Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Interview/Giveaway with Sharon Lathan

Today I'm happy to welcome Sharon Lathan to the blog. She is the author of the very popular Darcy Saga.

Hi Sharon, Welcome Anna's Book Blog! Glad to have you here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

Happy too! I say on my website that I am an average woman, and despite the extraordinary turn my life has recently taken, I still see myself that way. I live in a small, rural town in central California some hundred miles from where I grew up. My husband and I celebrated 23 years of mostly-blissful marriage this past year, and we are the proud parents of two fabulous kids – “kids” being a generic term as they are 21 and 17 now. Professionally I am a registered nurse (as I dreamed of being when I was 9 years old) with 25 years experience in neonatal ICU. My day-to-day life revolves around family, nursing, and housewife chores with writing thrown in there somewhere!

My Dearest Mr. Darcy is your newest release. Can you tell us a little about it and the series?

My Dearest Mr. Darcy is the third book of my sequels to Pride and Prejudice. My philosophy and approach to telling of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy as a married couple is that they are joyful in their relationship, very much in love, and traveling through the normal events of life in the Regency Era. My desire is to stress the positive aspects of marriage while revealing the unique history and society of the time period. I want the reader to pleasantly enjoy their adventures and life, trusting that the Darcy's discover the happily-ever-after we want for our beloved literary couples.

By the end of this third installment the reader will have spent one leisurely year with the Darcy's, along with their friends and family, experiencing the honeymoon months while journeying to several places throughout England. My Dearest Mr. Darcy covers the final four months of their first year as they journey to the seaside for a series of escapades, pass the autumn at Pemberley, and celebrate a number of special occasions (being very mysterious here!) The novel culminates with the birth of their first child. Secondary characters play a major part in the action, everyone maturing and having their own adventures. It is tremendous fun!

What is your writing day like?

I really wish I could say I was super disciplined and had a routine, but that would be a fib. Between my nursing schedule and family obligations, I am all over the place in finding time to write! Unfortunately days, or even weeks go by without me being able to find the time to write. Generally I am the type of writer who needs quiet, solitude, and an assured block of time in order to create. Of course there are those times when inspiration is running rampant and I can type my fingers off no matter what is going on! I have done some of my best work while in the car or with the TV blaring. And usually when I get in the right frame of mind and the muse is on full throttle I am very prolific. I have learned to not force it and trust, although there are those times when I have to apply myself and power though the obstacles.

When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?

I am an eclectic reader and always have been. There really are no genres I refuse to read, although I avoid horror and westerns. For most of my life I have veered toward fantasy and sci-fi, surprisingly. That still is my preferred genre, but my six stuffed bookshelves range all over the place with authors and types. Lately I have became seriously hooked on romance, a category I haven’t read since my long ago college days. I am currently devouring Sherrilyn Kenyon and Karen Marie Moning. Fabulous stuff! I love historical novels and serial stories, so I suppose it isn’t a shock that I lean toward both in writing a historical saga.

Since becoming published, what has been your favorite part of the process?

What I love best are those times when I can immerse myself into research and writing; when I can get into the zone and truly create without distractions. That is still a major rush! As far as the process of publishing, nothing quite compares to seeing the UPS man drive up, opening that cardboard box, and holding the finished novel in my trembling hands for the first time. Wow, what a tremendous feeling to see the final result of ofttimes agonizing work! I have also discovered that the editing steps are not as painful as anticipated and an intriguing challenge to my creativity as I work with my editor to polish and tweak. Running close behind that is the joy of sharing all of it, every step, with my fans. I have a worldwide network of amazing supporters who have inspired me in ways beyond expressing and I adore interacting with them in any way I can.

Besides the book and movies of Pride and Prejudice, what type of research did you do for this series?

You are correct that it centers on the source material and Jane Austen. That, coupled with Joe Wright’s interpretation, has been my foundation. Concurrently, I began with hours on Wikipedia and Google, just searching for anything Regency related. The number of websites I have bookmarked numbers in the hundreds and I am forever searching for more. I have bought and read a few books, but probably 99% of my research is off the net. I immersed myself in the Georgian world, England’s landscape, history, culture, and so on as much as is possible. As I learned the generalities, specific events, people, or objects would leap out at me. Often whole plotlines evolved due to something I read while researching for something else and I am always looking for that unique, unknown detail. I have no doubt that if I could recollect every hour since the start, I have spent more time on the research than the actual writing!

