Applause and An Audacious Audience with Audrey Ryan, author of All the Things I Know
By Barbara Tiller Cole
I am happy to have the opportunity to visits with Audrey Ryan today as the next stop on her Blog Tour. Enjoy a little inside information about her and about her latest novel. Be sure to read till the end and comment for a chance to win her latest novel. And A Very Merry Christmas season to you all from VERY snowy Atlanta--and yes I said Atlanta where we got over a foot of snow at my house yesterday! And now for the interview...
BTCole: Hi Audrey. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
ARyan: Let’s see, I'm 35 and a Seattle native. I do email marketing for Expedia.com by day. I majored in English with a writing concentration and have always wanted to a published author. Took me a while to get around to it! I think I really wasn't ready to publish anything till now though. I had a lot of grand plans in my twenties, but I never finished anything. Then, of course, there was the recession and making ends meet took away a lot of my focus.
BTCole: Separate from writing and reading, and working for Expedia, what do you like to do with your time?
ARyan: Some of my interests aside from reading and writing are small pleasures. For instance, I'm a big fan of lavender and there are some lovely lavender farms here in Washington state. Have you ever had lavender chocolate? Divine! There's also a small wine country outside of Seattle, in a suburb called Woodinville that my girlfriends and I like to visit. Interestingly enough, almost all of my besties have names that start with an 'A'. I think it's an 80s thing. When we were all roommates, it was kind of hilarious.
BTCole: Actually I have had lavender chocolate! And lavender honey! And have some lavender soap, etc. I got to visit a gorgeous lavender farm in Pennsylvania several years back. Here’s a picture from there. What else would you like for us to know? Any hidden secrets?
ARyan: I’m secretly in love with the Coppola family (specifically Sofia Coppola). Beautiful artistic movies and a Vineyard in Napa? Yes please! I love to get cans of Sofia wine on my birthday every year. If you can't guess, wine is kind of my thing. Although not in a formal way -- I taste only to enjoy.
BTCole: Tell us about your family.
ARyan: I’ve been married for 2 and a half years to by husband Ryan. Yes, his first name is the last name of my nom de plume! Ryan and I are both creative people. He's also a writer (of non-fiction personal essays), a DJ, and the bassist in a band. Writing is my favorite way to be creative, but I also draw and paint for fun. We like to surround ourself with creative people -- so many of my friends make such awesome things! My friend Mark shot my author photographs, for instance. I also have a step daughter who's 14. She is Ryan's mini-me, except with a lot more sass! Emme helps me feel uncool and informs me on what all the teenagers are doing. We have a journal we keep together on all the best macaroons in the city.
BTCole: Some how from what you are sharing U doubt you are ever ‘uncool’. Sounds like Emme keeps you ‘hip’.
ARyan: Hmmm, other facts: I adore Mazzy Star (the band) and drony 90s shoegaze. I love touring all the local coffee shops to write. I think switching up environments is helpful to my productivity. My brain loves novelty. I could be called a but of a compulsive shopper (I love pretty things). I have a 10 year old cat named George who's seen me through a lot of my life ups and downs. He's so weird and awesome. I don't think there's a friendlier cat out there, which is great since Emme like to torment him. Ryan and I were set up by a friend who I nicknamed "Emma". The week before we met we made a 500 song joint playlist through Spotify -- a great way for music snobs to connect!
BTCole: OK, let’s shift gears a little bit. Tell us about how you discovered Jane Austen and her books.
ARyan: Initially, I was instructed to watch the '95 Pride & Prejudice when I was in Jr High and was a little too young to appreciate Colin Firth and the Darcy craze (I was more interested in my tween crushes), but I started to catch on in college as an English major. However, it wasn't till after I graduated and experienced the sudden passing of my mom that I really became addicted to Austen. My great aunt Naomi (who I looked to for book recommendations) told me how she reread Pride & Prejudice at least once a year, and more when she needed cheering up. I turned to Austen and all the Austen film adaptations I could find (and some general books like Austenland, because I had no idea what JAFF was). I found the escapism a great comfort.
BTCole: I think that Jane Austen and her works have helped to heal many a broken heart or a wounded spirit. How did you go from reading and watching to writing something of your own?
