I am very excited to welcome Anngela Schroeder, author of a recently released Jane Austen inspired novel, A Lie Universally Hidden, to Austenesque Reviews today!
Hi Anngela! Thank you so much for stopping by Austenesque Reviews for a little tête-à-tête! I greatly enjoyed following your writing this past year with Affections and Wishes and your story in the Meryton Press anthology, Then Comes Winter. I am so happy you are here celebrating another new release! How about we begin by talking about what was the inspiration behind your new release, A Lie Universally Hidden? How did the idea come to you?
Meredith, I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for having me. My inspiration for A Lie Universally Hidden? That’s easy. Lady Anne Darcy. I was reading P&P with my AP classes, explaining the importance of honor, and we were at the part where Lady Catherine accosts Lizzy at Longbourn. As I was lecturing, I thought, “What kind of mother would Lady Anne be if she truly wanted Darcy to marry his cousin Anne? I’m sure it was all made up by Lady C,” and there you have it! 🙂
Brilliant! I love when authors write about Lady Anne and her relationship with her family! And I love that the idea for this novel came while you were teaching! 😉 Your first Austenesque story was a contemporary romance and more of an Austen-inspired original tale, how did writing a Regency era Pride and Prejudice variation compare with that writing experience? Were some aspects easier or more challenging?
It was much more challenging. I love the propriety of the Regency Era, but I had to guard myself from sliding into modern day vernacular or socially acceptable circumstances. I’m also a big stickler on historical accuracy, and I had a hard time rewriting paragraphs where phrases or references were made to things which weren’t widely used until maybe the 1840’s. However, I also took some creative license. “She Walks In Beauty” wasn’t published until a few years after the book takes place.
Good for you for wanting to maintain accuracy in speech and manners! In A Lie Universally Hidden you explore one of restrictions on courtship/engagement etiquette of the time period. A restriction I’m sure many people of that time had a difficult time with as the results could be a scandal or a lifetime of unhappiness. If you were to live in Jane Austen’s time what restrictions of her world would you have the most difficult time with? And what aspects of her world would you most enjoy?
That is a REALLY good question, as I lecture on it with my AP students every year. Although I wouldn’t know any different if I was living in that time, the most difficult challenge to me would be my ability to steer my own destiny; the choices which would be made for me, might not be what I wanted. I would have felt the need to be useful and active, and would be stifled by some of the social restraints placed on women.
The part I would most enjoy (assuming I was in the same social circles as the Darcy’s and not a scullery maid) would be the grandness of things homes, clothes, balls, libraries, etc. I think of common everyday events, and how much more it would have dazzled me.
Excellent answers! It always strikes me as funny to hear characters talk of 4 bedroom homes as cottages…Our modern-day house sizes really don’t compare with the likes of Netherfield, Kellynch, and Pemberley! Speaking of your AP class, I think it is so awesome that you teach Pride and Prejudice to your students! I wish they taught Jane Austen at my high school, I would’ve loved it! (Oh well, they did teach Jane Eyre, which was also wonderful!) What are some of the reactions your students have to their introduction to Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy? Do any of their reactions surprise you?
The students are ALWAYS surprised that Elizabeth doesn’t more openly shout down Caroline Bingley and put her in her place. They are also shocked by the idea of how easily one could be compromised; that a kiss, public display of affection, or even being alone in a room with someone would merit a marriage. I also have to really stress to them the significance of the shame brought to the family by an elopement. When I teach it, I really delve into the culture of the society, and not just the reading of the book, because otherwise it would be ‘just another novel.’ And WE ALL KNOW, that is not the case with P&P.
My greatest moment teaching, was years ago, when we got to the Hunsford proposal and refusal. One of the boys who had moaned and complained the WHOLE time we read the book, shouted, “Oh man! Her mom is going to be mad at her!” It was validation that Jane Austen is not only relevant to romantic men and women, but 17 year old high school basketball players.
Oh! I love it! That is such a perfect reaction! What is next for you, Anngela? I know you mentioned in your interview on Good Day, Sacramento that you have some projects in the pipes…are they Austenesque?!? Is there anything you can share with us today? (yes, we are nosy!)
