Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview: Abigail Reynolds, author of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

I first discovered Abigail Reynolds when I read her modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice, titled Pemberley by the Sea.  I was thrilled to have the chance to interview her back in 2008 (click here to read my review of Pemberley by the Sea and my first interview with Abigail), and I'm excited to welcome Abigail back to Diary of an Eccentric for the release of her latest Pemberley Variation, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, which answers the question "What if Elizabeth Bennet had accepted Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal the first time he asked?"  I'll be posting my review of the book tomorrow, but let me just tell you that I look forward to reading more of these Pemberley Variations!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my latest "chat" with Abigail, and I'd like to thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.

How many times have you read Pride and Prejudice?  

I don’t think I can count that high.  At least twenty times cover to cover, and far more when I read just a segment.  I know the story so well that I can jump in on any page.

Do you plan to add to your Pemberley Variations series?  What are you working on now? 

I have so many ideas for Pemberley Variations that I’ll probably keep writing them as long as I can keep them fresh and different.  I just finished the first draft of a new variation where the twist is that Elizabeth refuses to read Darcy’s letter, and therefore remains in ignorance of Wickham’s perfidy and Darcy’s virtues.  It makes their meeting at Pemberley rather exciting!

How do you feel about the plethora of Pride and Prejudice sequels out there?  Any thoughts on the paranormal Austen sequels?  

Personally, I’m delighted to see so many sequels out there, both published and self-published, and I’ve read a great many of them.  It’s evidence that we can’t get enough Jane Austen!  I enjoy seeing the different takes from different writers.  In addition, the Paranormals are an interesting twist. I think of it as Twilight meets Jane Austen.   Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is on my to-read list, and I’m curious to see what’s next.  We have P&P zombies, vampires, and werewolves so far – what’s next?

Besides Pride and Prejudice what other books do you find yourself re-reading?  

My comfort-food reading is pretty varied, from YA to historicals to fantasy.  The pile I couldn’t live without includes The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, the highly underrated Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw, and Jaran by Kate Elliott.  Characters from all those books live in my head.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing? 

I love to read, of course, and I like to bead, despite having no talent whatsoever at making jewelry.  I enjoy spending time with my 18-year-old daughter who has a great sense of humor and is always introducing me to new experiences.  Although I haven’t been able to travel much since having kids, visiting new places is one of my favorite things in the world.

Thanks for inviting me!

Thanks, Abigail!  I wish you much success, and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.



In this sexy Jane Austen sequel, Elizabeth Bennet accepts Mr. Darcy's first marriage proposal, answering the "What if...?" question fans everywhere have pondered

"I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."

Famous last words indeed! Elizabeth Bennet's furious response to Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal has resonated for generations of readers. But what if she had never said it? Would she have learned to recognize Mr. Darcy's admirable qualities on her own? Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they struggle to find their way through the maze of their prejudices after Elizabeth, against her better judgment, agrees to marry Darcy instead of refusing his proposal.

Two of the most beloved characters in English literature explore the meaning of true love in a tumultuous and passionate attempt to make a success of their marriage.

About the Author

Abigail Reynolds is a physician and a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast. She began writing The Pemberley Variations series in 2001, and encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking “What if…?” She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit

Would you like to read Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World?  Well, you're in luck!  Sourcebooks is offering 2 copies to my readers!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address.

Because the publisher is shipping the books, this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada readers only.  The giveaway will run through Sunday, Jan. 31 at 11:59 EST.


wisteria said...

Great interview Anna! I loved this book too and I do really enjoy Ms. Reynolds writing. I got your message about Pemberly at Sea on my blog and I will definitely read this too. I like to hear the what authors select as their favorite books. It tells me a lot about them.

bermudaonion said...

Wow! I don't think I've ever read any book 10 times, let alone 20!

Serena said...

No need to enter me, since I have this one already. I will post this in my sidebar contest list for you!

Loved the interview, and looks like she has some good books on her list of reading.

Anna said...

~Wisteria: Thanks! I hope you enjoy Pemberley by the Sea, too.

~bermudaonion: Right! I think the most I've re-read a book is 4 times, and 2 of the 4 times were for classwork!

~Serena: Thanks! I remember reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond ages ago, but don't remember any of the particulars.

Linda said...

I think it's interesting that authors frequently name Witch of Blackbird Pond as a favorite YA book. I have not yet any of the Jane Austen variations, but I'd love to try this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

Booksnyc said...

I have not read any variations either but I have just committed to re-reading P&P - I read it in HS but not as an adult.

Thanks for entering me.


Anonymous said...

Great interview. I haven't read many of the sequels, yet.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

By the way, I have an award for you.

Anna said...

~Linda: This would be a good one to start with!

~Booksync: I hope to re-read P&P soon, too!

~carolsnotebook: Thanks for the award! That's so kind!

Blodeuedd said...

Nice post, oh this is a one I should tell my library to get. I can't be the only one wondering what if that what if ;)

Michelle said...

Oh, I love me some Jane Austen spin-offs!


Staci said...

I liked this interview and I won this book from Serena's giveaway!!

Unknown said...

I loved Pemberley by the Sea, so I will definitely have to read the new book.

I loved to read that Abigail is a beader too :)

Marie Cloutier said...

that's a terrific interview. I've never read a single book that many times- i think i've read possession maybe five or six times at the most!

Darlene said...

No need to enter me Anna. Just popping in to say this is posted at Win a Book for you.

Miss Haley said...

I'd love to win this!!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Great interview! Please enter me!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Dana said...

Please enter me!


Suko said...

Fun interview!

I'd love to win this book. :)



Unknown said...

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Anna said...

~Dar: Thanks so much! I really appreciate it.

baileythebookworm said...

Awesome! I would love a copy. baileythebookworm at gmail dot com

Katrina said...

I would absolutely LOVE a copy of this book. It is my all time favorite looks amazing!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

vvb32 reads said...

ooo, i'm going to have to look for pemberley by the sea.
would love to read about fitz too.
vvb32 at

a real librarian said...

Great interview!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!


Mom2teenz said...

Wow you have rad pride and prejudice more time that you can count. I have never made it through once.

I would love to enter the giveaway. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book! The cat in the picture at the beginning of the post looks just like my little one! I love my black cat! (Had to share...)

bsyb100 at gmail dot com

Mystica said...

Please count me in. Very good interview and makes one want to delve into this book.


Dawn M. said...

I would love the chance to read this. Count me in, please! :0)

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

Oh me, me, me! Please enter me. :-)

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Mary Simonsen said...

Interesting Interview. Beacon at Alexandria is a favorite of mine as well.

Anna said...

Mary: Thanks for stopping by to read the interview!

Anonymous said...

please count me in....thanks


Terchil said...

Please enter me!

tradingaddress at gmail dot com

lag123 said...

Please count me in and thank you for having this giveaway!

Amused said...

Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway! I'd love to win a copy of this book!

Anonymous said...

Would love to win this.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Anna said...

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all who entered, publicized the giveaway, or just stopped by to read the interview. I really appreciate it.

I will choose the winners via and announce them shortly.