Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guest Post by Priya Parmar; author of Exit The Actress + Giveaway

Please welcome Priya Parmar, author of the superb EXIT THE ACTRESS to The Eclectic Reader. Priya is absolutely delightful to correspond with and I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend Exit the Actress to lovers of historical fiction.

If you could be dropped into any novel as a character who would you be and why?

Any novel? That question is so interesting and makes me suddenly realise that many of my favourite novels do not end well with happy characters leading happy lives. The pathos I enjoy on the page would not be a kind of pathos I would want to live through.

I adore The Great Gatsby but find Daisy Buchanan a tragic, unhappy woman who is determined not to look at her own heart and Nick a character who has to lose a dear friend to see that he is not in the driver’s seat of his own life. I love Wuthering Heights but much as I would love Heathcliff I would want to love him in life rather than as a window tapping, regretful spectre. Julia from Brideshead Revisited, Mercedes from The Count of Monte Cristo, Scarlett from Gone With the Wind, Milly from Wings of the Dove: all wonderful women in wonderful books but it never goes well. Equally, I love Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca but I would want to have a first name and not have my house burned down by a loony Mrs. Danvers.

In more recent novels, I love Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl but that doesn’t go well for Anne and while Mary ends up with the man she loves she has ghastly, scheming parents and then loses her siblings. Not good. I also adore Sandra Gulland’s marvellous Josephine B. trilogy but her fella ends up on Elba and married to someone else. Of Sharon Kay Penman’s brilliant books, I love the character of Joanna Princess of Wales from Here Be Dragons but has a difficult time with her difficult father King John. I just read Anne Fortier’s delicious, Siena set Juliet, a reworking of the wonderful but tragic Romeo and Juliet history. Terrific history, terrible life.

So, books I love with characters I love, leading lives I would want to live? Jane Austen is wonderful for that. She puts them through the ringer but gives them real happiness in the end. Of all her heroines, Marianne Dashwood form Sense and Sensibility and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice are particular favourites but Anne Elliot from Persuasion is who I would choose. She loved and lost Captain Wentworth before the story begins and he vowed never to love her again but they work it out. They do not love the way characters do at the beginning of love, but the way they do at the end. It is not a fairy tale happily ever after where you cannot imagine how they will love after the last page, but a thwarted, recovered, proven love that has shown its mettle and is determined to survive. That is the kind of novel I would want to live in.

Thanks Priya for answering my question. Anne Elliot from Persuasion is a great choice, and I love the reasoning behind your choice. I loved Exit The Actress but if you need further convincing check out my review here.

Visit Priya Parmar's website or her blog The Plum Bean Project to find out more about this author and her work.

I am thrilled to be able to offer readers a chance to win an inscribed copy of Exit The Actress thanks to the generosity of Priya Parmar.


*Competition is only open to followers of my blog (so if you're not a follower & you'd like to enter just click on the follow button on the right hand side of my blog - easy peasy)

*Leave a comment with a question for Priya or tell us which character in a novel you would like to be. Don't forget to include an email address.


+ 2 comment on my review of Exit The Actress.

+2 post about this give-away on twitter or your blog & leave a link

Ends March 31st and the winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck everyone!

And of course if you just can't wait - order your copy of Exit the Actress
@ Amazon or The Book Depository (free postage)


  1. I'm reading this now, and I LOVE it!! Great interview!!

    (not an entry of course :))

  2. I have this on my wishlist.

    We have Charles II and Nell Gwynn history in my home town.

    I dont have a particular book I would like to drop into but somewhere in the Victorian period in society London.

    I would love to win this book ,but I am in the UK


  3. So exciting!!

    +2 comment on review

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  4. I often wish I was a character (in which ever book I happen to be reading at the time) but then I realise just how horrible and sad and violent their lives really are. If I was suddenly thrown into a novel I don't think I would do so well. haha.

    BUT if I had to choose one character I would like to be...... hmmm......... Jane Austen is a good idea. Her characters do suffer but they end up happy (and no one dies to get there). So in that case, I would like to be Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. Mainly because she realises that real life is just as exciting as any novel (I skill I'm still failing to realise) and she ends up with Mr Tilney ;)

    Hope that all made sense.


  5. Now this will come as no surprise Sheree but I would want to be Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice! Great post Priya, can't wait to read your book!

  6. Thanks for the giveaway! I would want to be Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, she is my favorite character.
    comment on review

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  7. Thank you for inviting me to guest post! Ooh, Catherine Morland, another good one. Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice is also just spectacular!

  8. I am happy that I am born in the present period as there are many things which are tiresome (!) in days gone past!!!!

    Thank you for this post and for the giveaway.

    Please count me in for this giveaway. I have commented on your review + 2

  9. I am so excited to read this novel, there have been such great things said about it!

    If I could be a character from a novel, I would be Mattie Ross from True Grit. I just read this book a few weeks ago & I loved how honest & brave & smart & determined Mattie was. I think she is a great heroine that more young women should read about!

    Thanks for the giveaway, fun!


  10. hurm...
    If I were to choose which character I want to be in...
    I would like to be someone from the Victorian era...
    Victorian age have beautiful places with great works of art..
    Catherine Morland would do great...

    commented on your review..
    tweet your giveaway (@rockprincess148)...

    I'm from Malaysia...
    this giveaway is open internationally right???

  11. Great guest post with Priya. I have just finished reading Exit the Actress myself and posted my review just yesterday!
    I like the idea of following an Australian blogger so am now your latest follower. Good to meet you.

  12. Thanks for the giveaway.
    I follow on GFC.

    I would like to be Elizabeth Bennett.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  13. I think I would love to drop in on The Count of Monte Cristo as a side character of some sort just to see Edmund Dantes do his thing...

    I follow your blog

    I'm off to comment on your review.
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  14. I would love to enter and read about Nell Gwyn, the real her.

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

    As for who I would be, I guess I have to go with Elizabeth today since I read yet another Pride and prejudice variation

  15. Would it surprise anyone that I would love to be Elizabeth Bennett???

  16. Hmm....could I be the main character in a romance novel who ends up married to a tall, handsome, rich, considerate man? I don't know which book that is... =)

    I'm commenting on the review.

    tiredwkids at live dot com

  17. This sounds like a delightful read. I'm a follower.

  18. I would like to be Madame Tussaud.
    She was so intelligent, artistically talented and wise. I would like to persuade men that women can be held in high esteem too in an age when it was truly an exception!

    +2 comment on review

    +2 Tweeted
    My Twitter name is Carolee888 http://teddyree-theeclecticreader.blogspot.com/2011/03/guest-post-by-priya-parmar-author-of.html Giveaway of "Exit the Actress'


  19. I'd love to enter if this is international.

    I think I'd like to be Nefertari. So many choices but they all had tragic lives!

    I'm follower.


  20. If I could be a character, i would love to be Elizabeth in Pride and prejudice!

    Thanks for the post and giveaway! I enjoyed reading it :)


  21. Priya, the book looks great. I love this genre. I think I could drop in to Emma's world thanks to Jane Austen.

  22. I would love to read Exit the Actress! Please enter me in this giveaway.

    If I had to be a character in a novel, I too would love to be Elizabeth Bennett!

    Follow via GFC.

    +2 commented on your review

    +2 tweeted: http://twitter.com/BookLoverSarah/status/53664485919047680

    bookloversarah1 at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E


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