Hi friends!! I’m so very excited to have the lovely Jenetta James visit my blog today to celebrate her new release, Lover’s Knot! I absolutely adored The Elizabeth Papers which had a bit of an air of intrigue to it so I’m super excited to read her latest which introduces a mysterious death at Netherfield!!! I hope you enjoy this lovely Q&A Jenetta so kindly put together!
Firstly – thank you Meredith for having me to visit Austenesque Reviews for an interview. It is always an honour to feature on this splendid blog and I’m thrilled to be back here as part of the Lover’s Knot blog tour.
What is Lover’s Knot about?
Lover’s Knot is a murder mystery and variation story combined. It asks what would have happened to the love story in Pride & Prejudice if it was effectively interrupted by a murder at an important moment in the narrative. So, when Lizzy is staying at Netherfield to tend Jane, a crime is committed in the house and that changes everything. It sends our characters, and particularly Mr. Darcy on a new trajectory where love and truth are linked and to achieve personal happiness, he must put himself out for others and assume the role of sleuth. It is written in the first person present tense from the perspective of the man himself.
First person, present tense – what is that all about?
The whole story (apart from the postscript) is Mr Darcy in the present. The idea is that the reader lives the story through the lens of his experience and in the moment. I hoped to convey a sense of immediacy and closeness to him as a narrator. The idea with Lover’s Knot is that it is a mystery which Mr. Darcy has to work out – but it is also a journey on which he learns about himself, and of course his love for Elizabeth. So I hope that the way it is written helps to underline that. I’ll have to wait to see how successful readers believe it really is:-) Suddenly Mrs. Darcy is a first person story – but I have never written in the present tense before – and it was a bit of an experiment. Sustaining that was quite hard work and gave my poor editor lots to correct!
What inspired you to write a mystery?
I love mysteries, and read a lot of them. For the most part, they are set in completely different periods, mostly more modern. I have written a whole guest post (which was featured on My Jane Austen Book Club last week) on my Non JAFF detective fiction recommendations for JAFF readers, so I will not go on too much about it here. But suffice to say that I read and enjoyed mysteries long before I got into romance – so it is only natural that I should have a crack at writing one.
The world of Jane Austen is ripe for adding a bit of mystery. It is, after all, a world in which there are many secrets, where real characters and motives are frequently hidden behind the carapace of social convention. The Netherfield of Mr. Bingley is similarly a potential green house for unknown stories. Here we have a large house – with many servants, newly leased by a gentleman of whom little is known, accompanied by family and friends of whom little is known. It is the focus of a wider community in the country, but close to town. To this cocktail, is added the regiment stationed nearby. It is, in other words, (and as many have recognised before me) a mystery waiting to be told.
It has been nearly 2 years since you last published a novel. What took you so long?
I have taken an embarrassingly long time to write a novel which is about 200 pages long. The idea for Lover’s Knot came to me sometime in 2014 when I was writing Suddenly Mrs. Darcy. I made a quick note of the concept and of course the villain, and then put it away and forgot about it. It was only after my second story, The Elizabeth Papers had been published that I put my mind to thinking through the details. Of my three books, this is the one that has taken the longest to write, simply because lots of other things in life have intervened.
I have been simultaneously writing another – non JAFF – story. Now, I know that there are many authors out there who juggle several stories at a time. I take my hat off to them, but I found it really slowed me down. Throughout the writing and editing process, I have also worked full time in my “real life” job and I’ve had another baby too. So, the writing of Lover’s Knot has been like being on a London bus that keeps terminating at the next stop – and necessitating an unexpected wait. It is lovely to see it finally finished and out in the open.
[Meredith: Sorry I must interject – you are amazing, Jenetta! No one would accuse you of ‘taking long’ to write this book. ;)]
No spoilers!… BUT, you have made a villain of one of the original characters in Pride & Prejudice. How do you feel about making big changes to canon characters?
It is the first time that I have (knowingly) taken a character created by Jane Austen and done something with them that she did not intend. In many ways, it is a completely different sort of variation to simply changing a plot point, and I have enjoyed experimenting with it. Instead of relying on simply changing the “what happened”, you also change or dramatically embroider what a character was like. It is easier to do with minor characters who have been to some extend “half drawn” in the original. Jane Austen gives the reader a quick outline of many minor characters but deliberately does not tell their whole story. That is where the possibility for invention creeps in and I must say I found it quite fun to write. I tried to write it in a way that was not inconsistent with what we as readers were told about the individual in Pride & Prejudice (i.e. they could both be true). The whole experience has opened my eyes to this sort of variation and I’d now like to read some of the “minor character” stories which I know others have published.
Sounds wonderful, Jenetta! I can’t wait to discover which character’s path you altered and who was murdered at Netherfield!!! Mysteries are so fun and I’m so very glad you wrote one! Congrats on another lovely release, and thank you so much for this kind visit to my blog!!
Connect with Jenetta
~ GIVEAWAY TIME ~
Jenetta brings with her a lovely prize package to give away in celebration of her blog tour. The prize pack includes a Pride and Prejudice scarf, a Kindle cover, and paperback copies of Jenetta’s 5 books!!
Commenting on this post and entering through the rafflecopter widget on this blog enters you in a chance to win!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Jenetta!
- This giveaway ends April 14th!
Thank you to Claudine Pepe and Jenetta James for making this blog tour possible and for allowing me to paritcipate! To check out the rest of the tour, click the links below!
March 29 ~ My Jane Austen Book Club ~ Guest Post & Giveaway
March 30 ~ Savvy Verse & Wit ~ Guest Post & Giveaway
March 31 ~ Liz’s Reading Life ~ Book Review & Giveaway
April 1 ~ My Vices and Weaknesses ~ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 2 ~ Of Pens and Pages ~ Book Review & Giveaway
April 3 ~ So Little Time~ Guest Post & Giveaway
***April 4 ~ Austenesque Reviews ~ Author Interview & Giveaway***
April 5 ~ From Pemberley to Milton ~ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 6 ~ Babblings of a Bookworm ~ Book Review & Giveaway
April 7 ~ More Agreeably Engaged ~ Book Review & Giveaway
April 8 ~ My Love for Jane Austen ~ Guest Post & Giveaway
April 9 ~ Diary of an Eccentric ~ Guest Post & Giveaway
April 10 ~ Laughing with Lizzie ~ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
April 11 ~ Margie’s Must Reads ~ Book Review & Giveaway
April 12 ~ Just Jane 1813 ~ Author Interview & Giveaway