Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Interview and contest: Kara Louise - Only Mr Darcy Will do

Today I have an interview with Kara Louise. The author of Only Mr Darcy will do. At the end of this interview there is a contest, so don't miss that.



Tell me something about yourself, so we get a better understanding about the woman behind the author.
I currently live in Kansas on 10 acres of land with my husband and a lot of animals. We have 6 cats, a dog, 2 goats, and 3 horses. But both my husband and I were born and raised in the Los Angeles area and moved here almost 20 years ago. We love it here and especially love living out in the country. It’s such a change from the big city of LA. We have a married son who lives in St. Louis.

Your newest book is called only Mr Darcy will do; can you tell me what it is about?
The premise of this book is that Mr. Bennet dies shortly after Elizabeth returns from Kent after refusing Mr. Darcy’s offer of marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Collins soon take their rightful ownership of Longbourn, displacing the Bennet ladies. Mrs. Bennet moves in with her sister and brother-in-law in Meryton, Jane moves in with the Gardiners in London as a governess for their children, and Elizabeth becomes a governess for the Willstone family. When Mrs. Willstone’s sister, Rosalyn, comes to visit, Elizabeth discovers the family has a long-standing acquaintance with Mr. Darcy, and Rosalyn has a strong fondness for him, wanting nothing more than to secure his love. When Mr. Darcy invites everyone to Pemberley, the Willstones all believe it is to further his acquaintance with Rosalyn. Elizabeth begins to see him as he truly is and wonders if she made a mistake in turning him down. She knows that she is so much more beneath him now and cannot expect him ever to renew his offer.

How come you started writing Austen variations?
I would probably have never written a variation if I had not read variations. I found that as I read some of the variations I was able to recapture some of that initial sense of awe I felt when I first read “Pride and Prejudice.” Certainly they don’t compare to Jane Austen’s novels, but it was nice to come home to familiar characters that I had come to love. After reading quite a few, I came up with a story of my own. When I began to write that story, I thought it would only be about 7 chapters. When I was finished, it was 18 chapters. I posted that story online, never imagining that I would go on to write several more and have them published.

I see that you have written a couple of other books. Could you tell me about those?
“Assumed Engagement” was that first book. The premise is that Mr. Darcy had written his sister and told her that he was going to ask Elizabeth Bennet to marry him. Of course Georgiana would assume he would be accepted. When he returns from Rosings, he is in a carriage accident and knocked unconscious. Georgiana writes Elizabeth, hoping that if she comes, it will draw him out of it. Elizabeth does not know Georgiana thinks they are engaged and would have no reason to go to Pemberley if not for the fact that Georgiana mentions that she has also sent for Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth sees this as a perfect opportunity to reunite Jane and Bingley if the two of them go. So off to Pemberley they go! Needless to say misunderstandings await them!

“Assumed Obligation” is the sequel and continues after Elizabeth and Darcy are married. Darcy is involved in building a deaf school in Derbyshire and Elizabeth finds herself involved in it. Kitty comes to live with them and she and Georgiana becomes good friends. The two have their share of difficulties and success in love.

“Master Under Good Regulation” is the story of “Pride and Prejudice” based on Mr. Darcy’s dog’s point of view. Reggie, an English Springer Spaniel, does everything he can to bring Darcy and Elizabeth together. The story also examines Mr. Darcy’s life in those months where we don’t read about him in Jane Austen’s novel.


“Drive and Determination” is a modern story in which the main character, Elyssa Barnett is an aspiring interior designer and she clashes with Will Denton, President of a coffee company. It is definitely not a parallel to “Pride and Prejudice” but is more inspired by it.

“Darcy’s Voyage” was my first self-published book to be published by Sourcebooks. In that book Elizabeth and Darcy meet in a completely different way. Their initial meeting is on a carriage ride where they each make an impression on the other, but they don’t get their names. The meet again two years on a ship bound for America, but do not immediately remember their first meeting. Because of what transpires on board, their lives are changed dramatically, but are separated when they arrive in America. When they both return to England, they meet again, and the storyline for “Pride and Prejudice” comes into play, altered, however, by the events that took place on the ship.


