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Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Cheerful Chat with Catherine Lodge

A ReVisit with Catherine Lodge
Catherine Lodge's book is now available on Amazon!  Great news.  So she is dropping back by with that news and another chance to read her interview here at Darcyholic Diversions.

Catherine Lodge:  It all started on my birthday in 2015 and, however much one claims that one doesn't care about birthdays, there is still a lingering feeling that nasty surprises shouldn't happen on that day of all days.

We are having cake, Happy Birthday had been sung and the children had gone off to run round the garden and I got the ping of email arrived.  I thought it was someone wishing me Many Happy  Returns - it wasn't.
"Hi," it said.   "Thanks for publishing your story." The only trouble was, I hadn't.
With only a smart phone and a small tablet, I scoured Amazon and there it was, or rather there they were.  Two of my stories, packed into an "anthology" with an ugly cover and an illiterate title:  but worst of all under the pen name I had used while posting on the forums at meryton.com.  Someone from what I had assumed was a safe space, someone I might even have interacted and corresponded with, had stolen my stories to make money from them.  They hadn't even bothered to correct my mistakes - I don't tend to use a beta or editor when posting on-line so there were more than a few misspelt words and odd grammatical constructions.
After a couple of days frantic emailing, I managed to get first Amazon and then Google books and the Nook people to take the nasty thing down.  I didn't see a sniff of the money people had spent on it, but I thought it likely that the plagiarist hadn't either and that Amazon had just kept it.
Then I forgot about it. 
Flash forward a couple of years,  I was encouraged to submit "Fair Stands the Wind" to The Meryton Press and they accepted it.  It was edited to within an inch of its life and the published.  The paperback was there for all to see, with a gorgeous cover by the way, but there was no sign of the ebook.  Enquiries by the Press revealed that they thought that Amazon thought this submission was another attempt to plagiarise.  Amazon refused to sort it out with Meryton Press because the published wasn't one of the parties to the original dispute.
So I started emailing Amazon.  I emailed the department I'd dealt with over the plagiarism. 
Nothing for four days then a reference to another department.  So I wrote again.
Nothing for four days then a request for the information I'd already sent them.  So I sent it again.
Meanwhile, the blog tour had been and gone and the people asking when they could buy it had been told "We don't know."
Once again, nothing for four days then, stuck at a bus stop, I thought I'd check Amazon and there, at last,  was the Kindle edition of my book. In all its glory, complete with the gorgeous cover,  I never did hear from Amazon again
I've been spamming the hosts of the blog tour in the hope that people who were interested in  buying have been contacted.  I hope I haven't annoyed anyone.
And I've been left with an odd feeling.  Quite apart from the disappointment and worry, how could he or she do it?  What do you get from passing someone else's work of as your own?  Other than a very few dollars and the knowledge that you are a thief, that is.

 A Cheerful Chat with Catherine Lodge
Interviewed by Barbara Tiller Cole

BTCole:  UPDATE---September 20, 2017--Amazon NOW has Catherine's book AND the drawings have already been held, but if you missed the interview before, please take the time to read now...

I have had a few technical issues with Darcyholic Diversions but am very grateful that I managed to save my blog with the help from a few friends.  

Today I am interviewing Catherine Lodge as she celebrates her new book, Fair Stands the Wind.  Please be sure to read to the end to learn about the give-aways available.  Catherine is having her own technical issues as the soft cover of her new book is available at Amazon but not the Kindle version.  Keep an eye out for it though as many 'elves' are working behind the scene to be sure that you get to read her novel soon!  And without further delay, I present Catherine Lodge...

