Today’s Guest Blog Post and Give-Away by Jack Caldwell
Hi, Darcyholics! Today’s Guest post brings with it a male view of Darcyholism. I am happy to have Jack Caldwell with us today.
Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
February 3--Jan Hahn
February 7--Abigail Reynolds
February 10--Ola Wegner
February 14--Sandy Cook! Celebrating Mr. Darcy and Valentine’s Day
February 17--Nancy Kelley
February 21--Janet Taylor
February 24--Nina Benneton
And Many more to come!
Jack is giving away a copy of each of Pemberley Ranch, US and Canada only. Entries will be based on comments on the blog post; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, clicking 'like' on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, or following BarbTCole on Twitter; you can also follow Jack on Twitter or Facebook or his blog on her blog. Please note any of these things that you do in your blog post for extra entries.
And Now...I present...Jack Caldwell!
MR. FITZWILLIAM DARCY –Good day, everyone. The lovely hostess of this web site has requested a favor of me. Of course, I have no idea what a “web site” is, but that is neither here nor there. I have been asked most prettily, and as I have no objection to the exercise, I have complied.
I have been asked to interview Mr. Jack Caldwell, the author of two Jane Austen themed novels: PEMBERLEY RANCH and THE THREE COLONELS. As you may know, Mr. Caldwell has been fond of interviewing characters from Miss Jane Austen’s novels and publishing these so-called Austen Interviews in his Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles at another web site. Without further ado—Mr. Jack Caldwell.
JACK CALDWELL – Thanks, Mr. Darcy. I’m glad to be here. We’re kinda casual on this side of the pond, so what do I call you? Darcy, Fitz, or Will?
FD – Mr. Darcy will do, thank you very much. Mr. Caldwell, I have a series of questions from the mistress of Darcyholic Diversions, but I would like to begin with two of my own. Firstly—what is a Cajun Cheesehead?
JC – I’m a native of the State of Louisiana in the United States of America. We’re known as Cajuns. Upon moving several years ago to the State of Wisconsin, also in the US, I became a Cheesehead, as they refer to fans of the local American professional football team, the Green Bay Packers. You see, they tend to wear these large, yellow foam cheese hats to the games—
FD – It sounds very fashionable, I am sure. By the way, I know where both Louisiana and Wisconsin are.
JC – Sorry ‘bout that.
FD – Yes. Secondly—why have you not interviewed either my wife or me for your Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles?
JC – You think I’m dumb?
FD – I beg your pardon?
JC – Mr. Darcy, there’s no way I could get away with interviewing either you or Lizzy—
FD – Sir! She is Mrs. Darcy to you!
JC – Oops. As I was saying, the fans have definite ideas about you and your wife. As powerful as I claim my author’s imagination to be, I can’t overcome the readers’ pride in their prejudiced opinions about their favorite couple in all of literature —Mr. and Mrs. Darcy.
FD – Pride in their prejudiced opinions? I suppose you believe yourself clever.
JC – I do, actually.
FD – You think that if it gives you comfort. As to the questions at hand: When did you first discover Jane Austen Fan Fiction?
JC – It was over a dozen years ago. You see, I discovered Jane Austen after I finished college. In 1981 I saw the PBS broadcast of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice. I had already decided to read the classics that I had not in school, and I started with The Collected Works of Jane Austen because of that broadcast.
FD – Am I to understand you have read all of Miss Jane Austen’s works?
JC – Her major works, yes, several times. In 1995, I saw both the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice and the film adaptation of Persuasion, and they reignited my interest in Austen. In 2000, I began looking around the Internet for sequels to P&P when I stumbled across JAFF. Abigail Reynolds was one of the first authors I read—this was before she was published. I’ve been hooked ever since.
FD – When did you begin your own writing?
JC – For about five years, I read hundreds of stories. Many were good, and some were excellent. But to be honest, there were some that were, to be kind, not well written. I complained to my wife, the lovely Barbara, about it. She then asked, “Well, can you do better?” That was a challenge I couldn’t resist. In 2005, I wrote my first JAFF story, and the rest is history.
FD – So you are saying it is Mrs. Jack Caldwell who is to blame for your writing?
JC – ‘Fraid so.
FD – We have solved that mystery.
JC – It was Abigail who convinced me to send one of my stories to Sourcebooks. That was PEMBERLEY RANCH, which came out in December of 2010.