Language is also very important to me. My style is elegant and romantic, poetic to a large respect, and more modern than Austen’s, for obvious reasons. I am careful to avoid glaring anachronisms. The proper words are essential, and I try hard to not choose a phrase or a word that was not in use at that time, especially within dialogue. I really love vocabulary so nothing thrills me more than to insert unusual words. I spend a crazy amount of time searching through several thesauruses and dictionaries to find just that right word for whatever I am trying to say.

If you could ask Jane Austen one question what would it be?

Do you picture Mr. Darcy as Matthew Macfadyen or Colin Firth? LOL! Just kidding! I already know its Matthew. Ha!

Seriously, I am not sure I have one question. I used to wonder how she would feel about the proliferation of fan fiction based upon her work and how she would have written the Darcys’ continuing life. But, with all due respect, I think Jane Austen mania has taken on a life of its own and her opinion on the subject is a moot point! I have decided how my heart perceives her story and I am content with that interpretation and the life I have given her characters. To be frank, even if she told me otherwise, I would continue on the same.

I honestly think I would merely want to sit with her, sipping tea in the parlor, and have her talk, just talk, about her life and the world she lived in. I love the history and the era, and to learn of it intimately would be amazing. I would probably be too busy taking copious notes to ask any coherent questions!

Beside Lizzy and Darcy being favorites, do you have a secondary character that you really enjoy?

There are several, some created by Austen and others by me. My favorites are Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and Dr. George Darcy. I so love these men! They are similar in their boisterous humor and I have such fun writing them, especially in their interactions with the stuffy Darcy!

Secondary characters have been a challenge in that Austen has so many of them! I have had to pick those who speak to my heart the most – Anne de Bourgh, Georgiana, Mary Bennet, Col. Fitzwilliam, and Kitty Bennet – and focus on them, often to the exclusion or minimalizing of others.

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a new book?

Something to drink, preferably a fresh espresso latte made by my hubby.

My trusty MacBookPro with a functioning Internet. Seriously, David Banner turning into the Hulk has nothing on me when the Internet is down! Searching for words and facts are my lifeline and writing without that access at my fingertips is very difficult for me.

I like it quiet with no distractions. Again, it depends on how afire I am at the time. I suppose the third “must have” is that creative passion. If I am not clearly envisioning the scene or distressed by something or tired or not in the right mood, it is tougher to create – for me. I can sometimes power through, force the words to come, but I have discovered that it goes better if I keep it casual and dynamic.

What is up next? Will you continue with the Saga or move on to something else?

In October the fourth book in the Darcy Saga series will be released. The title is in flux, so we are just calling it Darcy #4 right now. It moves quicker, covering over a year. In November an anthology titled A Darcy Christmas will be published by Sourcebooks and I have written one of the three novellas, along with Carolyn Esau and Amanda Grange. I am very excited about this! Darcy #5 will follow in spring of 2011 and then later that year a companion novel about Georgiana Darcy.

Beyond that, I have no idea! Well, I have ideas – lots of them – and have talked with my editor about my future, but nothing is written as yet. I know I love the Darcy's, but I also love history in a general sense. I do see myself staying within the historical fiction with romantic themes category, but time will tell where my heart leads me.

Thank you so much, Anna, for honoring me with this interview. I had a terrific time answering your questions! If anyone has additional queries, feel free to ask and I will do my very best to answer in a timely manner.

Married life is bringing out the best in the Darcy's. Their mutual attentiveness brings readers into a magical world of love and wedded bliss.

Elizabeth is growing into her role as Mistress of Pemberley, and Darcy has mellowed under her gentle teasing and light-heartedness. Pemberley becomes a true home and a welcoming environment for loving family and friends. The Darcy's travel to the seaside, welcome their firstborn, celebrate their anniversary and second Christmas, and at every moment embrace the love gifted to them.

“I love you, my Elizabeth. You are my soul, my blood and bone, my very life.”

Sharon Lathan is the author of the bestselling Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One, and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley. In addition to her writing, she works as a Registered Nurse in a Neonatal ICU. She resides in Hanford, California in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. For more information on Sharon and her saga, come to her website at:


Thanks to Sourcebooks I have a set of Darcy Saga books to giveaway. One lucky winner will receive the titles pictured above. Open to U.S. & Canada. To enter leave a comment along with your email address. The winner will be announced on January 31st. Good Luck!!

My review for My Dearest Mr. Darcy can be viewed here.


  1. Sharon,

    Thanks for stopping by and doing the interview. It was definitely fun to do.

    I think I would be eager to ask Jane Austen who she preferred Matthew Macfadyen or Colin Firth too. LOL!

    The Macfadyen version is my favorite. :) I have never seen the Colin Firth version, but I hear it's very good.

