Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Marsha Altman Guest Post & Giveaway!

July 30th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

I am so excited to have Marsha Altman guest posting here at Debbie’s World of Books today.  Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books and I was so excited when I found her two sequels.  Please join me in welcoming Marsha!

Here latest book The Plight of the Darcy Brothers will be out next month.

plight of the darcy bros cover

And without further ado let’s meet Marsha…

I’m Marsha Altman, and I’ve written The Plight of the Darcy Brothers, a sequel to The Darcys and the Bingleys, which is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. If you have not read the first book, you can pick up the second without a ton of difficulty, but I don’t particularly know why you would do that in a series. And it is a series; book 3 (Mr. Darcy’s Great Escape) is due out in Feb 2010.

I was asked to speak on how I come up with ideas. I’d like to quote Stephen King:

“We are writers, and we never ask one another where we get our ideas; we know we don’t know.” (On Writing, p xiv)

This I think does the best job of summing it up. I read a lot, so that may be part of it, as someone once asked me if I came up with these ideas so unrelated to my life (I write historical fiction and science fiction) because I draw from what I read, and to some extent that’s true, but there’s also these things called copyright violations and that’s not the only reason, but certainly one reason my book isn’t about abstinent vampires and their high school girlfriends. When I was younger (9-10) I borrowed more directly from what I was reading, which is why I wrote a long book that was basically set in the Redwall universe but with all the names changed. By age 12 I had gotten a little more creative and just blatantly branched out into the seaQuest universe, only to be informed by Amblin Entertainment that (a) they were not interested in publishing anymore seaQuest novels and (b) they were not interested in publishing a novel finished by a 13-year-old girl (they didn’t say it but my writing was pretty terrible). Well, I tried.

So then, somehow, I wandered into Pride and Prejudice fan fiction in grad school, for two reasons. First, I was really bored and unchallenged in my writing program. Second, the 2005 P&P movie had just come out, and seeing it inspired me to reread the book and watch the old miniseries again. Some people have said my first book was a sequel to the miniseries, not the novel, which I think is very funny, because it is obviously some hideous mixture of the miniseries and the movie.

(1)       In the movie, Bingley has red hair. In the miniseries, he has blond hair. In my book, he has red hair.

(2)       In the movie, Caroline Bingley is shorter than her brother. In the miniseries, she’s taller than her brother. In my book, she’s taller than her brother.

(3)       Also I read the actual book, so there.

I will not hesitate to call it fan fiction. I was once at a major English Austen pilgrimage site’s gift shop (I won’t say where) and I pointed to a wall of Pride and Prejudice sequels, specifically rewrites from Darcy’s perspective, and said, “Oh, you have Pride and Prejudice fanfic!”

The owner then got very insulted, and insisted rather vehemently, “It’s not fan fiction! It’s paraliterature!

Before this moment I had never heard the word paraliterature, mostly because it isn’t a real word, but I decided to agree with him because he was very angry at the implication that they were stocking fan fiction in their gift shop. This was a serious Austen site and the domain of serious Austen fans. Never mind the “Mr. Darcy” bookmarks, thank you cards, and notepads where Darcy exclusively looks like an oil painting of Colin Firth.

Whatever. It’s fan fiction. Fiction written by fans of the original work. I wanted to continue the story and write some new situations so I did. The work is public domain so I can do that. As to what situations I wrote, that’s mostly a matter of what I thought would be most interesting to do with the characters, sometimes without violating any cardinal fan fiction rules (never break Darcy and Elizabeth up once they’re married for too long) and sometimes by violating as many of them as possible (characters travel beyond England and France, new characters are introduced, lots and lots of swordfights, and people saying bigoted but totally Period-appropriate stuff). Whatever comes out in the end, I hope it’s not boring.

