Sunday 19 August 2012

Coffee with Carol, Tea with Jane

Juliet Archer
Juliet Archer and I go way back. We first met as dinner ladies at our children's primary school. Then hooked up again when I tutored her son for his A level English. Juliet writes witty modern novels based on Jane Austen plots. Her two books: The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me are published by Choc Lit and have received rave reviews and won several prestigious awards.
Persuade Me

Readers of this blog will know that Juliet always leaves a comment - even when I started out blogging, and she was the only one to do so. That is what she's like. If you have not sampled her books, I recommend that you read them. 
A prior knowledge of Jane Austen is not necessary, but does add to the enjoyment. Beloved Husband, who NEVER reads 'romance' (but loves Jane Austen) devoured The Importance of Being Emma. That's how good she is!
The Importance of being Emma

Juliet has chosen to tell you about what we get up to on the Saturdays we meet in town: 

''We meet in the usual coffee shop where, if Carol doesn't know the waitress already, she will do by the time we've ordered. She has a double espresso; I opt for a normal coffee with hot milk, wondering if there is such a thing as 'normal' in these Costabucks' times.

From then on, we share. Toasted teacake, warm and buttery, divided between two plates; family news - particularly our children, now officially adults and moving swiftly through various life stages, and writing: a broad discussion from guest blogs to letters in the local paper and work in progress.

Carol is a shining example of 'Never say never'. A successful children's author, she could have accepted her fate - the widespread culling of  publishing contracts has particularly affected her genre - and resigned herself to a glorious past. Instead, she is taking control of her publishing future and reinventing herself online.

Later, at home, I sit down to tea with Jane. Or rather I drink tea, while Jane (as in Austen) provides food for thought on several levels. First, because I am bringing her six published novels bang up to date, in a series called 'Darcy & Friends'; second, I always learn something from her writing, and finally, she is such good company - like an old friend.

I'm climbing on an already crowded bandwagon: Jane's fame has grown rapidly in the last few decades, assisted by wet shirts and tight breeches, and there's no end in sight to the proliferation of prequels, sequels, modernisations and what-ifs. But this is currently where I find my writing inspiration, and I hope I'm adding something original with fresh, 21st century insights into the hearts and minds of her irresistible heroes.

Coffee with Carol, tea with Jane. Time well spent.''

Juliet can be found at Tweet her @julietarcher or friend her on Facebook


  1. What a great story. You two seem to have really hit it off. Best of luck to Jane. Her books look great.

  2. Great interview!

    That takes guts and persistence to reinvent yourself. Good for you, Juliet, and to Choc Lit for spotting you.

    I love 'Persuasion', so 'Persuade Me' is high on the TBR pile. Just the thing for a bank holiday away, methinks.

    I shall be drinking tea.

  3. Thank you, Kelly - yes, Carol and I have some great times together.
    Thank you, Juliet - Choc Lit always do wonderful covers!
    Carol, great intro!

  4. Oh, I have a friend who always tries to comment on my blog from when I first started. And I try to do the same for her. Unfortunately she's in Newcastle so we can't meet for coffee :-(

    Juliet, I'm a huge fan of Choc Lit books, and promise, one day, I will get around to yours. I'm a fan of Jane Austen, and would love to see what you've done with them.

  5. Added to my TBR pile. I love does pay off!

  6. I loved Juliet's books which are both very clever takes on Jane Austen bringing a fresh new perspective which just add to the original stories.

    Congratulations, Carol, too, for taking control of your own publishing future. Here's wishing you continued success.

  7. Thank you, Annie - persistence is definitely a 'must have' in today's world.
    Thank you, Chris - and congratulations on Move Over Darling coming out in October!

  8. I have yet to read one of Juliet's book, but they're on my list! I do know how lovely and warm she is, though. :)

  9. Hi Carol,

    This is a quick blog post before the weekend, and a bit of publicity x

    I have nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award.Thank you for being a bright and beautiful inspiration.
    The RULES for this award are as follows:
    Thank the person nominating your for the award and link back to them
    List ten things about yourself: Here is the link to my previous acceptance.
    Nominate SIX blogs you think deserve the Kreativ Blogger Award.

  10. Thank you, Talli, although I suspect the warmth is also linked to my hot flushes ...
    Congratulations, Carol, on your nomination from Juliet!

  11. Hi Juliet and Carol-what a lovely post. It's great meeting a good friend in a cafe for coffee, cake and a good old chat. It sounds like you both have a brilliant time with your non-Costabucks (love it!) coffee and toasted teacake. There aren't many cafes like that left. I know a great one in Guildford where I've often spent a couple of hours writing and nobody seems to mind. Best of luck with your novels Juliet.

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