FD – Is that the story in which you move me to Texas and make me a … what is it called? A cowboy?
JC – Yep.
FD – And you have my Elizabeth riding a horse?
JC – Yep. A paint named Turner.
FD – You must know that Elizabeth does not ride horses of any type.
JC – Beth does.
FD – (*sigh*) I see there is no arguing with you.
JC – You must be used to that by now with all us authors out there.
FD – Too true. Let me refer back to my list of questions. Ah … You are man writing Austen-themed novels, a genre dominated by women. That is very rare. Why Austen?
JC – Two reasons. First, my real love is historical fiction. History is the great story of humanity. I use my work to explain how we got where we are. Why our civilization turned out this way. And how we’re not so very different from people in our distant past.
FD – Yes. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
JC – You’ve read George Santayana? But Reason in Common Sense didn’t come out until 1905!
FD – My friend, Colonel Brandon, explained that one can move about in space and time. I believe you are the one who taught him.
JC – Me and my big author’s imagination.
FD – Your second reason, sir?
JC – I like Austen. Her characters are real, and their personalities transcend the Regency. They’re timeless. Besides, Austen writes really good men. What I mean is, she gets us. The male characters act like men, not the way women think men ought to act. So, Austen is a good hook to hang my stories. The reader enjoys the plot while I sneak in a history lesson or two.
FD – I cannot approve of that. Disguise of any sort is my abhorrence.
JC – Excuse me, but how is that different from Shakespeare?
FD – You compare yourself to the Bard of Avon?
JC – Of course not, except that we’re using the same device. What better way to honor the greats than to imitate their greatness? That’s how we learn and grow.
FD – I see your point. I understand you have a second novel.
JC – Yeah. THE THREE COLONELS will be released by Sourcebooks Landmark on March 1, 2012.
FD – Do I appear in this novel?
JC – Sure. It’s a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Both you and Lizzy—um, Mrs. Darcy are in it (and happily married, I may add), as well as Colonel and Mrs. Brandon, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Anne de Bourgh, and Caroline Bingley. There are other Austen characters, as well as original ones like Colonel Sir John Buford.
FD – Must you have Miss Bingley in this story? She can be so tiresome.
JC – Don’t worry, she won’t be bugging you. Trust me.
FD – I will hold you to that, sir. Let me see… Do you have anything else to promote?
JC – Sure. My web site is Ramblings of a Cajun Cheesehead – I have previews of my stories and free stuff, too. I post regularly at Austen Authors blog – Austen Authors-- I’m also on Facebook (/Jack-Caldwell-author) and Twitter (@JCaldwell25).
FD – “Facebook.” “Twitter.” Such silly names.
JC – Can’t disagree with you.
FD – By the way, I have noticed there are no pictures of me in this posting.
JC – Yeah, because I don’t know what you really look like. Laurence Olivier? David Rintoul? Colin Firth? Matthew Macfadyen? Which one resembles you the best?
FD – I cannot say. I look just like myself.
JC – You know, some fangirls can get into fisticuffs over Colin and Matthew.
FD – Really? Women are far more violent today.
JC – This coming from Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s nephew.
FD – I take your point. Thank you for your time, Mr. Caldwell.
JC – Anytime. So, you’re going home to Pemberley now?
FD – Directly.
JC – How are you getting there?
FD – Just like this. (SOUND OF MR. DARCY RISING FROM HIS CHAIR) I stand, click my heels together and say, “There’s no place like Pemberley!”
(SOUND OF A MAGICAL EXPLOSION)
JC – Wow, it worked!
(SOUND OF A MAGICAL EXPLOSION)
LADY CATHERINE DE BOURGH – Where is he? Where is my nephew? I must have my share of the conversation!
JC – Damn that shifting in space and time!
About the Author - Jack Caldwell is an author, amateur historian, professional economic developer, playwright, and like many Cajuns, a darn good cook. Born and raised in the Bayou County of Louisiana, Jack and his wife, Barbara, are Hurricane Katrina victims, and now make the upper Midwest their home. Always a history buff, Jack found and fell in love with Jane Austen in his twenties, struck by her innate understanding of the human condition.
Jack uses his work to share his knowledge of history. Through his characters, he hopes the reader gains a better understanding of what went on before, developing an appreciation for our ancestors' trials and tribulations. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Jack is married with three grown sons.