What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

About the Author

Marsha Altman is a historian specializing in Rabbinic literature in late antiquity, and an author. She is also an expert on Jane Austen sequels, having read nearly every single one that’s been written, whether published or unpublished. She has worked in the publishing industry with a literary agency and is writing a series continuing the story of the Darcys and the Bingleys. She lives in New York.

Marsha Altman Photo

Thank you again Marsha for the wonderful post!

Giveaway Info:

For those that have not had a chance to read The Darcys and the Bingley’s Danielle at Sourcebooks is offering a wonderful giveaway!  One lucky winner will win a set of both The Darcys and the Bingley’s as well as the sequel, The Plight of the Darcy Brothers.

The Rules:

1. Open to US and Canada residents only.

2. To enter leave a comment.

3. +1 entry leave separate comment answering Marsha’s question: What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

4. Leave a separate comment if you add me to your blogroll, subscribe in Google Reader or email

5. Post about the giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and leave the link in a separate comment.

6. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner

7. Giveaway is open until August 13.

Posted in Books, Classics, General Fiction, Giveaways

55 Responses

  1. tawnda

    sounds interresting

  2. tawnda

    rss subscriber

  3. Elizabeth Neasli

    I want to win these so bad, I can practically feel those books in my hands!

    Thanks so much!


  4. Elizabeth Neasli

    Stories about the Darcy and Bingley children as grown ups.
    You keep writing and we’ll keep reading!


  5. Elizabeth Neasli

    I’m and email subscriber and I follow in Google Friend Connect.



  6. Jenny N

    I want to see storeies featuring the secondary character cause sometimes I find myself being more interested in the secondary characters in the story.


  7. Jenny N

    I already follow you through google reader.

  8. Deanna

    I am seeing these books around and am very intrigued…I want to read them.

  9. Deanna

    What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

    I want to read an extension of the original (where the characters are going life, something that moves the characters beyond the original story) that holds true to the original’s characters and atmosphere (language, setting, personality). The plot of fan fiction must not be forgotten.
    Ha…all that was easily said seeing how I do not write… **smile**

  10. Deanna

    I already follow your blog via GoogleReader….gotta love googlereader.

  11. Deanna

    Posted a link about this giveaway on my blog’s sidebar.


  12. Lori

    I have only recently heard of Ms. Altman’s books but I love Austen fanfic and would absolutely be delighted to win them.
    As far as what people want in fanfic – – myself, I simply want to be able to revisit beloved characters and perhaps see what happened to them after the Austen story ended.
    I am also going to put a link on my blog.
    Many thanks!

  13. Sue

    Please include me in your giveaway. Thanks for sharing!

    smickelson1993 at yahoo dot com

  14. Wanda

    Please enter my name in your draw.

    Fans would like to see more drama in fan fiction.

  15. Leslie

    To answer Marsha’s question: I would have to say arranged marriages? I’ve read some YA fanfiction like that but would love to read more of it!

  16. Leslie

    Subscribed by email!

  17. Leslie


  18. sherry nickerson

    sounds really great thanks

    [email protected] dot com

  19. Jenn M.

    Entry Number one. Very cool Giveaway! And I need to add more books for Stephanie’s Everything Austen Challenge.


  20. Jenn M.

    Plus one more entry please. What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of? I will be honest, I don’t read much “fan fiction”. To appeal to me, it would have to extend on the authors original creation. The characters need to stay true and not run off in some direction that that original author would never take them.

    Still jennifermorrill(at)att(dot)net :)

  21. Jenn M.

    Forgot the other two! Not sure if it counts for an extra entry, but I already follow you in google reader.


  22. Jenn M.

    and finally….I added this giveaway to my giveaways link on my sidebar.


    whew….think I got them all this time!

  23. Laura's Reviews

    Great interview – I would love to be entered in this contest as I have not read these books yet.

    My email address is laarlt78 at hotmail dot com


  24. Laura's Reviews

    I am also a follower of this blog.

