Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Author Highlight: Sharon Lathan

Several months ago when I first wrote that I was in the process of reading Mr. and Mrs. Darcy: Two Shall Become One (here was my final review as well), author Sharon Lathan left me a message! I'm not even all that sure how it happened after that, but we shared comments with one another, and a couple of really lovely email. This summer, Sharon even suggested that while in Hawaii, I be reading her book on the beach and get a chance to share it with people I would meet there--which actually did happen, although the woman I talked to didn't really even know about the original Pride and Prejudice...I know, how could you not? Hopefully I introduced her to several good books to check out! Needless to say, our communications have been really nice, and I've loved the sweet things her husband has had to say as well.

As a Jane Austen fan, I have come to realize that I really do enjoy revisiting my favorite reads, and find that it doesn't change my love for the original in any way. For this reason, I have really enjoyed Sharon's novels, which includes Loving Mr. Darcy, which came out just yesterday! In preparation for the release of the novel, I sent Sharon a few questions that I was curious about, and wanted to share with you her comments and insights!

First, I was curious about her writing process, and how she mapped out what she saw happening for the Darcys. Knowing that there are more books to come, I suppose I'm curious about what she is considering while she's writing.
Writing this saga has been an organic process. By that I mean, I have my general goals in mind (a happy, realistic life) and the specifics of how that unfolds occur to me as I go along. As I research Regency and Derbyshire history, scenes appear in my head. As I write the drama coalesces. I try not to be too rigid, as I prefer to feel the story as it naturally flows.
Along with this, you'll notice in Loving Mr. Darcy a wide range of historical facts and information. I couldn't help but wonder how she came up with the streets and landmarks for London, as they play a prominent role in this novel.
Certainly imagination and creative license always plays a part. However, I carefully researched London of 200 years ago. I poured through literally hundreds of photos or drawings of places about the city. Surprisingly if one is patient a drawing or map can be found even if the building no longer exists or has drastically changed. Old maps are usually easy to find as well. I have one from 1827 that I printed so I could have a hard copy. There are uncounted numbers of website devoted to historical information, so with persistence I was able to hunt down details, getting as near to my time setting of 1817 as possible.
Finally, my more analytical side has been dying to ask Sharon for the longest time what she hopes we get from her continuation of the Darcy's story, as well as what she felt we can learn from them. I know that sounds like a pretty odd sort of question, but I always tend to think that there is something we gain from these characters, and wanted to hear her perspective on it!
There’s a reason I call my books “The Darcy Saga.” My story is of an unfolding life. It is thematic, not a singular plot driven tale. Also, I would love to be able to reach more readers right away and tell them, loud and clear, that it is a happily-ever-after story! Then they would be disappointed to discover it is not filled with trauma and tragedy!
The number one “lesson” I am trying to impart is what a marriage can be if two people strive for it. Beyond that, I truly only want my readers to enjoy themselves as they read a fun, romantic book. If they learn a bit about relationships, history, and anything else, that is a nice bonus!
As far as reader enjoyment goes, I know that I have thoroughly enjoyed escaping into Sharon's novels. Beyond a story that I really want to read more of, Sharon's writing style is purposeful, and stylistically fits the Darcy's story perfectly. For me, this continuation story has been a wonderful escape, and a great lesson in possibilities. Thanks Sharon! I can't wait to read the next installment!

For more information on Sharon's books see: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One (Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy) and Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley.


  1. What a great story! I just re-read P/P and am reminded why there are so many themed books out there! I am going to have to try one of her novels. :)

  2. Thank you so much for posting the questions, Becky! Sorry I haven't popped in sooner but today has been one of those crazy errand-busy days that we can all relate to! Still, I do apologize for the delay.

    But, I am here now and want to tell the REST of the summer vaca story that Becky did not tell you! I mused that it would be funny if she were reading my book on the beach, folks stopped to chat, and viola! - a book discussion ensued, sweeping through the islands! I would owe it all to Becky. She thought that was a funny idea, but did specify that, all things considered, it would be preferable if it was some hot guy who inquired about the book! At that point, who cares if he knows Austen or not, ya know? Touche! LOL! I couldn't argue with that!

    As far as I know, she wasn't swept away by any hunky, half-naked Hawaiian dudes, but then again, perhaps she is saving that for another story. ;) I am just glad we are friends and that she has enjoyed my novels.

    Thanks, my dear. Hopefully the ARC of The Darcys at Year's End is on its way. Sharon

  3. Great interview, Sharon and Becky! I'm not sure how I would react to someone who hadn't even heard of Pride & Prejudice. I'd probably say something really uncouth. :P