It’s not nosy, Meredith. It’s inquisitive! 🙂 Yes, I do. I actually have two books I’m working on right now, and I’m having difficulty deciding which one to devote the most time to! One minute I imagine I love the story where Mr. Wickham plays a prominent role, and the next I love the story where Darcy’s world as he knows it, no longer exists. It’s definitely a conundrum!
Ooh! It definitely seems like your muse is treating you well if you have two stories going at once! Yay! 🙂 Can’t wait to learn more! Meanwhile, how about we switch it up with some Quickfire Questions:
- What is one of your favorite scenes in Pride and Prejudice? I love it when Darcy asks Elizabeth for permission to introduce Georgianna to her. He has been truly humbled we can tell because he alters his request, mid sentence, and gives her the power of accepting or denying it. Elizabeth realizes not only the honor of the request, but how much he trusts her she could by all accounts reject meeting Georgie since she knows about the would be scandal. He is so vulnerable, and I love it!
- From your own novels what is one of your favorite scenes? That is so difficult! In ALUH, I love all of ODC’s interactions. I truly do! But, if I had to pick just one, EEEK! Don’t make me pick just one! Okay, here it goes. I love the scene in Pemberley’s library where Darcy is quietly observing Elizabeth’s “talking to” his books. To me, this shows another layer of why he falls in love with her. She is not just a beauty; he values her intellect and her mind. It is a rich part of who she is, and he appreciates that in her. Ok. I’m gong to cheat. I also love their interaction at Ashby Park. It’s our first real window into their feelings. There, I’m done!
- What do you love most about Pride and Prejudice? I love the propriety; the honor; the moral compass which sets Darcy and Elizabeth apart from the others. I have always been impressed by Darcy’s honor and how he will only do what is right; he would never go back on his word. That is commendable, and so lacking in certain aspects of our modern society.
- If you were to invite 5 Jane Austen characters over for tea, who would they be? Darcy, Lizzy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Elinor Dashwood, and Mr. Woodhouse
- Which Jane Austen character do you feel you have the most in common with? Elizabeth Bennet
- Which Jane Austen character do find it awfully hard to tolerate? Mary Musgrove from Persuasion
- What is your “truth universally acknowledged?” That a mother with 3 sons and a husband, must find time for herself when everyone else is asleep.
- If you were to meet Jane Austen, what would you like to hear her say? That she loved the worlds we’ve all created for Darcy and Lizzy, that there is a finished manuscript hidden in the floorboards at Chawton house, and that she’d love to divulge all the editorial ideas she would have made to Persuasion before she died.
Wow, terrific answers to the Quickfire Questions! I adore your choice for favorite scene and P&P – what a unique and telling moment. And your responses for the last one are brilliant! I think you’ve given that one some thought before! Thank you so much for participating in this interview, Anngela! It has been a real treat to have you answer my questions!! Best of luck with the release of A Lie Universally Hidden! <3 🙂
Thank you so much, Meredith! It’s always fun to visit with you! Give my regards to Mr. Bingley!
I will! Thank you for thinking of him! 🙂
Connect with Anngela
Anngela is giving away two autographed hard copies (US mailing addresses only) 2 kindle versions (Open to international winners), an autographed copy of Then Comes Winter (US mailing address only) and an autographed 5×7 print of the A Lie Universally Hidden book cover.
Commenting and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (with some shipping restrictions).
- This giveaway ends January 29th.
Thank you to Claudine Pepe and Anngela Schroeder for making this blog tour possible!
January 16/ My Jane Austen Book Club
January 17/ From Pemberley to Milton
January 18/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life
January 19/ So Little Time…
January 20/ My Vices and Weaknesses
January 21/ Babblings of a Bookworm
January 22/ Just Jane 1813
**January 23/Austenesque Reviews**
January 24/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
January 25/ Every Savage Can Dance
January 26 / Diary of an Eccentric
**January 27 / Austenesque Reviews**
January 28/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
January 29/ Savvy Verse & Wit