I would like to welcome Christina Boyd to Darcyholic Diversions. I hope that you enjoy learning a bit more about the editor who is the brain and the quill behind The Darcy Monologues. I am very excited about the book as it features so many of my favorite Austen inspired authors, many of whom are good friends. Be sure to read to the end of the post to learn about all of the give aways that you have a chance in, as well as an exclusive give away for Darcyholic Diversions which will be drawn on May 2nd. And here is Christina.....
Thank you, Barbara,
for inviting me to share my story how The
Darcy Monologues came to be. To nick Jane Austen's own words, "Which
of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?”
Since 1813, readers
have loved Mr. Darcy. My own love affair with the master of Pemberley began
when I discovered on-line Jane Austen fan fiction years ago when my now
teenagers were toddlers. Why do we love him? As Pride and Prejudice is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine
eyes, how are we to know his mind? How does Darcy progress from “She is
tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt me”
to “I thought only of you”?
Mr. Darcy soon drew
the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble
mien, and the report, which was in general circulation within five minutes
after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. —Chapter III, Pride and
And that is how Jane
Austen first established the hero of Pride
and Prejudice. With a succinct one line description, he garnered the
attention of all in Meryton, not to mention every reader. But in the very next
sentence, his proud and haughty manners proved to have turned all goodwill against
him. Worse yet, he insulted our heroine, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, by stating he
was “in no humor to give consequence to ladies slighted by other men.”
I love Elizabeth
because she is unaffected by his wealth—rejecting his first marriage
proposal—and eventually falling in love with him notwithstanding the spoils and
splendor. Despite the manifold of faults against him, Darcy has estimable
qualities that have stood the test of time. Darcy is flawed but willing to
change. Further, I will be bold and state that I believe many of our book
boyfriends are essentially Darcy in disguise. If I were to create a Venn
diagram listing Darcy-like ideal traits—handsome, rich, powerful, cerebral,
constant, cool-headed, honest, gallant—you might recognize Darcy in great
literary and romantic heroes or film icons like Gilbert Blythe, John Thornton,
Gabriel Emerson, Edward Cullen, Lloyd Dobbler, Jake Ryan, Richard Blaine,
Gaston Lachaille, Mr. Big, Poldark… For me, I have always had a weakness for
the rich, powerful, and handsome protagonist who improves for the love of an
Long before kindles
and the upsurge of publishing Austen-inspired novels, I had long dreamt of a
collection of stories all from my favorite Austen hero’s eyes. While editing
fourteen books in the last four years, I frequently returned to that same idea
of an all-Darcy collection—and finally decided last summer to make it happen.
Yes, Pride and Prejudice has been
told before from Darcy’s point-of-view by the talented Pamela Aidan, Stanley
Hurd, Amanda Grange, Janet Aylmer, and Mary Street, to name a few—but with the
many amazing Pride and Prejudice-inspired
stories, I was also interested in reading his re-imagined stories in his own
words…and I suspect that there might be a few other Darcyholics who also think
as I do: there can never be too much Darcy.
When my dream team of Austenesque authors joined me in
creating this collection, I knew I had a singular opportunity to collaborate on
this collection of fifteen short stories. Each has written a complete story
between 5000-15,000 words, and though all can be considered romance, there are
no scenes that I wouldn’t be able to share with my teenage daughter or
eighty-year-old mother-in-law. And yet, I am ever amazed how these writers can
turn a phrase and turn up the heat. Have your fans handy—and even a few
Austenesque writers, who I have either had the privilege to work with before or
have simply been a loyal fan, have sketched Darcy’s character through a series
of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful
narratives to the fanciful. The man himself reveals his intimate thoughts, his
passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all with a previously concealed wit
and enduring charm.
Stories by: Susan
Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn * Jenetta
James * Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland *
Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin
“The only way to get
a man like Mr. Darcy is to make him up.” —‘Jane Austen’ fictionalized in Miss Austen Regrets (BBC, 2008). And
thank heavens, the real Miss Austen created him. The ladies from The Darcy Monologues invite you to spend
some quality time inside the head of this enigmatic hero and get to know him on
more intimate terms. And as we pay homage to Jane Austen on the bicentennial of
her death, it is our hope that these 409 pages help extend the moments with a
most beloved character. “It’s your turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy.”