Would you like to try to write a variation of another Jane Austen book?
Definitely! I actually have one whole chapter done that is a back-story to a character in another one of her novels. (I won’t tell who or which one!) I have a good part of the story plotted out and a twist at the end. I just need the time to get to work on it!

Who is your favorite Austen hero?
This question gets asked a lot and I have to honestly answer that since I have written only about Darcy and Elizabeth, I guess it would be Darcy. But my second favorite novel is “Persuasion”, so I do have a fondness for Captain Wentworth, as well! People keep telling me I should write a “Persuasion” based story, and maybe someday I shall!

Which JA heroine is most like you?

I think I am a mixed bag of her heroines. I am probably more like Jane than Elizabeth, a little more like Elinor than Marianne, possibly a little like Anne Elliot (and hopefully not at all like either of her sisters), and possibly a little like Fanny Price. Can’t say I’m at all like Emma or Catherine Moreland, though.

Are you working on something new and exciting right now?
Something new, yes (see question above about writing another variation), we’ll have to wait and see if it’s exciting!

Any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice is to write what you love, but write it with excellence, as though you expect it to be published. In other words, read up on what makes a good story, find good writing tips, and apply them to your work.

Thank you!



GIVEAWAY
I have 1 copy of Only Mr Darcy will do to give away.

US/ and Canada only
Ends March 21st

To enter:
Please ask Kara a question, or tell me who your fav Jane Austen hero or heroine is.

Have fun :)

Winner notified

43 comments:

  1. Thanks for the writer's advice! This sounds like a really nice book!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  2. Awesome interview.

    My favorite Austen hero is Captain Wentworth! He is so swoooooon! I love him to bits.

    And I always consider myself an Anne Eliot or maybe even an Emma.

    Funny how I used to be such a Austen snob, completely turning my nose on anything that played off of Austen. But now I really LOVE variations on the story. It allows you live with the character longer.

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  3. I love both Darcy and Captain Wentworth! :) Wonderful interview.
    Don't enter me for the giveaway (I am International)

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  4. I have a question for Kara Louise: How did you get started writing novels in the first place?

    Nice interview btw!

    Please enter me in the giveaway!

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  5. This is Deanna with http://deannalynnc.wordpress.com...I'm using my cell phone right now to get into this awesome giveaway so I thought I would let you know who I was first.

    I have not been able to read any of these JA stories that other people write as a spin off from her original work but I find them very interesting. I live in Kansas too so I find it very interesting that you and your husband moved here from the LA area. Why did you two decide to make that move? What got you interested in Jane Austen in the first place?

    Thank you very much for this amazing opportunity to win this book. After your review that I read yesterday it has been placed on my TBR list!

    deanna.lynn.c@gmail.com is my email address.

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  6. Thanks for your comments.

    Glad you like the advice, Brandi. Basic, but hopefully helpful.

    So glad you enjoy all things Austen related, Missie! That's so true about being able to 'live' with the character longer.

    Misha - thanks. Sorry you aren't eligible. Hopefully the book will be available near you soon!

    Sara - I began writing a novel based on my geneology when I found out some things that sounded interesting. I had never really attempted any writing seriously before that. I got 3 chapters into it and then discovered P&P. All my energy then focused on writing those stories.

    Deanna - we knew we wanted to leave LA and had a few options. When we talked about moving here, I had never been, but my husband had. We actually moved here on a job transfer, but now my husband is in a different job. We live outside Wichita. Where are you?

    I saw the 1995 P&P and that was all that was needed. I have to admit I had seen "Emma" and "Sense and Sensibility" but they didn't have the same effect on me. I do love those stories, now, too.

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  7. I have been wanting to read some of Jane Austen's books but somehow never seem to get around to it.

    I have seen the film BECOMING JANE and enjoyed what I saw of PRIDE & PREJUDICE(Keira Knightley). I also saw BRIDE & PREJUDICE, an Indian adaptation.

    Do you only read pure Jane Austen or also Austen-related books? THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB comes to mind. How about PRIDE & PREJUDICE and ZOMBIES?

    monagarg@yahoo.com

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  8. Darcy is a good hero!! Great interview. :) Mine is Mr. Knightley.. Love him!!!!!

