Friday, 31 July 2009

Blog tour!

I'm going on a blog tour in August, so come along and join in the fun! The tour kicks off on August 2nd over at the Risky Regency blog and ends on 31st August at Love, Romance and Passion, going to a lot of great blogs in between. So here are the dates:

3rd August Bitten By Books
5th August Romance B(u)y the Book

6th August Review on Savvy Verse & Wit
7th August Interview on Savvy Verse & Wit
10th August Debbie's World Interview
12th August Yankee Romance Reviewers

14th August Peeking Between the Pages
16th August Risky Regencies
17th August Bloody Bad Book Blog
19th August Café of Dreams

21st August Sia McKye's Thoughts… Over Coffee
24th August Zensanity
31st August Love Romance Passion
Meanwhile, check out Sia McKye's fab review of Mr Darcy, Vampyre over at her blog here

And don't forget, the competition to win a signed copy ends at midnight on August 1st (London time) so if you haven't entered yet, see below for details! The winner will be announced here on the blog on Monday.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Horror, fantasy and romance Part 2

When I was growing up I read a lot of fantasy. I loved the Narnia books by C S Lewis and I also loved the Andrew Lang books of fairy tales. There was one for each colour of the rainbow and, although they're now out of print, I can still remember the covers. Does anyone else remember them?

As I grew older I read Alan Garner. The Owl Service in particular made a big impression on me. When I found out it was based on the story of Blodeuwedd, which was to be found in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh folk tales and legends, I bought the Mabinogion. The version I bought had very evocative illustrations by Alan Lee, who of course went on to work on The Lord of the Rings films.

A year or so later I read The Lord of the Rings. My local library only ever had The Two Towers but I was intrigued by the cover and by the world I glimpsed inside so I went out and bought The Fellowship of the Ring. I then went on to read the trilogy many times. The characters now seem like old friends, and I love returning to the world of Middle Earth.

As I grew older I discovered American fantasy - I loved The Dragonbone Chair in particular - and continued reading English fantasy, including the weird but very atmospheric Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock.

All these influences whirl around in my imagination, mixing with each other and changing subtly as they do so. Sometimes they stay there but sometimes they find their way into the book I'm writing. In the last few chapters of Mr Darcy, Vampyre I can definitely see a lot of fantasy influences. I don't want to give too much away, but the settings and atmosphere come from the world of fantasy.

I think that's why I found Mr Darcy, Vampyre such an absorbing book to write, because it has so many influences from a wide divergence of genres.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

USA Today

I had a lovely chat with Carol Memmott from USA Today recently as she was writing an article on the popularity of Jane Austen / monster novels.

The chat ranged from why such books were popular to my inspirations for Mr Darcy, Vampyre, but the best bit for me was when she said that she'd read Mr Darcy, Vampyre and really enjoyed it. Yay!

You can read the whole article here

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Horror, fantasy and romance

Although Mr Darcy, Vampyre is a paranormal sequel to Pride and Prejudice there are a lot of other influences on the book. They come from a variety of other genres including horror, fantasy and romance, and I thought I'd blog about some of the horror influences today.

I'm not sure if Buffy the Vampire Slayer counts as horror but as regular blog readers know, it was Buffy that first gave me the idea of Darcy as a vampire (read more about it on my brilliant friend Amanda Ashby's blog here)

Other horrror influences are Polidori and Byron (see below) and of course Dracula. Less obvious might be H P Lovecraft, but he definitely influenced certain aspects of the style as a kind of Lovecraftian eeriness seeps into some of the chapters of Mr Darcy, Vampyre.

I didn't realise this when I was writing the book, although I've always adored the language of Lovecraft and the atmosphere he generates, but once I'd written the book it was obvious to me and so I went back and put in a gibbous moon as an homage: gibbous moons often appear in Lovecraft's works.

I love the word gibbous. Like much of Lovecraft's vocabulary, it suggests all sorts of horrible things - it always makes me think of gibbering monsters - but in fact it's perfectly innocent, meaning more than half but less than fully illuminated.

I also tried to include the word squamous, another brilliantly evocative word much used by Lovecraft, but I couldn't fit it into Mr Darcy, Vampyre. It will, however, fit brilliantly into Sense and Sensibilty and Sea Monsters As the author says that he, too , was inspired by Lovecraft, I'm hoping to see it there!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Tweeting the first chapter

Sourcebooks will be tweeting the first chapter next week, more information here!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Release dates

Although the UK and US editions are both coming out this summer, the release dates are slightly different. The book will come out in the US first, release date August 11, and a little later in the UK, on September 1st.

Meanwhile, Waterstone's have just added the book to their online shop for pre-ordering.

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Inspired by Stephanie's competition (and the very neat Mr Linky, which I haven't used before!) I'm running a competition to win a signed copy of Mr Darcy, Vampyre!

All you have to do is to mention Mr Darcy, Vampyre on your blog, Twitter or website etc and include the link to this post - you can just copy and paste it, here it is:
Or use the tiny url if you prefer:

Then come back here and click on Mr. Linky - link directly to your post about Mr Darcy, Vampyre and not just to your blog’s home page, please.

If you don’t have a blog etc but would like to enter the competition anyway, just leave a comment on this post!

Closing date is midnight on August 1st (London time). I'll pick a winner at random from everyone who joins in and announce their name here on August 2nd

UK cover (left) and US cover (right)

Friday, 3 July 2009

The Jane Austen Challenge

If you're an Austen fan, then why not read Mr Darcy, Vampyre as part of the Jane Austen Challenge on Stephanie's Written Word?

The Everything Austen Challenge runs for six months, from July 1, 2009 – January 1, 2010. Just choose six Austen-themed things you want to do in that time - Stephanie has a great list on her website to inspire you - and finish them to complete the challenge.