Get to know Jack Caldwell

Join me in welcoming my friend Jack Caldwell this morning.

I’ve always had stories in my head, but I never tried to write, until about ten years ago. I was reading Jane Austen Fan Fiction, and complained to my wife that while much of it was good, much was not. She challenged me to do better. Now that I’ve started, I can’t stop.

·         What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?

My first effort became my second published novel—THE THREE COLONELS – Jane Austen’s Fighting Men. Eventually, all my efforts will be published.

·         What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?

I enjoy history. It’s the real reason I write. It’s easier to get people to read historical fiction than pure history. My influences have been James Michener, Herman Wonk, Patrick O’Brian, and Georgette Heyer, among others.

The most interesting periods in history have been the turning points, and those, unfortunately, are influenced by warfare. Much of my writing is set in the Regency, because this is the end of England’s competition with France and the beginning of the British Empire.  PEMBERLEY RANCH is set after the US Civil War, when America stopped being a collection of states and became a nation.

·         What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?

I enjoy putting words on paper, particularly conversation between characters. What I dislike is the discipline of writing thousands of words a day. It must be done if a book is going to be written.

·         If you write in multiple genres how do you make the switch from one to the other? Do you find it a welcome change, crazy-making or a little of both?

My switching is more of time periods than genres. I’ve written moderns and westerns, and soon I’ll attempt a WWII novel.

·         Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?

Something I picked up about WWII. It seems the Allies recruited Cajun French-speaking men from Louisiana to act as translators in France during the Invasion of Europe. Also, Cajuns were recurred by the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA, to work with the French Resistance. It seems Cajun French sounded more like the Provençal French spoken in the countryside than the Parisian French spoken by Canadians, and therefore easier to fool the Germans and Vichy. I plan to write a story about that.

·         What do you to keep all your research information and plot ideas organized and accessible?

Maria Grace and Jack Caldwell at Decatur Book Festival 2012

I turned one of the bedrooms in my house into a study/office. It’s cluttered with books and papers. Also, I have hundreds of links stored in my computer.

As I get plot ideas, I quickly write a short outline and store it in its own folder on my computer. Once I get ready to write, I flesh that out to a full outline. Then and only then do I start writing.

·         What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

Write every day, without fail.

·         Tell us a little about your current project.

My new book is called MR. DARCY CAME TO DINNER – a Jane Austen Farce. It’s a mash-up of Pride & Prejudice with The Man Who Came to Dinner, the great theatrical farce and movie by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.  Basically, Lizzy Bennet accidently causes Mr. Darcy to break his leg, forcing him to recuperate at Longbourn. He can’t escape the antics of the Bennet family. Rather than complain, he slowly wins them all over—except for Lizzy. It’s very funny.

·         What’s up next for you?

I’m finishing a sequel to THE THREE COLONELS called ROSINGS PARK. It explores the Late Regency, after Waterloo. I should have it out in late 2013.

I then begin a series of novels about the history of the City of New Orleans, as seen through the lives of one family. It’s called THE CRESCENT CITY SERIES. It will lay out the history of New Orleans from 1812 to 2006. I will be writing the first novel, THE PLAINS OF CHALMETTE, after ROSINGS PARK is done. This will introduce the family as well as tell the real story of the Battle of New Orleans. CHALMETTE is planned to be released in 2014.

At the same time, I’ll be editing the three-volume, 300,000-word centerpiece of the epic, CRESCENT CITY, set in modern day New Orleans. Eventually, there will be at least three other books written, one during the Civil War, one during the Yellow Fever and Storyville period at the Turn of the Century, and the WWII book I talked about earlier.



Jack Caldwell’s works can be found on-line at Amazon and B&N, both in print and e-book.

WEB SITE  Ramblings of a Cajun in Exile


AUSTEN AUTHORS – The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles


TWITTER – JCaldwell25




THE THREE COLONELS – Jane Austen’s Fighting Men –






History A'la Carte 4-25-13

The second installment of the BBC series The Super Sizers go Regency, a light-hearted look at Regency dining to enjoy with your  History a’la Carte.

Regency Etiquette Series

Free Book–Limited time!

It’s St. George’s Day, Shakespeare’s birthday and my birthday! Three special days deserve a little celebration, so…how about a free book!

Darcy’s Decision is free, one time only, through Saturday this week.

It will not be free again, so don’t miss out!

