Monday, 19 September 2011

For Love or War: The Downton Abbey Experience Episode 1

The drums of war beat, and the drama rolls. The first episode of Downton Abbey begins with a bang as we are treated with an unsentimental view of the First World War. Times are a’changing, but not for the better certainly, as a generation of young men ge
ts decimated. Still, Downton Abbey drew the heavy guns as it not only managed to divert viewers’ attention away from Spooks, which was airing at the same time, but also captured four Emmy awards as well, the very same night. What fanfare!!
It was wonderful to be back in the world of Downton Abbey. The cruelty of war features heavily in this episode, not only to those who go to fight, but to those who are left behind who are made to feel inadequate because they are not fighting. One of my favourite scenes – nicely underplayed – involved a White Feather Girl who give Branson a white feather (symbolizing cowardice).
 Still, this episode of Downton Abbey isn’t just about the havoc wreaked by the WWI. It’s about the same problems and the same people we got to know in Season one. Needless to say, love is  trembling on the lips of more than one character, even if not on Matthew’s, who is engaged to be married to a certain Lavinia Swire.
Blackmail and the threat of scandal still hangs over the Abbey like a giant crow, and those who were nasty last season are still as deliciously nasty as ever. Without giving away any spoilers for my friends in the USA, I can promise them that the drama continues much as it did last time, with Mr. Bates playing the sacrificial victim, Lady Sibyl as restless and unconventional as ever, and the indomitable Dower Countess as — indomitable as ever.
A very satisfying beginning, with lots packed in. Bring on the next one. 

Monday, 12 September 2011

It boggles the writer's imagination

Loved this picture at  Just For Social Networkerz so had to re-post. It appeals to my writer's imagination. It seems like a map of my mind -- with all the gaps in it that I'm always wanting to fill.

borrowed from Just for Social Networkerzzz
I love those empty spaces -- the in-betweens, so to speak (nothing to do with the film by the same name) -- the ones you have to work to bridge. Because that's what writing is all about. It's about seeing something missing it, and wanting to fill that void with pictures or images. That's how Jane Austen sequels work. We spot something missing in Jane Austen's narrative, or we want to take a character further, or we are struck by something that a character didn't say or articulate fully, and we want to furnish it ourselves.

Jumping across empty spaces has its pluses. But the writer is like a chivalrous gentleman who offers his cloak to enable the lady to cross the puddle without getting wet. We weave something to fill the gap and enable others to cross enjoyably.

Okay, this is very fanciful for a Monday morning. So I'll just say I really loved the photo and leave the rest to your imagination.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Austen Authors Celebration



On September 6, 2010 Austen Authors officially launched.
Our group blog has continued to grow ever since and now we are approaching our first birthday.
In the tradition of all great celebrations, we plan to party!
Not for one day, not for two or three, but for….
From Monday September 5 all the way through Saturday September 10 we will be serving up the virtual treats and lighting the virtual fireworks.
The itinerary is jam packed with fun blogs and awesome prizes.
Don’t miss out on the fun!! Ask others to join in!
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Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Other Mr Darcy Now available on Kindle UK

I'm pleased to announce that The Other Mr Darcy is finally available via I know many of you have been waiting for this moment!

This is the Hale edition that has been published through The Faber Factory. I'm thrilled to be part of this project.