Everyone welcome avid Austenesque reader, Ceri! I believe Ceri found her way to Austenesque Reviews through twitter several years back and I’m so glad she did! For two years now she has been a lovely and supportive participant of my blog! And now I’m happy to visit her on her very own blog! 🙂
You: Tell us about yourself
I’m Ceri, from Wales in the UK. I am married and have 2 children. Ever since I learned to read I’ve been a real bookworm. I’ve always liked reading historical novels, and fell in love with Jane Austen’s work at the age of 14, while reading Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read lots of books since that day but nothing that I prefer to Pride & Prejudice.
My husband suggested that I get a kindle for Christmas in 2011. I told him I wouldn’t use it (ha!), but I got one anyway. After I ordered it I went looking for books to put on it. Obviously the first things I needed to download were Jane Austen’s classic novels, and when I searched for Persuasion one of the books that came up was a kindle book with both Persuasion by Jane Austen and Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange. I read it, and I enjoyed it, so much so that I also downloaded Darcy’s Diary by the same author. By this point I fancied a change from alternate point of view books, but now I was aware that there was more out there! From reviews on Amazon I found Austenprose and that made me aware of even more JAFF to try, and also the world of fanfiction, which I had no idea existed. I started reading stories on A Happy Assembly too.
Then in May 2012 I injured my foot and spent a few weeks stuck on the sofa with my foot elevated to reduce the swelling. I thought since I was stuck sitting down I’d see what Twitter was all about and I found something wonderful – people with the same taste in reading material as me! I came across Jakki, Candy, Monica, Katrin, and Meredith and I am so grateful, because due to them and their reading recommendations I’ve had some very enjoyable reading hours since! Thank you ladies!
- About how many Austenesque novels do you read a month? A year? In the last 3 months I’ve read 4 every month. Over the last year I’ve read around 40.
- Around what percentage of your total reads a year are Austenesque novels? It works out about 50%. What I usually do is alternate them, so I’ll read an Austenesque, then something different.
- Where/how do you obtain the Austenesque books your read? The range of Austenesque in the library here is pretty slim. I read mostly ebooks, and I am an avid watcher of bargains, so I will often buy books when they’re on sale, or pick up freebies. I am also fortunate to have won quite a few of them, which is lovely.
- What is your favorite time of day to read? Whenever I can! I often read during my lunch break at work, but that’s actually not my favourite time to read as I don’t get a long enough break to really get into it. I probably do most of my reading in the evenings once my children are asleep.
- What is your favorite place to read? Just somewhere quiet where people won’t speak to me!
- What do you like to listen to when you read if anything? I don’t like to listen to anything that will distract me, but I don’t mind background noise, particularly something nice like birds tweeting etc.
- What do you like to drink or eat when you read if anything? I love having a nice cup of tea when I’m reading. If I’ve had a bad day I’ll have a chocolate bar too! This is only when I’m reading an ebook, because if I’m holding a real book I need two hands to hold it. I am not one of those people who will crease open a book to read and bend back the covers, I am really fussy with my treatment of my precious books!
- Do you read more than one book at a time ever? I do. If I’m reading two they will usually be very different so the story-lines don’t merge together, or one might be a new read and the other an old favourite.
- Do you ever read the ending of a book first? Not first, but I sometimes skip ahead if I am worried about the characters! I try not to because I’ve spoilt a plot twist on more than one occasion doing this!
- Do you ever reread? For many years all I did was re-read, as every time I tried something new I didn’t like it! So I read Austen, Heyer, L M Montgomery, Agatha Christie, Brontes and that was pretty much it. Since I have had my kindle I have had far better luck with trying new things, mainly because I have found people with similar taste to me and I’m no longer getting book recommendations from people with different taste, or from the best seller lists.
- Collectively around how many Austenesque works do you own? I think about 250+, eeep!
- Where do you store your Austenesque collection? Most of them are ebook. I have very limited space for real books, and I am almost incapable of getting rid of a book once I’ve read it, so I try not to buy many paper books. Also, I usually carry my kindle in my handbag, so I can read whenever I have spare time, but I won’t do that with a real book in case I crease the pages or the cover, plus a lot of them are pretty large and they don’t really fit. Here is my virtual Austeneque bookshelf of read books.
- What format are most of your Austenesque books in – paperback, ebook, or audiobook? Vast majority are ebook. I have never tried an audio book. I am not sure how I’d get on with one.
- How many Austenesque books are currently in your TBR at this moment? Well over 100! In my defense lots of these were freebies, so you have to download them or you’ll miss the offer!
- Pride and Prejudice Variation: Mr Darcy’s Obsession by Abigail Reynolds
- Pride and Prejudice Sequel: From this Day Forward by Joana Starnes
- Pride and Prejudice Modern Adaptation: 1932 by Karen Cox (I know it’s not that modern!)
- Minor Character Story: The Unexpected Miss Bennet by Patrice Sarath – It’s a story about Mary Bennet.
