Today’s Guest Blog Post and Give-Away by Jan Hahn
Hi, Darcyholics! I am very happy to share with you a guest post by Jan H. For anyone who has read JAFF online, you have most likely read one of Jan’s stories. With one book now available, and another soon to be released, I am thrilled to have her visiting 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
February 28--Maria Grazia (My Jane Austen Book Club)
March 2--Rita W.
March 27--Lucy S.
And Many more to come!
Jan is giving away a soft cover and an eBook copy of each of An Arranged Marriage, US and Canada for soft cover--International included for eBook. 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. Please note any of these things that you do in your blog post for extra entries.
And Now...I present...Jan H.!
The 21st Century Made Me a Darcyholic
I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time in high school. Unfortunately, I was too busy flirting with the boy sitting next to me to pay much attention to the book. I am ashamed to admit that I was bored. All I retained were vague impressions of tedious conversation, stilted language, balls, and a weird preoccupation with getting married. Oh, and one more thing . . . a rich, handsome man called Darcy. At least I remembered his name.
By the 1990s when the BBC produced the version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, I am glad to report that I had matured enough to enjoy watching it. I not only reserved the time to view the entire program, but I had enough sense to record it on a VHS tape. I thought about reading the book again, but somehow I never got around to it.About six years later, tragedy drove me back to Darcy. Along with the rest of the country, the horror of 9/11 plunged me into shock and grief. I overdosed on news shows, newspaper accounts, and magazines until I couldn’t sleep. I prayed and grieved and talked to friends and prayed some more, but as the weeks went by, I couldn’t shake the ever-present black cloud over my head. I wanted to leave the 21st Century. I longed to go back in time, to escape into another world, to retreat to a place of comfort and safety. I found myself watching old sit-coms on TV, re-reading books I knew for certain had a happy ending, anything that would temporarily remove me from the panic gripping the United States. I needed serious distraction.
Fortunately, one evening I happened upon that old VHS tape tucked away at the bottom of a pile of movies. I put it in the VCR, turned it on, and smiled as it transported me into a beautiful world of elegance and manners, romance and grace. I forgot about the present day world for six hours—now, that was a distraction! I began watching Pride and Prejudice over and over night after night. I read the book again and laughed out loud, wondering how in the world I had considered it boring. How could I have wasted time with that silly boy (whose name I could no longer recall) when I could have explored the glorious essence of Darcy all those years ago?
A month or so later, I began searching online for anyone who shared this strange obsession that had taken hold of my life. That led me to the Republic of Pemberley where I discovered the phenomenon known as fan fiction. After devouring almost every story posted there, I moved on to the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild. Of course, it didn’t take long for any number of Jane Austen sites to pop up online. Worlds of continuations and variations of what had become my favorite book became available to read.
That’s the saga of my road to Darcy. I believe I read somewhere that Abigail Reynolds stated that 9/11 had a similar effect on her renewal of interest in Jane Austen. I’ve always admired Abigail’s talent and wasn’t surprised when her books were published. I applaud her for her success. Today there are more published authors and books based on Jane Austen’s characters than I can keep up with.
I made my first attempt at writing a Pride and Prejudice story in 2002. I posted it at the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild, and that plunged me into a marvelous connection with people who encouraged me to write. Talk about instant gratification—I couldn’t believe it! Through the years, I’ve written six complete stories.
I never intended to publish anything I wrote. It took every scrap of courage I could find to post my stories online, and it simply became a hobby I enjoyed. When Meryton Press approached me, good friends urged me to accept the offer to publish some of my work. With the aid of my wonderful editor, Debbie Styne, and the talents and efforts of Ellen Pickels and Michele Reed, my first book, An Arranged Marriage, was released last summer.
For those who haven’t read it, the story takes Darcy and Elizabeth on another alternate path. It begins when Mr. Bennet dies immediately after Elizabeth has refused Darcy’s pathetic proposal at Hunsford. Elizabeth rushes back to her family, knowing that Longbourn is, of course, entailed away and that her father has left little fortune to sustain his widow and daughters. When Darcy shows up at Longbourn six months later, his proposal for a marriage of convenience to Elizabeth does not set well with her. However, her sense of duty forces her to enter into an arranged marriage with a man she doesn’t even like. Can Elizabeth overcome her feelings of anger, resentment, and suspicion toward her new husband and—the most bewildering sensation of all—a growing attraction for the last man in the world she ever wished to marry?Today, I have become a true Jane Austen fanatic. I love all of her books. I devour every movie or television adaptation that is made. I believe it would be quite easy for me to become highly infatuated with Mr. Knightly. I think Henry Tilney is a gem. I greatly admire Colonel Brandon, while I am disappointed in Edward Ferrars. I cannot help but wonder what’s so great about Edmund Bertram, but it certainly wouldn’t take much persuasion to make me sail around the harbor with Captain Wentworth. However . . . if I must choose my favorite from Austen’s heroes, there’s no contest. I will always be in love with that proud, reserved, still slightly arrogant, but (in essentials) good man known as Fitzwilliam Darcy.
