Beth Pattillo is a talented American writer of women’s fiction born Texan and now living in Nashville. Her most recent publications are two successful Austen-based novels, Jane Austen ruined my life and Mr Darcy broke my heart, but she wrote many others! I’m glad she accepted to answer some questions about her latest book, which I have recently read , and accepted to be my guest on FLY HIGH! This interview opens my Jane in June events. Jane in June is hosted by Misty at her Book Rat .

Leave your comment after reading this interview and do not forget to add your e-mail address. You’ll have the chance to win an autographed copy of MR DARCY BROKE MY HEART by BETH PATTILLO. The giveaway is open worldwide. The winner will be announced at the end of the month, on June 30th.

Here's my interview!


 I’ve recently read and reviewed your delightful Mr Darcy’s Broke my Heart. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and wrote a post about it on My JA Book Club. It was such a pleasant reading. I particularly liked the idea of the two books in one, I mean, Claire’s story interwoven to her reading of Jane Austen’s manuscript of First Impressions. Do you really think Austen’s first draft of our beloved P&P was so different from the final version or was it just something you needed for the plot of your novel?
Austen wrote First Impressions when she was nineteen, and then returned to it when she was thirty, so I’m sure the novel changed significantly simply because of her greater ability as a writer and her enhanced life experience. Whether it changed as much as I portrayed in Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is anyone’s guess, but my verison of First Impressions gave me the chance to raise the whole question of what makes a man heroic. I think it’s terrific that we can all ‘play’ together in this wonderful world of ‘three or four families in a country village’ that Jane Austen created for us.

What is your personal relationship with Mr Darcy? As for me, for instance, I prefer Mr Knightley, Captain Wentworth or Henry Tilney to him.
I love the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy, because I think they both have to overcome a significant flaw in their character before they can appreciate the other. Darcy is perhaps the ultimate challenge for an Austen heroine.  For myself, I would choose Captain Wentworth. I love a reunion story and Persuasion, for me, is Austen’s most meaningful ‘happily ever after.’

 I’ve stolen a question from the final discussion proposed in the last pages of your book: Mr Darcy has truly become an iconic hero. But what makes a man a hero?
I think a man who is a hero is strong enough to know when he can be weak, courageous enough to know when to be afraid, patient enough to put up with a strong-willed woman, and loving enough to put his beloved’s needs ahead of his own. I think, too, that a woman has to show these same characteristics to be considered a true heroine.

Among the Mr Darcys we have had on screen, who is your favourite one?

Colin Firth. ‘Nuff said.
James Beaufort, Claire’s Mr Darcy in your novel , is “like a Michelangelo statue come to life” . Who inspired this character?
I wanted James Beaufort to be that ideal that so many women secretly long for. So he had to be incredibly good looking! I think we’ve all had that experience, women and men alike, of seeing someone who was so physically perfect that our jaws dropped. That’s the reaction I wanted to see in Claire.

I was moved by Claire’s final choices, though I don’t want to give big spoilers away, I must ask. Do you agree with me on the fact that sometimes we idealize literary heroes and dream about perfection to the point of not realizing our “Mr Darcy” is just at hand?
I don’t think women confuse the hero of a romantic novel or film with real life, but I think it’s important to remember the things that matter. My favorite love stories are ones where love is right under the characters’ noses all along. I’ve seen that in real life, when someone really opens their eyes one day and realizes the person they’ve been searching for is right there in front of them. That’s a great moment!

Your story of the manuscript is partly inspired to Jane Austen’s flirt with Tom Lefroy . Do you think it was really that crucial in her life? Have you seen the movie Becoming Jane based on those events in Jane’s life? What do you think about it?
I thought that Becoming Jane was really well done, but like so many of the Austen-inspired books and movies, much was made out of very little. I’m not casting stones – I did the very same thing in Jane Austen Ruined My Life. Honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever know whether Tom Lefroy was the love of her life or simply a flirtation and a fancy.

Since I’m a period drama addict and I really like Austen adaptation, I ‘d love to know if you like watching them, if you’ve got a favourite/favourite one/s?
I adore all the Jane Austen adaptations. I tend to rotate among them, but now, with the help of iTunes, I can carry all the Lizzies and Emmas and Elinors and Annes with me wherever I go. Bliss! The Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version of Persuasion is at the top of my list, I have to say. Recently, I’ve enjoyed the newer Andrew Davies-penned version of Sense and Sensibility.