*** I have been made aware of the file problem and it should be corrected now.  If you got a book with the files for Volume 2, you should get a notice from Amazon in the next few days, telling you that an update is available with links to click to get the update.  I’m so sorry for the mix up!***

Later today or early tomorrow, I’ll be sending out the latest newsletter with special discount coupons for the paperback versions, for subscribers only.  Don’t miss out.  Sign up for the newsletter today with the button on the right.

Get to know Barbara Monajem

Please help me welcome Barbara Monajem this morning.


Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?

I learned how to read! Or maybe it started earlier than that, when my mother read aloud stories such as Winnie-the-Pooh. Regardless, I started writing as soon as I could both read and write. I had no idea it would be a challenge. At first it seemed easy, but the more you learn and know, the harder it becomes to get everything right—or at least it seems that way.

What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Do you still have them?

The earliest effort I remember is a story about apple tree gnomes which I wrote when I was eight years old. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find it. My teacher really liked it and encouraged me, which scared me so much that I gave it a lame ending. I guess I wasn’t ready for the pressure! Continue reading

History A'la Carte 4-18-13

The first installment of the BBC series The Super Sizers go Regency, a light-hearted look at Regency dining to enjoy with your  History a’la Carte.

Get to know Janet Taylor

Please join me this morning in welcoming artist Janet Taylor.

What got you started as an artist? What did your early efforts look like? Are they still around to be used as bribes and blackmail material?

I have always liked to draw, even as a child. Some of my early efforts still exist and are quite entertaining to view. I was going to be the first female astronaut and did many drawings of solar systems and anything that pertained to space. Then I started drawing dress designs that were similar to some of the early Barbie dresses. I came across some of those recently and they did bring a chuckle.  Don’t think I would care to share either of those early attempts with anyone!

What got you started along the path to creating your calendar?

A friend, Jan Hahn, asked if I could draw a scene for a possible book cover. After much thought, I decided to give it a try. The fun I had doing that first drawing awakened the desire in me to attempt different scenes from the miniseries. With the 200th anniversary of the publication of P n P coming up in 2013, Jan’s original suggestion turned into the making of a  calendar. Continue reading

History A'la Carte 4-11-13

The final installment of the BBC series on the Regency era, all about the prince,  for your enjoyment with your  History a’la Carte.

On the Road Again….

What is a book launch without a blog tour to go with it?

GGP-3_2013_final copySince the release of All the Appearance of Goodness I have been blessed to be hosted by so many gracious folks. I wanted to take a moment to thank them all and to encourage you to stop by and join in the fun.

Candy of So Little time… posted the first book blogger review here.  Thanks Candy!

Faith, Hope and Cherry Tea surprised me with her latest entry to the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge. I have to admit she made my Monday which had been rather bleak up to that point!

You can find three different book excerpts at Austen Authors, Excerpts with Ella (in the comments) and Jane Odiwe! Thanks ladies for hosting those!

I host a lot of interviews on my site, but I don’t do them often myself.  But on this occasion, I me (2)have done several.  Learn little known, odd and eccentric bits about yours truly at Things that Catch my Eye, Philippa Keyworth, Laura Purcell and Layered Pages.  Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to chat with me.

Finally, Grace Elliot allowed me to prattle on about a new fascination for me, Regency Etiquette. This is the first of six articles I am doing on the subject, so if you’re interested, keep a watch for future installments!

The tour is only half over, so expect another update soon!

Last, but far from least, I want to thank all of you who read, buy books, and encourage me so much in your comments and visits. You truly are the greatest and I can’t express how much I appreciate all of you!

Get to know TJ MAcKay

 I am delighted to host the warm and wonderful TJ MacKay, founder of In D’Tale magazine today. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

What got you started along the path to creating InD’Tale?

Oddly enough, I was working as the Special Features Editor for another, traditionally focused  magazine.  I kept receiving requests from authors who had decided to self-pub, however, asking if I would review their books.  Many of them turned out to be every bit as good, if not better, than the traditional ones I was reading for review!  As I looked into the situation more closely, I realized how incredibly hard it was for authors, who may be absolutely gifted but who don’t fit the traditional mold for whatever reason, to be successful.  Thus, the germ of the idea took root! Continue reading

History A'la Carte 4-4-13

The second part of the BBC series on the Regency era for your enjoyment with your  History a’la Carte.