ARyan: I had the idea that I wanted to adapt Pride & Prejudice in a similar manner to Clueless, being not only modern, but tapping into cultural trends of the time. Clueless identified (and even started) a lot of trends that spoke to it's audience. I wanted to not only adapt, but also represent millennials. I started writing when we were in a period of time when we needed to save money, so my husband (who is also a writer) and I had "writing dates" at a favorite coffee shop. The bug just bit me and I started adapting! I read annotated versions of Pride & Prejudice, listened to podcasts and lectures through iTunes U about Austen and spent a considerable amount of time analyzing her motivations and the motivations of the time and translating them to the values today. You would be surprised the amount of upfront research I did for this novel before I actually started adapting; in all of the plot points I changed, I worked to translate them to something relevant, but with the same emotional impact.
BTCole: I have to confess that I actually loved Clueless. So what is your favorite of Jane Austen’s novels and why?
ARyan: Pride & Prejudice has a very warm place in my heart. I will say, counting that out, that I love Northanger Abby. Something about Catherine Moreland is incredibly endearing to me -- I think it's because I identify with her more than any other Austen heroine; she is well meaning, sometimes naive, but incredibly earnest. Her attraction to Henry Tilney and his snark reminds me of my marriage to my smart snarky hubby. I am a bit wiser now than I was at 17, but there are many ways that I'm still that young girl who tries too hard.
BTCole: Do you have a favorite character?
ARyan: I think I love Catherine Moreland so much because I identify with her and would probably want to be her friend in real life. On the other hand, I want to be Elizabeth Bennet with her sparkle and magnetism. I think she has a lot to do with why Pride & Prejudice variations are the most popular. There's a reason Darcy pines for her and who doesn't like to see a romantic hero pining? She's worthy to be pined for, for sure!
BTCole: Am I Writing Anything Now?
ARyan: Before I started editing All the Things I Know for publication, I had written 7 chapters of a variation. Regency is so much harder than moderns! I think I will keep that one going on my back burner, but that one may be a slower writing project for me. I've set up several characters in All the Things I Know to have their own Austen adapted sequel. My muse is telling me to follow Katrina's story next. Katrina Mori. I wonder who she could be? ;)
BTCole: Thanks again for visiting us here at Darcyholic Diversions! I have really enjoyed getting to know you! Come back when you finish your next book! I love the idea of ‘author dates’. I think I may have to mention that to my husband! Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
Lizzie Venetidis is confident in her decisions. Moving to Seattle with her sister Jane after she graduated from Stanford, for instance, was a no-brainer. Adult life, however, turns out to be more difficult to navigate than she expected.
What career should she pursue with a bachelor’s degree in art history and no marketable experience amongst a tech-heavy job market? How responsible is it to drink that fourth cocktail while out with friends? And what should she do about Darcy—the aloof yet captivating guy she met her first night in town?
All the Things I Know is a one-mistake-at-a-time retelling of Pride & Prejudice, set against the backdrop of modern-day techie Seattle. Full of wry observations, heartache, and life lessons, All the Things I Know shares the original’s lessons of correcting ill-conceived first impressions and learning who you really are.
Audrey Ryan is the nom de plume of Andrea Pangilinan: daydreamer, wife and step-mother, and obsessive story consumer. She studied writing in college, dreamt about becoming a novelist and slowly forgot about it when real life took over. With a particular affection for contemporary retellings, adapting Pride & Prejudice to modern day has always been a dream.
When she’s not reading and writing, Andrea is a marketing slave to the internet industry. She enjoys talking crazy to her weirdo cat, consuming copious amount of wine and coffee with her girlfriends, and record shopping with her husband. Oh yeah, and there’s that small Jane Austen obsession. That doesn’t take up any time at all.
Audrey’s Goodreads is just as a reader, but it’s here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3797528-audrey-ryan-andrea-pangilinan
All the Things I Know Blog Tour Schedule:
12- 3 Austenesque Reviews; Author Interview, Giveaway
12- 4 My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
12- 5 Babblings of a Bookworm; Character Interview, Giveaway
12- 6 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post, Giveaway
12- 7 Night Owl Reader; Review, Excerpt
12- 8 Just Jane 1813; Review, Giveaway
12- 9 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, Giveaway
12-10 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
12-11 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
12-12 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
12-14 My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview, Giveaway
12-15 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
12-16 More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway
Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
Thanks again for taking part in the Blog Tour for Audrey Ryan’s All the Things I Know. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me!