A big welcome this month to a devoted Jane Austen enthusiast, Glynis! Glynis was kind enough to share her thoughts with us this month, and I think you will enjoy what she has to say about everyone’s favorite man in the cravat. Her special hostess this month is Kara Louise, who will tell you about her lovely gift for Glynis in just a moment. Set the tea to steep and cozy up for a little chat!
AV: How did you first discover Jane Austen?
G: When I was about 12 or 13 I selected P&P as a Sunday School prize and I loved it. I ‘re read it several times over the years and also read the other books although they didn’t grip me in the same way.
I have watched TV or film versions of them all but I watch the 1995 & 2005 versions of P&P over and over. I thought the 1940 version was too far from canon and didn’t like the portrayal of Darcy in the 1982 version.
AV: Who is your favourite anti-hero in Jane Austen’s books?
G: Oooh! That is hard! I can’t say that I have a FAVOURITE as such, in fact I would be quite happy if any or all were omitted, although I have a feeling that may affect the story a little too much LOL.
So I will go with Lydia. She causes so much disruption and heartbreak to Darcy and Elizabeth without seeming to understand why. However she is only 15 and completely spoiled by her mother, plus I don’t think her marriage will turn out totally as she expects.
AV: What kind of story would you have loved Jane to write next?
G: I really would have loved Jane herself to write a sequel to P&P. But I suppose writing about a happy, loving marriage would have been hard for her not knowing such herself.
AV: Which of Jane’s novels would you transport yourself into, and what would you be doing there?
G: Hmmm let me think! Well no surprise here it would have to be P&P although I’m not sure what I would be doing apart from drooling over Darcy. I think I would probably be the maid responsible for tending to the fire in his bedchamber in a morning. (Although it wasn’t my strong point as a child!)
AV: Angsty or fluffy, canon or non-canon? What types of stories are the most fun for you to read?
G: I would definitely say fluffy although I don’t mind a bit of angst as long as it is soon solved. Saying that I have read and loved a few really angsty books but keeping my glasses free of tears can be a problem (maybe windscreen wipers are the answer!)
I’m really not too concerned about canon as long as the characters of Darcy and Elizabeth are recognisable.
AV: Have you made any JAFF friends that you would like to spend time with in person?
G: I would like to claim a number of this community as friends and earlier this year I was lucky enough to meet Lory Lilian and Rita Deodato when they were in this area to visit Lyme Park. Unfortunately we missed each other in the park itself but I joined them in their hotel that evening for dinner. They are truly lovely people and so easy to chat to, it was an amazing experience. I would love to meet other JAFF friends, unfortunately I don’t travel very well and am unable to fly so that is a bit restrictive.
AV: Have you ever dreamed up your own Austen-inspired adventure?
G: I wish!!! I’m afraid I only realise ‘what a great idea for a story that is’ when I read it so I’m in awe of all the authors who do write them and do so much research as to the time period involved.
AV: What do you enjoy most at Austen Variations?
G: I truly love all the various posts but I must admit my favourites recently have been the weekly chapters from Leslie (and Caitlin) about Ellie and Elizabeth’s adventures. They now have a title and I am eagerly awaiting publication.
And now, Glynis turns the tables and interviews Kara Louise!
G: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories? And is it difficult to actually sit down and put your ideas on paper (or screen 😊)
KL: My inspiration has come from different places. I will give you few examples. When I wrote my first story, “Assumed Engagement,” the inspiration came from the novel (or movie, I can’t remember which). In it, we learn that Darcy had spoken to Georgiana about Elizabeth. When she encounters Darcy at Pemberley and he mentions the rest of the party coming early tomorrow, he adds, “There is also one other person in the party who more particularly wishes to be known to you.” He is referring to Georgiana, and he could only know that if he had told her about Elizabeth and this was her expressed wish. So, my thought was, did he perhaps write her from Rosings that he was going to ask for her hand in marriage? And when Darcy is in an accident leaving Rosings, having had no opportunity to write her to tell her he was refused, she assumes they are engaged.
