I have been a Jane Austen fan for many years and I also am very interested in history, so I have read and reread her books and seen the 1995 film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, innumerable times. I never felt the urge to write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice until 2006 when my eldest son went off to college and I had fewer demands upon my time. I decided to, maybe, read one of the sequels to P&P and looked through what was available on Amazon. Most of the sequels had a huge variation in their customer reviews, so I had no way to select which ones I would be likely to enjoy until I came across Pamela Aiden’s Trilogy which tells the story of P&P from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. I bought the first two books (the final one was not yet out) and I enjoyed the story and its historical accuracy, but I found that I did not agree with how the story was developing. It was not exactly a stroke of lightning, but I suddenly realized that I had a definite feeling of how the story “really” happened and where the characters would go after Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage, so I sat down at my laptop and started writing. The last time I had done any creative writing was in high school, so this entire process was a learning experience.
Writing about another author’s characters is very challenging, but it is also fun to try and see if I can make a story which will fit comfortably with her character. It is rather like a jigsaw puzzle with some of the pieces missing, which I had to fill in. Some writers solve this puzzle by imagining the characters in modern times, or figuring out what might have happened if one component of the original story changed, but I love history and became engrossed with my research on the Regency Era, so a straightforward sequel to the original story was the most comfortable for me. Georgiana was easier than some characters because she was talked about multiple times in Pride and Prejudice but we only meet her two very brief times during the book, and not under the easiest circumstances. Because she is an enigma to Elizabeth (and to us) I had a lot of leeway in developing her character- all we know in P&P is that she is very shy and loves playing the piano and harp. My two goals were to make Georgiana a three dimensional person and to make the setting as accurate as I could without turning it into a history lesson. I came to realize that in historical fiction one must use one’s historical detail wisely—you do not want to lose the story in too intricate historical detail! When I talk to young writers I call this “using the powers of history for good rather than evil!” I hope to write several more sequels to Pride and Prejudice and cover some of the other, less well known, characters.
Two winners will receive a copy of Mr. Darcy's Little Sister courtesy of Sourcebooks. The rules are simple:
1.) Two winners will each win a copy of Mr. Darcy's Little Sister, directly from the publisher. U.S and Canadian addresses only.
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3.) You must leave a comment on this post with a valid e-mail address, so I contact you if you win.
4.) The deadline for this giveaway is: Midnight, EST, October 4th.
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