1. Welcome to my blog! Can you give the readers a little background about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me. I’m a Cajun from the swamps of Louisiana now living in the Midwest. I have a MBA and run an economic development consulting business. I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world, and we have three grown sons, one in the US Army, one a college graduate, and another still in college.
I have always had stories in my head, but I did not start writing in earnest until I discovered Jane Austen fan fiction about ten years ago. I have written several novels. Pemberley Ranch is the first one published.
2. What was your inspiration for Pemberley Ranch?
I’m a history buff, and in considering the themes of preconceived notions and intentional misunderstands that drive the plot of Pride and Prejudice, I considered a time and place where true understanding would be far harder to achieve. That time period was the Reconstruction Era in the southern United States after the Civil War.
What people in this country and elsewhere don’t fully appreciate is that America has overcome the hate and divisiveness that existed in 1865. If we did not, there is no way a Cajun from Louisiana would have married a woman whose parents were from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the US, this is so common we don’t think about it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many other places in the world.
3. Is Pemberley Ranch going to be a series or is it considered a “stand alone” novel?
I don’t foresee returning to Rosings, Texas, but you never know what the muse will demand. She is a harsh mistress, after all. But for now, I’m looking forward to my Regency novel, The Three Colonels, scheduled to be published by Sourcebooks in Spring 2012.
4. What does a day in the life of Jack Caldwell look like?
Boring. Both my career and my avocation involve writing, so I spend a great deal of time in front of a keyboard. That is, when I’m not walking one of our three dogs—two Pugs and a Doberman Pincer. That’s a job in winter-time Minnesota. As I’m a Cajun, I do all the cooking. Yes, you can cook Louisiana in the frozen North—it’s all a matter of being flexible.
5. If you could travel back in time, what era would you travel to?
Let’s make the Crucifixion a given. Besides that, if I had to pick one time and place, it would be America at the Turn of the Century (1895-1905). So much change in so little time—automobiles, airplanes, electric light, medical advances. Public libraries, indoor plumbing. Plentiful food. Telephones. How did the people react to that? What were they thinking? Amazing stuff.
6. Any favorite authors or reads that you turn to over and over again?
Fiction-wise, I will re-read Jane Austen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Abigail Reynolds, Patrick O’Brian, Tom Clancy, Larry Niven, and the Shaaras (Michael and Jeff). Every couple of years, I will re-read A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller, Jr. For non-fiction, I pick up Stephen Ambrose, William Manchester, and Sir Winston Churchill.
Sourcebooks, I have 2 copies to give to 2 lucky winners!