  25. Laura's Reviews

    What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

    I think for me at least, I want to keep on reading about my favorite characters. When you have a beloved author such as Jane Austen (or the Bronte sisters among authors) who has a small set of published classics, one quickly reads and rereads them, but then wonders, what next? Where are Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley now? I really enjoy reading all of the fan fiction to see all of the different alternatives that people can imagine my favorite stories going to.

  26. Lois

    Hi and Happy Friday! :) And the book sounds great! :)

    And the question — honestly, I haven’t a clue. I just know that yep, I’ve read the 6 original JA books, and since that’s not enough, a few (alas, not enough! LOL) sequels, prequels and other fanfic type books. . . and in the end, I just want something different, even if it’s the same plot device as another. Most of us probably read plenty of other romances, and we have our favorite and not so favorite story lines; marriages of convenience, secret babies, mistaken identities, whatever it is. But we don’t look for them to be done exactly the same way every time we pick up a favorite theme. So even with Jane fanfic, especially with P&P, I know I don’t want to read the same thing every time. And thus far, been pretty lucky in that department! :)

    Lois, who can never get enough Darcy. ;)

  27. Debbie

    Please include me in your giveaway.

  28. Debbie

    PlI subscribe in Google Reader.

  29. Miss Remmers

    I’d love to win! Really looking forward to reading this book!

    [email protected]

  30. Miss Remmers

    I’m a follower via Reader.

    [email protected]

  31. Valorie

    I’d love to win!

  32. Valorie

    I don’t think we see enough crossovers in FanFiction… two different series’ or worlds coming together.

  33. Valorie

    I subscribe in Google Reader.

  34. Valorie


  35. GAhome2mom

    Hi, I would love to read this book and share it with my daughters. Thanks.


  36. Karoline

    pls enter me in this contest

    sensitivemuse at gmail dot com

  37. Karoline

    What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

    I demand more spinoffs of Shakespeare plays!!!!! like what happens after Romeo and Juliet die? do they all live in peace or do they fight until last person standing? or Hamlet? after they bury him..what happens after that? is Denmark then in ruins?

    so many questions… :P

  38. Karoline

    posted a link to this contest on my sidebar Here

  39. Sue

    I’d love a copy of this book. Thanks for the giveaway~

    smickelson1993 at yahoo dot com

  40. Melissa

    Would love a chance to win.


    Thanks for the giveaway.

  41. Belinda M

    Please include me in your giveaway

    Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat – join us at


  42. Christine

    I subscribed in google reader.

    Please count me in!!!

    Great blog by the way!

  43. Grad School Mommy

    First, I am still stuck on the fact that Marsha was writing novels *while* attending grad school. I can barely churn out a dissertation, much less multiple books.

    Secondly (and I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but…) I haven’t ready *any* of these books. So, for me, this is a windfall of a giveaway! I love me some Austen, though — so I am sure I’d make a captive audience. They sound just fabulous!!


  44. Kristen

    I’d love to win these! Thanks so much.

    whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

  45. sherry nickerson

    thanks sounds really good

    [email protected] dot com

  46. Lee Pearson

    I would love to read these books. Thanks for this giveaway and please count me in.

  47. Lee Pearson

    I subscribe via email.

  48. renee

    Would love a chance to read this.
    reneetaylor(at sympatico(dot)ca

  49. Pam S

    As a long time fan of the Pride & Prejudice I’d love to win this :)!

    Pam S
    [email protected]

  50. Pam S

    Q: What do people want to see in fan fiction that they don’t see or haven’t seen enough of?

    A: I enjoy the crossovers and alternate versions, but I think what I like most is the chance to find out what may have happened afer the initial story ended. The continuation and unique spin on things always fascinates me with fanfiction.

    Pam S
    [email protected]

  51. Pam S

    I tweeted!

    Pam S
    [email protected]

  52. Pam S

    I posted to my facebook:

    Pam S
    [email protected]

  53. Pam S

    I am already a subscriber via email.

    Pam S
    [email protected]

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