— Christina Boyd
N.B. The Darcy Monologues, a short story collection edited and published
under my own banner, The Quill Ink, is available in trade paperback and e-book
format May 21, 2017. This anthology, inspired by Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy,
features fifteen never-before published stories by some of my favorite (and
hopefully yours too) Jane Austen-inspired authors—all bound by their esteem of
the literary world’s ultimate catch. Pre-Order Link:Amazon US
I am offering a
giveaway of 10 notecards designed by JT Originals, “A Walk in the Woods”. To be
entered to win, simply add the anthology to your “Want to Read” list on
Goodreads or comment below. I am all curious as to what intrigues you most
about The Darcy Monologues?
(Also see information about the grand prize below)
Christina Boyd wears many hats as she is an editor
under her own banner The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a
ceramicist and proprietor of Stir Crazy Mama’s Artworks. A life member of the
Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the
Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever
named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen's England was made possible by her book
boyfriend and star crush Henry Cavill when she won a trip to meet him on the
London Eye in the spring of 2017.
For over two
hundred years, Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy has captivated readers’ imaginations as
the ultimate catch. Rich. Powerful. Noble. Handsome. And yet, as Miss Austen’s
“Pride and Prejudice” is established through Elizabeth Bennet’s fine eyes, how
are we to know what his tortured soul is indeed thinking? How does Darcy
progress from “She is tolerable: but not handsome enough to tempt m e”
to “I thought only of
In this romance anthology, fifteen Austen-inspired
authors assemble to sketch Darcy’s character through a series of re-imaginings,
set in the Regency through contemporary times—from faithful narratives to the
fanciful. Herein “The Darcy Monologues”, the man himself reveals his intimate
thoughts, his passionate dreams, and his journey to love—all told with a
previously concealed wit and enduring charm.
Stories by: Susan Adriani * Sara Angelini * J. Marie
Croft * Karen M Cox * Jan Hahn *
* Lory Lilian * KaraLynne Mackrory * Beau North * Ruth Phillips Oakland *
Natalie Richards * Sophia Rose * Joana Starnes * Melanie Stanford * Caitlin
Blog Tour Giveaways
In addition to
the notecards for this blog stop at Darcyholic Diversions, there will be two special blog tour
One winner will win our grand prize of 24 paperback
books, each one autographed by the author, and mailed to the winner’s home. Please see the enclosed graphic for the
list of books included in this giveaway.
The second winner will win their choice of either a Pride and Prejudice pocketbook or a Pride and Prejudice Kindle Fire Case with stand - Pride and Prejudice Book Cover Case for Amazon Kindle
Fire 7" and 6" - Kindle Fire / Fire HD / Fire HDX tablet. Please see that attached graphic for these
choices. All giveaways are international.
What a treat it is to be hosting Linda Beutler on her current blog tour! Her bolder Jane and Bingley make for an intriguing variation. I hope you enjoy getting to know her a bit better in the interview here and have a chance to check out her newest book as well. Welcome Linda!
Before I dive into your many “home questions”, as Colonel
Fitzwilliam would say, I just want to thank you for making the time for this
interview and for me! We live in busy times, and for you to have signed on to
the blog tour and then read My Mr. Darcy
& Your Mr. Bingley to prepare is kindness plain and simple, and very
much appreciated. As you commented as we communicated in advance of this, there
are so many JAFF titles out right now, how do we authors distinguish ourselves?
I’m hoping that’s a rhetorical question, because there are as many answers as
there are readers! Perhaps the best way is to just keep at it? And of course
inspiration striking is always helpful.
With that thought in mind—how does inspiration come?—I’ll
get right down to addressing your questions.
Thanks again for hosting MMD&YMB,
Q: When did you first find Jane Austen’s books? How did you
LB: There is a pesky little memory in the back of my mind of
watching what must have been a TV dramatization of Pride and Prejudice with my mother and sister when I was quite
small (maybe a rerun of the 1958 version?). I only recall not liking any of the
men, and wondering why Jane got to have Bingley and Lizzy didn’t (now there’s a plot bunny). As I say, I was quite young. It wasn’t the
Olivier/Garson production, because I’d have remembered when we watched it in
high school. That was memorable because one of my friends, who went on to
become a costumer for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, was appalled at the
antebellum gowns. She was so deeply offended that she spent days designing
proper costumes, earning a massive extra credit points in our theater class.
Maybe the woefully anachronistic hoop skirts worn by Greer and the gang are
what sent my schoolmate off on her successful career! At the time, my heart was
not so easily touched.
