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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jane Odiwe: It Wasn't Love At First Sight!

 Jane Odiwe:  It Wasn't Love At First Sight!
(I am happy to have Jane Odiwe visiting Darcyholic Diversions today!  There is more information at the bottom of this post about Jane's double give away.  But as always, additional chances will be given for being a GFC here at the site, Liking BTCole on Facebook, posting this link on Twitter or Facebook, etc.  Hope you enjoy getting to know Jane!)
Thank you Barbara for inviting me to talk about my obsession - I’m thrilled to be here!
I have been in love with Mr Darcy for a very long time, though I have to say it wasn’t love at first sight! My first encounter with this dashing hero was watching the old black and white movie of Pride and Prejudice with Lawrence Olivier as Darcy. I was about ten at the time and really didn’t pay him much attention. Elizabeth Bennet was the character I loved. From Mr Darcy’s first put-down Elizabeth was the heroine for me as she proved to be his equal in wit and intelligence.
Later on my Mum introduced me to Pride and Prejudice from the library and though initially I found the language quite strange and difficult, Jane Austen’s words soon wove their magic. As the story unfolded, I made the wonderful discovery that Mr Darcy finds himself attracted to Elizabeth even though he is determined to find fault with her.
When the Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth adaptation was screened on television, the chemistry between the actors really brought the book to life. Along with several other million women across the globe, I saw Mr Darcy take on a whole new persona. No other actor had made such an impact on a character or made Darcy seem so sexy.
For me, the scene at the Netherfield Ball, both in the book and in this adaptation represents all that is best about Jane Austen’s writing and her characterisations. Darcy begins to enjoy Lizzy’s lively conversation and pert manners. Although she is determined to continue her dislike of him, she agrees to dance with him before she can help herself. The conversation that flies between them is an exercise in brilliant dialogue as each of them tries to better the other with a witty retort. Elizabeth is beginning to realize that however fixed her first impressions of Darcy seem, her opinion of him is changing. She recognizes that they have similarities in their characters; they both like to think that they can use their intellect coupled with a wry sense of humour to win an argument or to make a point, all meted out in an economy of language. Darcy and Elizabeth behave for the most part as opposing forces that cannot help being attracted to the other. Elizabeth prides herself on reading the psychology of people – she likes to know what makes them tick. The infuriating thing is that she cannot make Darcy out. When she thinks she has the upper hand, he then seizes power to have the whip hand over her.
Watching this new adaptation changed my life. I re-read Pride and Prejudice, then all of the other novels and became obsessed with the author and what she looked like. In 2003, I was inspired to write and paint a small picture book, Effusions of Fancy, and then as the first sequels were being written I decided to try my hand at a comic tale. Lydia Bennet’s Story was my first novel, swiftly followed by a Sense and Sensibility sequel, Willoughby’s Return. I hesitated over writing a novel with Darcy and Elizabeth because I wanted so much to get it right. Finally, I felt ready to write Mr Darcy’s Secret. I wanted to write a book about Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage in its early days. In Pride and Prejudice we learn very little of Darcy’s past, and I wondered how Elizabeth might feel if she thought she’d discovered something about her husband’s history that she can do nothing about.
 I enjoy weaving a couple of stories together and really loved writing Georgiana’s story too. The themes of pride and prejudice are as strong as ever, and all takes place against the stunning backdrops of Derbyshire and the Lake District. The Bennets, Bingleys, Collinses, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh all make an appearance as well as Mr Wickham with one or two new characters of my own. In true Jane Austen style everything turns out well in the end.
Elizabeth Darcy is ecstatically happy as mistress of a grand house and wife to the dashing, yet proud Mr Darcy who is proving to be everything she has dreamed of in a loving husband. His former arrogance is rapidly diminishing under her sunny influence; he is even becoming indulgent and sensitive towards her visiting family. But when revelations from an old adversary expose the fact that Darcy was once in love with the mysterious Viola Wickham, it comes as shocking news, not least because Elizabeth is not even aware that her scandalous brother-in-law George Wickham has a stepsister.  As mounting speculation about the paternity of a local boy is hinted at, the discovery of love letters from Viola to Mr Darcy do nothing to allay Elizabeth’s worst fears that her unborn child is not the only Darcy heir and the questions that are provoked about her husband’s true character and reputation will not go away.
Mr Darcy’s secret is a story about love and misunderstandings; of overcoming doubt and trusting to the real feelings of the heart as our sparkling, witty heroine Elizabeth and the powerful, compelling figure of Mr Darcy take centre stage in this romantic tale set in Regency Derbyshire and the Lakes alongside the beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice.

