THE DANCE MASTER (10) Book Drawing
ABOUT AUTHOR: Three-time Christy Award winner Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more at www.julieklassen.com
Why do you love Jane Austen so much?
I love Austen’s noble, leading men: Mr. Darcy, Colonel Brandon, Mr. Knightley, and Captain Wentworth. I love her intelligent humor, and the worlds she created in her books (and the mini-series based on them) like Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion—a world of chivalrous gentleman and lady-like ladies, carriage rides and romantic balls. It’s a time and place I like to visit and again and again, and thankfully many readers do as well.
When did you first read a Jane Austen book? What was the name of the book and what did you think about it at the time?
You know, I don’t remember which book I read first--we’re talking many years ago now. But the first mini-series I saw based on a Jane Austen book was the 1995 A & E version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. After seeing it, I read all of Jane Austen’s books and decided to set my own historical novel in this time period.
Nora: I haven’t read a Jane Austen book yet. But I’ve watched the movie you’ve mentioned. Fun! Loved it!
How did you hear about the Jane Austen ball? Was this the first one you’ve ever gone to?
The ball was a part of the annual meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America—held for the first time this past year in Minneapolis (near where I live). I am a member of the local
Minnesota chapter of the society, so I’d heard about the convention and the ball for months leading up to it. It was my first time attending the annual convention, but I hope to attend again someday.
Were their guidelines about the type of clothes you’d wear? What requirements were there for someone to attend?
Regency-era dress was suggested and appreciated, but not required. To attend the ball, however, one had to be registered for the conference. It was a sold-out event and I was happy to be a part of it.
Nora: Thanks for sharing these fun pictures!
I’d love to know how you got the idea for your new book The Dancing Master?
In Jane Austen’s time, dancing was one of the few ways young men and women could spend time together and court one another. Dancing was considered such an important social skill that parents hired dancing masters to come into the homes and teach their sons and daughters not only dance steps, but also deportment and etiquette. So, as an author of half a dozen other books set in the Regency era—and someone who loves to dance-- it was probably only a matter of time until I wrote about a dancing master.
Nora: We’ve lost this art. Dancing does look like fun!
What do you hope readers take away from your new book?
The main themes of the book are love and grace. I enjoyed weaving in grace in its many forms--social graces, grace in dancing, and most importantly, God’s grace--and hope readers are reminded of His amazing grace for us all.
Nora: I’m looking forward to reading this Julie. Love the cover and the themes you mentioned!
What was your take away from the Jane Austen experience?
Beyond the historical information I learned, I came away being impressed by the diverse reasons people attend the event and their varying approaches to Austen: Some love the romance and noble heroes, as I do, some come from a literary admiration of Austen’s writing, some from a love of England, and others from an intellectual or academic focus on the history of the time period in which Jane Austen lived and wrote. The classes offered at the conference reflected this diversity.
Nora: I’d love to go to one of these just to people watch. It sounds very interesting!
How did you get your husband to take dance classes with you for research?
Good question! Lots of “pretty please with sugar on top.” He’s a good sport.
Nora: That’s not working for me. Maybe I need to say sugar on top instead of cherry? I’ll give it a try! Grin!
What surprised you about the Jane Austen event? Learn anything more about this popular author? If so what?
I learned that Austen draws people of different ages, from different countries, and many different walks of life: professors, scholars, writers, retirees, students, and professionals young and old.
What is the fascination with Jane Austen and that time period for you personally? What do you think others are fascinated with? Do tell!
I cannot claim academic fascination. For me, it is all about the romance and the gallantry. I love the chivalry, manners, and restraint of the era, the beautiful gowns and grand balls where the mere touch of gloved hands sparked romance. I find it a very romantic time, as do many, I’m happy to say. It was also a time when things like family prayers and attending church were commonplace, something that makes this time period an appealing setting for Christian fiction in particular. Thanks, Nora. And thanks for having me here!
Thanks for sharing All these fun pictures and video!
ALL ENTRIES for the 10 BOOK DRAWING are done at THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK and enter the 5 book Drawing there www.bookfun.org
You must JOIN the network to participate. It’s FREE and EASY www.bookfun.org scroll down after you join and CLICK on the LINK on top of Julie’s new book cover of THE DANCING MASTER!!
THANKS JULIE for giving us look at Jane Austin through your eyes. THANKS also for showing us this Jane Austin type ball. Fun! I look forward to reading this book. I know others will too!
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!