Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Interview´and Contest: Jack Caldwell - The Three Colonels

Please help me welcome Jack Caldwell to my blog. His new book, The Three Colonels is out now and at the end of the interview there is a chance to win it.


1. Could you tell me a little about yourself?
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today! I’m an author, amateur historian, professional economic developer, playwright, and like many Cajuns, considered a darn good cook. I was born and raised in the Bayou County of Louisiana, and I lived there most of my life. My wife, Barbara, and I are Hurricane Katrina victims, and we now make the upper Midwest our home. We have three grown sons.

You may have heard of my nickname—The Cajun Cheesehead. It came from my devotion to my two favorite NFL teams: the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. (Every now and then, I have to play the DVD again to make sure the Saints really won in 2010.)

When I’m not writing or traveling with Barbara, I attempt to play golf. 

2. Could you tell me about your new book, The Three Colonels – Jane Austen’s Fighting Men?
The Three Colonels is a sequel of two of Jane Austen’s novels set during the Regency. I combine Pride & Prejudice with Sense & Sensibility. I find that by doing so, I’ve opened up the Austen universe to unlimited possibilities.

Three of Austen’s female characters are trying to find their happy ever after with their men. The former Marianne Dashwood has started a family with Colonel Brandon, Anne de Bourgh loves Colonel Fitzwilliam (to the displeasure of Lady Catherine), and Caroline Bingley enters into a marriage of convenience with a notorious war hero, Colonel Sir John Buford. Then everything goes to heck when Napoleon escapes from exile and Europe is at war again. The three colonels are sent to Waterloo and our ladies—Marianne, Anne, and Caroline—must face the possibility that their men might not return.

3. How did you come up with the idea to write about Colonels Brandon and Fitzwilliam?
Austen had several military characters, both major and minor, who served during the Napoleonic Wars. It would be realistic that in any sequel to Austen’s novels, one or more of her heroes would be caught up in Waterloo.

I decided to write about that. My plot would revolve around the Hundred Days Crisis, the epic turning point of the Regency, and that having a soldier in the family was not all wine and roses, because at any time they might be called upon to serve king and country. There is a price to pay for wearing the uniform; soldiers, sailors—and their loved ones—pay it just like the families of our service members pay it today. 

The first two characters that came to mind were Brandon and Fitzwilliam. Both actually fought, unlike Colonel Forster of the ----shire militia. Of course, to make Brandon work, I had to tweak his career a bit. He served not only in India and the East Indies, but also in Italy, where he met Fitzwilliam and Buford.

4. Are you interested in war history?
Yes. I enjoy Napoleonic War fiction, particularly CS Forester’s Hornblower series and Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin nautical adventures. Unfortunately, history is made by conflict. It changes our world forever. We may not like it, but it’s the truth. Waterloo in 1815 was one of those titanic battles where nothing is the same afterwards, like William the Conqueror’s Battle of Hastings in 1066, Gettysburg in 1863 during the American Civil War, and 1942’s Midway in World War II. To understand why wars happen is to understand us.

5.  Sadly I have not seen many men love the books by Jane Austen, but how did you find your way to these books?
I was first introduced to Austen, like many people, by one of the filmed adaptations. Mine was the 1981 BBC mini-series starring Elizabeth Garvie shown in the US on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre. It’s still the best version, IMHO. I went out and got a copy of The Collected Works of Jane Austen and read all of her major works. She is fantastic—you really ought to read her. Years later, around 2000, I discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction, and the rest was history.

6. What’s up next from you?
I have several manuscripts being reviewed by my publisher, and I am currently writing a sequel to The Three Colonels entitled Rosings Park.


1 copy of The Three Colonels

1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends March 22
3. Just go ahead and enter
Or ask a question or tell me who you would choose, Brandon, Fitzwilliam or Buford

Jack Caldwell's blog postings—The Cajun Cheesehead Chronicles—appear regularly at Austen Authors.
Twitter –!/JCaldwell25


  1. I'm not a big reader of Austen sequels, but Caldwell seems to take a slightly different slant. Or maybe it's that he's a man and that has me intrigued, since it seems like most of the Austen crop is written by women.

    I'd love to be entered.

    carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

    1. "Different slant." Funny--my wife says the same thing! Thanks!

  2. Fantastic interview! I'm reading this book now and enjoying it.

    1. Thanks! If you--or anyone else--wants a signed bookplate, just hop over to my web site (above) and request one!

  3. LOL! The Cajun Cheesehead! Most awesome nickname ever! And yes, the JA universe seems to be open to endless possibilities, which is one of the wonderful reasons why she lives on!

    1. "LOL! The Cajun Cheesehead! Most awesome nickname ever!"

      My wife agrees with you! Thanks!

  4. I want this book!!!! Thanks love the interview and can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

  5. Great interview! I've been seeing this book around a lot.

  6. A very interesting interview, thank yuou Mr Caldwell! I would never believe if somebody told me a man can write a JA sequel but it seems I lack imagination!

    1. "...but it seems I lack imagination!"

      Not me! I would never say that!

  7. I get more excited to read the book each time I read one of your blog posts! I am very curious about Colonel Sir John Buford! He sounds like my kind of hero!
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  8. My choice would be Fitzwilliam. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed! Don't worry I won't try to walk this way lol!


  9. I am so surprised that more men aren't into JA. Seriously. There is so much potential there. So glad that you see it too. YaY for the BBC! :D

  10. i'd go for the maturity of Col Brandon...
    sounds fantastic! thx for your generosity & for sharing your writing gift with us!

  11. Your novel is at the top of my wishlist. I Love Austen and the whole time period. Lovely interview.

  12. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  13. i loved pemberley ranch so im really looking forward to this one

  14. Man I could never take moving up north from the south. I spent 50 winters in Canada before I escaped. How do you deal with the intensity of the winters?

  15. Thank you for the interview Jack :) And for stopping by today

  16. Love the Austen mash-up! I'm particularly interested in Caroline's story, she was always a character I loved to hate in Pride and Prejudice:)

  17. I am SO psyched to read this book! And thanks so much for the interview! I love getting to know the authors I'm following a little bit better! I love both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and can't wait to find out what happens in this book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  18. Ooooh, Austen books for you Blodeuedd! :D Great interview. Thank you!

  19. I read 'Pemberley Ranch' and I loved it! I would love to get my hands on this one. :) Thanks for the interview Mr. Caldwell.

  20. Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  21. Twitted about your giveaway at:!/cherrymischivus/status/181332383642025985

    Goodluck to everybody entering!! :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    (not an entry)

  22. I have a copy of this one just waiting for me. I loved his first book and think he really has a great way of twisting up Austen's stories!!

  23. Winner (I am late!)
    Kimba88 :)



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