Hi friends! I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time and I’m so happy it is here! Today I am welcoming one of the kindest and most genuine people in the Jane Austen community to Austenesque Reviews – author J. Dawn King! Not only is Joy a wonderfully kind and supportive writer – she is an extremely busy one! I am forever 3 books behind her! #NotComplaining. I am so happy Joy is paying us a visit today to talk about writing Austenesque stories in alternate settings! One of my favorite kinds of Austenesque stories!
Joy: Hello, Meredith! Thank you for inviting me to Netherfield. You have a lovely home. Is that cake for us?
Meredith: Yes, Joy, later. You mentioned when you called that you had something to ask me. Please feel free to do so at once.
Joy: Thank you, dear friend. (head bowed) Might I be seated?
Meredith: Absolutely! This sounds serious.
Joy: Oh, dear. I am sorry if I have worried you. But, indeed, yes. This is very serious.
You see, the characters I have grown to love have become fiercely independent. I believe they have adopted modern sensibilities and I am having a difficult time sorting out their stories. (sigh!) Mr. Darcy insists every tale I tell be from his point-of-view. When he meets Elizabeth, all he wants is to hear her innermost thoughts and I am left adrift. (big SIGH!) Georgiana Darcy flits from being demure and ladylike to a teenager demanding purple hair extensions and a rather large iTunes gift card. Sometimes she wants to be left out of the book entirely and others, well, she demands in a very Lady Catherine-like manner, that any story worthy of note would be solely about her almost sixteen years of life experience. The Bingleys, Bennets, and assorted minor players all petition me constantly to write only of them. They have become…(lowering her voice to a whisper)…exacting.
Meredith: I understand why you are troubled. But, what can I do?
Joy: I was hoping you would allow me to request information from your readers/followers. Please understand that this is not information I seek. These are appeals from my characters.
Meredith: Such as?
Joy: One moment please. (as she shuffles through the gas receipts, empty lipstick tubes, and clumps of fast food napkins in her purse) I have a list. Please allow me to read them to you.
Joy: (clearing her throat)
1) Would you rather read Pride and Prejudice set in Medieval times or during the Viking’s conquest of the north Atlantic? (Mr. Bingley requested I ask. He has a serious fixation with shiny swords)
2) Would you rather read Emma set in the antebellum South (think Scarlett O’Hara/Rhett Butler) or floating lazily on the Nile River trying to hang out with Cleopatra? (This, from Caroline Bingley while she was glaring at my DVD cover of Gwyneth Paltrow – although the question is not in her exact words)
3) Would you rather read Persuasion ‘in the year 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue’ or when James Michener penned the epic novel, “Hawaii”? (Apparently, Lady Catherine feared her rector would not be able to attach himself to a wife within a reasonable distance, such as 50 miles of good road, so Mr. Collins is exploring the possibilities of searching farther afield.)
4) Would you rather read Sense and Sensibility set in New England during the witch hunts or—I am terribly sorry, there was no other option provided. (Lydia Bennet had no interest in stories of any sisters other than her own. Rude child!)
5) Would you rather read Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey…and before I could finish my question or offer the suggestions provided, a general shout of “NO!” reverberated around the room.
Joy: (looking like a lost, whipped puppy) Do you see what I must deal with each time I sit at my computer? I stare at the screen while Mrs. Hurst bickers with her husband, Mr. Wickham taunts Mr. Darcy, and Mrs. Bennet screeches and cries about not having a story of her own. It is highly distressing.
Meredith: I imagine so.
Joy: (blowing her nose noisily into one of the flimsy restaurant napkins) Oh, I do feel better for having been so open. Do you not think I expressed myself uncommonly well just now?
Meredith: Are you channeling Elizabeth Bennet?
Joy: I do believe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Meredith: Hmmm! Well, I am pleased I could help. Would you like cake?
Joy: Thank you. Oh! Chocolate. I prefer a large slice please.
(As soon as the cake was devoured, author Joy King left Netherfield. However, the afternoon was not a total loss as she requested her hostess offer a prize ($100 Amazon gift card) to one commenter who answered the following question:
Thank you, Joy, this is so much fun! As you know, I am a big fan of alternate settings and time periods (check here, here, here, and here for verification!) and I love the idea exploring and learning about different times and ways of life. Plus it is always fun to see what kind of changes time and setting have on our beloved Pride and Prejudice!
I personally, would love to see everyones’ answers to your earlier questions as well!
- Never read anything about Vikings so my vote is with that option!
- Emma on the Nile… so tempted to make a corny joke about her being in denial! 😉
- Tough choice… may opt for Hawaii as I do love beaches and islands
- YES! That sounds so interesting!
- I was going to yes to this one too, but everyone shouted “no!”
- And to answer your final question… hmmm. Maybe a Sherlock-era story might be fun? 1880’s industrial London. Darcy could be Sherlock, Bingley would make a good Watson… 😉
Today, Joy brings with her a wonderfully generous Amazon Gift Card ($100) for me to give away to one lucky winner! Woot woot!!!
To enter this giveaway answer Joy’s question, and leave a question of your own, a comment, or some love for Joy below!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Joy!
- This giveaway ends August 21st