Thursday, 4 November 2010

TALKING JANE AUSTEN WITH KARA LOUISE + GIVEAWAY

      Kara Louise grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles. She's married and has a married son. She began writing about 9 years ago, first, with an inspired story from her genealogy that she was researching. But then she discovered the writings of Jane Austen, in particular, her novel "Pride and Prejudice" and she  began writing stories to answer the "what happened next" and the "what ifs" in Elizabeth's and Darcy's story. You can follow Kara on her blog Delightful diversions from the heart and on www.AustenAuthors.com

    All your published novels are based on P&P. Why? What so special to you  in it?
     To put it succinctly, all my novels are based on P&P because at the moment those are the only novels I have completed. I actually began my venture in writing with some information I discovered doing some genealogy research that I thought would make a story. I actually wrote 3 chapters. When I discovered P&P, however, and the Jane Austen sites that had stories based on her novels, I put that one aside and began writing P&P. I loved her story and her characters, and it was a way to continue on with them. I still have those 3 chapters that I began years ago, occasionally go back to it, and hope to someday continue the story.
  
What do you think of the different movie adaptations of P&P? Have you got a favourite one?
I love the 1995 version the best. I look at the one from the 40s and even 2005 as having enough changes from the original, that they’re almost like the fan fiction variations that are written. I liked the fact that the 1995 version came so very close to being true to the original.


          Regency and Jane Austen ‘s World  seem to have a great appeal to contemporary audience.What is your interpretation of this phenomenon?

I think most people find some other time or culture fascinating to read about, whether it’s a past, future, or completely made up world. Part of it could be that our world is so busy and stressed, and Jane Austen writes of a time that is slower and less complicated. There were definitely hardships back then, and the same emotional ups and downs that we experience, but her books also shed light onto a society that is very different from ours, and yet I think people realize that even 200 years later, people still feel and experience the same things.
          What do you think is the secret of JA’s success through the centuries? Her irony and witty prose? Her characterization? Her plots? Or what according to you?
I believe her stories have stood the test of time because of several factors. She wrote characters we embrace and who capture our imagination; she wrote stories about life and love that anyone can relate to, and she had a wonderful way with words. I can open up a book of hers to any page, read it, and truly enjoy it.
  
          In Darcy’s Voyage, your latest release, the story begins in a completely different way from the novel we so much love . Elizabeth and Darcy meet on a ship bound for America, but are then separated when the ship docks in New York. Is the rest of the story a totally different take on JA’s P&P?
  
   I actually just wrote about this on the new Austen Authors blog, made up of (at the moment) 27 authors who have written a published Jane Austen novel.  There are many variations (including 2 of mine) that begin after Elizabeth turns down Mr. Darcy’s proposal and the events after that are then changed. In Darcy’s Voyage, their initial meeting is different, but when they return to England, the story merges into the P&P storyline with changes that are affected by what happened on the ship. 

     Do your Darcy or Lizzie differ from the original anyway? 
I would hope not too much. The difference in this story is that Elizabeth doesn’t  suffer from too much  a ‘personal’ insult from the lips of Mr. Darcy. He makes a general statement that she overhears, but he does not make one about her. She is still a little prejudiced against him, but begins to see who the man really is earlier in the book.
  
 Have you changed the fate of any minor character in your variations ?
Have no fear, Elizabeth and Darcy always end up together, as do Jane and Charles. Lydia’s fate is different; in fact, her fate is different in each of my 3 variations.

      What do you think Jane Austen would achieve would she not have died so young?
I would imagine she would have seen her ‘additional’ books published under her own name and received the credit she deserved. I would hope that she would have written several more, and possibly the sequel we all wish she had written to P&P.
  
      What about her minor or unfinished works? Have you ever thought to write sequels variations for those?
The only other pieces of hers that I have considered writing about are a Persuasion story, because it is my second favorite of hers, or possibly Emma. 

      How would you introduce your 6 novels to our readers? Try to tell about each of them as briefly as you can.
The next one to be released by Sourcebooks is called “Only Mr. Darcy Will Do.” It is a variation that was originally entitled “Something Like Regret,” that begins a year after Mr. Darcy’s proposal. Mr. Bennet dies fairly soon after Elizabeth returns from Kent, and she becomes a governess to a 6 year old girl when the Collinses move into Longbourn. The family she works for has a long association with the Darcy family, and Elizabeth finds herself thrown into his presence when the family is invited to Pemberley. There she begins to see who he truly is, while realizing the greater disparity in their stations.

The others are self-published, but Sourcebooks has the option to pick them up. Assumed Engagement” begins after Darcy’s initial proposal. His carriage overturns, and he is knocked unconscious. Having previously written to his sister that he was going to ask for Elizabeth’s hand, Georgiana writes to Elizabeth asking her to come, thinking (logically) that they are engaged. Elizabeth is not aware of this misunderstanding, but upon hearing that Mr. Bingley has also been sent for, she decides to go with Jane so they can be reunited.
“Assumed Obligation” is the sequel to that novel, which follows Darcy and Elizabeth on their honeymoon to Paris, and then romances for Georgiana and Kitty.
“Master Under Good Regulation” is the story of P&P from the perspective of Mr. Darcy’s dog, Reggie, from the time Darcy is about 15 until he marries Elizabeth. Of course Reggie has a lot of influence over the events in Miss Austen’s story.
“Drive and Determination” is a modern story about Elyssa Barnett, a struggling interior designer, and Will Denton, president of a coffee company. It has several elements of P&P in the story, but is not a true modernization because of several very drastic differences.

 So, that's all Kara. Thank you so much for your kindness.
Thanks for inviting me today! 


Kara is  offering one copy of “Darcy’s Voyage” to a lucky winner who comments (The giveaway is open to the US and Canada only). The name of the winner will be announced next  Wednesday November 10th. Please, don't forget to add your e-mail address!

6 comments:

Margay said...

Kara, I read Assumed Engagement and I really liked it. I thought it was an interesting take on the "what if" question. I would love to read Darcy's Voyage.
Margay

Kara Louise said...

Thanks, Margay. Glad you enjoyed it. Good luck here!

Elegant Female said...

Mr. Darcy on the open sea! Sounds fascinating!

Great interview and I'd love a chance to win the book.

felicialso@gmail.com

Felicia

Rebecca said...

everyime i hear/read more about this, i get more and more excited. this is so most definitely on my MUST READ list :o)

quarterback.girl[at]gmail[dot]com

Mrs. Higgins said...

"Only Mr. Darcy Will Do" sounds very interesting. I always wondered what would happen if Mr. Bennet died prematurely. I would love to win the book Darcy's Voyage.
hhigginsmom@gmail.com

Bookfool said...

I would love to read Darcy's Voyage. I have not read any of this authors books at all, but they sound appealing.

nancytoes (at) bellsouth (dot) net