The final Holidays with Jane writer in our series of interviews for the release of Thankful Hearts is Rebecca M. Fleming. Rebecca wrote “Melanie Perceived,” the story based on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Her heartfelt story is set in the South, my neck of the woods, and pays tribute to a special mentor in her life.
Jennifer says: Hi Rebecca! Welcome. Your author photo is also adorbs! Let’s get right to the questions.
What is your favorite Jane Austen book to read?
As much as I love Pride and Prejudice, when I need a comfort read, my go-to is actually Sense and Sensibility. I had a copy in my bag when I went to take the content area exams to get my teaching license, and whiled away the “down time” with Elinor and Marianne.
Jennifer says: I like Sense and Sensibility, but Marianne stresses me out. So does Elinor. So not a comfort read for me. I run to Frederick for comfort.
What is your least favorite Jane Austen book to read?
Mansfield Park, surprise surprise.
What is your most unexpected revelation from delving into the Austen canon?
Discovering that I actually relate to Fanny Price, and that we had more in common than I care to admit. I’m still recovering from that moment … I want to be Elizabeth!
Jennifer says: Interesting questions! Which Austen character do you want to be, and which one are you actually? Let’s see: I want to be Anne Elliot, but I’m probably more like John Thorpe because I’m always boring people with horse talk!
Do you outline: yes or no? Are you a planner or pantser?
Pantser, all the way. I don’t outline, but I do scribble notes to myself–character names, random details *that must happen,* connecting elements/Easter eggs for other stories–but they’re short and sweet, and in no order. At all.
What is your favorite writing beverage?
Sweet tea! Strong and dark, and only marginally sweet–preferably at room temperature (I know, I’m weird. I don’t like my tea super cold). It runs in my veins, and I can’t imagine trying to write without it.
What was your favorite scene to write in your current story?
That’s a toss-up between the opening scene and the ending. Not to give away anything, but I had been looking forward to writing my Fanny Price character (renamed Melanie) into that place the whole story, and it was incredibly satisfying on a personal level. And the opening scene was just fun–it features squirrels: of course it was going to be fun to write.
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Jennifer says: Now, my interest is piqued, and I want to interview everyone! Answer in the comments below!
- Which Austen character are you most like?
- What Austen character do you want to be?