Hi friends! Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving to all those who are getting ready to celebrate!! But before we celebrate being thankful and take part in our Thanksgiving traditions, I’d like to celebrate the lovely new book Kara Louise released this month!! As you might have heard, her new book Chance and Circumstances shows us what happens if Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet met each other first! (Sounds really interesting, right!) Kara is here to talk about her new release, Chance and Circumstances, and what she feels is one of the more challenging aspects…er…characters to write about! We hope you enjoy!
The Elephant in the Room
I want to thank Meredith for inviting me to share with you today about my new book, Chance and Circumstance.
I have titled this post, “The Elephant in the Room.” Or perhaps I should have entitled it, “The Elephant in the Book.” Or possibly, to make it more clear to you, “The Part of Jane Austen’s story that is there and has to be dealt with, but I really don’t want to have to write it.” And what is that, you ask?
It’s the whole Wickham and Lydia fiasco!
With every book I have written, I have to face the fact that I probably should do something with Wickham (in addition to his vicious lies about Darcy), and I usually don’t know what I am going to do with him. I hate to just reiterate Austen’s version of his actions with Lydia, and hope when I get to that point in the book when he surfaces again in a sinister manner, that I will have some original and interesting inspiration.
In my newest book, Mr. Bingley meets Elizabeth Bennet when he first moves into Netherfield. Here is the book description: Chance brings about an early encounter between Charles Bingley and Elizabeth Bennet soon after his move into Netherfield. He soon begins to favour this pretty and lively young lady. Circumstances have kept Jane Bennet and Mr. Darcy from the neighbourhood, thereby changing the events that Jane Austen penned in “Pride and Prejudice.”
When Mr. Darcy finally arrives, will he be able to keep from interfering when he meets this young lady his friend so greatly admires? When Jane returns from touring the Lake District with her aunt and uncle, will the young gentleman who returns with her prove to be better suited for her than Mr. Bingley ever was?
In this “Pride and Prejudice” variation, chance and circumstance greatly affect the way several of Jane Austen’s characters arrive at their happily ever after, but not necessarily in the way you think.
We have the usual cast of characters that Jane Austen penned (with the exception of the young man Jane meets in the Lake District and who returns with her to Longbourn). I wanted to examine what would have happened if the initial meeting between Bingley and Elizabeth occurred when neither Jane nor Mr. Darcy were around. I believe with their lively and engaging personalities, they truly would have enjoyed each other’s company – at least at first. But when Mr. Darcy finally arrives, followed by Jane with a young man in tow, how will that affect everyone? Will the couples we love end up loving each other?
But wait, let’s get back to Wickham – or the elephant in the room. I would just as soon kick him out of my stories if I could, but he is a good source of villainy who can occasionally serve a purpose – and often that is separating Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. But I do struggle with changing it up a bit. In some of my books (including Chance and Circumstance), I have had Elizabeth write home to warn her family about him, with the hope that it will take care of any further issues with him. I’ve had Darcy discover he and Lydia were gone immediately after they left (Longbourn) and he goes after them, rescuing her before she is ruined. And then I made him quite the villain in Mr. Darcy’s Rival, where he kidnaps Kitty. (He had hoped to entice Lydia to come with him, but he settles for Kitty when he encounters her in Meryton, taking her forcibly.) In that story, Miss Bingley is also party to this evil scheme (as is Mrs. Younge).
As I considered what part Wickham might have in my newest story, I was free to do just about anything as the timeline of any involvement he might have is actually earlier than in Pride and Prejudice. And I think I came up with something that serves the purpose, but is different enough that I hope changed things up for the reader. Even though Elizabeth warns her family about Wickham, he does do something that upsets the Bennet household. I won’t divulge what that is – you’ll have to read the book to find out, but I hope it readers will find it different enough to enjoy it.
So tell me, readers. What do you think about Wickham and Lydia?
What do you think about books that simply rehash his and Lydia’s actions?
Do they need to?
When you read a book, are you expecting some sort of scandalous behavior that he is involved in or do you hope he won’t come back into the picture?
I posted about half of my chapters online (go to this link to get started reading if you would like to), and it was interesting to see a few comments saying they hoped Elizabeth would find out about Wickham earlier rather than later, or they wanted Darcy to set him straight. There are all kinds of things we can do with him, but what do you, the reader, want?
I truly want to know.
Great questions, Kara! I am looking forward to hearing everyones’ responses! For my part, I agree that Wickham is a great villain and I do enjoy how he can sometimes stir up trouble. But I also do sometimes tire of reading the same elopement plot with Lydia. I like when either authors are brief with those events or show us something new or different about them. Thanks so much for this lovely visit! I can’t wait to read Chance and Circumstance!
Connect with Kara
Today Kara brings with her ONE copy (paperback or ebook – winner’s choice!) of her newly released novel, Chance and Circumstance, for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner! (paperback or ebook for US winner, ebook for international winner!)
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, a question, or some love for Kara!!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (with some shipping restrictions). Thank you, Kara!
- This giveaway ends November 29th!