I am very excited to welcome Rose Fairbanks, author of several Pride and Prejudice variations including No Cause to Repine, A Sense of Obligation, and her latest – Sufficient Encouragement to Austenesque Reviews today! For the last couple of years I’ve enjoyed reading Rose’s stories, having her appear as a guest on my blog, and being Facebook friends with her. Thank you to Rose for so kindly agreeing to this interview!
Thanks so much for having me again! It’s always a pleasure being on your blog!
How about we start by talking about your stories. You’ve written many Pride and Prejudice variations both in short and long works. What inspires you to write Pride and Prejudice variations? How do you come up with so many unique ideas?
I’ve loved Pride and Prejudice since my very first reading of it in high school. In college I constantly bemoaned Austen’s early death and always wondered what a sequel for her characters would be like. My favorite professor actually suggested JAFF to me, but at the time I turned my nose up at it. It took a few more years for me to try it and discover there were some amazing stories written by people who needed more of Austen, just like me! Curiously enough, although I started asking for sequels, I love reading and writing variations. I get most of my ideas simply from the original. I think “what would happen if I changed this?”
It seems Jane Austen has set authors up with endless possibilities! Having read two of your novels and one of your novellas, I’ve noticed you have a penchant for placing Darcy and Elizabeth in awkward/unexpected/mortifyingly uncomfortable positions. Do you take a fiendish delight in torturing this beloved couple? What do you like most about placing Darcy and Elizabeth in these situations?
I think Austen’s original version is absolutely perfect and so my re-imaginings tend to begin with a startlingly different situation for the opening. Something has to jar Darcy and Elizabeth off the course Austen set them on if I want to alter the story. I love to hit the ground running. When I read I want to be immediately drawn in and try to do that when I write as well. I actually don’t like stories with a lot of angst between Darcy and Elizabeth, and yet, I think some of the ones I have written lately have more angst than I would like to read!
I quite agree with you, I love stories that hook you in right away! One thing I love about your stories is the humor you write with – whether it is cringeworthy situations, witty banter, or hilarious misunderstandings. I can tell that you are very much like Elizabeth Bennet and dearly love to laugh. What kinds of things make you laugh, Rose? Do you ever find writing with humor challenging?
I do love to laugh! It is mostly over silly, every day things— a lot of times I laugh at myself! I often lack a filter. I never set out with the purpose of writing humor, it just happens as I try to write life. I’ve always found that it’s better to laugh in most situations than give into feelings of fear or doubt. Elizabeth and Mr. Bennet certainly had the right of it with desiring to laugh at the follies and foibles of life.
They did indeed! I think Jane Austen must have felt the same way. 😉 I understand Sufficient Encouragement is part of a series? One that will focus on several minor characters? Yay! Can you tell us a little about what we can expect in the next installment of this series?
I’m pretty surprised that Sufficient Encouragement has turned into a series. There are many wonderful minor characters that show up and their stories really help round out Darcy and Elizabeth’s. It was just impossible to highlight them while keeping on point for Sufficient Encouragement so I’ve decided to give them a companion story. It will occur during the same time line as SE but instead focus on the romances of Darcy’s cousins: James, the Viscount Arlington, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and Anne de Bourgh, as well as Caroline Bingley. There were some original characters that sprang up that I just love: Lady Belinda and Mr. Truman, a descendant of a freed slave. Each of them have given up on love and Renewed Hope is the story of their second chance at love.
Sounds wonderful! I love stories that focus on minor characters and original characters! Now…I couldn’t help but notice that on your website there are two other titles that look very intriguing in the “Coming Soon” section on your blog – Never Until This Day and The Bennet Brother. Can you share with us a little about your upcoming projects and when we might see them released?
Oh! I’ve actually been working on making a new blog and website, which should be live now or soon after this post. Both stories have been renamed. I’m so terrible with names!
Never Until This Day is now named Mr. Darcy’s Bluestocking Bride. Before leaving Hertfordshire for Kent, Elizabeth overhears Wickham plotting to destroy her family’s reputation. She begrudgingly accepts Mr. Darcy’s help. I’m leaving the Regency era for this story and setting it in the 1790s instead. My stories always have to have some historical bit in it and in this case it’s about the real life Bluestocking Circle, a popular group of intellectual women (and some men) from a generation earlier. (Released Date: August 2016)
The Bennet Brother is also getting a new name. It’s now called Loving Elizabeth. I’ve always wondered what the Bennet family would be like if there had been an heir. This story opens five years before Bingley and Darcy come to Netherfield. Elizabeth’s elder brother, Sam, is best friends with Darcy, Bingley and Richard. On a visit to London, Elizabeth and Darcy meet but are then separated by catastrophic events for several years.(Release Date: Early 2017)
- What is one of your favorite scenes in Pride and Prejudice?I think my favorite scene is when Elizabeth plays the piano at Rosings and talks with Darcy.
- From your own novels what is one of your favorite scenes? This is tough! Maybe the scene in A Sense of Obligation where Darcy and Elizabeth compare their attributes to Greek gods and goddesses.
- What Jane Austen character do you feel you have the most in common with? I think I’ve been all of her more flawed heroines at one point in my life. I think I hover somewhere between Elizabeth and Emma right now.
- What do you love most about Mr. Darcy? I think his integrity is his guiding principle in the book. It’s what makes him re-evaluate himself and present himself differently to others after Elizabeth’s refusal, and what compels him to face people he hates and situations which discomfort him, including returning to Longbourn.
- What do you love most about Jane Austen’s novels? Jane just gets people so well and I feel like I can always see some new nugget in her books.
- What is your “truth universally acknowledged?” As a mother, I have a lot of them. Perhaps more on point to your readers, is that it’s a truth universally acknowledged that there are not enough hours in the day to read as much as you want!
- If you were to meet Jane Austen, what would you like to hear her say? How much time do I have? I might need to prepare some kind of off the grid bunker just in case she ever returns and I can kidnap her. Kidding! 😀 Well, my question for any writer I love is “What’s next?” Surely she had more ideas! Can you imagine what she could produce now with all of our technology?
- How much of an Austen addict are you? I read exclusively Austen for about ten years before finding JAFF, aside from required reading for college. Some would say I’m not enough of an addict since I just read Mansfield Park last month and haven’t read her unfinished works, juvenilia or letters yet. However, I think I know Jane pretty well. Many times a day I think of things that relate to her works. My Austen obsession is a lifestyle, not just a hobby or career.
Thank you so much for participating in this interview, Rose! It has been a real treat to have you answer my questions!! Best of luck with the release of Sufficient Encouragement!
~ Connect with Rose ~
Rose kindly brings with her 1 LOVELY ebook and 1 paperback copy of Sufficient Encouragement for me to randomly give away to TWO lucky readers. Woot Woot!!!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Rose!!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (for the ebook) and to US residents (for the paperback). Thank you, Rose!
- This giveaway ends April 27th!