So, I hereby stand and make my confession: My name is Jan, and I am a Darcyholic. Don’t bother offering me the cure, because I’m sure I couldn’t swallow it.
About the author:
Jan Hahn’s first novel, An Arranged Marriage, recently won the award for Best Indie book of 2011 from Austinprose. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. Her second book, The Journey, is due to be released soon.
She is fascinated by all things Austen, the 19th Century, and true love. Having spent far too many years toiling away in the world of business, she is now content to leave that world behind and concentrate on her true interest—writing about Austen’s characters finding true love in the 19th Century. She is blessed with five wonderful children and the smartest, most beautiful grandchildren alive. Although a native Texan, Jan doesn’t live on a ranch, can’t ride a horse, and doesn’t own a pair of cowboy boots. She will admit to being cursed with a definite Texas drawl.
Visit Jan on Facebook or at Meryton Press
I first read An Arranged Marriage @ Renee's mrsdarcy site and have read it at least three times since.
I am so excited to see you and so many other authors have their wonderful works come to fruition by publication.
Even though I have this story as well as The Journey downloaded I look forward to purchasing my very own punblished copy.
Congratulations on your first book!Delete
I am very excited for you. :)
Hi, Sandy! How fondly I remember our days at mrsdarcy.com! I hated when the site, along with several others, became inactive. You were always so kind to comment and to let me know when you didn't like what my characters were doing - LOL! I loved your passionate responses!Delete
Hi, Trez! How kind of you to read my story more than once! You have no idea how much that encourages me to keep on keeping on.Delete
Like Trez, I first read An Arranged Marriage at mrsdarcy.com and enjoyed it. I can't even count how many times I have re-read this story. It's one of my all-time favorites. I enjoy reading all of your stories because you always manage to transport me into a wonderful world where I can escape real life for a while and enjoy the adventures of Darcy and Elizabeth.
I have a copy for my Kindle but plan to add the book to my library, too! Like Darcy..."I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library"!
I enjoyed reading about how you started your journey to being a Darcyholic. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and for sharing your wonderful talent. I anxiously look forward to the next story.
Well, Sandy, my reply was supposed to show up below your post, but somehow I managed to muck it up as usual. Sorry about that.Delete
WOOOOHOOOO! JanH is in Barb's blog!ReplyDelete
Jan, I must tell you: YOU are the reason that I became a Darcyholic. I must state this because someone has to share this guilt with me. And who can share it better than you-the very one tat started it?
I could say it is Jane Austen's fault or Matthews, but no. It is the "Sins of the Fathers". Please, publish it soon.
Oh, China, did I really do this to you? I'd say I feel bad to make anyone into some kind of "holic," but it would be a lie when it comes to becoming a Darcyholic. I'm glad you liked "Sins."Delete
I too wish for it to be published! It is such a good story!Delete
Amen! Sista! I agree with you about Bertram! What's up with that piece of bland, dreary bread? Chasing after Mary Crawford the whole novel and then woke up at the last minute?
I'm so glad your book is published. I don't need to be entered in the giveaway as I will order the book anyhow!
Thank you, Nina! And I'm so glad someone agreed with me about Bertram. Poor Fanny - she deserved better.ReplyDelete
I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your doing a guest post here at Darcyholic Diversions. It has been a treat to get to know you, if just a bit, as I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories for a long time.
Like Nina, I agree about Bertrand. What was his deal deciding to marry someone who had the character of a snake in the first place. Never got that, and at the LAST minute decides he will go with his heart. I could have fallen in love with Mr. Knightley as well. Thought Colonel Brandon was a hero. But like you, Austen for me is about Darcy!
9/11 effected me as well. And right after that my husband almost died, and I found comfort in JAFF during his recovery and in the shadow of terrorism. Your early stories were some of those I read so very early on.
