Thursday, 19 January 2012

Murder at Pemberley

My love affair with Pride and Prejudice started in sixth form when our English teacher stood before us and revered the majesty of this Austen classic.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone with this deep affection. It captured my imagination when I was 17 and never left. It created a solace in my days of being single that I would some day meet a Mr. Darcy - someone who was tall, handsome, dark haired and looked down-right seductive in a pair of breeches! (Hubby meets 3 out of 4 of those characteristics; he's yet to don a pair of 17th century trousers...)

I'm always enraptured by this tale and it never ceases to amaze me how much I get caught up in the intrigue and romance, I mean, I know that they will eventually get together, but I still read/watch with a huge sense of anticipation! By far, my favorite of the adaptations (of which there are endless) is the sumptuous BBC production casting Jenifer Ehle and Colin Firth as the main characters. Admittedly, Jenifer was prettier than Austen's Elizabeth, but it's all forgiven as the actors' chemistry on screen was magical.

Besides watching, I've obviously read and re-read those practically iconic words. And, even though I longed for a follow up (there have been several written), I didn't venture to read any as I didn't think anyone would be able to meet Austen's level of insight and wit.

So it is with some trepidation that I am venturing to read P. D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley. Granted, it is not a sequel but as the title suggests, a murder-mystery, taking place six years after Elizabeth and Darcy marry. I'm a huge fan of James (she herself, is an avid Austen fan and felt compelled to pen a novel as a homage to her) and I look forward to how James' brilliant, descriptive writing, ties in with Austen's infamous characters. I'm sure (or hoping) I won't be disappointed....

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Writer in the Making?

This is the year I get serious about writing.

Whilst my dreams may take me to heady heights of being the next P.D. James or Tess Gerritson, I appreciate that to get to that level of notoriety I have to actually submit something.

For years, I've written snippets of stories or day dreamed about characters. So, late last year, when ambling around the stands at the Boston Book Festival and happened across Libboo (an online forum to which budding writers can publish their stories) I thought why not? Why not write again and this time do something about it. So wrote a couple of short stories:

I don't think their too bad, but there's room for improvement. However, I haven't written and posted anything else for a while! Reason being, I was busy reading, but as 2011 drew to a close, I realized I was using that as an excuse (and according to P.D. James, its a good thing for a writer to do; keep reading to keep the creative process alive). I've jotted down a few ideas of plots and characters including particular lines that they would say. Now I just need to put them down on paper (I tend to write long hand first) and get moving.

I'm still working on what kind of  genre I'd write about; crime? suspense? children's? And, although, my two tales (above) are somewhat suspenseful I do have an idea for a children's book too...ah the possibilities are endless.

However, my true calling could be 'romance' novels. An avid reader of Mills & Boons back in the day, that could be where my talents really lie. So I'm thinking to get inspired, I'll paint an area of the living room pink, wrap a pink feather boa dramatically around my neck, paint my lips a stunning magenta and write a narrative as a homage to the queen of romance - Barbara Cartland. Ahh, yes..."..she tried not to let the sultry look in his dark, haunting eyes, steal her breath away. He leaned in closer, momentarily glancing to her slightly open, waiting lips..."