  2. For me it's definitely Colin Firth. I love the Matthew Macfadyen version, but to me nothing can top the mini series. Plus I like Jennifer Ehle over Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth.


  3. Hi Sharon and Anna,
    Great interview, I got very interested in that coming Georgiana novel.

    Lol, yes who would Austen like, I to think she would preferred Firth ;)

  4. Definitely Colin Firth, LOL! Nice interview, these books look delightful. I love the current Austin "spin-offs", I haven't read one yet that I didn't enjoy!

  5. I've read several interviews/blog entries about Sharon Lathan's work, and this is yet another good one! Thanks for hosting the giveaway-- I already have Book 3, and I'm excited to read Books 1 & 2 first. Here's hoping!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic
    CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

    P.S. By the way Sharon, I avoid horror and westerns, too!

  6. Sounds like a great set of books, Im off to our local library now to see if they have any. maybe I will even get luck and win the set : )

  7. Please enter me. I'd love to win this set of great books! Thanks.

  8. Great Interview! And good for you for making the time to write with such a busy schedule! you've made lots of people happy. Oh, I'm not entering the contest, just popping in. Looking forward to the latest!

  9. Thanks for the great interview. sounds like a great series of books. Please enter me in the contest.

  10. Oh wow, this is a wonderful giveaway Anna. But on top of that, this is even more a wonderful interview! Thank you for having Ms. Lathan. I have seen so many good things about these books... I would love a chance to win. Thank you!

  11. What a great interview! Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  12. I am always late to my own parties! I saw the interview up while at work, Anna, but was too busy to join in the comments already happening. Very sorry. Now I am home, tired, but so excited to be here. Thanks for having me on!

    This was the first interview I actually answered, nearly a month ago now. Anna was lickety split in getting those questions to me! Since then I have some new information: The fourth novel in the series will be released in Oct. and now has a title - Romancing Mr. Darcy. That seems to be the decision, but these things can change. Also, I now know that Carolyn Esau (co-author with me and Amanda Grange for A Darcy Christmas) writes as Carolyn Eberhart. The anthology will be released in Nov.

    Aah, I knew throwing in the Firth vs. Macfadyen line would generate some buzz!! LOL! I love that debate! But what about poor Elliot Cowan? He did a respectable job in Lost in Austen. Maybe he would be Jane's choice and shock the collective Austen fandom! Ha!!

  13. No problem, DL - we Macfadyen lovers can share our hearts with Colin too. :) I have to say, I love Keira as Lizzy, but Jennifer did a great job. She is amazing.

    Hello again Blodeuedd! Thanks for following me over. :) I am excitedto get back to Georgiana's story. It is so good!!

    Hi Patti. I agree, the spin-offs or whatever one choses to call them are great. More Austen!

    Hi again Laura!! This is a great interview, isn't it? Anna gave me some great questions. And the fact that it was the first one I answered this time around made it fresh for me and I had lots of fun. Good luck on the contest! You are persistence personified.

    mountie9, My novels are in the library system. You may have to order it, but they are out there. Good luck!

    Hi rubynreba! Thanks for chiming in.

  14. Thanks Carolyn. I appreciate you kind words. Life does keep me hopping, but it is all good.

    Hey Rebekah! Good luck in the contest.

    Cecile, how cool that you are reading good reports about my novels. Naturally I think they are fab! But it certainly helps when the readers think so. LOL!

    Hi Cindy725 - You are counted!!

    I will be back, probably after a bit of sleep. Keep it coming! Any questions for me I will try to answer. Sharon

  15. I haven't read any of these books so I am excited for a chance to win them!

    Great interview and thank you to Sharon who stopped by and did a wonderful job!

    Amy J

  16. I love anything Pride & Prejudice related!


  17. Hi :)
    Thank you for the excellent interview with Sharon Lathan & thank you to Sharon for sharing here. I loved the indepth responses and the insight into Sharon & her writing.
    All the best,

  18. I personally loved the Macfadyen version as well. Please enter me.

  19. Also, for me it's definately Colin Firth verison of Mr. Darcy. I loved him in P&P and Bridget Jones.

    YES, it's wrong of me because he's older than my father!

    - Jaclynn

  20. Thanks for stopping by today, Sharon. I'm definitely a Firth Fanatic!!! :-)

    rosie0512 @ hotmail . com

  21. I'd like to be included for this sounds good!

  22. fabulous interview and this sounds wonderful thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

  23. Hi Anna and Sharon. Loved the interview. Definitely I enjoyed the Matthew Macfadyen version. But Colin also did a wonderful job.

    armiefox at yahoo dot com

  24. What a great giveaway! I'm anxious to read these books. And Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy!


  25. Thanks Sharon for another interview guest post. I heart Elliot Cowan as Darcy ;-D

    What would your Darcy's top three "must haves" be for living in his time period?

