Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2017
  • B06XVBGCKD
  • 410 pages
  • $5.95
Hardcover Details
  • 12/2017
  • 978-0998654027
  • 410 pages
  • $24.95
Paperback Details
  • 05/2017
  • 978-0998654003
  • 410 pages
  • $14.95
Audio Details
  • 12/2017
  • B078J5614P
  • 410 pages
  • $24.95
Christina Boyd
Editor (anthology)
The Darcy Monologues
Christina Boyd, editor (anthology)

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austenesque authors sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. 

Reviews
#TuesdayBookBlog

There is some humour, some pathos, some – quite a lot, obviously – romance. I loved each and every one. The slants on all the tales are clever and absorbing and threaded throughout is that one issue; that one age-old theme; two people who move inexorably from dislike to love. I’m sure Jane Austen would approve of these diverse stories of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet . 

AudioFile Magazine

Narrator Harry Frost brings a wealth of characters to life in this anthology of 15 short stories, all told from the point of view of everyone's favorite aloof leading man, Mr. Darcy of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The first half of the audiobook contains stories set in the same time period as Jane Austen's novel, and Frost captures Darcy's tone perfectly, bringing a heart and soul to the character that readers get only a glimpse of in the original novel. The remaining half of the audiobook contains stories from other eras, reimagining Darcy as a baseball player, a school principal, and an Old West traveler, to name but a few. Frost portrays everything from New York sophisticate to grizzled cowboy, never falling into caricature. A delightful listening experience. L.C.L. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2018]

Austenesque Reviews

Blown away...Written with expressive prose, thoughtful renderings, and charm, this anthology gives readers an intimate look into the thoughts and feelings of the illustrious and proud Mr. Darcy. Who wouldn't want to spend more time in Darcy's head?!? --Austenesque Reviews

Bookmonger: A Fond Salute to Jane Austen

Jane Austen fans marked the 200th anniversary of her passing this summer with widespread commemorations of her life, work and legacy. The Regency-era author, who chose anonymity in her own lifetime, would be astonished by the vast cult of Janeites that has developed in the two centuries since her death.

While Austen’s work enjoyed only modest sales in her day, millions of copies of her books have sold since then. In our current culture of spin-offs and sequels, it is little surprise that Austen fan fiction now has become a flourishing industry, too.

That is how this column, which focuses on Northwest books and authors, has come to review “The Darcy Monologues.” Christina Boyd, who is the editor, publisher and mastermind behind this collection of short stories, operates out of a tiny burg in Whatcom County, Washington.

For this anthology, however, she has reached far and wide, marshaling authors from throughout the United States and around the globe to create short stories from the point of view of Fitzwilliam Darcy, who is the love interest of Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice.”

In creating Darcy, Austen gave us one of the most dimensional and swoon-worthy swains in all of English-language literature. But for some readers, that has only whet their appetite for more. Boyd’s authors have willingly stepped up to the challenge.

“The Darcy Monologues” is split into two different categories. The first stories return directly to Austen’s work and the Regency era.

Caitlin Williams kicks off this set with an imagining of Darcy’s thoughts on the eve of his wedding.

J. Marie Croft backtracks a bit to examine Darcy’s mindset just after Elizabeth has spurned his first blundering marriage proposal. Fueled by anguish (and too much brandy), Darcy spends a sleepless night composing, scratching out, and rewriting the letter that will explain his motivations and actions to Elizabeth so that she will understand him better, even though she has rejected him.

Other stories in the book’s first half introduce supernatural elements, a secret door, and other manners of embroidering on top of the tapestry Austen had already created. Some of it seems extraneous, but other elements, such as the fleshing out of Darcy’s sickly cousin Anne de Bourgh, provide intriguing food for thought.

The second half of the book features seven stories that borrow Austen’s characters and play with them in different settings and times. Two Northwest authors are featured here.

In “Pemberley by Stage,” Aurora, Oregon, author Natalie Richards scrambles up a Wild West setting, a stagecoach heist, Elizabeth in disguise, and Darcy in pursuit of that perennial cad, Wickham.

Portland author Beau North uses incipient rock & roll, the Cuban missile crisis and a cold winter in upstate New York to fire up the romance between Darcy and Eliza in “You Don’t Know Me.”

Chances are you’ll like some of these stories more than others, but you can pick and choose as you please — not a bad way to idle your way through August’s hot, hazy days.

The Bookmonger is Barbara Lloyd McMichael, who writes this weekly column focusing on the books, authors and publishers of the Pacific Northwest. Contact her at bkmonger@nwlink.com

Discovering Diamonds

Regency/ Jane Austen / Short stories

19th Century/ 21st century/ crossover

England

 

This edited collection of short stories, edited by Christina Boyd, features  fifteen original, previously unpublished short stories based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Each story is told from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, though none of the tales are a simple retelling of the famous story of Austen’s original novel. Each, of course, puts its own creative spin on the beloved novel, even those that are a fairly straightforward retelling of the story from Darcy’s perspective.

 

As with any anthology or collection of stories, not all of the works in The Darcy Monologues appealed to me, nor are they likely to appeal universally to every reader. There are certain settings and interpretations of which I am simply not a fan, but which are still wildly popular, although not necessarily my favorite variety. Most of the short stories here were sweet and light, a few were touching, and a couple simply missed the mark for me. All, however, were well written and well edited. That, alone, would be more than enough to strongly recommend the book. This was a treat to read overall, and there is something here to delight any Austen fan.

 

I cannot leave a review without highlighting the stories I felt were the strongest of the lot. Of course, other readers may have different opinions, but for my two cents, these are some of the best of the anthology:

 

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft. This story showed, among other scenes, the famous letter Darcy handed to Elizabeth after his first proposal to her. However, this was the author’s version of the letter’s first draft, which was much more colorful than the elegant and articulate missive Elizabeth actually received. It made me laugh out loud more than once.

 

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford. This is a Pride and Prejudice / Beauty and the Beast mash-up. It’s possible that someone, somewhere, has written one like this before, but it has escaped my notice. It was a perfect fit for the two stories to be blended like this! I have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Beauty and the Beast because of  feminism! But this short story balanced the two narratives superbly.

 

Without Affection by Jan Hahn. This is a thoughtful retrospective piece. Darcy is looking at Elizabeth wandering in the gardens of Pemberley when they are old, after 50+ years of marriage, and he is trying to think of when he thought she was the most beautiful. He decides the time he would choose, and it leads him to recall a troubled period in their marriage. This was, in my opinion, the most poignant of the tales in the collection.

Jane Austen Regency World Magazine

...there really is something here to suit all tastes, and to delight any diehard Darcy fan. ~Jane Austen Regency World Magazine 

Mr Darcy: Setting Up Unrealistic Expectations Since 1813

(I'm talking to the confused men out there) you could read these as research if you are still trying to figure out just what will set the women's hearts aflutter for you.--Behind the Willows

New Twists on an Old Favorite

The book is a delightful journey into Austen’s world.

Of Pens & Pages, Audiobook Review

The Darcy Monologues is a collection of short stories told by a group of amazing JAFF authors, all starring our beloved Mr. Darcy. There was a fantastic selection of stories, the book divided into two eras—Regency and Other. I've mentioned this in my more in-depth review of the book, "each author perfectly highlighted the Mr. Darcy every romance fan grew to love—a gentleman, a dedicated brother, a good friend, and a devoted lover. A good and honest man."

I enjoyed reading this book but enjoyed it even more when I finally listened to it.

WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK?

