become a follower for 2 entries (let me know if you already are.)
*Blog about this giveaway for 3 entries (let me know if you do this).
*Drawing is open to Us and Canada residents only.

Author interview:
Q1- What drew you to portray the main character of the book?
Ever since I completed the first volume in this series- The Pemberley Chronicles, in which I developed the character of Caroline Gardiner from a rather pert young girl into a lovely, personable young woman, I was drawn to the idea of giving her a book of her own. Setting up her love affair and marriage to Colonel Fitzwilliam, a minor but attractive character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, provided the opportunity to do this. She is intelligent and capable; yet she has a streak of romanticism; I have always been interested in the development of character and Caroline’s is a more modern and complex disposition than we encounter in most Regency novels. In writing My Cousin Caroline, which has a time span crossing over several of the volumes, I had the chance to do just that with Caroline and several other characters in the series.

Q2- What is your favourite line in the book?
There are several but the one that encapsulates the relationship between Caroline and Fitzwilliam is my favourite: He had been attracted by her beauty and sweetness of disposition and loved her for her passion, her loyalty and determination; she had frequently astonished and delighted him and sometimes, very rarely, exasperated him, but he loved her dearly and had never tried to change her. He would not do so now.

Q3- When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been developing your craft?
Since I was about nine years old when I had a story published in a children’s page of a Sunday paper. I have been working at my craft throughout my days at university and thereafter, writing both fiction and non-fiction. Apart from music, it is my most absorbing interest.

Q4- Is reading a large part of your life? Which book made the biggest impact on your writing?
Reading is a vital part of my life. I recall being read to by my parents when I was two or three years old and reading anything I could lay my hands on, as I grew up. As a teacher and then a librarian, as well as a writer, I have been intimately involved with the promotion of reading to both children and adults.

Several books, and their authors, have had an impact on my writing; I cannot really name one. I might say, generally, that good literature is the best source of inspiration and example for any writer.

Q5- What are your three favourite books?
I have many favourites, but Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh would be the chief among them.

Q6- Does storytelling run in your family?
No, not in a formal sense, but as children, (in the era before Television) we used to tell stories to entertain our families and friends and “published” a monthly handwritten and illustrated “magazine” which we circulated by hand, among our circle of friends. It was a great vehicle for imaginative young writers!

Q7- When creating a story, which is more difficult, the beginning or the end?
The beginning is most important; it has to create interest, so the reader wants to go on reading, point forward to the progress of the story and provide a logical starting point for the narrative. Once you have the plot moving forward and the characters developing within a defined context, the ending evolves logically. While a surprise ending may sometimes be appropriate, I don’t like shock endings, which are designed to manipulate the reader.

Q8- What is the writing process like for you-?
Once I have designed the framework of the piece I am working on, the process is mainly one of doing the research, developing the characters and plot , writing, re-writing and refining the composition of the work. It is hard work, but very rewarding.
(b) Are you a morning or a night person?
Definitely and evening to night person.
(c) Do you have a special place you like to go for inspiration?
No, but I am inspired by certain special places- for example when working on Mr Darcy’s Daughter- a visit to a a genuine Regency residence built in the era of Jane Austen , set in beautiful grounds and and maintained in 19th century style, inspired the idea of Camden House , which Mr Darcy purchases for Cassy and her family.
(d) What energizes you?
Creative Imagination and energy - are the source of my inspiration and drive to write. The positive response of readers adds pleasure and encouragement too, but the main urge comes from within.

Q9- What advice would you have for emerging writers?
First- Don’t write for a “market,” write because you have something to say or a story to tell, which is new and interesting and the market for it will grow. Second, write as you think and feel- not what you think someone expects to read. Third, if you are writing a “sequel” to another writer’s work, remember to respect the original writer. When you borrow his or her characters, as you would expect to be respected for your work.

Q 10- What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
The absolute delight of sharing your characters and their stories with others is unarguable; but when one is published and read by readers all over the world- there is a very special thrill. The response that the Pemberley Chronicles Series has received from individual readers, who have written, emailed and blogged their warm appreciation and love of the characters and stories of the Pemberley Chronicles is my greatest reward.

Readers, be sure to enter the giveaway. Good luck to all and happy reading!


  1. Wonderful interview and great giveaway. Please enter me.

    I just signed up as a follower of this blog for +2.

    I also blogged about this great giveaway for +3 here:

    ludeluh at yahoo dot com

  2. I would a chance to win! pls enter me

    sensitivemuse at gmail dot com

  3. I'm always interested to read the insight of writers about writing. There were several things I took away from this interview--the first being that Ms. Collins does not believe in manipulating the reader with surprise endings. BRAVO! Also, her interest in character development and plumbing minor characters in novels. I would never have thought of expanding upon Caroline--so my curiosity is piqued. It sounds like a wonderful read for those of us who like to explore all things Austen. Thanks for the interview!

  4. I have never read these. I love books!
    mamamirage at yahoo dot com

  5. I would love to be entered in this wonderful draw. Thanks!

    I just became a follower of your blog.


  6. Blogging it right now.

  7. Wonderful interview and so interesting!

    I've become a follower (sorry ... thought I was before).

    How about if I tweet this post since my blog is strictly a green living kind a place. Would that work? My twitter id is @smallftprints

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway ... and best of luck to everyone!

    Small Footprints

  8. Small Footprints- Tweeting is good. Thanks!

  9. Enjoyed the interview and would love a chance to win! I am already a follower of this blog. Thank you!

    e-mail: rmccabe3(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  10. Cool!

    I'm already a follower :o)

  11. I am a follower. The interview was very interesting and admire those given the talent to write. Since I do not have that given ability, I would love the chance to read Rebecca Ann Collin's work.

    Linda W

  12. I follow your blog.
    I Blogged by putting a link in my sidebar to this giveaway at and tweeted this here

    Please enter me =)
    marieburton2004 at yahoo dot com

  13. Please enter me! I'm a new follower (martinack_75). I also added this to my blog giveaway page :)

    martinack_75 AT hotmail DOT com

  14. I am following your blog and I put your contest on my blog..twittered also
    Please enter me

  15. I follow your blog and would really love to win these two books.

    Thank you,


  16. These books sound wonderful, and I would really enjoy reading them. Please enter me.

    Thank you,


  17. Entry #2

    I follow your blog and would really love to win these two books.

    Thank you,


  18. I would love to get these to books for my P&P sequels.

    Cheli's Shelves

  19. I've put in on my blog!

    Cheli's Shelves