GENRE: Humor/Romantic Comedy
Getting to Know the Author
Q1: If you could become any one of your book’s characters, who would it be and why?
Natalie, the twin sister of one of the romantic characters. There’s a whole lot more to her that didn’t make it into the final draft, but she’s gorgeous, and she’s got her act together. It must be fun to be that perfect. At least I’d like to spend a day finding out what it’s like.
Q2: What was your biggest challenge in writing your current release?
Wow, there were so many challenges with this book! I teach at the college level, but there’s a whole lot of things that I don’t get to see at a community college. I see dorms when I go to dance camps every summer, but how has college life changed since I was in school? I asked my students a LOT of questions. It was also a huge challenge getting it “ripe” enough. I’d written this little novella, and submitted it to a publisher, who liked it but wanted a full book. So I rewrote it. The publisher’s contract was rather poorly written, so I sent it to a lawyer to make it more professional, and to put all the verbal promises down in writing. The publisher refused to sign it. So I went back to my usual practices for independent publication, and got my stable of readers and editors to take a look at it. And then I rewrote it. And rewrote it. Then I realized what this story REALLY wants is to be a Broadway musical! Looking at the story as a musical, I had to restructure a few things, and change the ending drastically. Finally, at long last, I’ve released this story into the world.
Q3: If you were stranded on a desert island with ANY book boyfriend (not just one of your own creation), who would you choose and why?
Rhett Butler. The man has fascinated me since I was 12 or 13 years old when I first discovered Gone With the Wind. He’s smart, well-educated, insightful, graceful, and he’s a good dancer. I grew up daydreaming about how much better I would be than Scarlett at recognizing a good man when I see one, or how I would be the woman to heal his wounds after he was done with Scarlett. He’s pretty emotionally bruised by the end.
Q4: When did you know you were destined to be a writer?
As soon as I figured out I loved to tell stories. I chose to be an English major in college because I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Then I got distracted by other ways writing applies to our lives in our society. I’ve written newsletters, I’ve produced TV commercials… I’ve always scribbled stories for my best friend, it just took me a while to let anyone else see one of my stories besides her.
Q5: If this book is part of a series, how did the series come about? Did you intend a series from the very beginning?
This book isn’t part of a series. The story is a romantic comedy. It will work will as a movie, as a Broadway musical, even as a TV show, but it wouldn’t make a good series.
Speed Round (just to get to know you better):
Coffee, tea, or other? Hot cocoa first! Then the other two.
Music preference? Dance music. I’m a dance teacher.
Favorite movie? Only one?!?!?! All my favorites were made in Hollywood’s golden era before 1950.
Dog, cat, or other? Dogs!
Favorite author? Margaret Mitchell. I know we as a nation are examining our past – as we should – but she is still a good writer who wrote powerfully-written characters, and I will stand by her.
Favorite actor/actress? Errol Flynn
Favorite television show (past or present)? Star Trek
About the Book
What college girl doesn’t dream of meeting Mr. Darcy? Lizzie was certainly no exception. But when Darcy Fitzwilliam comes into her life, he turns out to be every bit as aggravating as Elizabeth Bennett’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. So what’s a modern girl to do?
Jeanette Watts’ satire pokes loving fun at Jane and all of us who worship the characters who shall forever be our romantic ideals.
Read an Excerpt
This afternoon I got further confirmation that I’ve been seeing an awful lot of Michael. I was wandering back to the apartment, when Lon hailed me from one of the couches inside the lobby doors.
“I have a message for you from your boyfriend,” he said, kind of stiffly.
I looked at him stupidly for a moment. “My what?”
“Your boyfriend was here. He said his phone was dead, so he couldn’t call or text you to tell you that he can’t stick around for dinner tonight. He has a late meeting with a new client and he had to rush back to the office.”
I was still having trouble with the boyfriend thing. “Wait – do you mean Michael?”
“If that’s the guy you’ve been seeing the last couple of months,” Lon said with a shrug. “The one you’re always having dinner with.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” I protested. “He’s an old friend of the family. We grew up together.”
Lon’s head was back at his computer screen. “Boyfriend, friend. The guy who kisses you goodnight all the time after he takes you out for dinner. He’s not coming tonight. I’ve delivered my message, that’s all I’ve got.”
Right then Allie walked up. “Hey, Lizzie! Waiting for Michael?”
“No, he’s not coming tonight.” I headed to the elevator with her.
“That’s a shame. I know how much you enjoy having dinner with him, even if he does aggravate you a lot.”
“Yeah. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship,” I agreed.
Humor abounds in this unusual re-hashing of the Jane Austen legend.
The storyline does a great job of bringing the old-fashioned allure of the time period into modern day. While not a traditional romance, the story treats the relationship between heroine and hero with just enough attraction to keep you reading.
There are a few side-splitting scenes, a few serious, and sound story-telling throughout. Kudos to the author for putting a fresh and funny spin on a time-honored classic.
About the Author
Jeanette Watts had been writing historic fiction when the inspiration for Jane Austen Lied to Me hit her on the drive home from the Jane Austen Festival. The idea was simply irresistible, and she put aside other writing projects in order to focus on writing a satire, thinking it would be a “mental vacation.” It turned out to take every bit as much research to write a modern story as it does to write a historical one.
She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing. When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.
Jeanette Watts will be awarding a doll dressed in Regency clothing, handcrafted by the author (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the Tour
This is a four-week tour. You are welcome to visit previous stops for even more chances to win.
September 25: Fabulous and Brunette
September 26: Christine Young
September 26: Independent Authors
September 27: T’s Stuff
September 28: Kit ‘N Kabookle
September 29: Queen of All She Reads
October 2: Rainne’s Ramblings
October 2: Sharing Links and Wisdom
October 3: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
October 4: The Reading Addict
October 5: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
October 9: BooksChatter
October 9: Two Ends of the Pen
October 10: Danita Minnis
October 11: Linda Nightingale…Wordsmith
October 11: Mixed Book Bag
October 12: Book Lover Promo
October 13: The Avid Reader
October 16: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
October 16: Lily Iona MacKenzie’s Blog for Writers and Readers
October 17: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart – review
October 18: Locks, Hooks and Books
October 19: Edgar’s Books
October 20: Jennifer Macaire, Tell me a Story – review
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It’s been my pleasure hosting Jeanette today. Please come back again soon for more authors, books, reviews and giveaways.