Reading The Darcy Monologues was heartwarming, but listening to it was a whole new experience. It felt more intimate, more tangible, if that makes sense. Like a real person was telling me a real story of his life. Harry Frost was a fantastic Darcy, and he was equally fantastic in portraying different characters, particularly Mr. Collins. The change in accents from Regency era to other era stories set in the USA was surprising but not unwanted. I don't know which I prefer, to be honest. And I don't know if it was just me, but his American accent sounded a lot like Henry Cavill's. I can only tell you I giggled so much when I heard it. 

While Harry Frost did a wonderful job narrating all of the novellas in this anthology, the novella I enjoyed listening to the most was From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft. It was so amusing to hear a slightly intoxicated Mr. Darcy write a draft of his letter to Elizabeth the night after the Hunsford proposal. A close second was You Don't Know Me by Beau North because like I've mentioned about, the accent reminded me of Mr. Cavill's American accent. Hehe. Obviously, I'm a fan.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS AUDIOBOOK TO A FRIEND? IF SO, WHY?

I think lovers of Mr. Darcy will enjoy this audiobook as much as I did. Since he's fictional, this is the closest I can get to have him whispering in my ear sweet nothings and thoughts I imagined Mr. Darcy would say. It's a treat. 

Period Drama Madness

15 different writers get inside Darcy’s head and write their versions of Mr Darcy. For me, the two USPs of this anthology are the Darcy perspective, and the different eras.

The Darcy Monologues is a JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) anthology of 15 short stories, written from the perspective of Fritzwilliam Darcy. (They aren’t all in first person, but they are certainly written from his point of view.) The book is split into two sections – one contains stories set in the Regency era, the other has stories set in different eras, from the 1940s, to the 50s, 60s, and modern day.

What’s hot

Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is written mostly from Elizabeth’s perspective, so, while we are privy to her inner turmoil after she rejects Darcy’s proposal and receives his letter of explanation, we learn far less about Darcy’s inner thought and motivations. Haven’t you ever wondered what Darcy thought when he met Lizzy and the Gardiners at Pemberley? And what about after the book ends – what are Darcy’s thoughts before, and after his wedding?

15 different writers get inside Darcy’s head and write their versions of Mr Darcy. The result is different gorgeous hues of the same man who will forever be the ultimate female fantasy. While each story has something to offer every type of reader, my favourites from this section were: The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Standford, and Without Affection by Jan Hahn.

As plots change to fit the era, conflicts change, yet the essence of the characters, and the building blocks of the story, remain true to the characters and story we love.

While the first half of the book shines because of the Darcy POV, the second half of the book is all about location, location, location. Or, in this case, era, era, era. It was such a treat to discover how Lizzy, Darcy and the gang were written into stories set in different decades, with their personalities, characteristics, jobs, and personal backgrounds changing accordingly. So we get soldier Darcy, principal Darcy, CEO Darcy, wild west Darcy, ball player Darcy.  As plots change to fit the era, conflicts change, yet the essence of the characters, and the building blocks of the story, remain true to the original Pride and Prejudice. My favourites from this section were: You Don’t Know Me by Beau North, and Reason To Hope by Jenetta James.

What’s not

My only criticism would be not about this anthology, but about JAFF short stories in general. The original Lizzy-Darcy relationship started out with animosity, and it took a lot of interaction and plot development for it to change into admiration and love. In the short stories where they meet, dislike each other, fall in love, and get engaged – all within 30 pages – they literally have to be “in the middle of it before they know it has even begun”. That can come off rather unrealistic. However, it is only because we know the characters, and already know the plot, that the short stories really work. But hey, that’s why it’s called fan fiction. It’s not about telling the same story; it’s about retelling the same story in a different way, which still captures our hearts.

The Verdict

The Darcy Monologues is the JAFF gateway drug.

If you’re new to Jane Austen Fan Fiction, or you’re a JAFF fan and want to “convert” a friend, consider starting with an anthology like The Darcy Monologues. Not only do you get to sample the writing of some of the best writers in the genre, but you also get to read stories in different styles and flavours, set in different eras. So there’s something for everyone in it to enjoy. Think of The Darcy Monologues as your JAFF gateway drug. Don’t worry, experts agree; it lowers anxiety, increases imagination, and is very good for health.

Get it

You can get The Darcy Monologues for FREE until 9th December, 2017, so hurry and click on this link to get it now: The Darcy Monologues on Amazon.
Read the brief synopsis and analysis of each story below.

 

REGENCY ERA

Death of A Bachelor by Caitlin Williams

This story explores Darcy’s thoughts and fears as he prepares for married life with Elizabeth. He considers the nature of love, struggles being around the Bennet family, and even gets caught in a snowstorm with Lizzy. (Romantic!) This story was the perfect opener for this anthology. It gives us a glimpse into what might have happened just after the book ends, and is equal parts inner monologue and plot, with plenty of sexual angst.  

From The Ashes by J. Marie Croft

Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth does not go as expected, and a disturbed Darcy writes Elizabeth his famous rebuttal. We are privy to the many drafts he composes (which subsequently turn to ashes),  before he settles on the final version.  I loved the clever use of cancellation to give us a glimpse into the uncensored thoughts of Darcy as he formulates the letter. This story is fun, funny and a great change of pace for the Regency era section of the book.

If Only A Dream by Joana Starnes

This story also picks up after the failed proposal, but instead of leaving Rosings immediately, Darcy is detained there by unforeseen circumstances. This means Darcy and Elizabeth are forced to face each other after everything that has occurred. (Awkward!) Of course they reconcile but not before we are entertained by a little angst, some humour, and romantic confessions. A delicate and well-balanced short story. Bonus points for a humorous scene with Lady Catherine.

Clandestiny by Karalynne Mackrory

Lizzy and Darcy have a clandestine meeting at the Netherfield Ball, quite by accident. A secret passage transports Lizzy into the arms of Mr Darcy – quite literally. With no one else in the cosy library but Darcy and Lizzy, a crackling fire, some circumstantial physical proximity, and unspoken desire hanging in the air, what can you expect but plenty of sexual tension? Visceral and hot.

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Standford

Darcy and the inhabitants of Pemberley (Lumiere and the gang) have been cursed with disfiguring wounds that do not heal, by the the sorcerer Wickham. Elizabeth has to marry Darcy to pay off her father’s debts. Can she love the angry, broken and disfigured beast of Pemberley? I’ve never read Darcy as a tough-yet-vulnerable man before, and there was something interesting about that. The story of Darcy and Lizzy blended perfectly into the Beauty and The Beast plot in the capable hands of Melanie Stanford, creating a touching and romantic love story.

A Resentful Man by Lory Lilian

The most popular scene to frame a monologue around is usually the proposal/letter scene. Which is why it was refreshing to read Darcy’s inner monologue as he prepares to travel to Pemberley, and afterwards, when he meets Lizzy and the Gardiers on the grounds of Pemberley. This is a thoughtful and pleasant story, that sticks close to canon while filling the gaps in between. I enjoyed the preamble scene as well, where Darcy is having a house party with Georgiana and the Bingleys at his London residence.

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani

Mr. Gardiner grills Darcy about his intentions regarding Lizzy. Darcy realises Elizabeth might reciprocate his feelings and travels to Longbourne. But a certain someone has already turned up to try and thwart the union! Susan imagines Darcy’s thoughts and feelings in the days before he proposes to Lizzy. I appreciated the restrained prose and dialogue – it is very close to canon in style and treatment, and that made it all the more delightful.

