Q:What arethe challenges are to writing historical fiction?
One of the biggest challenges of writing historical fiction is to give the reader a feel for the period without it sounding like a history lesson. I find it easiest to research the main themes of the book thoroughly before I begin, then I can move around in the historical world as easily as I can move around in the present day when I start to write. Sometimes I need to know extra things and then I look them up as I go along. It was a big help having Jacqueline Webb as my c
o author on Pride and Pyramids because she’s very knowledgeable about
Egypt, and has set one of her own books, The Scarlet Queen, there. She knows a lot about the myths and the history of the Pharoahs as well as the excavation side of things.
Q: What is a typical writing day like for you?
I don’t really have a typical writing day. I suspect it’s because writing involves so many different kinds of activities. If I’m thinking up a new plot or working out the details of some difficult chapter, then I like to be outdoors. I often go for a walk as I find I can think better in the fresh air.
When I’m actually sitting and writing then sometimes I work from 9 til 5, but sometimes it just doesn’t flow and so I write in fits and starts, often until late at night or on into the early hours of the morning. I drink a lot of cups of tea and eat a lot of biscuits!
Then, too, I spend a lot of time doing other writing-related things that aren’t specifically creative. I liaise with my editors and publicists, for example, and I give talks and do book signings, so it isn’t always a case of working on a new novel. Sometimes I’m promoting a new release and so I’ll be writing blog posts or talking to the press. It’s a varied life and that’s one of the things I really enjoy about it.
Q: Is there one particularcharacter from the book you love
I love all the characters in Pride and Pyramids. They’re all so varied that it made the book a lot of fun to write. Of the children, I have a soft spot for Laurence, the naughty son who wants to take a crocodile home from
Egypt and keep it in the Pemberley lake. I also like William, the heir, who is like a miniature Mr Darcy, proud and honourable.
Of the adults, I have a soft spot for Sophie Lucas. She’s a new character, invented by Jacqueline and myself, but we have connected her to Pride and Prejudice by making her Charlotte Lucas’s youngest sister. She has suffered an unhappy love affair and she is accompanying the Darcys on their trip to help with the children, as well as to recover from her broken heart. I liked giving her two handsome young men to make her smile again!
Q: What are you working on next?
A: We are working on another book together. It’s a contemporary romance this time, but still set in the Austen world as it’s about a group of Austen fans. The book follows their tangled love lives as they find their ways to their own happy endings.
International bestselling author Amanda Grange and Egyptology expert Jacqueline Webb team up to create a breathtaking historical tale set in the land of the Pharaohs. Sourcebooks Landmark is proud to present Pride and Pyramids: Mr. Darcy in Egypt (ISBN: 9781402265341, July 2012, $14.99 U.S., Trade Paperback, Fiction). The beloved Darcy family takes on the pyramids of Egypt in this unique Pride and Prejudice sequel.
“Grange provides a really intriguing possibility as to what may have been going on in Darcy’s head throughout it all… Amanda Grange does a great job of keeping both the language and the behavior authentic to Jane Austen and the early 19th century… she is one of the best at doing so that I have found….” –Epinions.com
Pulled into the craze of Egyptology, Elizabeth, Darcy and their lively children embark on an expedition to Egypt with Colonel Fitzwilliam’s younger brother. Romantic interludes between Darcy and Elizabeth intertwine with the unraveling of a mystery dating back to an ancient Egyptian woman. They find long-hidden treasure thwart a theft and betrayal by the ever-villainous George Wickham, and lay to rest an ancient ghost. The Darcys’ adventures at the hands of these talented storytellers open up whole new realms of exploration for lovers of Jane Austen and the Regency world.
About the Authors
Amanda Grange is a bestselling author of Jane Austen retellings that are from the point of view of Austen’s men. She has sold more than 150,000 copies of her novels and is branching out into other areas of historical fiction. Jacqueline Webb is an expert in historical Egyptology and has written two novels published in the UK. Both authors live in England. For more information, please visit http://www.amandagrange.com