Guess what, I’d love to see a film based on your MR DARCY BROKE MY HEART. It’d be great fun. If you were asked would you accept? If you could also suggest names for the leading actors/actresses, who would you choose as your Claire-James-Neil?
I would love to see someone make a film or television movie from the book. I’m currently enamored of Matthew Morrison of Glee, so he could play Neil. (If he’s not available, I’ll take John Krasinski.) I’m not sure about who should play James. And as for Claire – maybe Amy Adams? She’s not super glamorous but is pretty and perky. I think Claire has a lot of resiliance and that’s what I’d love to see come through on the screen.

Are you working on a new Austen-based novel? Can you tell us anything about it?
’m currently writing a third Austen-related novel. The title is still under construction, but the book will tell the story of three sisters on a Jane Austen walking tour in Hampshire who come into possession of Cassandra Austen’s diary. Mrs. Parrot of the Formidables makes an appearance, so there’s sure to be intrigue!

Thank you, Beth! It’s been very kind of you and definitely a great pleasure to me !

Now for the giveaway of an autographed  copy of MR DARCY BROKE MY HEART, leave your comment and e-mail address here and …GOOD LUCK everybody! Winner announced on June 30th.

Good Jane in June to you all!

Have a look at my schedule for the event at My Jane Austen Book Club! You’ll find another double giveaway there!


Felicia said...

I am planning to re-read all of Jane Austen novels and smaller works this summer. I can't wait to get started.

I have borrowed both of the Beth Patillo books from the library and I really loved them. I am looking forward to more! I would love to have my own copies!

Maria Grazia said...

Please, Felicia, could you add your e-mail address?
Please , anyboby who wants to be entered this giveaway, could you add your e-mail address? How can I otherwise contact you if you win? Thanks a lot! And good luck!

Lobo said...

Great interwiew. I've read so many good things about this novel. This would be a perfect summer read:)

Niniel said...

This novel would be a great read for relaxing in the summer's sun after my finals of the bachelor's degree in July! :o)

Thanks for the interview!
Niniel (niniel[at]dol-guldur.com)

Meredith said...

Lovely interview, ladies! I already won Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart from Laurel Ann's interview on this blog, so no need to enter me in it!

I just wanted to say how much I am looking forward to reading this novel, I loved learning more about it through this interview! I am thrilled to hear that there is a third book in the series!

I would love to see John Krasinski in an Austen-Inspired movie!!

Felicia said...

Ooops, sorry. I knew I was forgetting something.
Thanks for the reminder!



lunarossa said...

Mr Darcy broke my heart too a long time a go so I really need to read this very interesting book to compare notes! (agramolasands6@hotmail.com)
Lovely interview by the way! Ciao. A.

CaRiiToO said...


I want this book!


btw... I loved the interview

Alexa Adams said...

"I think it’s terrific that we can all ‘play’ together in this wonderful world of ‘three or four families in a country village’ that Jane Austen created for us."

How very true! A wonderful interview, and a great Jane in June kickoff. I'm looking forward to both of Ms. Patillo's books, which are on my summer reading list. A sign copy would be a lovely treat. Thanks for the opportunity and the interview! alexa(dot)adams96(at)gmail(dot) com

buddyt said...

The new book Beth is working on sounds interesting.

Any idea when it will be finished and published ?

If the giveaway is open worldwide, then please enter me.

Thanks you.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Fanny/iz4blue said...

Lovely interview! I "met" Beth twittering during the re-airing of the most recent adaptation of Persuasion; that was good fun! My librarysystem doesn't have any of her books. At the moment I'm reading JA's Emma for a bookclub in my library. Your post regarding was very helpful! Luv all these JA inspired works!

Misty said...

GREAT interview! You asked a lot of great questions and got great, interesting answers; good job! This book is on my wishlist. Both of her books, actually. I featured JARML this past wednesday, and Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is going to be featured this coming wednesday when I post Wishlist Wednesday.
I'm going to link this up, too, so everyone will come read this great interview.

(Okay, I am no longer allowed to use the word great, that was just too much!)

Darlyn said...

I enjoyed reading the interview. And the idea of Jane AUsten as the storyline is wicked! I'd love to read one of her books since I love all Jane Austen's.

darlyn225 AT gmail DOT com

Andria said...

Wow, fantastic interview! I loved the picks for who would play the leads in Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart!

I haven't read this book, but I am in love with Darcy and would love to read this!!

