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Friday, February 17, 2012

Nancy’s Deep, Dark Secret

Guest Post and Give-Away by Nancy Kelley
Hi, Darcyholics!  I am very happy to introduce to you one of my newest author friends, Nancy Kelley.  We met through Twitter (which honestly I still do not completely understand--Twitter that is).  I am happy to have her with us today.
Upcoming Guest Posts Are As Follows:
February 21--Janet Taylor
February 24--Nina Benneton
February 28--Maria Grazia (My Jane Austen Book Club)
March 2--Rita W.
March 6--Ruth Oakland
March 9--Jack Caldwell (Celebrating The Three Colonels release)
March 13--Lynne Robson
March 16--Mary Simonsen
March 17--Jennifer Hickling (michchick)
March 20--Jan Hahn (release of The Journey)
March 23--Jeane Alvarez (P&P2005 blog)
March 27--Lucy S. 
March 30--Elizabeth Kantor
April 6--China Fuentes-Montero
April 10--Matt Duffy
April 13--Regina Jeffers
And Many more to come!

Comments on Nancy’s post will enter you into a contest for an eBook copy of His Good Opinion (as well as be included in the drawing for 2 autographed copies of my book, Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy--to be given away at the end of the month from all the comments on the blog this month). Entries will be based on comments on blog posts; but additional chances will be given for joining this site, tweeting this post, Joining this site as a member!, sharing this on Facebook or your blog, Friend me on Facebook, clicking 'like’ on Barbara Tiller Cole, Author's Facebook page, or following BarbTCole on Twitter; becoming a member at Nancy’s blog, Austen Aspirations, following Nancy on Twitter at Nancy_Kelley, or joining the site she co-created Indie Jane. Please note any of these things that you do in your blog post for extra entries.

Nancy’s Deep, Dark Secret

Try this for a deep, dark secret. The great romantic hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy? I didn’t like him at first. Follow: I always loved reading, so my school librarian handed me classic after classic. I read Les Miserables, The Three Musketeers, and Wuthering Heights all before finishing my freshman year of high school.

Then she realized that I am a romantic at heart, and she handed me Pride and Prejudice. I have to confess, as a 15 year old, I didn’t really see the appeal of the hero. Darcy’s first proposal was disastrous, and his second… Well, Jane uses so much indirect dialogue that I couldn’t see the romance.

However, I did love Elizabeth. She was strong and clever, and she refused to be forced into the mold Society said a young lady should fit. I may not have loved Mr. Darcy, but I definitely wanted to be Elizabeth Bennet.

Elizabeth caught enough of my imagination that I would re-read Pride and Prejudice several times over the years, and eventually, Mr. Darcy grew on me. Once I had read the book a few times, I could fill in the blanks in his second proposal, and it was finally romantic.

I still wasn’t a Darcyholic, however.

Then one day I was listening to Pride and Prejudice. At the beginning of Chapter 33 (Section 2, Chapter 10) when Elizabeth bemoans the way in which Mr. Darcy always appears along her favorite walk, I heard Darcy's voice in my ear. "I had not realized that was to be a warning, rather than an invitation," he said, his voice colored with mortification.

Suddenly I could see the entire story from his point of view. There are so many times when she thinks she is discouraging him and he completely misreads the situation. It was not simple arrogance that led him to believe she welcomed his affections—she says later that her spirits may have misled him, and indeed they did.

Once I could sympathize with Darcy, I could love him. And once I saw the story from his perspective, I had to tell it. That was the beginning of my work on His Good Opinion. From there, I spent months working through Pride and Prejudice, looking for every nuance of Darcy’s reactions to Elizabeth’s words.

That version of Darcy I first heard whisper in my ear took residence in my head. I came to think of him as the DIMH, or Darcy In My Head. He guided me in the writing process, often giving me a subtle nudge when I wasn’t sure how to write a scene.

It’s been at least 17 years since my first introduction to Mr. Darcy. Though I did not always love him so well as I do now, in cases such as these, a good memory is unpardonable.

Nancy Kelley is a Janeite, an Austenesque author, and a blogger. She will be self-publishing His Good Opinion: A Mr. Darcy Novel later this year. During the writing of that novel, a version of Mr. Darcy took up residence in her brain; she fondly refers to him as the Darcy in My Head, or DIMH.

If Nancy could possess any fictional device, it would be a Time-Turner. Then perhaps she could juggle a full-time library job, writing, and blogging; and still find time for sleep and a life. Until then, she lives on high doses of tea, of which DIMH approves.

Nancy also loves Remington Steele, as some may have gathered from the opening lines of her post. Sadly, she does not own a fedora.

His Good Opinion can be purchased in e-book format from AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwordsAmazon UKAmazon DE, Amazon FR, Amazon.IT, and Amazon.ES. The paperback is available from Amazon.


