Wednesday, 18 November 2009


One of my lovely friends, Victoria Connelly, sent me these fab pics of Vampyre in the Jane Austen Centre giftshop in Bath.

Victoria is writing a trilogy of modern romances about a group of friends who are obsessed with Austen and she was paying a flying visit to the city on her way to Wales. It really is a beautiful place. I love the golden stone, something about that warm and mellow colour makes it seem as if the sun in shining even if it's raining.

The city features in a number of Austen's works but Jane didn't like it. She was a country girl, and to find herself suddenly transplanted to a city must have been very hard.

Mr Darcy, Vampyre looks at home there though, as he surveys the scene and looks out at all the tourists!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Out soon in Italian

Mr Darcy, Vampyre will soon be available in Italian!

I'm really pleased about this because a lot of the book is set in Italy and it will be interesting to know what the Italians think of it.

Venice is such a beautiful city, despite its problems. It has the most fantastic buildings and history, and I tried to capture some of that in Vampyre. The picture at the right is of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, with its famous spiral staircase. The love and artistry that have gone into this building are amazing. Just looking at the staircase lifts my spirits.

The Venetian palazzos are so beautiful that I knew I wanted to include them prominently in the novel. At first I thought I would have Lizzy and Darcy staying with some of Darcy's wealthy friends, but then I decided to give Darcy a palazzo of his own. Wealthy families often had property in Europe and although no European properties are mentioned in Pride and Prejudice, it would have been quite likely that Darcy would have had property abroad. The faded grandeur of the Venetian palazzos created just the atmosphere I wanted, something beautiful and opulent, but with a sense of decay underneath.

The Venetian floods feature in a dream sequence in the novel, which is the first thing I wrote. I don't usually write books out of order, but in this case the images of Elizabeth running through the streets with her red dress flowing out behind her like liquid flame, whilst the waters rose all around her, were so strong in my mind that I wanted to get them down before their vividness faded.

Fantasy and the supernatural flourish in times of transition and the dream sequence involves disorienting changes between past and present, night and day. Luckily for Lizzy, Darcy is there to wake her, but their problems are only just beginning.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

And the winner is . . .

Thanks to everyone who entered the Halloween competition. The winner, chosen at random, is Bekah. If you send your details to amanda_grange @ I will send you a copy of Mr Darcy, Vampyre, Bekah.