Barb, I've enjoyed our e-mail discussions about 9/11 and how JA stories helped us both during our husbands' illnesses. You have created a beautiful oasis here for all of us who suffer from the same addiction. I can't wait to read the blogs you have scheduled for the weeks to come!Delete
I too love the escape that JAFF provides. I remember just staring at the TV on 9/11 like a zombie. It was all too much and yet I couldn't look away. I wasn't a Darcyholic yet at that time but now, especially on a crappy day, there's nothing better than curling up with my blanket and Mr Darcy.ReplyDelete
I read An Arranged Marriage online at DWG and loved it. Lizzy and Darcy were delightfully frustrating, as they should be in that situation. I also loved The Child - I think it is the only WIP I've ever started reading in the middle, then later after the finish, went back and read the whole. What is The Journey about?
Thank you for sharing with us, and for the giveaway. :)
I also follow this blog and @barbtcole.
Thank you for your interest in An Arranged Marriage and in The Child, a story with which I'm not satisfied. One of these days, I'll have to re-write it. The Journey begins shortly after the Netherfield ball. Elizabeth is on her way to London to see the Gardiners, but she's traveling with a motley crew - Darcy, along with Bingley's witchy sisters. Things go downhill when a handsome highwayman and his band of rogues stop the carriage. That's as much as I can say for now.Delete
Jan, I give you credit, too, for my addition to Jane Austen, P n P, and more especially, all things, Darcy!!! I loved An Arranged Marriage and have read it three times...in a row, no less! No need to enter me in the contest as I, obciously, already own the book and have given it as gifts to friends and family. It is making more Darcyholics!!! Now the interest in JAFF is spreading in my family!ReplyDelete
Liked your post! I hope you never stop writing and sharing your stories with all of us!
addiction that is...sorry about that! :)Delete
then obviously, should proof before sending, huh!
Hey, Janet! I give you credit for keeping me going. (We're friends in RL) Your enthusiasm for Darcy and P&P has been like a shot of adrenalin. It's like living through the first discovery of Austen's genius all over again, and I thank you for it!Delete
I appreciate that, Jan. Thank you! I can't wait for The Journey to to be available either! It's neat to read that it is Wendi's favorite! Now I'm really looking forward to it. You know I'm pulling for The Sins of the Fathers too!Delete
"The Journey" IS the story that cemented my Darcyholism forever. After I read that, there was never a chance for turning back. It is still my absolute favorite, with your other stories tying for second. Thank you, Jan, for writing - and for publishing your books. I have to admit that I've been like a silly school girl waiting for "The Journey" to come out!ReplyDelete
Oh, Wendi, thank you for loving The Journey and for telling me that you do. I'll be so glad when it's finally available. Giving birth to this book has been a long, tough pregnancy.Delete
Thank you Jan for sharing your obsession with the rest of us! The language and development of your stories draw me in like no others. An Arranged Marriage and The Journey are among my all-time favorites in the genre!ReplyDelete
And thank you Barbara for bringing us this guest post from such a jewel of an author!
I have been a fan of yours for quite a long time, Jan. Your stories are gripping and well-written.Delete
Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Hi, Kate! I am so grateful that some of my books are among your favorites. That makes my day!Delete
And hi, Robin! Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate them.Delete
This is certainly an interesting take on Elizabeth and Darcy. Of course in life anything can happen and if the event of her father's death had taken place at this time it certainly would have affected their story. I am also in agreement of disappointment in Mr. F. I have to say here that I've always found it peculiar that Lucy Steel goes on to marry the younger brother(his first name escapes me at the moment)and that his family (especially Mama) would be accepting since she was not considered a good match for Edward. Well food for thought.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the giveaway!I am in Canada. I have tweeted,shared,liked and follow. Whew!
Thank you, Margaret! It's great to hear from someone in Canada. That entire Lucy Steele affair baffles me, too. I think it's time for a re-read of Sense and Sensibility.ReplyDelete
Im excited to read this even if Im not fortunate enough to win. I haven't read it yet, but reading all the awesome comments makes me anxious too. I love finding new Austen authors to read and blog about. i also love seeing that there are so many others as obsessed and addicted as I am :) You all remind me that Im not alone.ReplyDelete
I also follow the blog and on twitter where I tweeted.
Thanks so much for your comments. I, too, am thrilled that there are so many who share our preference for Austen.Delete
I enjoyed your post. The book sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to reading it.ReplyDelete
I follow this blog.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy the book.ReplyDelete
Jan, you're one of my favorite P&P authors--I've read some of your stuff online at the DWG archive and fell in love. Can't wait to read this one!ReplyDelete
Also, I liked Jan's facebook page. Thanks!
araminta18 at gmail dot com
Thank you, Araminta! You are so kind!ReplyDelete
Jan, your book looks so good! I have been dying to read it since it came out! Thanks for the giveaway!ReplyDelete
Jakki36(at) yahoo(dot) com
I tweeted this, I follow Barbara's author page on FB, I also follow Barbara on Twitter.Delete