Hi, Karalynne! Thank you so much for stopping by Austenesque Reviews for a little tête-à-tête! I greatly enjoyed your first novel, Falling for Mr. Darcy and I am so happy you are here celebrating your second, Bluebells in the Mourning! How about we begin by talking about what was the inspiration behind your new release, Bluebells in the Mourning?
Writing for me is quite a liberating process, creatively. I loved experiencing it with my first novel, Falling For Mr. Darcy. It was my first attempt to write anything even close to a novel length. In fact, it was really my first attempt with fiction of any kind. So I guess I would say my inspiration for Bluebells in the Mourning would have to be my first book. It taught me to free my perceptions of what it took to write a novel. I had a lot of fun writing it and experiencing that freedom again. SPOILER ALERT: I would also have to say I thought it would be a little humorous to make the Lambton letters arrive at Hunsford and instead of announcing Lydia’s indiscretion – her death. Not that the death is funny but the recycling of Jane Austen’s words to another place is one of my favorite things to do in my books and I always have a chuckle when I can find a perfect place to reuse them.
I thoroughly enjoyed the parallels and recycled quotes you implemented in your novel! Very clever! I’ve noticed that you write very sympathetically towards Mr. Bennet. In both Falling for Mr. Darcy and Bluebells in the Mourning, we see a bit more development and gain some more understanding of Mr. Bennet’s character. What draws you to Mr. Bennet as a character and moves you to portray him in a more favorable light?
I don’t think I thought much about it before. That is to say that it was not intentional, except that I created situations where he could be that way and still be a plausible extrapolation from Jane’s original character. I never liked it when JAFF books I read made him into some meany-face. I never pictured him as such when I read Pride and Prejudice. I just pictured him as somewhat indolent – not uncaring. But then again – if I wanted to get all Freud on myself – I could say it is because I have a wonderful dad and I cant imagine a father who loves his children as anyone less favorable than my own Pop.
Aww! That’s so lovely! I feel the same away about my dad, so stories that feature special relationships between fathers and daughters always warm my heart! In your novel you struck such a great balance of solemnity, grief, and emerging happiness. It was moving to witness the Bennet family overcome their tragic loss and begin to heal. I would imagine that writing about death and tragedy might be a difficult challenge. What were some of the challenges you faced while writing this variation?
The biggest challenge I faced was not having actually experienced the death of anyone very close to me before. I tried very hard to try to put myself in the shoes of someone who might have and I hope that I was able to. It is a hard series of emotions to portray. SPOILER ALERT: It was also challenging to create a balance of healing and growing happiness without making Lydia’s death seem trivial and easily gotten over. I didn’t want to write a morose book. The book was not meant to be a sad one despite the solemn beginnings. I am a happy person and I like happy stories. It is hard to write sadness when I want everyone to be smiling and in love.
Sounds like you have something in common with Jane Bennet! Speaking of characters in love…I just adore your portrayals of Mr. Darcy, he seems to be a little more perceptive and observant than Jane Austen’s Darcy. In addition, I love observing the different ways Mr. Darcy shows his true feelings for Elizabeth – his kindness, compassion, and tenderness just steals my heart. What is your favorite quality in Mr. Darcy? What aspect of his personality makes you fall in love with him?
My favorite quality in Mr. Darcy is his integrity. In Jane Austen’s book (and I hope in mine) I believe he exemplifies someone who has true integrity. He doesn’t hesitate to better himself when presented with the need and it doesn’t always have to be because he thinks he might get something out of it. Maybe I am a boring fuddy-duddy but I think integrity in a man is sexy as hell. That being said I think a flirty, humorous Darcy goes a long way in making me fall in love too – that and some well-fitted breeches.
Who wouldn’t love a flirty Darcy?!? What is next for you KaraLynne? You have gifted the Austenesque genre two wonderful and unique Pride and Prejudice variations, do you have plans to write any more?
I do have an idea for another book and it is also Jane Austen inspired but it differs from my first two in a few ways. I like to think I write romantic comedies and my next book will share that in common with Falling For Mr. Darcy and Bluebells in the Mourning, at least. But for the immediate future I am enjoying snuggles with my new baby.
Oh, yes! Baby snuggles are the best! How about we switch it up with some Quickfire Questions:
– Who is your favorite Pride and Prejudicecharacter (besides Darcy and Elizabeth)?
No surprise, Mr. Bennet – he has some great one liners in Pride and Prejudice.
– Who is your least favorite Pride and Prejudice character?
Mrs. Bennet or Lydia – when I read either one of them I cringe wishing they would just be quiet. They never do.
– What is one of your favorite scenes in Pride and Prejudice?
I love it when Elizabeth encounters Darcy at Pemberley. He’s so charming and kind and wet (oh wait, that’s only in the movie). Its too bad that scene is followed up by Lydia’s scandal.
– From your own novels what is one of your favorite scenes?
I love, love, love the study/library scene in the beginning of Bluebells in the Mourning. I love the comedic side of it mixed with the lovey dovey feelings. Mmmm…Darcy sans cravat…
– What is one of your favorite quotes from Pride and Prejudice?
Mr. Bennet after giving Elizabeth the go ahead to marry Darcy: “If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at my leisure.”
– What is one of your favorite quotes from your own novels?
My favorite quotes are often ones from Jane Austen’s book that I re-appropriate to use my own way by someone else or somewhere else.
– What do you love most about Pride and Prejudice?
I love that it is a truly brilliant romantic comedy. I think non-believers often discount Pride and Prejudice because they think it is all mushy. It’s really a very funny book with the right amounts of romance in it. Jane Austen was a genius.
– What is your “truth universally acknowledged?”
That a man in possession of British accent must have romantic things to say.
– If you were to meet Jane Austen, what would you like to hear her say?
That she liked my books and that I did NOT embarrass her.
Thank you for answer my questions, KaraLynne! It has been such a pleasure to learn more about you and your novels! Best of luck to you on your new release!
Michele and the lovely people at Meryton Press have kindly donated 1 paperback and 1 digital copy (kindle or nook) of Bluebells in the Mourning for me to giveaway to 2 lucky winners!
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