- Non-Pride and Prejudice Sequel: Mansfield Revisited by Joan Aiken
- Non-Pride and Prejudice Modern Adaptation: Persuade Me by Juliet Archer
- Original Character: My absolute favourite is in a few stories on A Happy Assembly by a lady called Lucy– Darcy’s cousin, Rebecca Darcy, who becomes a good friend of Elizabeth. I wish this author would publish her books so more people would have the opportunity to read them! In published works, my favourite is probably Mary Lydon Simonsen’s Lord Antony Fitzwilliam, or Elizabeth’s son Ben from P O Dixon’s He Taught me to Hope.
- Austenesque Genre: Variations – I just love the inventiveness of the authors, and how small changes have a ripple effect that cause very different outcomes. However, I have read so few sequels that I’d like to read a few more. Any suggestions gratefully received!
Your Desert Island 5: (You are about to be stranded on a desert island for unspecified amount of time you must select what you will bring)
- Five Austenesque/Jane Austen Movies: I’d take Pride & Prejudice 95, Northanger Abbey 2007, Sense & Sensibility 2008, Clueless and another Pride & Prejudice – I’m not sure whether 1940 or 2005
- Five Austenesque Books
Mr Darcy’s Obsession – Abigail Reynolds
Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy; The Last Man in the World – Abigail Reynolds
Bluebells in the Mourning – KaraLynne Mackrory
Mr Darcy’s Letter – Abigail Reynolds (yes I know, another Abigail Reynolds one! I love her stories)
The Subsequent Proposal – Joana Starnes
Would You Rather?:
- Have Lady Catherine or Mrs. Norris as a mother – Definitely Lady Catherine! Although overbearing, she has Anne’s best interests in mind.
- Live in Bath or live in London – Bath. I just love it there, it’s so beautiful. I’d rather visit London than live there.
- Be besties with Eleanor Tilney or Georgiana Darcy – I am rusty on my Northanger Abbey, but from what I remember I’d go for Eleanor. Georgiana needs somebody more outgoing than me to coax her from her shyness. I will leave her with Lizzy!
- Dance every set at a ball or go horseback riding through the countryside with friends – I’d be off to the ball, but that is because I’d rather not go on horseback. If it was a walk in the country I would probably do that.
- Marry Edmund Bertram or Edward Ferrars – I am not a Ferrars fan, he leads ladies to care for him knowing he can’t propose! Edmund is clueless in relation to Fanny’s feelings but he’s also honest and wouldn’t mislead a lady. I think he’d make a nice husband.
- Attend a strawberry-picking party at Donwell Abbey or attend the theatre with the Gardiners – Given my pale colouring I’m safer at the theatre. Plus I’d love to meet the Gardiners, wouldn’t you?
- Go shopping with Lydia Bennet or have tea with Mrs. Elton – I think Lydia would be a keen shopper, as long as she wasn’t flirting, so I’d go for that. Although I love tea I do not like Mrs Elton!
- Discover and read the finished manuscript (by Jane Austen) of The Watsons or Sanditon – I haven’t read either, so have no preference for that reason. However, Austen chose to abandon The Watsons, whereas she didn’t finish Sanditon because she died. So on that basis I’d go for Sanditon.
You Right Now:
- What Austenesque novel(s) are you currently reading at the moment? Currently I’m reading The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, which is the book of the vlog series ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’.
- What Austenesque novels are on your wish-list? I’d like to read the Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman trilogy by Pamela Aiden, and also Fitzwilliam Darcy – An Honourable Man by Brenda Webb.
- What Austenesque novel do you wish someone would write? I’d like to see more books based on Austen’s other novels – Pride & Prejudice is my favourite book, but the others are wonderful too, and there is so much less to read related to these! This year is Mansfield Park’s bicentenary so I’ve been trying to fit in some books based on Mansfield Park, but there is not much to choose from.
- What do you love most about Austenesque novels? I love the inventiveness; that authors can still find fresh ideas with the same cast of people. I also love the idea that Elizabeth and Darcy are meant to be, it’s a very attractive concept.
- Where can we find you? You can find me on Twitter @Frawli1978, and also on my blog, which I just started this year.
Since Ceri has been the lucky winner of some lovely Austeny stuff in the past, she thought she would add a giveaway to her post to share the love!!! Ceri is offering to giveaway to one lucky winner an Austenesque book of their choice (must be £10/ $16.64 or less) purchased from The Book Depository. What a fabulous treat!! Thank you, Ceri! The options are numerous!!!
To enter this giveaway, leave a question, a comment, or some love for Ceri below!
- This giveaway is open internationally!! Thank you, Ceri!
- This giveaway ends August 27th!
Thank you so much, Ceri!!! I loved reading your answers and think that it is amazing how your road to Austenesque began with a Kindle purchase you weren’t too keen on! Who would’ve thought! Loved your answers to my questions! Thank you for taking the time to participate in this feature and share your love and admiration of Austenesque literature with us!!
Want to see some more Ardent Austenesqe Admirers? CLICK HERE!