Thanks for the giveaway!
Andye ReadingTeen1 at gmail.com

Lúthien84 said...

Lovely interview. I have read 'Jane Austen Ruined My Life' and 'Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart' a few months ago and I prefer the first book. I can't wait for the third book to come out.

Please enter me for this giveaway. Thank you.


Allison said...

great giveaway, and fun interview!! "Colin Firth. 'Nuff said." is right! And I love her casting choices for her book as well :) Amy Adams IS so gorgeous.

allison.dayle at gmail dot com

Milka said...

Great giveaway! I am dying to read this book!

Sissa said...

Great interview. I've been hearing a lot of good things about these books.


Giada M. said...

Love the interview! And thank you for this amazing giveaway! :) Please enter me, if it is international.

Thank you for this chance!

Giada M.

fabgiada @ gmail.com

Britt said...

Mmmmmm Colin Firth....

How fun! I really enjoyed her first book and look forward to reading this one!


Teresa said...

I have been dying to read this book. Please include me in your giveaway.

teresasreadingcorner at gmail dot com

Sharli said...

Love the sound of this book! Great interview and thank you for the giveaway! Please count me i if it's international! :)

entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

Reading said...

Please count me in. I would love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Pretty Whimsical said...

Great interview--please enter me.

Anonymous said...

This sounds really interesting- I especially liked the comment about having three or four families to play around with (that's what I think). I'd love to have a copy! I need more Pride and Prejudice inspired books to review at www.thebennetsisters.wordpress.com and to fill up my new bookshelf/milk crate but current student poverty is making it increasingly hard (as is lack of janeites in this area)!


buddyt said...

A very good interview that made for interesting reading.

The book sounds great so if the giveaway is open worldwide, please enter me.


Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

The books sound wonderful. Thank you for such an enjoyable and insightful interview. It was a pleasure to read.

Rebecca (Sarina!)

serous39202 (at) mypacks DOT net

Eliza said...

Wow, a very interesting interview! Now I believe I really have to have those books of her! :-D

Patti said...

When I started to read Jane Austen ruined my life, I didn't want to put it down. I love the development of the story and the constant references to Austen's life and her novels. I am a late bloomer as far as reading Austen is concerned but I want to enjoy the experience of reading the novels as well as the creativity that others have found in writing their books.
I cannot wait to get my hands on Mr. Darcy broke my heart. I think I will have to read it all in one day to satisfy my need for such books.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Oooo I so want to read this.
Please please enter me :)


Eliza said...

Ah, I forgot to include my email! So here it is:


Sheri said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks!!

hspruitt juno [dot] com

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


Viola said...

Great interview, Maria! Thank you so much. I especially love Beth's description of a hero. Every woman certainly wants a man like that!

I am looking forward to reading the book. I like the idea of its being partly based on the differences between 'First Impressions' and Jane's final novel.

Viola said...

I forgot to leave my email: starshine(at)ozemail(dot)com(dot)au

Claudia said...

Hi Beth!
Persuasion is one of my favorite adaptations too! I'm from Italy and can't wait to read your new novel. I've read "Jane Austen ruined my life" and I'm thankful since it helped me in keeping my English trained!

Greetings from Florence, Italy.

Claudia said...

Pardon me, my email is:


cheryl c said...

I love reading Austen-based novels. This one sounds wonderful! Thanks for a chance to win a copy. :-)
castings at mindspring dot com

Anonymous said...

I have read the first two my Beth and enjoyed them immensely. Amazon also has a discussion board that I believe she has responded on. I'm intrigued by the third book and can hardly wait until she's completed it. Please enter me as well. schafsue@gmail.com

Unknown said...

I love all things Jane Austen, so I think this book would be a great addition to my library. marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Great interview! These books sound amazing and I would love to win! randhrshipper1@hotmail.com

Laura Hartness said...

I read Ruined My Life and would love to read Broke My Heart! Count me in on the giveaway!

Laura Hartness
The Calico Critic
CalicoCritic at gmail dot com

Katherine said...

I would love to enter! :)
novembersautumn at me dot com

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read this book! marymcg820@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Please enter me I'm a huge Jane Austen fan and would love to read Mr. Daryc broke my heart, sounds fantastic!

Thank you for the interesting interview and for the amazing giveaway!!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

chatty said...

Great interview. Always looking for more ja reads. count me in though I want it on my kindle so I can take it everywhere!!

Charlene chatty1082@aol.com