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

Darcy reminisces about the birth of his son – we learn that it was a difficult childbirth. Darcy is left traumatised, and believes that another pregnancy will endanger Elizabeth’s life. He decides it is best to abstain from sex – forever – to ensure Lizzy’s life isn’t endangered again! Of course, Lizzy will have none of it, and what follows is a sexy game of cat-and-mouse.  Sex in historical romances is generally presented as romantic, magical, and devoid of consequences – but not in this story.  I appreciated the realistic look at sex, contraceptives and childbirth in the Regency era. But realism can also be very romantic, as this story exemplifies.

 

OTHER ERAS

Hot For Teacher by Sara Angelini

Darcy is a School Principal in present day. He hires a dowdy art teacher who turns out to be less dowdy as time progresses. But her attention is taken by the charming literature teacher Wickham, who is also Darcy’s half brother. Will Lizzie learn of Wickham’s indiscretions and will Darcy change and earn Lizzie’s admiration and love? Hot For Teacher is playful, funny, and fun. Bonus points for Collins the janitor.

You Don’t Know Me by Beau North

Darcy travels to Buffalo to oversee changes at one of his radio stations there, where he meets the opinionated and impossibly-long-legged DJ, Miss Bennet. She butts heads with Darcy and a local ladies group that wants jazz music off the airwaves. Plus, Miss Bennet has a secret, and isn’t willing to share it just yet.  Discrimination and prejudices prevalent in the 60s provide the conflict in the plot. The chemistry between Darcy and Elizabeth sizzles, fuelled by a heady mix of music and *SPOILER* couch-makeout! The plot was cohesive, the characters well-fleshed out. This story would work as a great standalone, even if the protagonists weren’t called Darcy and Elizabeth.

Reason To Hope by Jenetta James

Group Captain Darcy and Squadron Leader Bingley are stationed at Meryton in this story set during WW2. A chance encounter with Lizzy, and some dancing later (yes, in this story, Darcy likes to dance!), Darcy is smitten. But this is wartime, and Lizzy suddenly finds herself in a distressing situation involving her family. Darcy springs into action, and the two of them find themselves on a road-trip and rescue mission. This is a well-researched story that immerses you in the era with its attention to historical detail.

Pemberley By Stage by Natalie Richards

In the dangerous world of 1880s California, Darcy, Bingley, Elizabeth and their sisters face highwaymen, robbers, murderers, kidnappers, and prostitutes. Darcy teams up with a fresh-faced boy named “Elias” Bennet to save Georgiana, Jane, Bingley and Lydia, and they fall for each other in the process. Far removed from the social restraints of Georgian England, our Darcy and Lizzy brandish firearms instead of barbs, and lock lips instead of heads. This is a good ol’ western with plenty of action.

Darcy Strikes Out by Sophia Rose

Darcy is a charming baseball player, and Lizzy is a sports journalist. The plot sticks close to the original P&P. Lizzy and Darcy have a  misunderstanding over Wickham and some off-hand condescending comments.  But fear not, it’s a home run in the end for our lovebirds. What I loved about this story was the inclusion of people with disabilities. Sophia writes about Georgiana, a  wheelchair-bound paraplegic, with empathy and realness. Also touching was her portrayal of the easy and loving relationship between Georgiana and Darcy. This is a modern love story with heart.

The Ride Home by Ruth Phillips

It’s millennial Lizzy and Darcy! A drunk Elizabeth needs to be rescued from a disastrous date with Mr. Collins. It’s Darcy to the rescue, but it will be awkward because Lizzy doesn’t like Darcy. Or so he thinks. An inebriated Lizzy is a filter-less Lizzy, and her real thoughts about Darcy are NSFW! Will there be some behind-the-wheel hanky-panky, or will Darcy save it for later like a proper gentleman? This one is a modern, sexy story that eschews Regency demureness and brings Pride and Prejudice to 2017.

I, Darcy by Karen M Cox

Liam Darcy meets Lynley (Lizzy) at a hotel where a Jane Austen conference is taking place. Liam expresses his displeasure at being named after the fictional Mr. Darcy, and proceeds to malign his character. You know Lynley is having none of it! They meet again in a small-town in Virginia, where Lynley runs a farm with Jane, and Darcy is setting up a restaurant with Corbin (Bingley). Liam re-reads Pride and Prejudice, and comes to appreciate his namesake. Lynley finds her happily ever after with her real-life Mr. Darcy. I loved that the last story on the anthology went meta. As much as this story is about Darcy and Lizzy/Lynley, it is also a celebration of Austen, her fans, and the JAFF community. A perfect last story for this anthology.

Playing From a 10!

The Darcy Monologues is an extraordinary piece of literature written by a very talented group of authors and edited by someone who knows exactly what the readers are looking for.

WriterGurlNY

For every hero, there is a villain. For every romantic leading man who ends up with the romantic leading lady, there is a rogue who fails to keep them apart.

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues, edited by Christina Boyd, is a series of short stories by a group of authors who delve into the lives and emotions of some of Austen’s male characters who are not typically given the spotlight. The includes Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice, Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion and Mr. Willoughby from Sense And Sensibility.

I really enjoyed this book. As both a writer and a reader, it’s always interesting to look at secondary characters who normally do not receive the same attention as the leading characters. Like any writer, Austen spent most of her time focusing on her main characters, opening the door for other writers to focus on characters normally do not receive the same attention.

I recommend it.

News
01/01/2018
"The Darcy Monologues" Hits Another Best of List for 2017

"What I loved about it – The diversity! There is a perfect story for anyone and any time." --From Pemberley to Milton

01/09/2017
"The Darcy Monologues" Tops Top TEN AUSTEN for 2017

"The Darcy Monologues" tops Margie's Must Reads Top TEN AUSTEN for 2017. #ILoveBestOfListSeason

12/21/2017
"You must allow me to tell you..." THEDARCY MONOLOGUES now in Audible

Listen to "The Darcy Monologues" via Audible and other Audio Book platforms now.

11/01/2017
#TheDarcyMonologues coming to Audible, December 2017

Do you listen to audio books? #TheDarcyMonologues will be available in audio December 2017! Stay tuned! #audible #acx Narrator: Harry Frost  

03/27/2017
#TheDarcyMonologues Cover Reveal at over 16 blogs

"Today I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for The Darcy Monologues and to have 16 other bloggers join us as we reveal the cover for what I believe is a truly incredible collection of Austenesque short stories, which are all told from the point-of-view of my favorite book boyfriend, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy!" --JustJane1813

11/02/2017
#TheDarcyMonologues to Audible in December 2017

Do you listen to audio books? #TheDarcyMonologues will be available in audio in December! Stay tuned! #audible #acx Narrated by Harry Frost.  

12/25/2017
2017 Favorites Of Pens and Pages

"The Darcy Monologues" is a 2017 Favorite (named alongside Christina Lauren, Beau North, et al.)

Edited by Christina Boyd and written by a few of my favorite JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) authors, this anthology has more than enough Darcys to share with everyone. Set in different eras and timelines, each author perfectly highlighted the Mr. Darcy every romance fan grew to love—a gentleman, a dedicated brother, a good friend, and a devoted lover. A good and honest man.

01/01/2018
AUSTENESQUE REVIEWS NAMES "The Darcy Monologues" and "Dangerous to Know" 2017 Fa

 

"This collection is such a tremendous feat, and to see all these authors collaborate together is a dream come true​." --Austenesque Reviews (see complete article) Also, voted READERS CHOICE!