    Would love to read the trio of Darcys.
    vvb32 at

  26. Oh! I am happy to see that so many people have responded! Yeah!! I wish everyone could win a free set, but hopefully those of you who are not so fortunate have had your interest piqued and will take a chance on purchasing my novel. I truly do try hard to give Lizzy and Darcy a wonderful life.

    Jaclynn, Age means nothing when we gaze upon the unattainable men! LOL! Matthew could conceivably be my son (sad, but true even if I would have been 13 or so), but that is irrelevant! Enjoy your Firth-crush. :)

    So Firth is edging ahead in the race, but Matthew is holding his own. ;-)

  27. Awesome! Elliot Cowan gets a vote! You know, vvb32, he took me by surprise as well. Quite a well done Mr. Darcy, And a very fun movie for those of you who haven't seen Lost in Austen.

    If I understand your question, What are the 3 things that my Darcy "must have" to live comfortably in his world and time? Yes?

    Well, he would have to have Lizzy. No doubt on that. Next he would have to have his horse, Parsifal, to ride as often as possible. Lastly it is a toss up between having many of his family members nearby since Darcy is a man deeply devoted to those he loves, OR a steady supply of top England's newspapers. Darcy MUST be abreast of the latest happenings! And it would give him something to read since he would hate being without books.

    How is that? :) Great question!

  28. Sharon, I'm with you. If I could ask Jane Austen anything, I don't think I could limit it to any one thing. It would probably be more like an interrogation!



  29. Great interview!! Please enter me..

    I follow

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  30. Oooh, I've been hearing such great things about this series, I would love to read it! Please count me in. :D

    Awesome interview! LOL, yes Matthew! He completely stole my heart in the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice. *swoons*

  31. Would love to read these.

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

    bloggyig at gmail dot com


    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  33. I really enjoyed the interview and would love to win the set of books! Win or not, my interest has definitely been piqued, I'll be on the lookout for these.

  34. What an excellent interview Anna! Great questions and very entertaining answers Sharon!
    I had a particular good chuckle at the "What would you ask JA answer". LOL
    Its always so fascinating reading your thoughts behind your characters, and also how you had this dramatic turn of events in your life Sharon. Your writing always captivates me whether you write your Darcy saga or an essay or interview, well done!
    TSBO devotee

  35. What a great interview. I did prefer Matthew MacFadyen as well, but Colin Firth was pretty great too! Thanks for the giveaway, I love to read anything that has to do with Mr. Darcy!


  36. Great interview! Thanks for the generous giveaway too.

    wakeupangel at gmail dot com

  37. I think if I were to ask Jane Austen a question it would be somethin along the lines of "had you not had your specific societal restrictions, what would your characters have done differently?"

    Another great interview Sharon. Anna, I think the blog is beautiful. I vote for Colin, mostly because he was the first I saw. Although, I do have a fondness for Laurence Olivier, despite his version being so different from the book

  38. So late in responding! So sorry, These past 2 days have been busy with my own Mr. Darcy taking me to lunch and dinner dates. Such a sweetie. :)

    Hi Margay. I can't think of any one question for Austen that beats all the others. But then I am sure if I was face-to-face I would think of something to keep the conversation going. :)

    Hi Stacie! Hi Martha!

    Hi Anna! Oh yea, Matthew. :) He stole my heart as well.

    Hi Alicia! Hi Justpeachy! Hi Holden! Good luck to all in the giveaway. But win or not, I do hope you all check out my novels. They are fabulous! But then I may be a wee bit partial.

    LOL Vee! I suppose deep down inside I am still curious as to what she would say about the Darcy debate. Personally I think she would stun us all and come up with some strange looking fellow that does not meet our modern definition of handsome! Ha!

  39. Jennifer, I think all the men who have played Darcy have brought something marvelous to the interpretation. Even Laurence Olivier, who was so handsome when young, gave smoldering passion a nice go. We just never tire of Darcy. Period.

    Hi Bani! Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    Nora, That is a fantastic question. And of course it is the basis for many of the What if? and modern spin offs that prevail today.

  40. What an awesome giveaway! I wouldn't miss the chance to win these books!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  41. I enjoyed the interview; it was itneresting.

    I love Pride and Prejudice and can't wait to read it with a new twist.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 AT gmail DOT com

  42. Wow, this is a great giveaway! I've never read any of the Darcy books, but this sounds really good. enter me please, I would like to try these books.



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