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  9. Hi Brandi :)

    Missie
    I am an Anne too, and I adore Captain W, that letter breaks my heart every time

    Thanks for stopping by Misha!

    Hi Sara :)

    Hi Deanna
    Good luck! I love JA variations.
    And nice of you to say who you are, though the name is the same so I guessed ;)

    Hi Mona
    The zombie novel was cool, I also read one with vampires, I so can't get enough, need it all ;)

    Nina
    He is nice :D

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  10. Thank you for the interview Kara :) And thanks for stopping by today.

    “Assumed Engagement” Sounds so good :) Sounds like one big awesome mess

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  11. I adore Jane Austen, I love Elizabeth and think that I have read P&P ten times at least. Thansks

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  12. Sounds like a fun read! I love Jane Austen's work. Great interview, it's lovely to meet you, Kara Louise!

    Thanks Blodeuedd :)

    Oh I can't enter, I'm inflicted with being British LOL but I would still like to ask if you read other related Jane Austen stuff, or do you think it somehow ruins everything she stands for. For example, Pride & Prejudice and Zombies?

    Sassy Brit :)

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  13. Mona - maybe now you'll get your chance to start reading one! I do read other stuff. One author I really enjoy is Georgette Heyer, who wrote many stories from the same era as Jane Austen, but lived in the 1900s. I actually read very few Austen novels these days because I don't want to get an idea while I'm writing and wonder whether I'm the one who came up with it. :) I don't really enjoy zombies and that sort of thing, so I probably won't be reading them. I did see all those movies you mentioned, including The JA Book Club and really enjoyed them.

    Nina - JA did write some good heroes, didn't she?

    Lisa- I don't know how many times I've read P&P, but I can tell you that I have at least 6 different copies of the book, including the Marvel Comic book, which I love!

    Thanks again for your comments!

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  14. This sounds good! My fav would be Mr. Darcy!

    Margaret (goodreads)
    singitm@hotmail.com

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  15. I'm not going to be very original with my favorite character pick, it just has to be Darcy. And Elizabeth, too, she is such a wonderful, strong and brave woman! :)

    My question to the author:
    I would love to read some of your books, which would you recommend for starters? Is there any specific order in which I should read? I would really appreciate your advice!

    Thank you for this wonderful giveaway!!

    evieseo(at)gmail.com

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  16. I love the sequels to Jane Austen's books and this sounds excellent.

    My fave would definitely be Mr. Darcy.

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  17. Kara - Oh fun! Job transfers are always a good thing to move for. :-) I am in Manhattan...I am a student at KSU right now but have done K-12 here too. Wichita is a nice area! I have a couple of friends who live there.

    I love 1995's version. So much fun. I have always loved JA but I'm not sure what turned me onto her. Have you been able to watch "Becoming Jane" with Anne Hathaway?

    Blodeuedd - Haha, that's true! The one I had to use earlier is associated with my adoption blog so I didn't want any confusion but I hadn't really thought about the fact that the names would be the same!

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  18. Margaret - you are in good company with your preference for Mr. Darcy!

    Ditto to Evie about Mr Darcy. And for your question, my 2 books published by Sourcebooks are not at all connected, so you can read either one first. Of my self-published books, I have only 2 that go together. Assumed Engagement is first and the sequel is Assumed Obligation.

    Yvonne - we're on a roll here with Mr. Darcy! If you read it, I hope you'll like it!

    Deanna - we know a lot of kids up at KSU! (I won't tell you that our son went to KU)

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  19. Hmm. Favourite hero is a toss up between Darcy and Wentworth. I think I'd have to say Darcy.

    I can't wait to read Only Mr. Darcy Will Do!

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  20. My favorite Jane Austin hero is Jane Bennett - I always felt she didn't get a big enough role

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  21. Hi Kara, wonderful interview!

    I've always liked Mr. Knightly from Emma!

    delilah0180ATyahooDOTcom

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  22. Hello, from a recent follower. Thank you for the amazing interview & also for the awesome giveaway!

    I think, my favorite Austen heroine is most definitely "Elizabeth Bennett" from Pride & Prejudice. I mean, it might sound cliched, but who wouldn't want to be charming, quick-witted, unbelievably intelligent, wholesome and pragmatic, all in one? And the best hero has to be Mr. Darcy - who doesn't want a Darcy in their life?