BTCole:  Catherine, I am so glad to have you here with us at Darcyholic Diversions!  Welcome!  So tell us, who is Catherine Lodge?
CLodge:  Thanks for having me, Barbara!  Catherine Lodge is a pseudonym as I am incredibly shy about people I know, knowing what I write.  I've always been worried that my writing reveals more about me that I am comfortable with my family and friends knowing about - I suspect this is mere vanity since probably no one would care to do the dissection, but there it is
BTCole:  I do understand that Catherine as I initially developed my penname to be sure that people in my real life would never know that I had written a sex scene lol.  In fact more Austen writers know my real name than the other way around.    Where are you from Catherine?
CLodge:   I live in Yorkshire in the UK, an impossibly beautiful part of the world - in fact I live quite near to the Pemberley of my imagination, Fountains Hall near Ripon - only my imaginary one is a bit bigger :D
Inline image 1
BTCole:  Do you have a picture of your Pemberley that you would like to share with us?  Would love to know more about your about your Pemberley inspiration?
CLodge:  There that should give you an idea. My Pemberley would look that that but a little larger.  You can't tell from the photo but behind the house there is a very steep hillside so the house is only a couple of rooms wide, mine is a little wider, perhaps a square with a central courtyard.
BTCole:  I understand that your profession was as an attorney.  Tell us a little bit about that. 
CLodge:   I am a more or less retired now.  I trained and worked as a lawyer, prosecuting corporate crime mostly until my health forced me to look for something a bit less stressful and I took to lecturing, mainly for a training company specializing in Environmental Law for Business and Industry.  Since a lot of my work arose about the time that the Water Industry was privatised in the UK, I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the development of Britain's sewerage system.  You must let me tell you about The Great Stink sometime, when the Thames was so smelly they nearly moved Parliament to Oxford.  Or the day the River Fleet exploded.
BTCole:  Well now you have gotten my attention!  You have to tell us about The Great Stink!  What a name!
CLodge:  Well, in the mid-19thC London grew at a phenomenal rate and the fact that there was no sewerage system soon became apparently to every nose for miles around.  So, in an effort to deal with it, the Government decreed that all houses should be plumbed into the existing surface water drains, the ones that were supposed to just deal with rainwater by funnelling into the Thames and then out to sea.  In the Summer of 1858, two hot months and some high tides on the Thames had the effect of keeping the er..... contents in the river, right in the bit where a lot of people lived and the Houses of Parliament were sitting.  It was so ghastly that they considered moving Parliament to Oxford until the Summer Recess happened and the reliable old English Rain arrived to flush everything out.  This led to the construction of Bazelgette's great interceptor sewer, which goes all the way down the North Bank, picking up the sewers, drains and rivers that used to go into the Thames - frequently within feet of where drinking water was extracted - and funnelling them all so far downstream that the tide had to take them out. It's why The Thames has a road beside the river called "The Embankment" - underneath is still Bazelgette's great sewer.
BTCole:  This reminds me that I have been checking in with my Austen inspired friends that live in Texas. Grateful that Maria Grace, Jan Hahn and Janet Taylor are all well and dry.  All had a little damage to deal with in their yards but their houses were spared from the flood and winds.    Well, now you need to tell us about the day that River Fleet exploded?
CLodge:  By the mid-19thC the River Fleet which used to run above ground into the Thames, was almost entirely build over and enclosed.  It was also full of er..... waste.  One dry month in the 1830s the contents fermented, exploded and the explosion was channelled down the river into the Thames where it flattened two houses and swamped a boat.  I tried to find newspaper reports but it's too early to find anything easily and I've never been able to visit the National Newspaper Archive at Collingdale.
BTCole:  What else would you like to share with the readers here so that they get to know a little bit more about you.
CLodge:  Um what else.  Never married, never met the right man. Oh, once won a five figure sum on a TV quiz show in the middle of the night, which is why my house is now paid off.  Winnings aren't taxed in the UK so that was nice.
BTCole:  Winning the lottery!  Now I envy you there!    What do you do with your time other than write now?
CLodge:   I like the Opera and taking the children in my family - I have 9 niblings and two great-nieces - out and about.  I volunteer at the local library giving computer classes to people who are stuck.  I specialise in the even-older-than-me category.  My record is a 93 year old nun I taught to use the Internet so she could learn Spanish on-line.  
BTCole:  How did you discover Jane Austen's works?  Was it love at first site?  Or did you give it a studied air, like Mr. Collins did his delicate compliments?
CLodge:  I was always a voracious reader, in the 60s and 70s it was either reading or the TV and I didn't enjoy much of that.  There were 5 secondhand bookshops where I lived, so for a pound or so you could pick up all sorts.  I read a huge amount of 19thC literature, starting with Dickens and the Brontes (they were local lasses, you see) and then Jane Austen.  Starting with Pride and Prejudice and then  Sense and Sensibility and then on and on.  The only one I can't say I really like is Northanger Abbey, which I put down to being made to read it in High School but an unsympathetic teacher.  Every time I think, "I really must give it another go," the voice of Mr Sessions starts droning on and on and I lose the will to live. 

Now I come to think about it, he had some really odd ideas about what to give to 14 year olds - what the heck were we supposed to make of Sons and Lovers?
Full Book Cover for Catherine's New Book
BTCole:  No Wonder you wanted a penname!  I read in one of your other posts about your writing style and how 'Guerilla Writing' has helped you.  Can  you tell us a little bit about that? 
CLodge:  I am a perfectionist, if I let myself be.  So much so, that I end up paralysed by the fear of failure.  I wrote some stories in various fandoms which were well received: I then became morbidly convinced that I would never write anything as good ever again.  So I stopped.

After a bit, I told myself not to be so damn silly.  All my life, I've been afraid of other people's reactions.  Why?  So I made myself write, check it through the same day, and then post it to discussion boards.  I didn't fret about where the plot was going, I just had a vague idea where I wanted to end up.  A very vague idea.  And you know what?  Ideas rushed in to fit the space available.  I'd write myself into a corner, go for a walk and have an idea of how to get out of it.
BTCole:  How did the inspiration for this book come to you?  And was Persuasion a part of your inspiration at all? 
CLodge:  Not at all.  Nope, there's a shout out to Persuasion in a latish chapter, but that was the earliest it even crossed my mind.  I was posting in parts, so people mentioned it in comments but I did not have it in mind at all.  What sort of Janeite am I?

