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Interview with Teri Wilson, author of Unleashing Mr. Darcy

More than two years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Teri Wilson, author of Unleashing Mr. Darcy, a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling and contemporary romance, turned into an original Hallmark movie of the same name. You can read my first Q&A with Teri Wilson here. Now, two and half years later with the sequel Marrying Mr. Darcy (starring premiering tomorrow night (at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel), I had another pleasure of doing a follow up interview with the always wonderful and fun to talk to, the one and only Teri Wilson about the success of Unleashing Mr. Darcy movie, the sequel where she did another set visit (and cameo) and why there's no book version of Marrying Mr. Darcy, reuniting with the main cast of MMD, plus a new Darcy book title and announcement (you read it here first!), and more!

Thanks (again), Teri for taking the time to do this follow up interview.

Read my new Q&A with Teri Wilson below...

(UMD movie poster via Hallmark | Crown Media Press)
 
Jeane/P&P Blog: After the Hallmark airing and ratings success of the first movie (Unleashing Mr. Darcy), fans were excited and had eagerly anticipated the sequel. Did you, at the time, already knew there will be part 2?
Teri Wilson: Not right away. As soon as the ratings came in and we realized what a fan favorite the original movie had become, my executive producer began discussing the idea of a sequel. But pitching a movie/getting it approved is all a very long process. There’s a lot of waiting involved. I was on vacation in Spain when my agent called to tell me that the movie was actually going to happen. It was a very exciting call! When I saw her name pop up on my phone, I figured she had to be calling with major news since she knew where I was.

(MMD movie poster via Hallmark | Crown Media Press)

J: When talk of the sequel started as soon as UMD aired, fans were suggesting Marrying Mr. Darcy as one of the titles. Did you and Hallmark get the title idea from the fans or was the title already in the works?
TW: The story concept had already been written and titled Marrying Mr. Darcy when fans began suggesting the name. It was so hard to keep the secret!!


J: Were you involved with writing the script for Marrying Mr. Darcy?
TW: No. Script writing is an art that I’ve never attempted. I helped with the story concept, and the movie is obviously based on my original characters and book, Unleashing Mr. Darcy. Teena Booth and James Iver Mattson & B.E. Brauner wrote the script and did an excellent job. I couldn’t be happier with it.

(Teri Wilson cameos in MMD! Stills above and below by Ryan Plummer via Hallmark | Crown Media Press)

J: I love that you did another cameo for this movie. I must say, I dig the continuity! How was it like seeing the cast & crew again? How was your on set experience for Marrying Mr. Darcy compare to Unleashing Mr. Darcy?
TW: Being on set is my absolute favorite part of the movie-making process. It’s a truly surreal experience to see something I created in my head, something purely imaginary, become an actual, real thing. I just love it. I was a lot more relaxed on set for the sequel since I already knew everyone and I was familiar with the process. The first time, I was kind of a nervous wreck. It was amazing, but also quite overwhelming.

(Teri with the cute pupps on set of Marrying Mr. Darcy | Photo by Teri Wilson)
(Marrying Mr. Darcy star Cindy Busby with Teri Wilson on set | Photo by Teri Wilson)

As soon as soon as Cindy Busby saw me on the set of Marrying Mr. Darcy, she screamed my name and we had a big hug-fest and selfie session. Cindy is great.

(Marrying Mr. Darcy star Ryan Paevey with Teri Wilson on set | photo by Teri Wilson)

All of the actors are. Fingers crossed we get to do it again someday!

 (Sarah Desjardins as Zara Darcy in Unleashing Mr. Darcy screen captures via Hallmark)

J: Speaking of continuity, I love when original cast returns for the sequel, which is great that MMD cast for the most part are back. I noticed that one returning cast member, Sarah Desjardins, who played Zara Darcy has been replaced! Do you know why she didn’t return and was replaced?

TW: I honestly don’t know because I’m not involved with casting. Sarah did a fabulous job, but I know viewers will love the new Zara.

(screen capture of Yasmeene Ball as the new Zara Darcy 
with Ryan Paevey's Donovan Darcy on set of Marrying Mr. Darcy via Hallmark)

 (Yasmeene Ball as Zara Darcy with Frances Fisher as aunt Violet in
 MMD still by Ryan Plummer via Hallmark | Crown Media Press)

She’s played by a lovely young actress named Yasmeene Ball. Considering the size of the cast, I’m truly surprised that nearly everyone was able to return for the sequel. Coordinating schedules is always a challenge. Having everyone back made the set feel like a family reunion. On the day we shot the wedding, Courtney Richter even came to set just to visit. She played Felicity in Unleashing Mr. Darcy, and her character isn’t in the second movie, but it was so much fun having her there.