 

 

 

01/01/2018
Babblings of a Bookworm includesTHE DARCY MONOLOGUES in Picks of the Year

My last pick of the year is an anthology - The Darcy Monologues, with short stories contributed by: Susan Adriani; Sara Angelini; J. Marie Croft; Karen M Cox; Jan Hahn; Jenetta James; Lory Lilian; KaraLynne Mackrory; Beau North; Ruth Phillips Oakland; Natalie Richards; Sophia Rose; Joana Starnes; Melanie Stanford; and Caitlin Williams. The anthology is edited by Christina Boyd. These stories are in varying settings and eras, but all of them are from Mr Darcy's point of view. The stories are all of good quality and some are absolutely outstanding - see my review for further details on each short story. This was a 4½ star read for me.

05/10/2017
Darcy, The Ultimate Book Boyfriend: Before Book Boyfriends Were Even a Thing

Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report, which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. —Chapter III.

And that is how Jane Austen first establishes the hero of Pride and Prejudice. With an introduction like that, it’s little wonder he garnered the attention of all of Meryton, as well as every reader. But even in the very next sentence, his proud and haughty manners proved to have turned all goodwill against him.

09/10/2018
E-Reader News Today, Book of the Day

A romance anthology of “Pride and Prejudice” short stories in Mr. Darcy’s own words for 99c today.

12/05/2017
Fussy Librarian Features FREE in HistoricalFicion: THE DARCY MONOLOGUES

Fussy Librarian says, "THE DARCY MONOLOGUES is FREE download December 5-9." Feed your kindle.

 

 

06/24/2018
Interview with #TheDarcyMonologues Narrator at FanGirlNation

Harry Frost is a 28-year-old writer and voice actor living in Leicestershire, England. He enjoys literature, and is passionate about the audiobook medium as a way to revitalise a tradition of performance storytelling.

How did you become interested in performing audiobooks?

I think because I’ve always listened to them, first as a child, then as an adult when I had a job that involved a lot of driving and travelling. I was first inspired by Martin Jarvis, a British actor/journalist who used to read Richmal Crompton’s Just William series of books on audio cassette; he has such humour and versatility and range. He was also a war correspondent, so years later it was quite a shock to see him on TV in a bulletproof jacket in Helmand province when I was used to hearing him doing the quavering voices of old English aunts and irate rural gamekeepers! After that, and studying drama at school, it was just something I’d always wanted to do. There’s something wonderful, I find, about being led into a story. I think audio-narration is great because, unlike much of modern cultural media, it doesn’t try to tell you what to think about the story, but only facilitates your own contact with it by removing the need to read text which, though it can become nearly unconscious, can distract. When someone else is reading to me, and giving some emotional signals about how the dialogue and plot would make that character feel, I find I have my whole attention left for the story as a story.

The Darcy Monologues is your first audiobook. How did you get selected to perform it?

I was very lucky to have discovered ACX [Audiobook Creation Exchange] and to have signed up for it in time to catch Christina (the editor’s) post advertising for a voice actor. I thought “Austenesque” sounded great, and pretty suitable to my natural speaking voice. What I didn’t realise initially was the variety of stories and settings, and that some would require me to do a US accent throughout! I don’t think I would have presumed to put myself forward for that part initially, but Christina, hearing my auditions, seemed to think I was up to it, and so there I was!

What kind of material did you submit to ACX to audition for this book?

The website allows you to upload any number of samples in difference accents and styles, which in theory increases the likelihood of your coming up in rights holders’ / authors’ searches. I therefore set to work filling it up with as many as I could think of! Highlights (at least, I think) include my trying to do a Glaswegian rendering of a scene from Trainspotting and my absolute favourite scene in one of my favourite American authors’ greatest books: the final speech in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.

For the specific audition for the Darcy Monologues, I was sent selected scenes from the book to demonstrate how I would interpret certain scenes. Having not read the rest of the stories, it was interesting to imagine how the characters had ended up where they were, and to try and pitch the emotional content accordingly. One scene was from “Hot For Teacher,” outside the sports hall during the homecoming dance. I had decided Darcy and Elizabeth were high-school age, and so perhaps I voiced Darcy rather more like a high school jock and Lizzie more like a character out of Mean Girls than was strictly correct! Luckily, Christina was understanding.

Your bachelor’s degree was in Literature, and you’re currently studying for a master’s in Economics at De Montfort University, Leicester, in the UK. Most narrators seem to have degrees in performing fields, but I wonder if your background in learning to analyze literature gives you unique insight into performing books, especially ones like The Darcy Monologues.

I think I definitely came to audiobooks out of literary conviction rather than a cold-headed career decision. I really believe in the power of the medium to transport people in a way nothing else does, with the perfect balance of suggestion, dramatisation and freedom of interpretation. My first degree roamed right through literary history, starting with the Greeks, then the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, and going right through to Modernism via the Regency period. I couldn’t get enough of it, and everything sounds better read aloud! Homer’s Iliad, the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, the Icelandic Sagas, the Finnish Kalevala; all were designed to be performed, not written down. Realism in fiction, too, has dialogue that was intended to sound like dialogue as actually spoken, so the fit there is great, too. And, as we know, though Regency writing is perhaps a little more ‘writerly’ than bardic, it was pretty usual to sit out the long, pre-Netflix evenings listening to someone read aloud (even if, alas, it was only Fordyce’s Sermons. . .)

So in terms of overall motivation and belief in the medium, my background in literature is really important. When it comes to devising a performance, perhaps less so. I think “literary” understanding can sometimes get in the way of the pure human emotion that it’s the reader’s duty to extract and convey. Scenes from classics like Pride and Prejudice are so famous as literature that they can become almost stylised, and we forget that, in essence, they are occasions when a character’s endurance has been tested beyond limit, or when they’re so happy they can hardly speak, or when they’re scared out of their wits. Projects like The Darcy Monologues overcome that by removing or changing the “window dressing” of era, plot, country etc. and keeping the emotion, and the narrator’s role is much the same with any project.

So while it helps to have read a lot, and to know for example that people pronounced “waistcoat” “weskit” in certain periods and not in others, the main qualification for a narrator has to be that of “personhood”: a feeling, empathetic human being who can isolate the true emotional tendency of a scene amid extraneous details. When it comes to portraying that through tone of voice, accent, pauses etc, then of course one has to have a history of performance. I did a lot of drama when I was young and a few amateur shows at university, and it’s really just a question of practice, and of watching films and plays to see how other professionals do it.

The Economics master’s degree is for my own edification, but consider the importance of economic factors in all spheres of human existence! I read recently in Thomas Piketty’s excellent Capital in the 21st Century that the novels of Jane Austen are an invaluable insight into historical standards of wealth. That Darcy has £10,000 a year meant everything to a society that knew no monetary inflation. After the Second World War, authors became much less keen to mention specific sums, because in five years their rich characters would begin to sound poor. . .

What kind of performing background do you have?

Decidedly amateur until now. I was in every possible play at school and studied Drama and Theatre until I was nineteen. I also wrote and acted in a few shows at university in Exeter, Devon (UK) while there as an undergraduate.

I then became a strategy consultant and did a lot of presenting to one executive board or another; I’m sure your more cynical readers will instantly see that confidently delivering pages and pages of material concerning fictional goings-on in a land of make-believe is hardly a change of direction at all.

How did you prepare to record this book? Especially in an anthology of stories like The Darcy Monologues, there must be a lot of characters to voice. How do you decide which voice to give which character? And then how do you keep them straight?

I read the whole collection once as a reader, making no notes, to get an idea of the stories and then again, jotting down character names on a sheet of paper for each story and wrote what voice they needed using my own highly scientific naming system (“snooty butler, low”; “haughty old woman, quavery”; “throaty romantic lead” etc). The balancing act with accent selection is that it has to be stereotypical because people are expecting a certain thing, but mustn’t become cliché or “hammy” (over the top), which will distract.