  1. So nice to meet a fellow addict. Somehow, I feel a little less alone.

  2. Hey, anyone who loves Remington Steele, and confesses it publicly is all right in my book!

    1. What's not to love? Clearly, us Darcyholics know a good man when we see one--even if it takes a bit of digging to find him beneath whatever mask he wears.

  3. Nancy,

    I can't wait to read your book. I discovered the JAFF world a few months ago but I can tell you I was drawn to every word written from Mr. Darcy's POV and I want more!!!! So far I read one of his diaries by Marjorie Fasman and really liked it (some parts more than others). I read the interview Colin Firth gave on the book "The Making of Pride & Prejudice" by Sue Birtwistle & Susie Conklin and that really helped see things from his point of view (both Colin's and Darcy's). I hope you have read that as well (I am sure you did). Will leave you a note on your blog once I finish it. All the best,


    1. I don't know that I have read that interview, Rita. I'll have to find a copy of the book now--thanks!

      I hope you enjoy His Good Opinion.

  4. Nancy:

    I thank you again for you post. I didn’t immediately fall in love with Darcy when I read Pride and Prejudice the first couple of times. It happened in the repeated viewing of Colin’s interpretation.

    But I am happy to have someone else bring up Remington Steele! I LOVED that show. A year or so again, a friend and I were discussing it, and I found the majority of the past episodes on Hulu (I won’t guarantee that they are there any more, but they use to be). And in re-watching it I was amazed that in many ways it could be a ‘modern Pride and Prejudice’.

    I am also glad that I am not the only one that has a Darcy in her head..LOL..


    1. I just finished reading the kindle version of your book, and I felt that yours was the closest to what Jane's Darcy than many of the others I have read. The others tend to change him too much. I loved how you did not always use direct quotes. It seemed like Darcy was recalling the whole thing, and as with many re-tellings, the ideas and events were there but in his words.

      I hope the "Darcy in your head" give you more story ideas.


    2. Thanks for having me, Barb. This was a fun post to write. DIMH is a wonderful companion, even when he gets a little mouthy. ;)

  5. Jadie, I'm so glad you liked His Good Opinion. Balancing the use of quotes from Pride and Prejudice was tricky. Obviously, I couldn't change dialogue, but I wanted to make it my own as well. Luckily, Jane uses so much indirect dialogue that I had plenty of opportunities to write original dialogue in scenes that we are all familiar with--for instance, the first proposal scene is almost entirely my own dialogue

  6. Nancy, I can't wait to read your book. As I read your post, I found myself thinking that 'she sees Darcy and Elizabeth the same way I do' and that makes it well worth reading your DIMH! Yep...you've got it just as bad as the rest of us Darcyholics! *grin*


  7. A male JA fan once described his first read of Pride and Prejudice. When he got to the scene where Darcy had just arrived at Pemberley and was surprised by the sight of Lizzy and the Gardiners, his first thought was: "Oh, the poor guy! He must be so embarrassed" because Darcy was discombobulated after his long ride (or soaking wet, in the PP1995 version). When he said that, I got a whole new perspective of Darcy in my head.

    I appreciate your sharing about your DIMH -- it always helps to hear others' impressions of our dear man. XD

  8. Loved the article, Nancy! I'm glad you changed your mind about Mr. Darcy ;) I found JAFF during a quest to find P&P from Darcy's POV, so I'm looking forward to reading it!

  9. Gasp! You didn't like Darcy at first? I am in shock, Nancy. Shock. So glad he finally grew on you because your Darcy is swoon-worthy!

  10. This was an interesting post. I liked reading about the inspiration for your book.

    I follow this blog via email.


  11. I love your story about how you first heard Darcy's "voice." Inspiration comes in the most unexpected ways. I enjoyed your book very much and am looking forward to reading more from you!

    1. I can understand because I think Darcy grows on you. Well perfect example, just look at Elizabeth. The first time I read P & P I was unable to finish it. Years later a friend insisted I give it another try and well after that I was hooked. Thank you for the giveaway! I've done all the extras required.


  12. Nancy;

    The way you describe your DIMH is a gift, or so I think. But I must say that I am a bit shocked that you didn't like Darcy from the start, but it is reasonable why you didn't...he is a bit of a prick in the beginning of the book. I really look forward to read your book! I think that you were good to try the book again, since it is hard to get through and Darcy is hard to understand! This was a very good blog and I look forward to reading what your Darcy has given you as ideas for your book!


  13. Nancy, now I am even more curious to read your book. To know you didn't like Darcy in the beginning and then to tell a story from his point of view sounds like quite an accomplishment. The other posts telling how good the book is has it on my TBR list now for sure! Loved your post and your DIMH! That is pretty neat!

  14. I'm a little astonished that Mr.Darcy failed to appeal to you in the beginning, but glad that with years he managed to win your affections:) I also liked Elizabeth from the start. Her wit and strong will made her my favourite literary heroine, and together with Mr.Darcy they are my favourite pair ever. So I am curious to read your book and follow their romance once again.

  15. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I loved reading all your comments. Darcyholics are never alone, are we?