I'm so excited to welcome the lovely Victoria Connelly to the blog today! In my opinion, she's one of those authors whose novels never disappoint and I'm really looking forward to picking up her latest release, 'At Home With Mr. Darcy', which was released on the 14th of October by Notting Hill Press.
The Austen Addicts are back!
It’s summer and renowned actress, Dame Pamela Harcourt, has organised a treat: the first Purley Hall Jane Austen holiday - to the home of Mr Darcy no less.
With Katherine and Warwick, Robyn, Doris Norris and the rest of the gang, it’s going to be a trip to remember. But then a hardened journalist and non-Janeite, Melissa Berry, joins the party. Fearing a stitch-up, the friends rally together, hoping to convince Melissa that the only way is Austen...
At Home with Mr Darcy is the sixth title in the bestselling Austen Addicts series.
Victoria managed to find some time in her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her latest release, her future plans and her own favourite reads!
Can you tell us something about your new novel, ‘At Home with Mr Darcy’?
The Austen Addicts are about to embark on their first ever holiday together - to the home of Mr Darcy no less. With Katherine and Warwick, Robyn, Doris Norris and the rest of the gang, it’s going to be a trip to remember. But then a hardened journalist and non-Janeite, Melissa Berry, joins the party. Fearing a stitch-up, the friends rally together, hoping to convince Melissa that the only way is Austen...
This is the sixth part of your Austen Addicts series. Where did you find the inspiration for this sixth novel with the same collection of characters?
I absolutely adore all the locations used in the film adaptations of Jane Austen novels and I thought it would be a fun for the Austen Addicts to visit a couple of them - particularly two of the houses used as Pemberley in adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. I also wanted to see how married life was treating Katherine and Warwick, and to catch up with Robyn and Dan and the rest of the gang. It's always a joy to write about these characters. They are so much fun.
There’s a great cast of characters in this particular series. Which character did you most enjoy writing about in this specific part of the series?
Good question and a difficult one to answer. I really loved seeing the home which Katherine and Warwick are making together and how Katherine is adapting to married life. I also really loved seeing Dan coping at Horseshoe Cottage when Robyn is away. I don't want to give too much away but a little accident means his life is far from easy! I also introduced a brand new character in this book – Mrs Soames's daughter, Annie, whose story was fun to write. Oh, and Doris Norris finds romance – I just loved writing that too!
Did you do any particular research for this part of the book?
I had so much fun researching this book because it involved two wonderful trips: one to Lyme Park in Cheshire, and another to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire where I spent the whole day walking around the house and grounds, taking photographs and making notes and imagining what my characters would get up to there. Both these houses were used in the filming of different adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and are simply heaven if you're a Janeite.
Can you perhaps tell us something about your future plans? Are you perhaps already working on a next novel?
Absolutely! I never stop. I usually have about three or four different projects on the go at once. At the moment, I'm doing edits on a brand-new novel called The Rose Girls which will be out next spring. My Christmas novella, Christmas at the Cove, is released on 1st November, and there will be a third 'Mulberry Cottage' book coming next year as well as a brand-new series called The Booklovers which I'm really excited about.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Read loads, write loads and never ever give up!
What is the last book you read that you’d like to recommend to others?
Coming Up Roses by Cath Kidston – a lovely autobiography by one of my favourite designers with some wonderfully wise advice to anyone in the creative arts or in business like staying true to yourself and not trying to follow trends.
Which book could you not live without?
The Darling Buds of May by H E Bates - it's a total delight - my favourite book!
And last but not least, if you had to describe ‘At Home with Mr Darcy’ in just three words, which words would you pick?