First things first. A big thank you is owed to Meredith, the Organizer Extraordinaire of this most excellent Extravaganza, celebrating all things Austenesque. If you love Jane Austen, or even if you like Jane Austen a little and fancy finding out what crazy things the Grande Dame has inspired, Meredith's blog is the place to be.
There. Now the second thing. This little blog posting which you are about to enjoy is not just silly words on a page but also a portal to bigger and greater things, namely the chance to win one of a pretty long list of amazing books! It doesn't even have to be mine - you could even win a proper book by a proper author! (smirk) The only thing you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on this blog post. How easy is that?!
Which leads us right along to the third thing. The heart of the matter. The meat on the bones. The proof in the pudding, or whatever. A very brief introduction to Alina, Will and the rest of the gang from In the Past Imperfect.
Careful, they're a bit grumpy today.
Voice: Welcome everybody and thanks for joining us this morning. Why don’t you start off by briefly telling us who you play in this novel?
Alina: Hi, I’m Alina. I play Anne.
Will: Hi, I’m Will. I play the part of Captain Wentworth.
Margot: Hi, I’m Margot. I suppose you could say I play Anne’s sister Mary. Although Alina and I are actually very close and I’m nothing like Mary. And I live in Paris.
Alina: That’s true. Margot is the perfect sister.
Alina: Nothing. Carry on.
Rachel: I’m Rachel, from the great state of Texas. I’m Alina’s colleague and I play the part of Lady Russell. Except young and gorgeous. Obviously.
Nadya: I’m also a colleague of Alina’s. For the moment, anyway. But I’m not sure what part I’m meant to play here at all. I hardly have time for this sort of nonsense.
Alina: You’re Elizabeth.
Alina: Never mind. I just want to go back for a moment, if I may, to the question of my identification with Anne. Of course, I can see similarities between us to some extent, but you have to understand that, unlike Anne, I’m a successful, professional business woman. I’m a lawyer, I have a very active life and certainly don’t let myself get pushed around.
Will: Except by Oliver.
Voice: Who’s Oliver?
Anne: Oliver is just Oliver. He’s my boss. And a brilliant legal mind, by the way. What I’m saying is that I’m independent, and I’ve chosen a certain path in life that makes me rather different to Anne or other women of her day.
Will: Sure, it makes you a bitch.
Alina: Will, for heaven's sake, we're on the air. Surely we can save our bickering for a more suitable time?
Lauren: Alina, Will, there's no need to get upset, really, we’re going to be famous!
Voice: And you are?
Lauren: I’m Lauren. It's just so lovely to meet you! I play Louisa Musgrove in the novel. And this is my sister, Harry.
Harriet: Harry as in Harriet.
Voice: Let me guess. Harriet for Henrietta Musgrove?
Harriet: Frightfully original, I know. But don’t blame me. I’m not the author.
Lauren: Oh, don’t mind her, she’s being a bit of a sourpuss today. But we’re all so thrilled to be here, we really are! Aren’t we Will?
Will: Absolutely. Thrilled.
Voice: Let’s focus on you for second, Will. How do you feel about playing the part of Captain Wentworth?
Will: Well, it’s a little daunting, obviously. His are big shoes to fill and I’m bound to disappoint some of the women out there who feel I haven’t done him justice. But at the end of the day, the Captain is just a man with a broken heart and that’s me to a tee, so really it wasn’t much of a stretch. But I’m certainly no match for his letter-writing skills.
Rachel: Now now, Will, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure you must be good at something, no?
Will: Rachel, as always, a pleasure.
Voice: Right. Well. Isn’t there someone missing?
Margot: Chris, my boyfriend, he couldn’t make it today. He’s teaching.
Lauren: And Ben, poor thing, he’s so shy. He plays Benwick of course.
Voice: No, I was thinking more along the lines of… a villain?
Alina: You mean Nadya?
Will: Or Rachel?
Rachel: Do us all a favour and go back to Afghanistan, Will. No one likes a bitter old man.
Will: You think I’m the one who's bitter?
Lauren: Alina, please say something, they can’t be carrying on like this. Otherwise we’ll never get on the telly!
Alina: Will, Rachel, stop fighting. Lauren wants her 15 minutes of fame.
Voice: Uhm. Yes. Where was I? Right. A villain. I was thinking of Mr Elliott, perhaps?
Alina: Oh God. Elliott Jensen.
Will: Who’s Elliott Jensen?
Alina: He's – he was after your time.
Will: After my time? What do you mean after my time? Who is he?
Lauren: Oh, he’s quite a dish.
Harriet: That he certainly is.
Alina: I don’t want to talk about Elliott Jensen.
Voice: Ah, a sore spot, I see.
Will: Seriously. Who is this Elliott Jensen? Alina?
Rachel: Jealousy does not become you, Will.
Alina: Could we cut this interview short please? I think you have enough material already.
Voice: Well, that is –
Will: Alina? Talk to me.
Alina: Now, please.
Voice: Of course. Of course. Here we are then. To almost the entire cast and crew of In the Past Imperfect, minus the elusive Mr Jensen, thank you all so very much for sharing your thoughts with us today, we really do wish you all the best in your adventures going forward.
Lauren. Oh no, thank you.
Voice: Yes, well. Jolly good.
Thirty-something Alina is at the top of her game as an international litigator - until she loses a client, finds herself sobbing in a bathtub, gets sent off to France to stay with her younger sister Margot and comes face to face with the man whose heart she broke seven years ago. In the Past Imperfect, a re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion with a twist, is about the choices one woman must make for herself, the people she re-discovers in the process, and why true love isn't as easy as it looks.
In the Past Imperfect is available in paperback and as a Kindle e-book, from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk as well as other international sites, and directly from createspace. For a free extract, have a look at the facebook page.
I really hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, and don't forget: Leave a comment for your chance to be a big Austenesque Giveaway winner!!!!