Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation follows three women that are all just trying to make a life for themselves in the Regency Era, some doing whatever it takes to advance in the ranks of society. What was the idea, or spark, that first set off the need to write Harriet?
I have long had Austen’s EMMA memorised. I can’t remember when it first occurred to me to wonder, “What if the pretty-but-dim Harriet was just pretending to be stupid, in order to better flatter Emma?” However, once I’d thought about it I couldn’t get the idea out of my head! So I dared to take sweet-but-slow Harriet and turn her into a very different kind of character… So far, people seem to like it, but I’m still waiting for someone to be utterly outraged!
There were many great scenes in this novel. What was your favorite scene in this story?
I like the plot twist with Mr Knightley, which was of course NOT in Austen’s masterpiece.
With the novel focusing on Harriet, Emma, and Jane how did you decide on the title of this novel?
Actually, Emma – ironically enough – is very downplayed here. But everyone wants to know why it’s not called JANE AND HARRIET… And, believe me, I thought about it. Two narrators. Two stories. BUT:
I couldn’t find a portrait of the two that worked for the cover!
My trademark is originality. I am NOT one of the Jane Austenesque writers writing PRIDE AND PREJUDICE over and over! My first book in the genre was an imaginative construction of what Austen’s LADY SUSAN (aged 35) might have been like, at just sixteen. NO one had ever thought to do that before – or to alter Harriet’s character, either. On the other hand, Jane Fairfax has been written about VERY often – even 100 years ago, writers were scribbling books about Jane Fairfax!!!… So, to be different, I chose HARRIET.
The title would have been too long. HARRIET: A JANE AUSTEN VARIATION is long enough, without Jane!
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Having cheerfully observed that I’m NOT into churning out seven P&P variations a month, I must admit that the next one really is based on Darcy! It should be published in November.
The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.
Leave a comment