Today’s Guest Blog Post and Give-Away by Jan Hahn
Hi, Darcyholics! I am very happy to share with you a guest post by Jan H. For anyone who has read JAFF online, you have most likely read one of Jan’s stories. With one book now available, and another soon to be released, I am thrilled to have her visiting with us today!
Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
February 3--Jan Hahn
February 7--Abigail Reynolds
February 10--Ola Wegner
February 14--Sandy Cook! Celebrating Mr. Darcy and Valentine’s Day
February 17--Nancy Kelley
February 21--Janet Taylor
February 24--Nina Benneton
February 28--Maria Grazia (My Jane Austen Book Club)
March 2--Rita W.
March 27--Lucy S.
And Many more to come!
Jan is giving away a soft cover and an eBook copy of each of An Arranged Marriage, US and Canada for soft cover--International included for eBook. Entries will be based on comments on the blog post; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, clicking 'like' on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, or following BarbTCole on Twitter. Please note any of these things that you do in your blog post for extra entries.
And Now...I present...Jan H.!
The 21st Century Made Me a Darcyholic
I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time in high school. Unfortunately, I was too busy flirting with the boy sitting next to me to pay much attention to the book. I am ashamed to admit that I was bored. All I retained were vague impressions of tedious conversation, stilted language, balls, and a weird preoccupation with getting married. Oh, and one more thing . . . a rich, handsome man called Darcy. At least I remembered his name.
By the 1990s when the BBC produced the version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, I am glad to report that I had matured enough to enjoy watching it. I not only reserved the time to view the entire program, but I had enough sense to record it on a VHS tape. I thought about reading the book again, but somehow I never got around to it.About six years later, tragedy drove me back to Darcy. Along with the rest of the country, the horror of 9/11 plunged me into shock and grief. I overdosed on news shows, newspaper accounts, and magazines until I couldn’t sleep. I prayed and grieved and talked to friends and prayed some more, but as the weeks went by, I couldn’t shake the ever-present black cloud over my head. I wanted to leave the 21st Century. I longed to go back in time, to escape into another world, to retreat to a place of comfort and safety. I found myself watching old sit-coms on TV, re-reading books I knew for certain had a happy ending, anything that would temporarily remove me from the panic gripping the United States. I needed serious distraction.
Fortunately, one evening I happened upon that old VHS tape tucked away at the bottom of a pile of movies. I put it in the VCR, turned it on, and smiled as it transported me into a beautiful world of elegance and manners, romance and grace. I forgot about the present day world for six hours—now, that was a distraction! I began watching Pride and Prejudice over and over night after night. I read the book again and laughed out loud, wondering how in the world I had considered it boring. How could I have wasted time with that silly boy (whose name I could no longer recall) when I could have explored the glorious essence of Darcy all those years ago?
A month or so later, I began searching online for anyone who shared this strange obsession that had taken hold of my life. That led me to the Republic of Pemberley where I discovered the phenomenon known as fan fiction. After devouring almost every story posted there, I moved on to the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild. Of course, it didn’t take long for any number of Jane Austen sites to pop up online. Worlds of continuations and variations of what had become my favorite book became available to read.
That’s the saga of my road to Darcy. I believe I read somewhere that Abigail Reynolds stated that 9/11 had a similar effect on her renewal of interest in Jane Austen. I’ve always admired Abigail’s talent and wasn’t surprised when her books were published. I applaud her for her success. Today there are more published authors and books based on Jane Austen’s characters than I can keep up with.
I made my first attempt at writing a Pride and Prejudice story in 2002. I posted it at the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild, and that plunged me into a marvelous connection with people who encouraged me to write. Talk about instant gratification—I couldn’t believe it! Through the years, I’ve written six complete stories.
I never intended to publish anything I wrote. It took every scrap of courage I could find to post my stories online, and it simply became a hobby I enjoyed. When Meryton Press approached me, good friends urged me to accept the offer to publish some of my work. With the aid of my wonderful editor, Debbie Styne, and the talents and efforts of Ellen Pickels and Michele Reed, my first book, An Arranged Marriage, was released last summer.
For those who haven’t read it, the story takes Darcy and Elizabeth on another alternate path. It begins when Mr. Bennet dies immediately after Elizabeth has refused Darcy’s pathetic proposal at Hunsford. Elizabeth rushes back to her family, knowing that Longbourn is, of course, entailed away and that her father has left little fortune to sustain his widow and daughters. When Darcy shows up at Longbourn six months later, his proposal for a marriage of convenience to Elizabeth does not set well with her. However, her sense of duty forces her to enter into an arranged marriage with a man she doesn’t even like. Can Elizabeth overcome her feelings of anger, resentment, and suspicion toward her new husband and—the most bewildering sensation of all—a growing attraction for the last man in the world she ever wished to marry?Today, I have become a true Jane Austen fanatic. I love all of her books. I devour every movie or television adaptation that is made. I believe it would be quite easy for me to become highly infatuated with Mr. Knightly. I think Henry Tilney is a gem. I greatly admire Colonel Brandon, while I am disappointed in Edward Ferrars. I cannot help but wonder what’s so great about Edmund Bertram, but it certainly wouldn’t take much persuasion to make me sail around the harbor with Captain Wentworth. However . . . if I must choose my favorite from Austen’s heroes, there’s no contest. I will always be in love with that proud, reserved, still slightly arrogant, but (in essentials) good man known as Fitzwilliam Darcy.
So, I hereby stand and make my confession: My name is Jan, and I am a Darcyholic. Don’t bother offering me the cure, because I’m sure I couldn’t swallow it.
About the author:
Jan Hahn’s first novel, An Arranged Marriage, recently won the award for Best Indie book of 2011 from Austinprose. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. Her second book, The Journey, is due to be released soon.
She is fascinated by all things Austen, the 19th Century, and true love. Having spent far too many years toiling away in the world of business, she is now content to leave that world behind and concentrate on her true interest—writing about Austen’s characters finding true love in the 19th Century. She is blessed with five wonderful children and the smartest, most beautiful grandchildren alive. Although a native Texan, Jan doesn’t live on a ranch, can’t ride a horse, and doesn’t own a pair of cowboy boots. She will admit to being cursed with a definite Texas drawl.