Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2009)
Today I am interviewing Sara Angelini, author of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy. Ms. Angelini has kindly agreed to answer some questions concerning her life and writing.
I am also giving away 1 copy of The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy on Oct. 12th, compliments of Sourcebooks. To enter:
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1. What inspired you to write about the main character?
The main character, Will Darcy, is a contemporary version of Mr. Darcy. In Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we don’t really get to know Mr. Darcy very well. We know that he’s wealthy, proud, not afraid to speak his mind, and well-liked by those who know him. But we don’t really know what he’s like: what makes him tick. Does he have a sense of humor? Is he content? Does he understand the responsibilities of his position or does he take his wealth for granted? We see shades or hints but never the full picture. That is perhaps one of the most intriguing things about Mr. Darcy. Austen has given him “good bones” but left it up to the reader’s imagination to flesh him out.
2. What is your favorite line from this book?
“Should I make the check to F. Darcy? Middle initial U?”
3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how long have you been developing your craft?
I have always been a writer, even as a little kid. I wrote little two-page books and illustrated them; I wrote poems for my mom on holidays. In junior high and high school I enjoyed writing essays and often had my work read by the teacher in class. My father thought I should have been a journalist, but I wound up going to law school. I still get to write every day, but it’s not very creative.
I don’t think I actively strive to develop my craft. As a mom and full-time lawyer, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and write. I see it more as a pleasant pastime, a way to unwind when I can. That keeps it from becoming a stressful task.
4. Is reading a large part of your life? Which book/books made the biggest impact on your writing?
Reading is a large part of my life but I do not have enough time to devote to it anymore. These days I read maybe a book a month; shameful, I know.
5. Who is your favorite writer?
It depends on my mood. I do love JK Rowling; my husband and I like to read Harry Potter out loud to each other, complete with character voices. I also recently re-read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series; such a wonderful look at history!
6. Does storytelling run in your family?
I would say humor runs in our family, but not storytelling.
7. When creating the story, which is the most difficult, the beginning, middle, or ending?
The beginning, hands down! I can have a fully-formed story pressing against the dam, ready to burst forward, but I cannot get it down on paper until I’ve got the beginning down.
8. What is the writing process like for you? Are you a morning person or night person? Do you have a special place you like to go to for inspiration? What energizes you?
I like to write at night, when the house finally gets quiet. I don’t have an office anymore so I usually end up on the couch with a laptop listening to music. I get a lot of inspiration when I’m in my car on the commute to work; I listen to the radio and somebody will say something funny or I’ll hear a song that will inspire a scene. I am energized by getting the ball rolling. As many writers know, the toughest challenge to writing is just sitting your butt down and getting started. Once I have eliminated distractions and begin to write, it’s like gliding down a hill on a sled; brisk, fun, and maybe leaves your cheeks pink.
9. What advice would you have for emerging writers?
I’m not really the person to give advice to emerging writers as I’m still one myself! The one piece of advice I followed - write what you know - worked for me, so maybe that will work for someone else.
10. What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Getting to tell a story exactly the way you want it. So many times I’ve read stories that I liked but that I felt were missing something, or that I hated and wanted to revamp from top to bottom. When you write, you are in full control of your characters. Every stumble and success comes from you. Of course you also have nobody but yourself to blame!
Thank you so much for having me here at Serenity Gate, it’s been great fun!
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