A Conversation with Natasha Farrant, Author of THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET

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Welcome, Natasha! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I talk to my cat more than to any human being.
  2. I am addicted to strong black coffee.
  3. I am never happier than by the sea.
  4. I am proud to busting of my two amazing, strong, independent thinking teenage daughters.
  5. I am a European.

Fantastic!

 

Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Headstrong Lydia is the youngest sister of five, bored to death living in the country, dreaming of escape and excitement.

Handsome Wickham is a gambler and chancer, his charm and good looks his only assets.

Recently returned from India, the Comte and Comtesse de Fombelle have escaped the French Revolution and are looking to find their place in English society.

All of them are hustling for money and position, and marriage is the game they’re playing. Who is going to win? And what, pray, of love?

That pretty much sums it up.  As for Lydia, the one thing she would need on a desert island is company! She’d go crazy on her own. If you won’t give her an actual person, please could she have her pet cat, the murderous Napoleon?

LOL, yes, I could definitely see that! The murderous Napoleon, huh?

 

How long have you been writing, and what made you start?

I remember the exact moment when I learned to read on my own.  I must have been about five years old, and I was sitting in class, and suddenly the words on the page in front of me stopped being a cipher and became something magic: a story. I think I’ve known since that moment that I wanted to make the same sort of magic.  I’ve scribbled bits and pieces – ideas, thoughts, poems, diaries – all my life, but I didn’t start on my first full length novel until I left university (college). That novel, by the way, has never seen the light of day!

LOL, I hear you! Neither has my first. And it never, ever will! 😉

 

Besides Jane Austen, what authors and/or books have inspired you?

Oh, where to start! Enid Blyton, of course. Don’t sneer. As a child, there was no-one like her for making me believe I could do anything. Laura Ingalls Wilder. C S Lewis. L M Montgomery. E Nesbit. Eva Ibbotson. PG Wodehouse. Charlotte Bronte. George Orwell. Barbara Kingsolver. Stefan Zweig. Shakespeare.  Cervantes. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Harper Lee. Alexandre Dumas. Georgette Heyer. What can I say, I have eclectic tastes!

I’ll say! Great taste, though 🙂

 

What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

What I like best are those rare, rare moments when the magic happens and I am transported as I write to a different time and place.  The most challenging parts are those days – alas, much more numerous – when everything I do feels wrong.  But I couldn’t ever stop.  As a wise man once said, “the only thing I can imagine worse than writing would be not writing.”

Excellent point!

 

What are you working on right now?

A middle-grade boarding school adventure story.

Sounds like fun!

 

If you had to sell The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet in a single Tweet, what would you say?

If you like the sound of a Regency feminist romp with a Jane Austen twist, then this is the book for you!

Perfect! Thanks so much!

 

About Natasha:14439497131443949692norfolk-beach

I am one of those rarities, a Londoner born and bred.  And like most true Londoners, I’m not completely English, but three-quarters French with a little bit Dutch thrown in.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else, though I would like a horse, a big old house with a secret passage or two, a fig tree, a walnut tree, lots of dogs and a vista of rolling hills on one side and the sea on the other.  All of which are sadly incompatible with both life in the city and my income.

I write partly because in my stories I can live the lives I’m not…

I have two teenage daughters, Justine and Lily, who provide endless inspiration for my books.  I am pleased to say inspiration works both ways. One of them has dyed her hair pink, and the other has taken to hanging out on the roof in the middle of the night.

The “person” I talk to most is my tortoiseshell cat, Amber.  This is because as a writer you spend a lot of time alone, which makes you go slightly mad.  Amber repays me for my conversation by trashing my house.  Soon we are goig to buy a dachshund puppy called Blue, and presumably he will be equally destructive.

I get very grumpy if I don’t have a good book to read, if I’m not writing, if I’m hungry, tired or don’t get enough exercise.  Otherwise I am a generally cheerful person.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my life as a writer.

 

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Title: THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET
Author: Natasha Farrant
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: The Chicken House
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

 

A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister to life.

Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She’s stubborn, never listens, and can’t seem to keep her mouth shut — not that she would want to anyway. She wishes her older sisters would pay her attention, or that something would happen in her boring country life.

Luckily, that something is right around the corner, and it’s the handsome Wickham, who arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia’s not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fasionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths inevitably become entangled again.

At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she would have never dreamed possible. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

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