Juliet Archer is a 19th-century mind in a 21st-century body. Actually, some days it's the other way round. She's on a mission to modernise all six of Jane Austen's completed novels, in a series called 'Darcy and Friends'.
Her debut novel was The Importance of Being Emma, inspired by Austen's Emma and a desire to give Mr Knightley a makeover. It won the 2011 Big Red Read Fiction Award, was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and has had wonderful reviews on Amazon. The second novel in the series, Persuade Me, came out in 2011 and was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read.
She says: 'Updating Austen is not an original idea - think Bridget Jones's Diary and Clueless, for a start. And, let's face it, as the first writer in the genre to achieve worldwide cult status, Austen provides the inspiration - consciously or unconsciously - for most romantic novelists today. So I'm looking to differentiate - through sticking as closely to the original plots, characters and settings as possible, while developing the hero's point of view. If this involves spending lots of time with imaginary modern versions of Mr Darcy, Captain Wentworth and the like - well, they say suffering is good for the soul!'
Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire, Pride & Prejudice country. Unlike Anne Elliot in Persuasion, she resisted well-meant advice and married young, before graduating from the University of Nottingham with a First in French and Russian. Many years later, she is still married, with almost grown-up children - a Mrs Bennet in waiting?
She gives talks all over the UK - and even in the US - about why and how she is updating Jane Austen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of background for her novels.
You can find out more about her books and talks at www.julietarcher.com.