My new book, just launched, is Searching for Captain Wentworth. I am just as in love with Captain Wentworth and I’ve chosen to move away from sequels with this novel which is about a modern heroine who travels across time to meet her very own Captain Wentworth. I’ve absolutely loved writing this book - it’s my love letter to Jane Austen, Bath, Lyme, and of course, Captain Wentworth!

When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it's an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house her favourite author, Jane Austen, lived in. But, the neglected house is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie's story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion. 

I would like to offer two books for an International Giveaway. If you’d like to own either a copy of Mr Darcy’s Secret or a copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth please leave a comment below stating which book you’d prefer and also telling me who is your favourite of Jane Austen’s heroes.

Jane Odiwe
Twitter -- @janeodiwe


  1. Searching for Captain Wentworth! He is a hero for staying constant in his love for Anne despite years of not seeing her, and of course there is The Letter that is even more romantic than Mr Darcy's Letter at Hunsford.

  2. I would love to read Searcing for Cpt Wentworth!

  3. My favourite of Austen's heroes is Mr Darcy, I love him! My favourite of her heroines is Elizabeth. Persuasion is a lovely book too though. If I won I'd like to have the Wentworth book :-)

  4. I am very much like you, Jane. My first taste of Mr. Darcy was the Colin Firth version. I saw that P&P first with a girlfriend who loved it and we saw it in parts, the way it was initially broadcast here on PBS. It wasn't until my second viewing on DVD that I fully "got" it. I hadn't read P&P before but I ran out to buy it and I've been hooked ever since.

    I don't particularly care for the 1940 version with Laurence Olivier but I think that's mainly because Hollywood got it so wrong and I think Greer Garson was miscast. Have you seen Olivier in "Carrie"? The man was absolutely stunning and what a performance.

    Not an entry for a book as I have been most fortunate to read all of yours! Wonderful post, thank you!

  5. Since I am more of a P&P fan I will say my choice is Mr. Darcy's Secret. Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on the new book. Reading wonderful reviews.

    Did the extras except shared on twitter rather than facebook just would connect for some reason.


  6. Thank you for all the lovely comments! I'd love to know who'd come out on top if we did a poll for our favourite Austen hero!

  7. As much as I think our beloved Jane Austen did a phenomenal job with her heroes and you really can't go wrong with any, I always have to go with Mr. Darcy. He was the first Austen hero I read about and with Colin Firth in mind, how can you go wrong? ;)

  8. I'm in *love* with Captain Wentworth (my favourite Jane Austen’s heroe) and I would really really like to read "Searching for Captain Wentworth". It sounds enchanting! Thank you for posting and for the awesome giveaway! :D

    Giada M.

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  9. I would like to thank you so much for this fantastic giveaway! I am a huge aficionardo of Jane Austen and her works, that are as relevant today as they were a hundred years ago. One off my favorite characters is Fanny Price in Mansfield Park who like the author of the novel, broke the trend and proved that it is aceptable to be a female writer at the time. Fanny (similarly to Austen) is my heroine and who so deserved the love of Edmund at the end, it was beautiful.
    Thank you so much once again for this amazing giveaway, and i would love to be able to read (& review) 'Mr. Darcy's Secret' which looks and sounds increadible. Thank you x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  10. Searching for Capt. Wentworth....