    Email: Enamoredsoul@gmail.com
    Twitter: @inluvwithbookz

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  23. Great interview! Now, as long as Darcy and Jane get their HEA, I'm all for a variation. I cannot read one where they don't get their HEA at the end. Noooooo!

    Would you ever write such a book and break my heart? ;)

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  24. Hi Kara!!!!
    congrats & good luck to you on OnlyMrDarcyWillDo!!!!!

    what is the hardest part of writing any book????

    thank you for the giveaway!!!!

    Cynthia
    NYC
    cyn209@juno.com

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  25. Mr. Darcy and Capt. Wentworth are tied for my favorite hero. :)
    Who is your favorite villain, Kara?
    Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

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  26. I love Pride and Prejudice so of course, my favourite Jane Austen hero and heroine is Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth!

    This looks like a good read, thanks for the chance to win a copy! :)

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. The story sounds great! Do we love to hate Mr. Collins in the book? ;o)

    Oh to have to choose a favorite it too hard!

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  28. Melissa A - hope you get a chance to read it and will enjoy it!

    Jen - Jane is sweet. I like her best in the 2005 movie. (Although I didn't particularly care for that Bingley.)

    Mrsshukra - ahh, another Knightley fan! Thanks for your kind words - glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Enamored Soul - yep, a lot of ladies would like to be Elizabeth and each one have their own Darcy. :)

    Melissa - I would never write such a book. Without a HEA? Nevah!

    Cynthia - the hardest thing about writing a book? For me it is probably coming up with more than just an idea for a story, but all the stuff that has to fill out that story. Usually it eventually comes, but I sometimes don't want to even start if I don't have it all figure out ahead of time.

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  29. Lieder Madchen - My favorite villain? Hmmm, in P&P I'd have to say Lady Catherine. Not that she's so much a villain but an antagonist. But she's fun to write. Hope that counts.

    Winnie - I hope you get a chance to read it! (Maybe you'll win it!)

    Nise' - you know, Mr. Collins isn't really in the book. He's more just behind the scenes and we only hear what happened. Hope that doesn't disappoint you too much!

    This has to be the most successful blog in my month-long blog tour. I can't believe all the responses. Thank you!

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  30. Thanks for the giveaway. ELizabeth Bennett is my favorite.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  31. i agree its nice to see and read about familar characters and bring them back to life. thank you for the contest!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

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  32. I like Darcy the best.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  33. Thank you all for stopping by :D

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  34. I so can't wait to read her book...I liked this interview!

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  35. Besides Darcy, I really like Captain Wentworth of Persuasion.

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  36. Great interview ladies! I bet the book written on the dog's point of view would be great - lol.

    I'd love to enter. Thanks!

    darreads (at) gmail (dot) com

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  37. I love Persuasion and Captain Wentworth, so I'd definitely love to see her write a variation of that novel. There have been so few of them published.

    No need to enter me, as I have the book already. :)

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  38. Thanks again to all of you for you kind comments - and good luck on the giveaway! For those of you who read it, I hope you enjoy it! And Darlene, several people like the book from Darcy's dog's point of view the best of my novels! Just don't know if the publishers will! We'll have to wait and see.

    This has been fun!

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  39. Only Mr Darcy will do sounds like a great read! I'm a big fan of P&P and I do love Persuasion as well. Nice interview ladies.

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  40. This sounds like a wonderful read! I sm a big JA fan and have added this to my must get list.

    My favorite hero is Mr. Darcy ofcourse :)!

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

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  41. I enjoyed getting to know you in the interview and through the comments Kara. From the dog's point of view ... How did you ever come up with that idea? I can't wait to start that one too. I don't have a copy of "Only Mr. Darcy Will Do." I thank you for the chance to get a free book.

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  42. I find the idea from the dog's point of view very interesting. Thanks for adding something else to my things to do list. LOL ... How did you come up with the idea?
    I would love a chance to receive a copy of "Only Mr. Darcy Will Do."

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  43. Sorry for the duplicate post above.

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Thank you for your lovely comment. I appreciate and love them all :D

I answer them all here.

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