I'm very happy to introduce Alexa Adams to all of you.
Alexa lives a rather quiet life in Wilmington, Delaware with her amazing husband (her very best friend in the world) and her two cats . She says: "Wilmington might seem rather dull - and in all honesty, it is - but I have lived in my share of exciting places and enjoy the calm. Besides, the Brandywine Valley (in which Wilmington is located) is magnificently gorgeous and an easy train ride from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.. Right now two subjects rule my mind: the move to our first home (that we own) in May and the book that I just self-published, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice.
After having decided to publish my scribblings last year, I started a blog with the intention of finding some readers and as an outlet for my rather all-consuming Austen obsession. My blog is also called FIRST IMPRESSIONS, just like my book. That is how I met Maria Grazia, on one of the Austen blogs, as well as a host of other wonderful people I now call friends. My husband is terribly grateful for you all, as having others with whom I can debate Austen has relieved him from bearing the brunt of my fascination. Really though, he is incredible. We have watched all the movies, read all her books aloud (as well as my favorite fan fiction), and now we are tackling Georgette Heyer together. Actually, that was kind of how I wrote the book: as an entertainment for my husband and myself. I'd write a few chapters a week and read them to him in the evenings".
Here's my interview with Alexa Adams. Read it through and leave your comment and your e-mail address to get the chance to win a brand new copy of Alexa's First Impressions, which she has kindly offered for a giveaway open worldwide. Good luck every one! Meanwhile, my copy is in the mail, travelling from the USA to Italy. I can't wait to read it. THANKS, ALEXA!
So, Alexa. Since this is a friendly chat between mates, let’s start saying where or how we met on line. Do you remember?
Not specifically, though I know it was either on one of the Austen blogs, or perhaps was it at Enchanted Serenity of Period Films? Either way, I believe we both were engaged in commenting on a series of similar topics and one of us found our way to the other’ s blog. I think I do remember both of us exclaiming, “I didn’t know you have a blog!” in each others’ comments, but I can’t recall who found who first.
The first piece of creative writing I ever wrote was when I was six. It was an assignment for school – we were to read a book and either write a report or a play on it. I chose Heidi, which I had already read twice, and adapted it into a short farce. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I am pretty sure Clara fell off a cliff. Though I continued to write, frequently turning assignments into creative outlets, I never really considered publishing anything until recently. I studied literature in school, thereby convincing myself of the inadequacy of my own prose. It was much more comfortable to analyze the work of others than to put myself in the spotlight. It wasn’t until I discovered fan fiction – a genre which I have come to consider ideal for creative literary critique – that I felt I wrote something good enough to see in print.
Where does instead your fondness for Jane Austen come from?
Jane Austen has been a continuously increasing passion for me, ever since I was twelve and picked up my first copy of Northanger Abbey in an airport bookstore. I soon had read all her books, considered them thoroughly enjoyable, and then reread them again as a teenager. In college Persuasion was on the syllabus of my Romantic literature class, and it was then that I was first stunned by the full force of Austen’s genius. Of course, I had to reread all her books once more. Then I read her other works. Then the novels once more, get the idea? As a child her books were glimpses into a far off world, filled with beautiful dresses, dashing heroes, and grand houses. As an adult they are exquisite pieces of art, to be ogled, learned from, and cherished. Her books not only delight me but make me a better person. Life would be so shallow had Jane not shown me my way.
Your First Impressions is a "what if" revision of Pride and Prejudice. Which is your favourite P&P character?
It’s really hard to say. Darcy is my default answer, as he is my favorite hero in Austen, but all the characters are so vivid that there isn’t one I don’t love – including Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, and Lydia.
Do you watch period drama in general? You know I love watching adaptations of classics and costume movies. What about you?
I do. My entire life I have been a sucker for a pretty dress, the allure of which has shaped my taste in film. The more lavish, the better. I am particularly fond of musicals. My very favorites – My Fair Lady and Gigi – have the most incredible costumes. I have something of a love/hate relationship with adaptations of the classics, as I tend to find them frustrating rather than fulfilling, but generally I adore historically set films.
This is going to be difficult to admit but ... no, I have never seen North and South, though I did read the book many years ago. The truth is, until I found your blog, I didn’t know who Mr. Armitage was. I hope that confession does not irrevocably destroy your opinion of me. I do have very good intentions of correcting this fault, as several months of RA Fridays have thoroughly proven what I am missing, and will let you know as soon as I have seen the film.
Well, I do love Russian literature, particularly Dostoevsky and Gogol, as well as classical Greek theater. My tastes tend towards things written before 1900, but my favorite author, apart from Austen, is Salman Rushdie, another mind boggling genius. His last book, The Enchantress of Florence, was magnificent. I have read everything he has ever written. Other living writers I particularly enjoy include Roddy Doyle, Philip Roth, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but mostly I stick to the Victorians.
I’ve discovered blogging in November 2008 and I started to motivate and help my English Literature students, with LEARN ON LINE. Then I started blogging for my pleasure on FLY HIGH. It has been such an enriching discovery and it is still such a wonderful experience that really has brought so much to me! What has it brought to you?
Blogging is a revelation. It gives me a channel for all my many musing about Austen, as well as a place for me to keep track of all the fan fiction I’ve read. The best thing about blogging, however, is meeting all the other people who share my interests. It has been a far more rewarding experience than I ever anticipated.
Just a curiosity. What is your most frequent daydream? Mine is top secret!
I like to pretend my singing voice is better than it is.
I love singing and music in general. It's such fun. Now, what can we ask our readers at the end of this nice chat to make their comments more interesting?
I would be curious to learn if other people have an author who has inspired them the way Austen has me. Or maybe we should inquire into more daydreams?
It’s very gratifying just to hold the book in my hands, let alone sign it. I just hope that it brings as much joy to its readers as it did to its writer.
Thank you very much indeed, Alexa. It's been a pleasure to have you here as my guest. I wish you a great success with your book and a very happy Easter!
Happy Easter to you all of course!
And don't forget to leave your comment. Winner will be announced on Monday 12 April.