During my years as an English major—studying Wilde and Shaw
and F. Scott Fitzgerald—I picked up Jane Austen’s Sanditon on the paperback rack at the five-and-dime where I worked.
It was fascinating to think of her dying in the middle and others presuming to
finish it. I’ve come to many famous authors the same way, wriggling my way in
through minor works. In 1980 I was an interested follower of the BBC P&P TV adaptation (Elizabeth Garvey
and David Rintoul), and sometime during my career at the Multnomah County
Library I purchased Jane Austen’s collected works (the six novels) and barreled
through the whole thing.
Q: How did you find Jane Austen inspired literature?
LB: Sometime in early 2011 I read a review of one of Abigail
Reynolds’ books in the Sunday arts & leisure section of The Oregonian newspaper. I thought it a
highly singular thing to have done, audacious and arrogant, but gave it no more
thought. That September, during
the break between summer and autumn teaching terms, there was What Would Mr. Darcy Do? on the “staff
recommendations” shelf at my local library. Everything about it blew me away.
It was a portal to a world I had never dreamed existed. I read everything
Abigail had written up to then, and moved on to everyone else. Even then there
was a wide array of great, good, bad, and indifferent and at a certain point, I
started doodling my own paragraphs and storylines. By December of 2012 I had
written two novels. On January 10, 2013 I hit the “send” button to Meryton
Press with the first three chapters of The
Red Chrysanthemum. It was published that year.
Now mind you, to that point, I had no idea of the even
larger online world. When I signed my contract with MP, they suggested I have a
look-in at the Meryton Literary Society and their A Happy Assembly forum (AHA),
and I’ve been happy there. I have not posted online anywhere else, and I have
stayed with Meryton Press as my publisher.
Q: Did one of the Austen film adaptations become part of the
reason that you found Jane Austen inspired literature?
LB: The 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice wasn’t the reason I found the “JAFF-o-sphere”,
as I call it, but it is by far the version exerting the greatest influence on my work. If I try to be high-minded I
credit Andrew Davies’ screenplay, but if I’m honest, it is the casting. I saw the mini-series when it first ran,
but after reading Abigail Reynolds, I watched it again and bought my own DVD
As to Austen’s other novels, I have found much to like in
each of their adaptations, but something about how those novels are plotted
keeps me from venturing away from P&P for source material.
Q: Is there anything about your life outside of writing that
was part of your creative decision to write your latest book?
LB: Life outside of writing? Between garden writing,
technical writing for work, and all of the writing involved with teaching
horticulture, I am pretty much writing something or other everyday! But I don’t
necessarily work on Jane Austen-esque writing everyday.
My current novel started out as a brief short-story wherein
Bingley’s sisters are not at home when Jane Bennet calls in London, but Bingley
learns she’s there and sweeps her off her feet. I’ve always thought Louisa and
Caroline took a big risk not responding to Jane’s letters telling them she was
coming—quite a thing to leave to chance. In one of the discussion forums at
AHA, a spirited debate (one wouldn’t want to say heated at an assembly such as that) arose about Bingley and the
nature of personal responsibility. Rather than engage in the discussion, I
scuttled off for a little consultation with Mr. Bingley and began writing Your Mr. Bingley, as the present novel
was first known.
inspiration come, and how did I create a stronger Bingley and Jane? The story
really did flow out of that online debate. If Bingley did as I’m sure every
Austen reader wishes and returned to Netherfield on his own, how does that tilt
the story? What if Jane is still in London? How does Darcy take it when his
duplicity to Bingley is revealed? What if Jane doesn’t want to appear to be
chasing Bingley by returning home? This one action by Bingley opened a whole
glorious and fun-to-write can of worms!
After I was several chapters into the thing, I sent it off
to a cold-reader. She quite brutally said it was an interesting premise, but
she would not continue reading if Darcy wasn’t given a bigger role. Truth to
tell, neither would I, were I reading and not writing. I modified the outline
and went from there. Some early reviewers have said it is as if the book has
two halves, the Bingley half and the Darcy half. I think that’s a fair
Q: I find it interesting that there are a
couple characters from the original that are almost entirely absent from your
story—Carolyn Bingley and Mr. Collins. There has to be a reason. Do
LB: I’m not sure I’d call Caroline
absent, exactly. But the poor dear never shows up without Darcy delivering a
set-down. Mr. Collins got a lot of face-time in my last novel, A Will of Iron, and here, the story at
Rosings and Hunsford really drills into Elizabeth and Darcy misreading each
other. Wickham is mentioned for the canker he always is, but with his true
character becoming more generally known through other means, his only
appearance merely serves to strengthen Elizabeth’s resolve to do the right
thing. I usually do not add outside-of-canon characters, but in this story a
mysterious lady emerged. The next thing I know, she’s the love interest for
characters can take over!
