Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Five Minutes with Jane Austen Fan and eBook Author Madeline Courtney

When I attended my first writer's conference more than 30 years ago there were 50,000 books being published annually. Few, if any of us, had any inkling of how different the publishing landscape would be in the 21st century. Today with publishing-on-demand and eBooks thrown into the mix more than a million books are being written per year on every conceivable topic, many of them spawned by favorite writers from the past. One of these is Jane Austen, with seemingly countless variations on this theme from Mr. Darcy's Mail Order Bride to Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth: The Confession of Mr. Darcy, Vampire.

One of Austen's mesmerized fans is Madeline Courtney who has written her own Austen-inspired novel called Abhorrence and Affection. Having self-published a few eBooks of my own I thought I'd check in with another emerging author utilizing the form. A description of the book reads, "Inspired by Jane Austen.... with a sensual twist."

EN: When did you make a decision that you were serious about becoming a writer?

Madeline Courtney: Would you believe it if I said I made the decision when I was in the sixth grade? I've been writing my whole life (my friend's and I would write "books" together in grade school). In the sixth grade, I really decided to look into it seriously because my teacher read a small little blurb of something I was writing and loved it (or so she said). I loved seeing the way she reacted. I knew then that I had a talent I wanted to share with the world.

EN: What are some of the things you have done to develop your writing skills?

MC: READING. I think the best way to grow and learn as a writer is to READ. Anything. Everything. Jane Austen. V.C Andrews. Stephen King. It's just like being taught from the best.

EN: What is it that fascinates you about Jane Austen?

MC: What fascinates me about Jane is that she was so... rebellious in a way that only a woman from the late 1700s to early 1800s could be. The laws of society were very strict back then, and yet she still fought them. I imagine today she would seem a very proper woman... but back then she was wild and untamed.

EN: Do you have a favorite character in Pride & Prejudice and why?

MC: DARCY. Why? You mean other than the fact that he is without a doubt the most handsome gentleman known to existence? Probably because the first time I read the novel I spent half the book hating him and thinking he was this big asshole... when really he's just shy and sensitive. It's amazing character development really.

EN: In what ways is your novel Abhorrence and Affection a takeoff on Austen? In what ways is it different?

MC: Austen characters are mentioned in Abhorrence and Affection. The novel takes place not far from Longburn. The Bennets are family "friends" of the main character's family. The Benedicts are all caught up with the same gossip of Pride and Prejudice.. They also attend the famous ball that takes place at Netherfield Park. It takes place in the same time period and same universe as Pride and Prejudice... just through different eyes with different circumstances.

EN: What is the hardest part of writing novels?

MC: The hardest part of writing novels... probably the dreaded Writer's Block. I'm prone to it. It's like, I know what I want to write. I know what genre I want to write. I know the characters... but I black out when it comes to plots. Does that make sense? It takes a very special idea to actually make it on the page and be completed -- at least for me, anyway.

Abhorrence and Affection can be found here on Amazon and Kindle.
For a limited time only $0.99.

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What are you writing today?

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