The main characters should be as neutral as possible because we hear from them the most, and an irritating accent is death for a narrator. Side characters all usually conform to a certain type, so that as a general rule, butlers are Jeeves from Wodehouse’s classics, housekeepers are Mrs Potts from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, ferocious aunts are Wilde’s Lady Bracknell etc. Where I know the geographical setting, I’ll attempt the accent if it’s within my range. Obviously, I’m alright in the UK, but as a general rule my US accents are not regionally accurate. It was also noticeable that I was much less able to judge what was “over the top” with the few US regional dialects I attempted than with UK ones; that’s where a great editor like Christina was invaluable!

Keeping an accent straight is always tricky, and the key is to focus on really inhabiting the characters and concentrate on their genuine emotion, and hopefully the accent will not get in the way. Perhaps this is a little mystic, or maybe just “method,” but I feel like I’ve got it right when the character I’m voicing sounds like he’s more concerned with what he’s saying than with his accent. That said, it’s very nerve-wracking narrating whole stories in an accent other than one’s own, and I only hope that the performance is adequate, and correctly sustained. After a while of listening to one’s own recorded voice, one loses the capacity to judge dispassionately.

The stories in The Darcy Monologues take place in different times and locations, requiring various accents. What were the most challenging accents for you to use, and how did you learn them?

The US accents, without a doubt! In “Pemberley by Stage” we have me, a middle class Englishman, voicing an upper class Southern woman pretending to be a working class Southern man! It was a challenge to say the least, and I hope I’ve done the author’s excellent work at least partial justice. In “I, Darcy,” too, there are US regional accents I’d just never come across, and so after a few attempts, I decided it would be best to stick to standard US.

By contrast, the UK voices were a holiday! One that was particularly fun to develop was the general style of “Reason to Hope,” which is set during the Second World War. There were a lot of nice nuances to get involved with, like a certain briskness that pervades speech in that whole period (if contemporary films are a guide), and particularly Elizabeth’s bracing, capable air; a particular kind of aristocratic manner that my grandmother, who was a nurse in the War herself, used to call a “tough-and-outdoors” voice. One of that story’s main attractions for me was that it added to the Darcy-Elizabeth narrative the observation that, in times of war or crisis, some people rise to a challenge and some people shy away. In doing either, they reveal what kind of person they really are, and any differences of class or temperament or opinion other than that become irrelevant. It was great fun to include a kind of resilient determination that united that Darcy and that Elizabeth, and to exclude it from the “lesser” characters.

What insights into Mr. Darcy’s character did performing this book give you?

I suppose it just reinforces the impression that the characteristics that make some men attractive — strength, stoicism, integrity, determination, hatred of deceit — can equally make them seem repulsive and lead them into seemingly irremediable social situations! There’s a great sense of dramatic irony to these Darcy stories, because time and again we hear his internal monologue justify the same outlandish ideas that to us, the audience, and to the other characters, are patently absurd and could be sorted out with the minimum of clear communication. But then, if they were to become sorted out, would the reconciliation be as cathartic?

What I hadn’t realised so well before is that this device is used both ways; of course, Elizabeth’s idea of herself as clear-sighted and fair is as incorrect as Darcy’s belief in his rightness. This won’t remotely come as a surprise to anyone who has read the book carefully, but I hadn’t paid that much attention to it before! In any case, it’s a good message for us nowadays, when every side of an argument tends to see themselves as able to evade all bias and prejudice, but at the same time to spot it instantly in the statements of others, even when those others might truly be trying to make peace in good faith.

What was the thing you learned the most about performing audiobooks from this experience that you will take to your next job?

Two things; the technical side of producing and mastering audio, and the “mechanical” process of the actual delivery of the performance.

For the technical side, there are some great free software programmes and online resources, so the basics can be learned with enough determination. I had done some unpublished projects before, and so was moderately well-equipped going into The Darcy Monologues. I think for next time, I might save up and buy some better hardware. Even though it’s a sign of a bad workman to blame his tools, I really think I was pushing the capability of my microphone to the limit, which created extra work at the editing stage.

Before starting this project, I had no idea how physically challenging audiobook work is; it is a bit of a marathon. On the one hand, you have to relax, but on the other you have to keep a fixed distance from the microphone, not talk too loudly, not misread from the text (I use an iPad propped behind the mic in my home-made booth), and remember what accent goes with which character! I learned to do proper vocal warmups before and, most importantly, use a nasal spray to protect against infection when going out and about, or on a public train, for example! It’s not something I’d ever considered before, and I certainly couldn’t be described as a “clean freak” normally, but getting a cold in the middle of a project is excruciating! Where ordinarily you’d just curl up in bed and wait for it to pass, it’s very painful watching your precious production days tick away while you try to work out objectively whether or not you still sound ‘stuffed up’.

You can learn more about Harry’s new book here:

The Darcy Monologues

Edited by Christina Boyd, The Quill Ink
www.thequillink.com

“You must allow me to tell you…”

For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know what his tortured soul is indeed thinking? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”?

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austen-inspired authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein The Darcy Monologues, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm.

Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * Karen M Cox * J. Marie Croft * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Melanie Stanford * Joana Starnes * Caitlin Williams

Check out the book on Audible.

06/24/2018
Interview with 'The Darcy Monologues" Voice Actor, Harry Frost

Harry Frost is a 28-year-old writer and voice actor living in Leicestershire, England. He enjoys literature, and is passionate about the audiobook medium as a way to revitalise a tradition of performance storytelling.

How did you become interested in performing audiobooks?

I think because I’ve always listened to them, first as a child, then as an adult when I had a job that involved a lot of driving and travelling. I was first inspired by Martin Jarvis, a British actor/journalist who used to read Richmal Crompton’s Just William series of books on audio cassette; he has such humour and versatility and range. He was also a war correspondent, so years later it was quite a shock to see him on TV in a bulletproof jacket in Helmand province when I was used to hearing him doing the quavering voices of old English aunts and irate rural gamekeepers! After that, and studying drama at school, it was just something I’d always wanted to do. There’s something wonderful, I find, about being led into a story. I think audio-narration is great because, unlike much of modern cultural media, it doesn’t try to tell you what to think about the story, but only facilitates your own contact with it by removing the need to read text which, though it can become nearly unconscious, can distract. When someone else is reading to me, and giving some emotional signals about how the dialogue and plot would make that character feel, I find I have my whole attention left for the story as a story.

The Darcy Monologues is your first audiobook. How did you get selected to perform it?

I was very lucky to have discovered ACX [Audiobook Creation Exchange] and to have signed up for it in time to catch Christina (the editor’s) post advertising for a voice actor. I thought “Austenesque” sounded great, and pretty suitable to my natural speaking voice. What I didn’t realise initially was the variety of stories and settings, and that some would require me to do a US accent throughout! I don’t think I would have presumed to put myself forward for that part initially, but Christina, hearing my auditions, seemed to think I was up to it, and so there I was!

What kind of material did you submit to ACX to audition for this book?

The website allows you to upload any number of samples in difference accents and styles, which in theory increases the likelihood of your coming up in rights holders’ / authors’ searches. I therefore set to work filling it up with as many as I could think of! Highlights (at least, I think) include my trying to do a Glaswegian rendering of a scene from Trainspotting and my absolute favourite scene in one of my favourite American authors’ greatest books: the final speech in Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men.