J: There’s no book version for MMD, why is that?
TW: Once we realized how beloved the first movie had become with Hallmark fans, my executive producer wanted to pitch a sequel to the network. She and I worked together to come up with a story concept she could present to the executives at the Hallmark Channel. During this time, I was also juggling multiple book deadlines. Then the film went into development, and I was still working on other publishing contracts. I wish I could have set everything aside and written a book to go with the movie, but I just couldn’t. It kills me that there’s no wedding book. You have no idea! My writing schedule for the past two years has been jam-packed. But I’ve finally got some breathing room and I’m really excited about returning to the Darcy world!

J: You mentioned on Twitter recently that there’s another Darcy book that you’ll be announcing soon. Is that related to Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Marrying Mr. Darcy? If so, what’s the title and when will it be published?
TW: Yes!!! I’m so excited to announce that I’m continuing Donovan and Elizabeth’s story in MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. DARCY, coming out this holiday season from Tule Publishing! I’m planning on officially announcing the book on Twitter on the night of the Marrying Mr. Darcy premiere.

Here’s the blurb:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mr. Darcy and his new bride are in serious want of some mistletoe…

With their whirlwind courtship and near-miss of a wedding behind them, Donovan Darcy and Elizabeth Scott are set to enjoy their first holiday as man and wife. It’s Christmas in London, and the newlyweds want nothing more than to cozy up by the fire. Alone. No more family drama. No more crazy tabloid stories. But when Elizabeth’s beloved dog, Bliss, suddenly goes missing, their perfect, peaceful holiday is thrown into disarray. The madness is only beginning, and soon the Darcy mansion is as chaotic as Harrods on Christmas Eve.

A first Christmas, once lost, is lost forever. Or will Elizabeth’s surprise gift for her husband save what’s left of their holiday?

Merry Christmas, Mr. Darcy.

UPDATE (June 2, 2018): Teri posted the official announcement and publishing date (October 16, 2018) for Merry Christmas, Mr. Darcy via her Twitter account!

J: Now that there are two Darcy movies based on your novel, do you think there will be a third installment to make it a trilogy?
TW: I really hope so. The Hallmark Darcy films have such wonderful fan support. I know everyone involved would love to see this story continue. We’ll have to see how the second movie does and go from there.

(Marrying Mr. Darcy - A P&P Card Game cover image by Erika Svanoe and
Erik Evensen via their Marrying Mr. Darcy website)

J: Did you know there’s a Pride and Prejudice card game titled Marrying Mr. Darcy? (See website: Marrying Mr. Darcy ~ A P&P Card Game | FYI: I previously posted about this way back in 2013 when it was launched on Kickstarter to raise the funds needed for the first print run of the board game! Read my old post here: Marrying Mr. Darcy - A New Pride & Prejudice Card Game) If so, do you own one and have you ever played it?
TW: I didn’t know about the card game until recently. I love games and of course I love Mr. Darcy, so yes, I immediately ordered it from Amazon. I haven’t gotten a chance to play it yet, but I’m hoping to give it a whirl with friends on the Marrying Mr. Darcy premiere day.

J: After this (MMD) movie and another Darcy (Merry Christmas, Mr. Darcy) book, what’s next for you? Will there be another Hallmark movie based on one of your novels to look forward to?
TW: I do have another Hallmark film in development. It’s a Christmas movie based on my book, Sleigh Bell Sweethearts, and the script is being written by the writerly geniuses behind the Marrying Mr. Darcy teleplay. We’re hoping it will get the green light for Christmas 2018, but that remains to be seen. I also have a really fun book coming out on December 4 called The Accidental Beauty Queen, which will be released in trade paperback from Gallery Books. It’s a romantic comedy that I like to describe as a cross between Miss Congeniality and The Parent Trap. I think that fans of the Darcy book and films will really love it.

For more on Teri Wilson, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Marrying Mr. Darcy premieres tomorrow night (June 2nd) at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel.

Comments

  1. OMG....how excited I am for tomorrow's premier of Marrying Mr. Darcy, and how even more excited it would be to have a Christmas Hallmark Move about the newlyweds....

    ReplyDelete
  2. For someone who supposedly is so well-bred as Donovan Darcy, I expect him to have better grammar. The script writers need to learn the basics of correct English grammar! In each of the Mr. Darcy movies, there are several times in each movie where Donovan says "for Elizabeth and I", or "with Elizabeth and I", or other prepositions followed with "I" where it should be "me". It is NEVER correct to use "I" as the object of a preposition.

    ReplyDelete

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