It’s been awhile since I published anything, and so I am happy to release my e-book novella, Convincing Mr. Darcy. To celebrate the launch, I am giving away threee-books. The winners will be announced on October 4th. All you have to do is to leave a comment about your favorite Jane Austen character(s) (other than Darcy and Elizabeth). A short explanation for your choice would be appreciated.
Here is the blurb from the back jacket (if there was a back jacket): Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley is stubborn. Although given good principles as a child, he has grown into a man who needs convincing that his opinions are not the only ones that matter. Reform is possible, but it will require the intervention of a strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet, who has opinions of her own. Approximately 30,000 words
The following is an excerpt from the prologue that sets up the story. It is 1806, and Old Mr. Darcy is reminiscing about his first encounter with Lady Anne Fitzwilliam. As a man about to leave on the Grand Tour of Europe, he was not interested in the young Anne and was rude to her. Two years later, after his return, George Darcy would pay for his rudeness when Lady Anne pretended not to be interested in him.
“I do not understand,” Darcy said, shaking his head in confusion. “How could you have resisted her? I have seen a portrait of Mama painted shortly after she came into society, and she was perfectly lovely. I imagine that she was prettier than any other girl in England.”
“Well, to quote your mother, by the time of my return from the Continent, she ‘had grown into her teeth, and I had grown out of my conceit.’”
Darcy thought about that remark. His father often referenced his mother’s superior wit and her amusement, without malice, at the whims and inconsistencies of others. Unfortunately, he had spent so little time with her that most of what he knew of his mother were memories manufactured by his very biased father.
“How did you finally make amends?” Darcy asked.
“Actually, it was easily done. When Anne finally deigned to speak to me, I apologized for hurting her feelings, which, indeed, I had. I shall never forget her words: ‘You did not think me handsome enough to tempt you, and I was devastated, as only the young can be, as I had already fallen in love with you.’”
“I can hardly believe you capable of any unkindness, Papa.”
“William, please do believe it. As a young man of two and twenty, I was quite full of myself. From your mother, I received a lesson in humility, for which I remain forever grateful, as I have benefited greatly from it. And you would be wise to learn from my mistakes.”
Darcy stopped and turned to his father. “Are you saying that I am conceited? Arrogant?”
“I am saying that you are a man who likes to get his own way.”
“Do not we all?”
“Yes. But most of us have not the means to achieve it. I have observed that you can be impatient, aloof, and on occasion, above your company.” The elder Darcy hesitated before continuing. “People speak of falling in love—an involuntary response to the unexpected. And, hopefully, it will happen to you. But do be careful, son, that you do not fall from a great height and land on your face because of your pride. If I can convince you of one thing, it is to keep your pride in check. If you are humble, you will never be humbled. That is my advice to you.”
“Papa, I can assure you that Mama and you have given me good principles.”
“That is all well and good, William, but only if you act on them.”
In writing Convincing Mr. Darcy, I wanted to focus more on Darcy and write a story where there was a logical progression from his supreme disinterest in Elizabeth to being head-over-heels in love. For those of you who are fans of my original character, Antony Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Stepton, puts in a cameo appearance.
I would ask that if you enjoy the novella that you consider writing a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or Barnes and Noble. I rely on my wonderful readers to help spread the word as I do not do blog tours. All I have is Austen Variations, Facebook, and a bare-minimum presence on Twitter (never did get the hang of it). I shall be forever grateful for your attention and kindness.
Note: Due to a sharp increase in the price of ISBNs, I will not be publishing a paperback of this novella. I make very little on my paperback books and only publish them as a courtesy, but with this increase, it makes it impossible for me to recoup my expenses. I appreciate your understanding.