I uploaded my very first Pride and Prejudice fanfic to the internet on April 23, 2014. Barely over two years later, I’m here at My Jane Austen Book Club, embarking on a blog tour celebrating the release of my first Austen-based novel. This seems to me to be a very large distance covered in only two years. For most of that time, Side by Side, Apart has been occupying a huge chunk of my mind. Since I am sort of a clingy person and not quite ready to let go, I want to use my blog tour as an opportunity to talk about all the things that went into building the world of the novel and how, even though this is a Pride and Prejudice story, Jane Austen’s other completed works were never far from my mind as I wrote it. Today, I want to talk about world enough and time and Sense and Sensibility.
Side by Side, Apart picks up eleven years after the marriage of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. One of the first things I had to consider was how eleven years had changed the characters since last we saw them. And that went for everyone, not just Lizzy and Darcy. Where is Kitty? Where is Georgiana? Has Mr. Collins inherited Longbourn, or is Mr. Bennet still around? If Mr. Bennet is alive, how is he managing living at Longbourn with just the missus and no daughters acting as a buffer?