    I love Austen's Captain. His letter to Anne sets the bar for romantic epistles.

    But I love love Darcy. The quiet, proud, austere Mr. Darcy, so comfortable in his position of comfort until me meets the one woman who isn't impressed. Just yummy.

    I hope your new book is very successful.

  11. I'd like to read Searching for Captain Wentworth. Mr Darcy's my favorite.

  12. I would enjoy Searching for Captain Wentworth very much. Mr. Darcy is my favorite. This post was wonderful and fascinating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. Searching for Capt. Wentworth is captivating as is Mr. Darcy. Thanks for this opportunity and this lovely post. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. i, too, am a 'mr darcy' fan...and please count me in for 'his secret' in this wonderful book giveaway...thanks

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  15. I enjoyed reading your post. I too love the miniseries. Mr Darcy is my favorite. I like Captain Wentworth but not on the same level as I like Mr. Darcy! Both books sound wonderful but I have had 'Mr. Darcy's Secret' on my wish list for some time so that is my choice should I win. Thanks for the giveaway. Sorry this is so choppy. Trying to do this from my phone and not doing it too well.

  16. I would love to read both of them, but since most people here are opting for Searching for Captain Wentworth I think I'll have to say Mr.Darcy's Secret is my first choice.

    My favorite Austen book is Persuasion, so my favorite hero is Captain Wentworth. The thing I admire most about Persuasion is that I feel as though it tackles one of the biggest hurdles of a relationship--the abilitiy, or inability, to forgive. I think that the boundary of a heart broken is a much harder to thing to get past than the boundary of class. I admire Wentworth for being able to come to terms with Anne's actions and still love her anyway. People like that don't come around very often.

  17. I would love to win SFCW. Darcy is my favorite but I can also see why Wentworth has so much appeal. My intro to Austen was the Colin Firth miniseries. I enjoyed it but it wasn't til I watched it again a few years later that I fell in love with it. Oddly enough it was Mrs Bennet's character that drew me into the movie. I thought I wouldn't really "get" the language but Mrs B is just like my friend's mom. It made me laugh and realize that people are people, no matter the era.

    I LOVE your drawings. I so wish I had that talent.

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

    Tweeted! https://mobile.twitter.com/jaffobsession/status/261243644848259072?p=v

  18. Mr. Darcy's Secret please ... because.... I just LOVE me some Mr. Darcy!! :)

    Thank you so much for the giveaway, and I really enjoyed the interview!

    Valerie R.
    txreyn5663 (at) earthlink (dot) net

  19. I would love to win Searching for Captain Wentworth! Sounds really interesting!

    My favorite hero is Mr. Darcy. I'm from Holland and when I was 9 my English was practically non-existent, but when we were on holiday in England that summer pride and prejudice (with Colin Firth) was on the television. I didn't understand a word of the whole thing, but still I was in love with the dresses, the dances, Mrs. Bennet's shrieking and Mr. Collins' creepy smile. Since then I learned some English, watched this adaptation like 10 times and I am still very much in love with pride and prejudice.

    1. oh, my email is arjanne.boneschanscher (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. I've loved reading all your comments-Mr Darcy, it seems, is very well loved!

  21. Thank you for all the lovely comments and interest in my books! Mr Darcy and Captain Wentworth are a divine combination and clearly win your hearts!

  22. my favorite of JaneAusten's heroes has to be Elizabeth!!!

    thank you for the giveaway, i would love to win Searching for Captain Wentworth!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  23. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Col. Brandon. Of course it does not hurt that my favorite Colonel is Alan Rickman.


  24. Capt Wentworht is my favorite. The letter he wrote was beautiful, imagine if he hadn't been in a rush! :-)

    I would like to win "Searching for Captain Wentworth"


  25. Lovely post with lovely illustrations! You are so multi-talented, Jane!I've had both books on my wish list, so either would be grand..but if I have to pick, I would like Mr. Darcy's Secretm please! Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. June, thank you for the lovely comment about my illustrations!

