Jan Hahn’s newest release, The Child, goes on blog tour later this week. In the meantime we thought we’d pose some random Austen related questions to Jan. As an author, she has proven to have a wonderful imagination for scenarios, so she kindly humored me by lending her imagination to a few questions and scenarios I posed to her. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I.
Who is your favorite secondary character in Pride and Prejudice and why?
I love Mr. Bennet, and Lady Catherine is fascinating to write about, but I don’t particularly like her. I believe Colonel Fitzwilliam would be my favorite. He and Darcy seem closer than cousins. In my mind, the colonel is a slightly older best friend to Darcy. In some of my books, he feels it is his right to advise Darcy when he sees him making mistakes, while at the same time, he sparks Darcy’s jealousy by admiring Elizabeth Bennet. Where Bingley is younger and looks up to Darcy, the colonel is his equal. He has known Darcy all his life, and he’s able to come to his aid more than once. Colonel Fitzwilliam is his own man. He deserves to find true love and happiness.
Which Austen character do you think might be capable of leading a secret double life? What might it be?
Since Frank Churchill in Emma is skilled at keeping secrets, I think he would be able to lead a double life. After all, he’s had quite a bit of practice in Austen’s book. He’s talented at flattery and spreading untrue rumors. He’s able to woo Emma while being secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax, seemingly without batting an eye. His aunt’s illness provides the perfect excuse for his frequent bouts of leaving town quickly and returning unexpectedly. I can imagine Frank having a third woman hidden away―perhaps even a wife and child―and an entirely alternate identity. If so, and if his desire for Jane cannot be contained and he leads her to the altar, he will break the law. At last―the perfect ending for Frank Churchill―imprisoned for bigamy!
Which Austen character would you hide from if you saw them across the street?
If I saw either General Tilney from Northanger Abbey or Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion, I would dart into the first millinery shop available. I’d fear General Tilney would forsake any semblance of manners and rudely cut me for my lack of fortune, while Sir Walter Elliot would take one look at my complexion and sniff into his handkerchief in disdain. And frankly, I wouldn’t care to pass the time of day with either of these excuses for gentlemen.
You are stuck in an elevator. One person is with you. It could be Mr. Collins or Mrs. Bennet. Who would you prefer and why?
Oh, I’d take Mrs. Bennet over Mr. Collins any day! Although both have little control over their senses, at least Mrs. Bennet and I could make conversation. I would say, “How are you?” She would spend the remainder of the ride describing her various pains, aches, spasms, and flutterings. Mr. Collins gives me the creeps. I have no desire to be stuck in a small, confined space with him. Ever!
If you could sit down to tea with anyone from the world of Austen, be they historical or fictional, who would it be and why?
As much as I’d love to see Mr. Darcy in the flesh, I wouldn’t choose to have tea with him. I’m sure my nerves would make me spill it all over myself! It’s better for me to just admire him from afar.
I do believe I’d choose to sit down with Jane Austen herself. I’d like to know whether she really loved Tom Lefroy and whether they contemplated anything more than dancing together. Did she regret foregoing marriage? Does she believe she could have married and still written her timeless books? What shocking items were in those letters of hers that Cassandra destroyed after Jane’s death? Did she ever have writer’s block and how did she overcome it? And, what is her opinion of all these sequels, prequels, and variations we’re creating from her masterpieces? Most likely after that last question, I’d start running, fearful of the answer.
The Child Blog tour begins March 21st. Join Jan as she and her new release are hosted throughout the web for interviews and giveaways, read reviews and excerpts.