Tag Archives: regency

Fantasy Sci-Fi Network Author Interview with Wendy Van Camp

I am pleased to be interviewed about my new release, The Curate’s Brother, on Kasper’s blog: The Hunters of Reloria. In it I talk about my ebook, my writing process and a little about how I got started as a writer. I hope you’ll stop by Kasper’s blog and leave a comment there. We’d both love to hear from you.

A little about my interviewer: Kasper Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. She has combined a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in the Hunters of Reloria series.

Interview with the versatile Wendy Van Camp for the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network

The Curate s Brother Book Cover

Book Launch: The Curate’s Brother

The Curate s Brother Book Cover

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THE STORY:

The Curate’s Brother is a short story about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.

Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.

At first Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.

Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.

At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

Wendy Van Camp is the writer behind the blog No Wasted Ink. She has published memoir shorts in literary magazines, writes non-fiction articles for various art and literature magazines and is a volunteer coordinator for Nanowrimo. Wendy is also working on a long Steampunk Science Fiction trilogy that will hopefully debut next year. Her latest series features a variation on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and will be composed of two volumes: The Curate’s Brother and Letters From The Sea.

Wendy makes her home in Southern California with her husband and australian shepard. Wendy enjoys travel, bicycling, gourmet cooking and gemology.

Cover Reveal: The Curate’s Brother

The Curate s Brother Book Cover

I am a huge Jane Austen fan. Of her six novels, my favorite is undoubtedly Persuasion. It is the story of love gone awry and a second chance at love between a Baronet’s daughter and a young naval captain during the Napoleonic war time period. In my short story, The Curate’s Brother, I tell of how Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth meet through the eyes of Edward Wentworth, the Curate of Monkford. You could consider this short story as a prequel to the original novel Persuasion.

The Curate’s Brother will be available via Amazon on October 10, 2014. If you are one of the many fans Jane Austen’s work, and the myriad of variation stories based on her novels, The Curate’s Brother will be sure to appeal to you.

For more information about Jane Austen, click to my book review of her novel Persuasion.

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

Book Name: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
First Published: 1813

Jane Austen was an English novelist who is one of the most widely read authors in English literature. The realism and witty social commentary of her times have garnered her historical importance in literature and her novels are the foundation of romantic novels as we know them. Jane Austen lived her entire life as part of a family on the outskirts of the English landed gentry. She and her close sister Cassandra, only received basic education outside the home due to limited family finances. To continue their education, their father allowed the girls access to his extensive private library and later provided them with expensive paper and pens so that the girls could write or paint as their talents moved them.

Pride and Prejudice was Austen’s second novel, after she had completed Elinor and Marianne, the precursor to Sense and Sensibility. Originally, Pride and Prejudice was called First Impressions. She completed the first draft in 1797 when she was 21 years old. As with all her novels, Austen read the work out loud to her family, who served as an informal writer’s critique group for her work, and it became an “established favourite” of the family. At this time, perhaps unknown to Miss Austen, her father made the first attempt to publish one of her novels. George Austen wrote to Thomas Cadell, a publisher in London, to ask if he would publish “a manuscript novel, comprised in three vols. About the length of Miss Burney’s Evelina at the author’s financial risk”. Unfortunately, Mr. Cadell declined the honor. Miss Austen would remain an aspiring and unpublished author at this early stage in her life.

In 1805, George Austen passed and Jane, her sister Cassandra, both unmarried, along with their mother, were left without the protection of their father. They had no place to call home and were forced to accept whatever charity George’s sons had to offer. At first they visited among their various family members, never settling anywhere in particular until Jane’s brother Edward offered them a cottage on his estate of Chawton House. There, the three women lived quietly. There was little entertaining except for family and they spent much time reading books, teaching children their letters and doing charity work.

This became a time when Austen began to turn to writing in earnest and managed to publish four of her novels, one after another with the help of her brother Henry Austen. Sense and Sensibility was first in 1811. Pride and Prejudice was the second book to publish in 1813. Mansfield Park was third in 1814. Finally, Emma was published in 1815. The money that came in from her four novels gave Jane Austen a measure of financial independence and personal satisfaction, although none of the books were published in her own name. Instead, they were published anomalously by “A Lady”.

In 1817, Jane Austen succumbed to a fatal illness and died at the tender age of 41. Posthumously, her final two novels were published together in a single volume. Persuasion and Northanger Abby in 1817. For the first time, her work was published under her name. After this limited printing of her final novels, her work remained out of print for twelve years.