Another inspiration came from a completely different non-Jane Austen book. When I wrote “Pemberley’s Promise,” (which was later published by Sourcebooks and the title changed to “Darcy’s Voyage,”) I had been reading “Two Years Before the Mast,” by Richard Henry Dana. It is a memoir about a two-year sea voyage. Although it takes place later, in 1834, I was drawn into the life at sea and knew I wanted to put Elizabeth and Darcy on a ship. (That, of course, happens again, in “Pirates and Prejudice.”)
As for being difficult to write, it used to be much easier. I began writing 16 years ago, and I think I must have had a lot more free time back then. I wrote my first book, “Assumed Engagement,” in just 3 months (although I was just posting online). Now it takes practically a year to finish. My life is busier now with my two sweet granddaughters, who I watch whenever I get the chance, so I really can’t complain! But sometimes, even when I have nothing pressing going on, my muse doesn’t always cooperate, and I find myself staring at a blank screen. (Yes, I type my stories on the computer.)
G: Two of your books – Darcy’s Voyage and Only Mr Darcy Will Do – are among the first I ever bought when I discovered JAFF early in 2014. I love them and have read them many times. I also have the e-books of Pirates and Prejudice and Master under Good Regulation after seeing them recommended. All different but wonderful. Are you currently writing another Darcy and Elizabeth story? If so, any hints to whet my appetite?
KL: I’m so glad you enjoyed those books! Thank you for your kind words!
Yes, I am writing another Darcy and Elizabeth story! I am currently posting the chapters here on our blog and hope to have it published next month (probably the end of the month). I don’t have a title chosen yet, but I am narrowing it down. It is another variation where Elizabeth first meets Mr. Bingley because Jane is on a tour of the Lake District with the Gardiners. Mr. Bingley begins favouring Lizzy, so when Darcy shows up, he struggles with both his feelings for her, but also in seeing they are not well-suited for each other, but neither seems to realize it (at least he thinks they don’t). In the meantime, Jane has met a gentleman up in the Lake District whose family was acquainted with the Gardiners, and when she returns home, he joins them. Talk about a convoluted triangle!
After this one, I have about 3 or 4 others I have slowly been working on and will have to decide which one I want to concentrate on. One is a modern continuation of “Drive and Determination” but will have a “Persuasion” lean to it. The other is a Darcy and Elizabeth variation, and a third one would be more like a novella where Darcy encounters each of the other Austen heroes. I began writing that last one when we did a theme month here where we wrote stories with characters from Austen’s different novels. I think I have posted two of those chapters, where Darcy first encounters Captain Wentworth, and then Edward Ferrars joins them.
For participating in this, I will be sending Glynis a signed book of her choice (or an ebook if she prefers).
Thanks again, Glynis!
Glynis lives near Stockport just 10 minutes away from Lyme Park. Even as a child she lived just in Derbyshire, and visited Lyme many many times. She has 2 gorgeous children. Her daughter lives with her family in Sydney, and went backpacking for 12 months in 2003! Her son also tried it, but fortunately he came back home from Australia and lives with his family a few miles away.
She is now retired, and spends most of her time reading JAFF. She now needs a warning of visitors so she can whip round with a duster and the hoover! She also knits and crochets, and loves helping with her one-year-old twin grandsons. She also spends time skyping her other two grandsons, aged 4 & 2 who live in Sydney. She has had a car now for 11 years, but only drives locally as a necessity, and then only if she knows where she is going to park when she gets there.
Kara Louise grew up in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles. In 1991 she moved with her husband and son to Wichita, Kansas, where they lived for over 20 years. In September of 2013, they moved with their dog and 5 cats to the St. Louis area to be near their son and his wife. Four days after they moved there, they found out a baby was on the way and would soon be grandparents. They now have two very spoiled and very loved granddaughters.
Kara began writing Pride and Prejudice variations in 2001 and self-published 8 novels based on Pride and Prejudice: Assumed Engagement, Assumed Obligation, Master Under Good Regulation, Drive and Determination, Darcy’s Voyage, Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, Pemberley Celebrations, Pirates and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy’s Rival, and A Peculiar Engagement