For the specific audition for the Darcy Monologues, I was sent selected scenes from the book to demonstrate how I would interpret certain scenes. Having not read the rest of the stories, it was interesting to imagine how the characters had ended up where they were, and to try and pitch the emotional content accordingly. One scene was from “Hot For Teacher,” outside the sports hall during the homecoming dance. I had decided Darcy and Elizabeth were high-school age, and so perhaps I voiced Darcy rather more like a high school jock and Lizzie more like a character out of Mean Girls than was strictly correct! Luckily, Christina was understanding.

Your bachelor’s degree was in Literature, and you’re currently studying for a master’s in Economics at De Montfort University, Leicester, in the UK. Most narrators seem to have degrees in performing fields, but I wonder if your background in learning to analyze literature gives you unique insight into performing books, especially ones like The Darcy Monologues.

I think I definitely came to audiobooks out of literary conviction rather than a cold-headed career decision. I really believe in the power of the medium to transport people in a way nothing else does, with the perfect balance of suggestion, dramatisation and freedom of interpretation. My first degree roamed right through literary history, starting with the Greeks, then the Anglo Saxons and Vikings, and going right through to Modernism via the Regency period. I couldn’t get enough of it, and everything sounds better read aloud! Homer’s Iliad, the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, the Icelandic Sagas, the Finnish Kalevala; all were designed to be performed, not written down. Realism in fiction, too, has dialogue that was intended to sound like dialogue as actually spoken, so the fit there is great, too. And, as we know, though Regency writing is perhaps a little more ‘writerly’ than bardic, it was pretty usual to sit out the long, pre-Netflix evenings listening to someone read aloud (even if, alas, it was only Fordyce’s Sermons. . .)

So in terms of overall motivation and belief in the medium, my background in literature is really important. When it comes to devising a performance, perhaps less so. I think “literary” understanding can sometimes get in the way of the pure human emotion that it’s the reader’s duty to extract and convey. Scenes from classics like Pride and Prejudice are so famous as literature that they can become almost stylised, and we forget that, in essence, they are occasions when a character’s endurance has been tested beyond limit, or when they’re so happy they can hardly speak, or when they’re scared out of their wits. Projects like The Darcy Monologues overcome that by removing or changing the “window dressing” of era, plot, country etc. and keeping the emotion, and the narrator’s role is much the same with any project.

So while it helps to have read a lot, and to know for example that people pronounced “waistcoat” “weskit” in certain periods and not in others, the main qualification for a narrator has to be that of “personhood”: a feeling, empathetic human being who can isolate the true emotional tendency of a scene amid extraneous details. When it comes to portraying that through tone of voice, accent, pauses etc, then of course one has to have a history of performance. I did a lot of drama when I was young and a few amateur shows at university, and it’s really just a question of practice, and of watching films and plays to see how other professionals do it.

The Economics master’s degree is for my own edification, but consider the importance of economic factors in all spheres of human existence! I read recently in Thomas Piketty’s excellent Capital in the 21st Century that the novels of Jane Austen are an invaluable insight into historical standards of wealth. That Darcy has £10,000 a year meant everything to a society that knew no monetary inflation. After the Second World War, authors became much less keen to mention specific sums, because in five years their rich characters would begin to sound poor. . .

What kind of performing background do you have?

Decidedly amateur until now. I was in every possible play at school and studied Drama and Theatre until I was nineteen. I also wrote and acted in a few shows at university in Exeter, Devon (UK) while there as an undergraduate.

I then became a strategy consultant and did a lot of presenting to one executive board or another; I’m sure your more cynical readers will instantly see that confidently delivering pages and pages of material concerning fictional goings-on in a land of make-believe is hardly a change of direction at all.

How did you prepare to record this book? Especially in an anthology of stories like The Darcy Monologues, there must be a lot of characters to voice. How do you decide which voice to give which character? And then how do you keep them straight?

I read the whole collection once as a reader, making no notes, to get an idea of the stories and then again, jotting down character names on a sheet of paper for each story and wrote what voice they needed using my own highly scientific naming system (“snooty butler, low”; “haughty old woman, quavery”; “throaty romantic lead” etc). The balancing act with accent selection is that it has to be stereotypical because people are expecting a certain thing, but mustn’t become cliché or “hammy” (over the top), which will distract.

The main characters should be as neutral as possible because we hear from them the most, and an irritating accent is death for a narrator. Side characters all usually conform to a certain type, so that as a general rule, butlers are Jeeves from Wodehouse’s classics, housekeepers are Mrs Potts from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, ferocious aunts are Wilde’s Lady Bracknell etc. Where I know the geographical setting, I’ll attempt the accent if it’s within my range. Obviously, I’m alright in the UK, but as a general rule my US accents are not regionally accurate. It was also noticeable that I was much less able to judge what was “over the top” with the few US regional dialects I attempted than with UK ones; that’s where a great editor like Christina was invaluable!

Keeping an accent straight is always tricky, and the key is to focus on really inhabiting the characters and concentrate on their genuine emotion, and hopefully the accent will not get in the way. Perhaps this is a little mystic, or maybe just “method,” but I feel like I’ve got it right when the character I’m voicing sounds like he’s more concerned with what he’s saying than with his accent. That said, it’s very nerve-wracking narrating whole stories in an accent other than one’s own, and I only hope that the performance is adequate, and correctly sustained. After a while of listening to one’s own recorded voice, one loses the capacity to judge dispassionately.

The stories in The Darcy Monologues take place in different times and locations, requiring various accents. What were the most challenging accents for you to use, and how did you learn them?

The US accents, without a doubt! In “Pemberley by Stage” we have me, a middle class Englishman, voicing an upper class Southern woman pretending to be a working class Southern man! It was a challenge to say the least, and I hope I’ve done the author’s excellent work at least partial justice. In “I, Darcy,” too, there are US regional accents I’d just never come across, and so after a few attempts, I decided it would be best to stick to standard US.

By contrast, the UK voices were a holiday! One that was particularly fun to develop was the general style of “Reason to Hope,” which is set during the Second World War. There were a lot of nice nuances to get involved with, like a certain briskness that pervades speech in that whole period (if contemporary films are a guide), and particularly Elizabeth’s bracing, capable air; a particular kind of aristocratic manner that my grandmother, who was a nurse in the War herself, used to call a “tough-and-outdoors” voice. One of that story’s main attractions for me was that it added to the Darcy-Elizabeth narrative the observation that, in times of war or crisis, some people rise to a challenge and some people shy away. In doing either, they reveal what kind of person they really are, and any differences of class or temperament or opinion other than that become irrelevant. It was great fun to include a kind of resilient determination that united that Darcy and that Elizabeth, and to exclude it from the “lesser” characters.

What insights into Mr. Darcy’s character did performing this book give you?

I suppose it just reinforces the impression that the characteristics that make some men attractive — strength, stoicism, integrity, determination, hatred of deceit — can equally make them seem repulsive and lead them into seemingly irremediable social situations! There’s a great sense of dramatic irony to these Darcy stories, because time and again we hear his internal monologue justify the same outlandish ideas that to us, the audience, and to the other characters, are patently absurd and could be sorted out with the minimum of clear communication. But then, if they were to become sorted out, would the reconciliation be as cathartic?

What I hadn’t realised so well before is that this device is used both ways; of course, Elizabeth’s idea of herself as clear-sighted and fair is as incorrect as Darcy’s belief in his rightness. This won’t remotely come as a surprise to anyone who has read the book carefully, but I hadn’t paid that much attention to it before! In any case, it’s a good message for us nowadays, when every side of an argument tends to see themselves as able to evade all bias and prejudice, but at the same time to spot it instantly in the statements of others, even when those others might truly be trying to make peace in good faith.

