After a long time without any interviews on my blog, here is now finally another one! 🙂
Victoria Connelly is, as well as a great Jane Austen enthusiast, a writer. I have read one of her books; “A Weekend with Mr Darcy” (I really liked it!) which I also wrote about here on my blog a while back. See my review of the book here. I met Victoria briefly in Bath when I was last there, and when I wrote and asked whether I could interview her she very kindly said yes.
Make sure you visit her website HERE and enter the competition she has on there for a chance to win a copy of her brand new book “The Perfect Hero” (can’t wait to read it myself!)!
I discovered the delightful 1940’s film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when I was about 14. I loved the romance and the humour and finally decided that I had to read the book. I think I was 17 when I read it for the first time.
2. Do you have a favorite of her novels? And if so why that one?
It has to be Pride and Prejudice. Not only is it a wonderful love story but there are so many fabulous characters and wonderful humour throughout.
3. Out of her characters, is there a particular one/ones that you like more than the rest? And which character would you say you resemble most yourself?
I think every Austen fan adores Elizabeth and Darcy! I also adore Bingley, Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney, and Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Oh, and Mr Collins – he always makes me laugh!
4. Do you ever watch any of the screen adaptations? Do you have a favorite of them?
I love so many of them! I adore the BBC 6-part adaptation of Pride and Prejudice but love the 2005 film version too. The 1995 version of Persuasion is near-perfect, and Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility is a definite favourite, and the recent Andrew Davies version of Northanger Abbey was brilliant. I really fell for Henry Tilney in that!
5. What do you think it is about Jane Austen’s books that makes them so immortal? Why have they stood the test of time so well and are now more popular than ever?
They are just brilliant stories with a real sense of optimism. They’re great love stories and the characters still fascinate us today because they aren’t perfect – they make terrible mistakes but are still able to find their happy ending.
6. Has “discovering” Jane Austen lead to anything else in your life?
Visiting Chawton, Lyme Regis and Bath helped inspire my Austen addicts trilogy. I kept thinking about the beautiful locations associated with Jane Austen and knew that I wanted to write about them. Now my books are stocked at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton and the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. I’m incredibly proud of that.
7. If you had the chance to meet with Jane Austen and talk to her, what would you discuss or ask about?
I’d just love to talk to her about writing – what she loves about it, are her characters based on people she knows and, if so, which ones? And did she ever meet a Mr Darcy?
8. Do you have a favorite Jane Austen quote? Or just one that you really like?
There are so many that I love. It’s very hard to choose but here are two of my favourites:
‘A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.’ From Pride and Prejudice
‘every man is refused till he offers’ from Persuasion
9. You are a writer yourself, could you briefly describe what your books are about?
All my books are romantic comedies so there is a lot of love and a lot of laughter in them. I am currently writing a trilogy about Jane Austen addicts which will be published in the US. The first two in the trilogy are also published in the UK. I also have a novel called Molly’s Millions which is about a lottery winner who tries to give it all away before her family and the media stop her.
10. How did you end up as a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer but it’s taken many years to become published so I’ve always had other jobs too from secretary to teacher. I started writing my first novel when I was 14, finished my first complete novel when I was 22 and finally became a published novelist in my thirties.
11. And lastly, what other authors and books do you like?
There are so many wonderful authors and books to read. From the classics, I love the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. I also adore HE Bates’s ‘Darling Buds of May’ books and the Fairacre novels of Miss Read. Today’s fiction is so much fun too and I love Sophie Kinsella, Deborah Wright and children’s author, Julia Golding.
Thank you so very much!