Amanda Grange is the author of a series of retellings of Jane Austen’s novels written from the hero’s point of view: (Mr.) Darcy’s Diary, Mr. Knightley’s Diary, Captain Wentworth’s Diary, Edmund Bertram’s Diary, and Colonel Brandon’s Diary, and she is at work on Henry Tilney’s Diary. Ms. Grange kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the readers of AustenBlog.
Darcy’s Diary was the first book in your series of Jane Austen hero diaries, but it was not your first novel. Tell us about your previous novels.
My previous novels are all historical romances, usually set in the Regency period although some of them are Edwardian. If anyone wants to try them, Lord Deverill’s Secret and Harstairs House are both available in paperback in the US. 🙂 They involve an adventure as well as a romance and they always have a happy ending!
What gave you the idea to start writing Darcy’s Diary?
I was rereading Pride and Prejudice and I thought, This is such a modern novel, it’s no wonder it’s still popular 200 years after Jane Austen wrote it. It has a fast pace, lots of dialogue, short chapters and it has the best – and most often quoted – opening sentence in the English language. The only thing it doesn’t have, which a novel written today would have, is a number of sections from the hero’s point of view. And then I thought, It’s such a strong novel that it would make a compelling book even if it was told entirely from the hero’s point of view, because he isn’t a cipher as some romantic heroes are, he’s a real person who has a life-changing journey to make before he can reach his happy ending.
These thoughts coincided with a calendar I’d been making for the events in Pride and Prejudice, as I’d been wondering when it was set, and because I was looking at the dates whilst I was thinking about Darcy’s side of the story, the idea of writing Darcy’s Diary popped into my head.