What was the thing you learned the most about performing audiobooks from this experience that you will take to your next job?

Two things; the technical side of producing and mastering audio, and the “mechanical” process of the actual delivery of the performance.

For the technical side, there are some great free software programmes and online resources, so the basics can be learned with enough determination. I had done some unpublished projects before, and so was moderately well-equipped going into The Darcy Monologues. I think for next time, I might save up and buy some better hardware. Even though it’s a sign of a bad workman to blame his tools, I really think I was pushing the capability of my microphone to the limit, which created extra work at the editing stage.

Before starting this project, I had no idea how physically challenging audiobook work is; it is a bit of a marathon. On the one hand, you have to relax, but on the other you have to keep a fixed distance from the microphone, not talk too loudly, not misread from the text (I use an iPad propped behind the mic in my home-made booth), and remember what accent goes with which character! I learned to do proper vocal warmups before and, most importantly, use a nasal spray to protect against infection when going out and about, or on a public train, for example! It’s not something I’d ever considered before, and I certainly couldn’t be described as a “clean freak” normally, but getting a cold in the middle of a project is excruciating! Where ordinarily you’d just curl up in bed and wait for it to pass, it’s very painful watching your precious production days tick away while you try to work out objectively whether or not you still sound ‘stuffed up’.

You can learn more about Harry’s new book here:

The Darcy Monologues

Edited by Christina Boyd, The Quill Ink
www.thequillink.com

“You must allow me to tell you…”

For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know what his tortured soul is indeed thinking? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”?

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austen-inspired authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein The Darcy Monologues, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm.

Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * Karen M Cox * J. Marie Croft * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Melanie Stanford * Joana Starnes * Caitlin Williams

Check out the book on Audible.

01/20/2018
JustJane1813 VLOGS with #TheDarcyMonologues AudioBook Voice Actor

Just Jane 1813 Welcomes Harry Frost, Narrator of “The Darcy Monologues”

Good morning readers! Today I am looking forward to introducing you to a new audiobook narrator named Harry Frost, who is the narrator of one of my favorite Austenesque books, The Darcy Monologues.

Harry Frost has generously offered to visit with my readers today. Recently,  we met online where we talked about our love for Jane Austen, his inspiration for narrating Mr. Darcy and of course, The Darcy Monologues. I loved spending time with Harry Frost. I found him to be such a captivating person, filled with insights that made me appreciate all of the hard work that went into making this audiobook so amazing! I hope that you enjoy our video chat.

Are you new to The Darcy Monologues? You may want to read my post, Ten Reasons to Read (Or Reread) The Darcy Monologues. Here’s the book description:

“You must allow me to tell you…”


For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know his mind? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”? 

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austenesque authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein “The Darcy Monologues”, the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm. 


Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams

Before we meet Harry, I invited Christina Boyd, editor and the visionary behind this anthology, to share with us her process for selecting Harry Frost as the narrator of this book:

'I am delighted, Claudine, that you are listening to “The Darcy Monologues” via Audible. Thank you for featuring us and interviewing our narrator. I found a treasure in our voice actor, Harry Frost, from the UK, don’t you think? His narration is AMAZING. And I do not use that word lightly.

I auditioned well over eight voice actors over the summer. The trouble with the others, the talent either sounded too old (Darcy needed to sound 28-35 years old) and have a smooth, rich voice… No gravelly smokers, please. And, he needed to be able to do not only a posh Regency voice, as eight of the stories are set in the Regency era, but he needed to do believable American accents: Texan, upper-crust Boston, Bronx, Manhattan, as well as a redneck-Southern drawl. That’s not too much to ask for, right? But with a title like “The Darcy Monologues”, the male voice actor for Darcy et al. had to be perfection. The only person I knew could pull this off was Henry Cavill, and when I jokingly/not jokingly mentioned it to him in May, he just smiled… Alas, we moved on.

However through the ACX platform, I auditioned a couple of possibilities but when I found Harry Frost–a British voice actor who not only had a literature background and understands Jane Austen but could adeptly do all the varied voices–plus he sounded the right age–and seemed a cross between Toby Stephens and Dan Stevens–well, you cannot imagine my excitement! After listening to his audition of a few Regency and modern character excerpts from our anthology, I felt like I hit the jackpot. 

Once he started producing the narration, I would listen to the stories and make suggestions for a more authentic US accent on particular words and email him YouTube examples. I was impressed by how quickly he accommodated my suggestions, along with his own interpretation of various characters. (I particularly love his Darcy in Jenetta James’s WWII story and the vicar, physician, and Lady Catherine in Joana Starnes’s story.) Over 150 production hours later, here we are. I hope you enjoy the audiobook. It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. What a jolly, good sport Harry Frost has been to work with too. Such a pro!

This is Frost’s first Audible venture through ACX but I suspect he is going to be much sought after once other historical fiction authors hear him. I can say I knew him when…'

Don’t have an Audible account? Want to hear “The Darcy Monologues” for FREE? Here is a link to a FREE trial good for the next month. Follow this link and once you are signed in, our audiobook is preloaded automatically in your shopping cart. ENJOY! Follow to YOUTUBE for interview with Harry-- https://youtu.be/v8XkCouo2_Y

06/06/2017
Lit 4 Ladies Interview for The Darcy Monologues

Lit. 4 Ladies: We all know Mr. Darcy is perfectly imperfect, which of his imperfections is your favorite?

Christina Boyd: Despite the manifold of faults against him, Darcy has estimable qualities that have distinguished him by millions of readers as the ultimate catch. He is flawed but he is willing to change for the love of a woman worthy. I’ll throw this one to Ruth Phillips Oakland who wrote a modern story entitled “The Ride Home”.

Ruth Phillips Oakland: The aspect of Mr. Darcy’s personality that I have seen most often willfully misunderstood is his conceit. I’ve heard so many people say, and watched (several hundred times) an entire Academy Award Nominated adaptation based on this misconception: “He’s not arrogant, conceited and overbearing. Mr. Darcy is just shy!”

Shy????

In the words of any petulant middle-schooler, “Pul-eesse!”

If Mr. Darcy was merely shy, that means he IS a man without faults. That makes every misconception, every argument, every angry word, purely Elizabeth’s fault. All the pride, all the prejudice falls on her shoulders...

02/08/2018
Reason to Hope by Jenetta James in the anthology The Darcy Monologues #TGPUL #Gi

The Great Pick Up Line

Welcome Jenetta James as they share their Great Pick Up Line from Reason to Hope.
Take it away Jenetta!

The band struck up a Benny Goodman number and it took my mind to another place. They were a poor imitation of the original, but it didn’t matter. This was music you could move to. In fact, it gave you no choice, and for a moment I was fearless. Through the crowd of bodies, I advanced towards her. A peal of laughter died on her lips as I arrived, and her friend also turned to face me. There was a silence which, logic tells me, was shorter than it felt, before Elizabeth’s face softened into a polite smile and she spoke, straining to speak above the din.

“Group Captain Darcy, this is my friend Charlotte. Charlotte, this is Group Captain Darcy. I found him in the dark a few weeks ago, walking between Longbourn and Oakham Mount, and it would appear that he was not shot by poachers, for here he is.”

After this somewhat cheeky introduction, she was silent.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Charlotte.” I shook her hand and she appeared a pleasant woman, albeit the sort that I would not otherwise have noticed. “You haven’t actually introduced yourself to me, but I’m told that you are called Elizabeth.”