Q: Do you have certain actors that are
'cast' in your story?
LB: Oh, I do. But it has become a thing
with me to not impose my cast on my readers. I think cover-artist Janet Taylor
was really clever to keep us from seeing all of Bingley’s face and only Jane’s
hands. I suppose I’m this way from reading so much at AHA. I get entranced with
a story, then it publishes and the characters on the front don’t look a thing
like I imagined. I don’t want to do that to my readers. Now that you’ve got me
thinking about this, I have to laugh. My covers are almost totally hands or
Q: What was your favorite part of your
LB: The scene at the theatre in London,
followed second by the scene in the streets of Meryton when Darcy returns. The
theatre scene happens when Darcy and Elizabeth are back in London just after
the Hunsford contretemps. They are in no way emotionally prepared to see each
other so soon. All of their feelings are completely raw. They think they’re
being cool, but their friends and family are well aware of the tension. At the
opposite end of the emotional spectrum, the scene in Meryton is written for
laughs and finds some characters way, way out of their comfort zone.
Q: Are you currently writing anything
LB: A friend has been encouraging me to
write a Jane Austen/P.G. Wodehouse mash-up, set in the 1920s. I have an
outline, lots of research done, and a few chapters written. I’ve promised to
post it at AHA, but I am not sure about publishing it. That will depend on if
copyrights to Wodehouse’s early work have been renewed. This will put my
reputation for comedy to a real test. It’s like putting a big, hilarious puzzle
together and hoping others are amused, too.
Barbara—Thanks enormously for allowing
me to natter on. Your questions helped me reveal a few insights into My Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley
about which I haven’t said much thus far. But I am quite sure that by now your
readers are hoping you will get back to writing, too!
I am indebted to your generosity!
One never quite knows where the inspiration will strike. For
award-winning author Linda Beutler and My
Mr. Darcy & Your Mr. Bingley, the moment of genesis arrived in a
particularly contentious thread at the online forum A Happy Assembly. What is
the nature of personal responsibility? Where do we draw the line between Mr.
Bingley being too subject to Mr. Darcy’s “persuasion” and Mr. Darcy playing too
heavily on Mr. Bingley’s “sensibility”? This is a conundrum guaranteed to raise
even more questions.
happens to the plot and character dynamics of Pride & Prejudice if Mr. Bingley is given just a dash more
spine? Or if Jane Bennet decides enough embarrassment is too much? How does Mr.
Darcy manage the crucial apology a more stalwart Mr. Bingley necessitates he
make? What if Mr. Darcy meets relations of Elizabeth Bennet’s for whom she need
not blush on their home turf rather
than his? Suffice it to say, this is a story of rebuked pride, missing mail, a
man with “vision”, a frisky cat, and an evening gown that seems to have its own
Linda Beutler’s professional life is spent in a garden, an
organic garden housing America’s foremost public collection of clematis vines
and a host of fabulous companion plants. Her home life reveals a more personal
garden, still full of clematis, but also antique roses and vintage perennials
planted around and over a 1907 cottage. But one can never have enough of
gardening, so in 2011 she began cultivating a weedy patch of Jane Austen Fan
Fiction ideas. The first of these to ripen was The Red Chrysanthemum (Meryton Press, 2013), which won a silver
IPPY for romance writing in 2014. You might put this down as beginner’s
luck—Linda certainly does. The next harvest brought Longbourn to London (Meryton Press, 2014), known widely as “the
[too] sexy one”. In 2015 Meryton Press published the bestseller A Will of Iron, a macabre rom-com based
on the surprising journals of Anne de Bourgh.
after a year-long break in JAFF writing to produce Plant Lovers Guide to Clematis (Timber Press, 2016)—the third in a
bouquet of books on gardening—we have My
Mr. Darcy and Your Mr. Bingley bursting into bloom.
The eBook is available on Amazon. The Paperback
should follow in two to three weeks.
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