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?
Since these questions are mostly answered in the book, I won’t to spoil you too much. (Though I will tell you that while I am sure nearly every character knows the answer to Whatever Happened to Caroline Bingley? absolutely none of them spend any of their time discussing it. I know. You were on the edge of your seat.)
But what about the people Elizabeth would want to keep in touch with? What happened to them? Who did they marry? Where do they live? How many kids do they have? Are they happy? There aren’t too many of us that think Lydia Wickham can look forward to bright future with her bridegroom of choice, but what about Elizabeth’s other sisters? Did they make a short sighted mistake, too? Or did they hold out for the person best able to answer all their wishes?
And what on earth does this have to do with Sense and Sensibility?
Though Side by Side, Apart is a Pride and Prejudice story first and foremost, it borrows a lot from Mansfield Park. Not in the themes, but in the world building, in the conditions of the character’s lives and the places they find themselves. When I wanted to build a families for Elizabeth and Darcy, and Lydia and Wickham, Mansfield Park was the book I turned to for a blueprint.
But while I was doing that, it occurred to me: everyone else needs a family, too. Mary and Kitty and Georgiana need husbands and homes and children. Those husbands and children (and homes, if they have an estate) need names.
Where better to find the names of lovers than the story of the foolishly romantic Marianne Dashwood?
It’s not a crossover. None of the Sense and Sensibility men will wake up one day finding themselves suddenly married to the minor ladies of Pride and Prejudice. But I did pilfer the names. Changed some genders, sewed this person’s last name to that person’s first name. Mary is married to a Mr. Steele. Probably no relation to Lucy Steele, but the name shouldn’t fill you with the warm fuzzies, either. And if his just sharing a name with that scheming Lucy Steele isn’t enough to make you condemn him, Mr. Darcy doesn’t like him, either. But then again...Georgiana’s husband has the first name of a fool and the last name of a different fool and Darcy’s only issue with him is how far away his estate is from Pemberley. I guess we can’t judge a character by their name, only the choices they make.
The blog tour is continuing until May 16 with excerpts, reviews, an interview and more guest posts! Including eight chances to win a copy of Side by Side, Apart! I hope you will all join me on this journey across the internet!
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Blog Tour Schedule
“You see what a strange circumstance it is,” she said, feeling some fleeting relief. “You know our acquaintance has not been easy.”
Elizabeth Bennet—stubborn, quick to judge but slow to revise her opinions, and entirely prejudiced against the man who had just proposed marriage at Hunsford—awakens to learn she has been in an accident. Bedridden in an unfamiliar house, she learns eleven years have passed since the last moment she can remember.
She finds herself a married woman, the mother of four, and pregnant yet again. Her children are strangers, and most mystifying of all, Fitzwilliam Darcy is her husband! How could she have married a man she loathes?
Confined to the house by her injury, Mr. Darcy’s company is inescapable. But is just being side by side enough to overcome their differences? What happens when Darcy, improved in manners and happily married to Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, is faced with an obstinate, bewildered Miss Elizabeth Bennet?
Ann started writing sometime before she knew how letters functioned. Her first books were drawings of circus poodles heavily annotated with scribbles meant to tell a story. Upon learning how letters were combined to represent words, she started doing that instead. This has proven to be much more successful.
Sometime after that, she decided she wanted to study Anthropology and sometime after that, she decided she liked cats more than dogs. And sometime after that, she decided to become an educator and teach a new generation of kids how to combine letters to represent words, and use those words to express ideas.
And sometime after that, she realized all she really wanted to do was write, which probably should have been evident from the beginning.
Side by Side, Apart by Ann Galvia
Blog Tour Schedule
5/2: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
5/3: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
5/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
5/5: Author Interview & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
5/6: Review at Just Jane 1813
5/8: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
5/9: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
5/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
5/11: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
5/12: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
5/13: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
5/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
5/15: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
5/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…