In 1832, Richard Bentley purchased the rights to all six of Jane Austen’s novels and published them in five illustrated volumes as part of a Standard Novels series. Since then, Miss Austen’s novels have not gone out of print and grow in popularity. It is now the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Pride and Prejudice and it is a global sensation, having been adapted into film, television and even graphic novel form.

Pride and Prejudice begins when the wealthy and unattached Mr. Bingley decides to rent the nearby estate of Netherfield Park, it causes a considerable commotion among the residents of the village of Meryton and in the household of the Bennet family known as Longbourn. Mrs. Bennet, the mother of five marriageable daughters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, is determined that one of her daughters will marry the man. When Bingley meets Jane Bennet at a ball, he becomes immediately smitten with her. Yet, at the same ball, Bingley’s snobby friend Darcy is rude to her sister Elizabeth. “She is not handsome enough to tempt me,” he informs his friend in Lizzy’s hearing. Through the next few social gatherings, Jane and Bingley grow closer, while Darcy, despite his misgivings, finds himself attracted to Elizabeth’s beauty and intelligence.

Lizzy has other worries when her cousin, the heir to her father’s estate, decides that he wants to be charitable to his family and declares his intention to marry one of Mr. Bennet’s daughters. Thus, Mr. Collins would secure the estate back into Mr. Bennet’s direct family line and gain himself a wife as he was bid to do by his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lizzy refuses Mr. Collins suit. Lizzy meets another gentleman, an officer in the army that is stationed in Meryton and a romance between them forms. She learns from this officer that Darcy, the man that had insulted her, had caused Wickham’s ruin.

Bingley suddenly departs for London on business, but it soon becomes clear that he is breaking things off with Jane, just when the family was sure that he was going to offer marriage to her. Jane is invited to London by her Aunt and Uncle and attempts to discover the reason for his cooling ardor. Jane’s search for Bingley in London proves fruitless and Jane gives in to melancholy.

After Lizzy had refused him, Lizzy’s friend Charlotte Lucas accepts Mr. Collin’s offer of marriage. Once she is settled into her new home, Charlotte invites Lizzy to visit. It is at the home of Lady Cathrine, Rosings Park, that Lizzy learns that Darcy is fated to marry the lady’s daughter. Much to her surprise, Darcy instead announces his love for her and offers his hand in marriage. Stunned by his offer and angry at him over his treatment of Wickham, she also learns that Darcy had manipulated Bingley into leaving her sister, calling the match unsuitable. Lizzy refuses his offer.

In a letter to her after the proposal, Darcy comes clean to Lizzy and explains that he intervened between her sister and Bingley because he felt Jane did not truly love his best friend. Wickham, he writes, is a liar and a scoundrel. Lizzy begins to wonder if she had been hasty in turning Darcy down and that in her blind prejudice, she might have misjudged him.

While traveling with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, Lizzy learns that her youngest sister, Lydia, has run off with Wickham and is living in sin with him in London. Crushed, she returns home to Longbourn, but not before she admits to Darcy what has happened. In doing so, she feels that she has lost his regard for good, along with her own reputation. She must wait at home with her despairing mother and sisters as the men search London for Wickham and Lydia. In the end, Lydia is found and marries Wickham, removing the scandal to their family. Lizzy learns who it is that has saved her family. In the end, when Darcy proposes to her again, she accepts his hand, having gained a true understanding of his character.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen., 1895 book cover
1895 Book Cover, Illustrated by Hugh Thomson for Macmillan’s Edition of Illustrated Standard Novels
My favorite novel hook of all time comes from Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet is making a witty comment about her mother’s need to marry her daughters off and says: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” This statement sums up not only the theme of the novel, but is a commentary on English society at the time. It drew me into Austen’s work and I fell under her spell. It is a draw with me as to which Austen novel is my favorite, Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion, but this wonderful quote has stayed with me. I came to reading Austen late in my life, sometime in my late thirties. I had been a hardcore science fiction and fantasy reader and had avoided the classics except for those that had been required reading in school. For some reason, Austen was not on the required reading list. I decided to expand my knowledge of the classics in my mid-thirties and picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice at my local public library. Needless to say, I was complete enchanted by Miss Austen’s novels. Why her work is not a part of the American school system is a mystery to me for Austen has inspired my writing like few authors have in the past. If you have only seen the movies about this novel, but have not read the book, do yourself a favor and either download it at PROJECT GUTENBERG for free or check it out at your local library.