“That’s right. My mother will tell you I was named after the Queen, or Duchess of York, as she then was, because I was born on her wedding day. But then Mummy does have rather high ideas!” The girls’ eyes met and laughed. She looked back to me. “That’s the only link, I assure you.”

“Good. Well. I don’t know how the Queen is at the jitterbug, but may I?”

With only the briefest of sideways glances to her friend, she put down her drink and took my hand as I led her onto the floor with the other couples already going like wheels. Her hand in mine was warm and soft. The music roared up around us and our bodies fell into its slip stream, moving at speed and with purpose, somehow avoiding collision, pounding to the beat. Her figure was small and lithe and had no difficulty finding the rhythm. I watched the expression of slight surprise creep across her face. This was a common reaction and I had foreseen it. Nobody ever expected a man like me to be the master of this fast, fashionable dance. I had learned it attending socials with USAF men shortly after their entry into the war and so found myself on the right side of the trend as it became increasingly popular with the British. It suited me, in that its frenetic nature did not allow for conversation. One was too busy trying to keep up with the swing and keep one’s partner from certain injury to talk. Silence between dancing partners was the socially accepted norm and usually it suited me perfectly.

This wordless frenzy, however, was over too soon. As the band blended into a new dance with a new tempo, we stopped, and began to retreat. My hand hovered at the small of her back as we moved through the crowd, not touching, and my eyes fixed on the sight of her delicate shoulders. When she reached the bar, she turned and opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out, like a gramophone that hadn’t been wound up. Was it breathlessness or some other incapacity? The tiniest bead of sweat had formed at her hairline and the swell of her bust rose and fell rapidly, teasingly. A glimpse of a white bra strap was visible where her dress had moved in the dance and her thick hair was in some disarray. For an unguarded moment, I imagined it even more so. It felt wicked to look at her in this way, but I did. I could not tear my eyes away.

 

“Reason to Hope” by Jenetta James’ short story in the anthology “The Darcy Monologues.”

Group Captain Darcy and Squadron Leader Bingley are stationed at Meryton in this story set during WWII. A chance encounter with Lizzy, some dancing later (yes, in this story, Darcy likes to dance!), and Darcy is smitten. But this is wartime, and Lizzy suddenly finds herself in a distressing situation involving her family. Darcy springs into action, and the two of them find themselves on a road-trip and rescue mission. But this “pickup line” scene is from the dance.

“The Darcy Monologues”
“You must allow me to tell you…”

For over two hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how are we to know his mind? How does Darcy progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me” to “I thought only of you”?

In this romance anthology, fifteen Austenesque authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the fanciful. Herein “The Darcy Monologues,” the man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a previously concealed wit and enduring charm.

Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland * Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin Williams

01/03/2017
THE DARCY MONOLOGUES Makes Top Ten List in2017

My Top 10 Favorite Books of 2017

I read 73 books last year, and while I enjoyed most of them, there are a handful that really stood out. Here are my top 10 favorites, with links to my reviews (in no particular order): SEE LINK

10/22/2017
The Enduring Inspiration of Jane Austen

From the Jane Austen Centre in Bath: “I had discovered the world of fan fiction and life after Pride and Prejudice through the elegant hand of Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman…and then on to the madcap, puckish Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll. Soon after many on-line writers began to publish their stories via some online printing and distributing press—that was super expensive. Finally, larger presses started to mine the world of JAFF. All of that seems quite foreign now—because in this ever changing wild, wild west that is modern day publishing—small presses, hybrid presses, large publishers, and an explosion of self-published authors—have come on the Jane Austen scene. With the advent of e-readers, I rarely ever read at on-line sites unless someone directs me there specifically to discover an exceptional writer. Presently, I own over 400 Austen inspired novels in print and countless more on my Kindle…and cannot comprehend the neglect of the collection in such days as these.” --Christina Boyd, Austenesque editor of The Darcy Monologues

04/26/2018
The Third Anthology to Come in the Quill Collective Series

Another Anthology Coming from The Quill Ink

I am not a little proud to announce my third anthology in The Quill Collective series. Never heard of it? Aha! Likely because we have only coined the name when I decided to do another Austen-inspired anthology, and well, “series” would best indicate a number of books coming one after the other. You might better recognize the previous in the series as The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues.

When asked about doing another anthology, readers frequently suggest another Darcy book or Elizabeth’s stories... But for me, it seemed to make sense, during this time of forwarding feminist sensibilities and given the verve of the present equality movements that the female perspective might be embraced amongst the Austen fandom—possibly beyond our polite borders. After all, Austen wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day.

Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of fastidious gentlemen and gently-bred ladies ... Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. But have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Hetty Bates, Elinor Tilney, Louisa Musgrove, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. I believe several of Jane Austen’s characters hinted of feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. It is our intent that in this collection of backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon to remain true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of these beloved characters. Thus, our title was born. Rational Creatures. Coming to you in October 2018. Stay tuned.

Once again, an extraordinary dream team of authors—I will refer to this group from here forward as #TheSweetSixteen—have entrusted their words to me. Previous anthology authors Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’ Orazio, Jenetta James, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams are joined by Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkson, Jessie Lewis, and Anngela Schroeder. And if that isn’t enough for your “wow factor,” acclaimed author, Jane Austen scholar, and Guggenheim Fellow Devoney Looser is to write the foreword! I know, right? Wow! Just wow. #RationalCreatures indeed.

But wait! There’s more. Because this anthology is an homage to Jane Austen and her female characters, written by female authors, cover designed by Shari Ryan of MadHat Covers, and edited by me, Christina Boyd of the Quill Ink…it only made sense that our giveaways throughout this venture also highlight women-owned small businesses. And it is our sincere hope that whether you win any of our giveaways or not, you will support these business savvy, creative “rational creatures”:

1)      Northanger Soapworks has specially created a “Rational Creatures” soap: fresh scent with notes of bergamot, apricot, and currant.

2)      Paper & Slate has customized a “Rational Creature” candle: lovely scent of white tea and plumeria.

3)      PNW Vibes has bespoke tanks and tees, perfect for making the point that you too are a “rational creature.”

The Giveaways. Plural. And worldwide. The Quill Ink will giveaway three (3) prize packages of:

1)      An advanced copy of one story from Rational Creatures anthology; available in September

2)      One “Rational Creatures” custom soap by Northanger Soapworks

3)      One “Rational Creatures” novel candle by Paper & Slate

4)      One “Rational Creature” bespoke tank or tee by PNW Vibes

5)      E-books of The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues

Giveaway closes May 10 at 11:59 PM, EST. How to enter:

1)      One prize package will be sent to one randomly drawn name. Simply visit and comment at all three blog stops for this announcement: Just Jane 1813, Austenesque Reviews, and From Pemberley to Milton.

2)      Two of the same above packages will be available to two winners via Rafflecopter.

Thank you for supporting another indie project by The Quill Ink. If the stories that have trickled in so far are any indication of the quality of stories for this collection, I am expecting Rational Creatures to exceed even my own exacting standards. Am beyond excited for the possibilities. This is sure to be a diverting journey. I hope you will join us. Follow us at Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TheDarcyMonologues

And Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39909769-volume-three-from-the-quill-collective

 

 

 

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2017
  • B06XVBGCKD
  • 410 pages
  • $5.95
Hardcover Details
  • 12/2017
  • 978-0998654027
  • 410 pages
  • $24.95
Paperback Details
  • 05/2017
  • 978-0998654003
  • 410 pages
  • $14.95
Audio Details
  • 12/2017
  • B078J5614P
  • 410 pages
  • $24.95

Loading...