Monday, September 17, 2012

Author Interview: Mary Lydon Simonsen and GIVEAWAY


I'm super excited to have Mary Lydon Simonsen on my blog today! It is such an honor! Last Thursday I posted my review of Mary's new book Darcy Goes to War and I thought it would be fun to ask her a few questions about her new book. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below!  

Thank you, Candy, for having me back at So Little Time… It’s always a pleasure. You have asked me to answer a few questions.

I know you have written a few books set in the World War I and World War II eras, like Searching for Pemberley and Mr. Darcy’s Angel of Mercy, what is it about these periods that you find fascinating?

When I was in high school, I found a picture of my grandfather, William Mahady, born in 1888, sitting in front of a pup tent. Although he was married and had two children, he had been drafted to fight in World War I. He was on a ship on its way to France when the armistice was signed. Because of that picture, I started to read about The Great War, as it was then known, which led me to World War II. To understand the reason for these two epic wars, you must read the history of both.

Since writing the first two, how much research did you have to put into Darcy Goes to War?

In addition to stories told to me by my parents, uncles, and aunts, who were all young adults during World War II, I have done a ton of research on both wars. I particularly enjoy reading British authors. They have a different slant on things, and their research is impeccable. I have a whole bookcase dedicated entirely to the two wars. Through my brother-in-law, I also have the German side of the story. He was born in Germany two days after the German surrender. His mother first had to escape the Russians, and then the whole family fled from East Germany to West Germany to escape the Communists before coming to America in the early 1950s. One of our favorite topics of conversation is the history of World War II.

How hard was it to drop Elizabeth and Darcy into this period?

It wasn’t hard at all. Both Elizabeth and Darcy are solid characters, who always do the right thing. Their temperaments would have been well suited for the ordeal the British faced between 1939 and 1945 as well as the post-war years. In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy races off to London to save Lydia from Wickham. In Darcy Goes to War, he climbs into his bomber to save England from Germany.

Why did you decide to have Darcy's parent still living in this story?

Because Jane Austen had so little to say about Darcy’s parents, I have always wondered what Old Mr. Darcy and Lady Anne Fitzwilliam Darcy were like. I once started a story about Lady Anne, but it’s on the “did not finish” shelf. Because of lengthening life spans, I thought that Darcy’s parents would still be alive in 1944. Through them, I was able to illuminate the devastating effect a second war had on those who had lived through the first conflagration.

What's up next for you?

I am doing a final edit on my second mystery in the Patrick Shea series, A Killing in Kensington. My first novel, Three’s A Crowd, featured Detective Sergeant Shea, who wants to be on a murder investigation team at Scotland Yard. In A Killing in Kensington, he gets his wish and investigates his first high-profile murder. It will be released in early October. 

On the Jane Austen front, I am working on two novels. The first is a sequel to Mr. Darcy’s Bite, in which Darcy is a werewolf. The story takes place in the first year of Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage. The hook: Is it possible that someone knows of Darcy’s secret and is trying to expose him? The second has Darcy and Elizabeth meeting in Italy several years after his failed proposal at Hunsford. I’m still working on it.                                                                        

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway of an e-book of Darcy Goes to War. To enter, enter the Rafflecopter and leave a glowing comment on my post. It’s that easy. Last day to enter is September 20th.

Thank you, Mary! It was a pleasure having you here today!

Connect with Mary:
Twitter: @MarySimonsen
Facebook
Blog: Austen Inspired Fan Fiction
Austen Authors



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win! Then leave a comment! 

For more chances to win head over to Leatherbound Reviews and Darcyholic Diversions!


25 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the interview and it's good to know what you have been up to, Mary. So tell me did you tell these war stories that you heard from your family and relatives to your children, nephews and nieces and what is their reaction?

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    1. I have a large family, but so far, only one niece and one nephew has shown any interest in these stories. But if they should change their minds, I have written a detailed family history that includes them. Thanks for asking.

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  2. All of these new books and sequels coming out. So excited!!! Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. Always good to see you.

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  3. I love the interview. The stories where they meet in italy and patrick shea I can't wait to read! thank you for this opportunity!

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    1. I just started working on Darcy on the Grand Tour (working title). It's complicated, so it will be a while. But you know I'll let you know when it comes out. :)

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  4. Lovely interview, ladies. Mary, I loved hearing how you did your research for this book. I wish I had been able to talk to my relatives who had served in WWI and WWII. I would love to hear their experiences at that time. Thanks for the giveaway!!=))

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  5. Kelli, I know what you mean. I didn't become interested in family history until my grandmother was really old. I missed an opportunity there.

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  6. That's me. I didn't become interested in genealogy until my grandmother passed away. I can't remember most of the stories she told :( I'm glad that you are writing it down for the next generation!

    Lovely interview, Mary!!

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    1. Fortunately, all my relations came from one little town in PA, so I am on a site where stories are shared. I even started a blog called Minooka Memories where I post whatever info comes my way for others to have.

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  7. Mary, I'm so happy to have you here today! Thank you for the interview!

    Wow! That's wonderful that you have written down your family history for future generations! I wish someone in my family had. I have such a bad memory that a lot of what I was told is gone. I need to write down what I do remember!

    Thank you, everyone for stopping by today! I love reading your comments! Good luck on the giveaway and I hope you get a chance to read Darcy Goes to War soon!

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  8. I agree that Darcy and Lizzy are characters that can be moved into another historical era. I love that his parents are still alive in this one.

    That's neat that you have all those family stories to fall back on including one from the other perspective.

    Thanks for the post!

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    1. I find it's pretty easy to move D&E around b/c they have the qualities we like in our heroes and heroines.

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  9. Thanks for the interview. You're right, Mary: Darcy and Lizzy's strength of character can hold up so well in any historical era. It's what makes them such a timeless couple. I look forward to reading this one!

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    1. Thanks, Heather. How can readers not love a man who changes for the better under the direction of a wise woman?

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  10. I am so looking forward to reading this book! Now you got me curious about the meeting in Italy!!! Wonderful possibilities...

    I still have not read your detective story but I am going to. I am a big Agatha Christie fan. I guess you are one also?

    Thanks for the wonderful insight into your world of writing!

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    1. Hi Rita. I'm just finishing up a draft of the second in my mystery series. Should be out in early October.

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  11. Great interview, Candy!
    A story of Lizzy & Darcy meeting in Italy after the Hunsford proposal?! Sounds wonderful! Hope your muse cooperates, Mary! :)

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    1. Jakki, I was distracted by publishing DGTW and my second mystery. I was going to write a sequel to Darcy's Bite, but there aren't enough hours in the day.

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    2. Thanks, Jakki! I can't wait to watch your vlog tomorrow on your blog! :)

      Mary, you're not going to write a sequel to Darcy's Bite after all?

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  12. Darcy in Italy ... be still my beating heart. Forget Elizabeth, write me into that one?!?! ;o)

    Fun interview!

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    1. Anyone in Italy as far as I'm concerned.

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  13. How can you make them wait years to reunite after Hunsford, I can't bear them to wait that long!!

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