Book Review: Persuasion

Book Name: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
First Published: 1818

Jane Austen was forty years old when she penned her last complete novel, Persuasion. Her health was failing as she wrote and she would die at the young age of 41 before this novel would see print. Persuasion was bundled together with an earlier novel, Northanger Abby, and would prove to be her biggest bestseller. It was also the first of her novels to be published under her real name. Previously, all her novels had been written by the pen name “a lady”. While Persuasion lacks some of the polish of her earlier works due to the little time she had left to revise it to perfection, there are many who claim that it is her finest novel and most mature work of all. Persuasion has not been out of print for at least 150 years and is considered in the public domain.

Until this novel, Austen had always taken as her heroine a young inexperienced woman, falling in love for the first time. In Persuasion, Anne Elliot is twenty-seven years old, a spinster with common sense and decency, but with a beaten spirit. For her, love is something that belongs to her past, not the present. Before the novel opens, Anne is briefly engaged to marry a young naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but was persuaded to break off the understanding by her god-mother for reasons of prudence. She has spent the last eight years regretting this decision, and she does not expect to discover love again.

At the opening of the novel, Sir Walter Elliot, a vain and imprudent baronet, must rent his country house and move himself and his family to Bath to pay off his debts. Where once he and his three daughters were rich and respected, now they are poor and the subject of ridicule. His new tenants are Admiral Croft and his wife, Captain Wentworth’s sister. The pair move into Anne’s former home and invite Wentworth to join them. The tables have turned on the fortunes of Captain Wentworth, where once he was a poor navel officer with dubious prospects, now he is wealthy and an eligible bachelor. Being paid off by the navy, he is of a mind to settle down with the “first woman between 15 and 30” to catch his eye. Anyone, that is, except for Anne Elliot, the woman who had broken his heart.

Anne remains in the area to care for her ill sister, Mary Musgrove and tend to her nephews. Time has not been kind to Anne and she has become wane and thin, exhaustion taking its toll on her appearance. Anne and Captain Wentworth meet again due to proximity. The captain treats Anne with cool formality as he flirts with Mary’s two sister-in-laws. The younger women hero-worship Wentworth as they vie for his attentions, each hoping to capture his heart. At the same time, Anne notices small gestures of kindness in Wentworth’s behavior toward her, as if he can not bear to see her in discomfort, gestures that pull the spinster into a private mix of hopeless pleasure and pain, as Anne realizes that she still loves the captain.

During a two-day visit to the village of Lyme, the Musgroves and Anne meet the naval friends of Captain Wentworth and are charmed by their warmth and hospitality. Released from her obligations and refreshed by the sea air, Anne begins to regain some of her youthful complexion. This is noticed by not only Wentworth, but she is admired by other gentlemen in the village. The party’s visit is brought short by an accident on the Cobb and it is Anne’s common sense that saves the day.

After the visit to Lyme, Anne rejoins her father and elder sister in Bath, convinced that Captain Wentworth is to marry another woman. She takes the addresses of her cousin, William Elliot more seriously as she tries to move on with her life. Bath’s society paint the two as all but engaged. Then word comes that Wentworth and his intended have parted and she finds that the captain has suddenly arrived in Bath. Anne is overjoyed that this might mean she has a second chance at happiness with her captain, but how is she to let him know that he still is in her heart and that she has not accepted William Elliot’s offer of marriage? Would the captain risk making a second offer to her after she had refused him all those years ago?

Attempting to branch out my reading habits from a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy novels, I found a list of classic literature that I decided to use to guide my choice of novels from the local library. One of the authors on this list was Jane Austen. I could not decide which of her novels to begin with and because Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice were not available in the public library, I picked up Persuasion to be the first to cross off my list of recommended Austen classics. Opening the book, I found myself lost in a world of loneliness, sadness and of the hope of a second chance, not only by this quiet young woman, but by a dashing naval captain who was all to human in his hurt and memories of the past. I not only found myself in sympathy with Anne Elliot, but I was fascinated by the culture of the time. The breaking down of the tradition English class system, the elevation of men based on their merits instead of their birth, and the pride that the English people had in their navy. Persuasion reads today as a historical novel with contemporary overtones although it was penned during the Regency period itself. The characters are timeless and the situations as believable today as they were over 200 years ago. I’ve gone on to read all of Austen’s novels, but Persuasion remains my favorite of all her works and to my belief, is the most romantic of them all.

Persuasion Book CoverYou may find Persuasion at Project Gutenberg and in your local library.