As I mentioned somewhere else, I was packing my books away before the builders came to replace my kitchen roof, and when I got to the shelf of CS Forresters, Patrick O'Briens and Alexander Kents, thought I to myself, thought I, "Hmmmm Captain Darcy, now *there's* an idea.
It's taken me years to pluck up the courage to send my baby-book out into the world, where I can't wait to see how it makes it's way.
BTCole:  There are not many Austen inspired stories with Darcy as a second son, so that in itself made this book unique.  Anything else you would like to tell us about your story?
CLodge:  Um - go and buy it?  At least as soon as Amazon drags its head out of its fundament and lets me publish it.  I was plagiarised a couple of years ago and wrote to Amazon to assert my copyright.  They now seem to think I'm plagiarising myself and are sitting on my book.  Anyone who has a voodoo doll of Mr Bezos is cordially invited to stick pins in it.
BTCole: Are you writing anything now?  Want to give your readers any hints?
CLodge:  Weeellll, I have an idea for a book called "The Wicked Mr Darcy" which I ought to write before someone gets there first, at least with the title, but it will have to wait until this one is out.  After that I'd like to get A New Beginning out.  Elizabeth and Darcy meet in circumstances where they each come to a proper realisation of each other's sterling qualities.  So everything turns out fine....... or does it? 
BTCole:  Thanks for being spending some time with me today, Catherine!  Hope you will come visit with us again.  

 Enter to Win

For Give Aways, comment on the interveiw here and register on the Rafflecopter link below:


Book Blurb:

We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself.

But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?

Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.

Author Bio:

Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”

After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but “Fair Stands the Wind” is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention.
She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing

Contact Info for Catherine Lodge:

Buy Links Not Yet Active:

Fair Stands the Wind   (Amazon UK)

Blog Tour Schedule:

08/30   Babblings of a Bookworm;  Guest Post or Vignette, GA
08/31   My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, GA
09/01   Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/02   Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/03   DarcyholicDiversions; Author Interview, GA
09/04   Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Vignette
09/05   Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, GA
09/06   Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Vignette, Giveaway
09/07   From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt, GA
09/08   So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/09   My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, GA
09/10   Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, GA
09/11   My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, GA
09/12   Just Jane 1813; Review, GA



  1. Great interview Barbara, I loved reading about Catherine. Looking forward to reading this book.

    1. Thanks so much Kate! I have enjoyed getting a chance to know Catherine. She is delightful. Hope that more people will discover her book.

  2. Thanks for the intereview, and I like Yorkshire too, having spent my University years there

    1. Vesper. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I know that Catherine apppreciates it as do I!

  3. Oooh whereabouts, Vesper? I'm always nosy about where people are from.

    1. I'm nosy enough to want to know, too! Coming to Yorkshire to study at the University of Bradford in the mid 70s is why I live here now, as I met my husband there. I've now lived here for almost 40 years.

    2. Sounds like you have enough there for a Jane Austen lovers get together!

  4. Sorry to hear that you have some problem with your website, Barbara. I hope you get it fix soon. Btw, thanks for asking these questions. I get to know Catherine better now. I didn't read the story when it was posted on Fan Fiction sites but I find this is a premise worth reading. Look forward to reading more JAFF by Catherine.

    1. Well, for now my website is back on and being hosted by Blogger until I can figure out what to do next. Google and I have been having a 3 month struggle for them to find a way for me to be able to pay the annual renewal for my domain. And while they were able to tell me that if I didn't pay I would lose the domain, they were NEVER despite about 40 hours worth of phone calls and struggles to make it work, NEVER able to figure out how to let me pay for it. Very frustrating. I was SO grateful when a friend helped me figure out how to bring it back up this way. So for now I am happy! Hope you will read Catherine's book. I think you will enjoy it.

  5. Great interview. This book sounds great and your upcoming The Wicked Mr Darcy sound intriguing as well:)

    1. Doesn't it? I am not sure HOW Wicked he will be..lol. Thanks for your loyal commenting :).

  6. Sorry to hear you've been having problems, too, Barbara. Hope thimgs are OK now?

    Thanks for a great interview ladies. Catherine's sense of humour definitely appeals to mine. Oh, and consider those pins well and truly stuck into somewhere that REALLY hurts!

    1. HI Anji. I found a way to make it work for now and that is what I am truly grateful for. I thought I had lost it for good. So this is a great solution..at least temporarily. Glad you enjoyed the interview as well

  7. Thank you for the interesting interview. I was really interesting in the use of pen names. This is an unusal plot for a JAFF book - Darcy being a second son and navy captain. How will Elizabeth and Darcy meet? Thank you for the giveaway.

    1. Yes it is unique in many ways. I have read another story or two with Darcy as a second son but non that have been published as far as I know at last. Thanks for stopping by Eva!

  8. Thanks, Barbara, for letting Catherine tell her story and have another post on your blog. You are a great supporter of JAFF authors and it's appreciated. Catherine, it's so sad that you were the victim of this horrible thief and it caused you so much grief at a time that should have been celebratory--not just your birthday, but also the release of your first novel. Know that your fans were behind you 100% and just as upset about the debacle as you were. Best wishes for a better result next time!