  27. Hello Jane and Barbara,

    I am in the middle of "Searching for Captain Wentworth' and very much enjoying it! - Jane, you write [and draw!] beautifully! Wentworth is my favorite of Austen heroes, but I agree with all that you say about Darcy, and watching his growing attraction to Elizabeth despite his better judgement is one of the best of Austen's characterizations..[and Colin Firth helps!]

    Thank you for this post and giveaway - "Searching ... Wentworth" - I have already purchased a copy, but I will offer it as a giveaway at our next JASNA-Vermont gathering.

    jasnavermont [at] gmail [dot] com

  28. I would love a copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth. After visiting Lyme Regis and Bath last spring, it'll be great to read about them and revisit (in my mind).
    My favorite JA hero is Captain Wentworth, even though I'm drawn more to the Edward Ferrars types in real life. Captain Wentworth has that bravado and confidence that pulls everyone's attention. And his letter-writing ability is down-right swoon worthy.

    amytf92 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  29. Deb, thank you so much for your very kind comments about my book-so glad you're enjoying it! Colin Firth certainly helps and I have a weakness for Ciaran Hinds too as Captain Wentworth.

    Amy, I always love a book that takes me back to places I love which is why I enjoyed writing this so much!

  30. Great that all our heros and heroines are living on!! You're doing a great job. Mr Darcy's secret would be a great read. I suppose like many Mr Darcy would be my hero from the BBC production with Colin Firth. That certainly was his best performance, better than his more comic roles. My mother watched P&P many many times on our DVD, she just adored it.



  31. My favourite JA hero is Darcy/Colin Firth.
    I would love to read Searching for Captain Wentworth.


  32. My favorite Jane Austen Hero is Mr. Darcy and Colin Firth is my favorite film version of him. I would like to win a copy of Mr Darcy’s Secret.


  33. I would love to win a copy of Searching for Captain Wentworth. Mr. Darcy is my favorite Austen hero but I also love Mr. Knightley and really liked Captain Wentworth.


  34. Darcy and Captain Wentworth, of course! But one cannot forget Colonel Fitzwilliam! I have a soft spot for him. I would love to win Searching for Captain Wentworth. I love Persuasion spins and I already own Darcy's Secret. Thank you for the giveaway!
    cherringtonmb at sbcglobal dot net

  35. Julie, Monica and Chelsea, I agree, Colin Firth makes a wonderful Darcy!

    1. Thanks, what other movie versions of P&P have you seen?

  36. Tina and Becky C, you are so right to include those other heroes. We love them all, don't we?

  37. I would choose Searching for Captain Wentworth if I do win since I already own Mr. Darcy's Secret. My favourite heroes are Captain Wentworth and Darcy.

    GFC follower: Lúthien84
    Like Barbara's author page: Sylvia Claire Chan


  38. Thank you for your comment, Evangeline! Darcy and Wentworth are certainly coming out on top!

  39. Great post, I would love Mr. Darcy's Secrets and my favorite hero is Darcy but I feel like everyone has said that LOL thanks so much

  40. I love finding out how different authors came to write the books they write. It makes me think about myself and why I do things.

    I love Darcy, but I have a soft spot for Colonel Fitzwilliam and love imagining him with others (my favorite girl for him changes all the time). I'd love to win a copy of Mr. Darcy's Secret.


  41. I'd love searching for Captain Wentworth. Persuasion is my favorite. For some unknown reason I like Henry Tilney as a hero also. In my opinion Mansfield Park doesn't really have a hero :)
    I love Darcy too but he's just a little too brooding and dark to be a good match for me. smiles.

  42. Darcy is my favorite hero, because he realizes his mistakes and changes for the better without expecting anything in return. However, Wentworth's letter? *swoon*

    I've already read Searching for Captain Wentworth, so I'd like to read Mr. Darcy's Secret.

    Thank you!
    Heather M.