More Austen goodness coming up now, I have Mary Lydon Simonsen over for a guestpost and you can win her new book Mr Darcy's Bite.
Hi Linda. Thank you for having me at Book Girl. You asked that I write about superstition in Regency England and how I came to write a paranormal variation.
If someone had asked me if I would ever write a werewolf story, I would have shook my head and laughed. Even though my daughter reads every werewolf and vampire novel out there, I simply had no interest in either subject. However, two years ago, a story appeared on A Happy Assembly, a Jane Austen fan fiction site, where Mr. Darcy was a werewolf. I was really pulled in by the sinister atmosphere the author had created. With Halloween approaching, I decided to write a short story, “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints’ Day.” The story got so many hits and comments that I expanded it until it was the length of a novel, and much to my surprise, I had a good time doing it.
You asked about superstition in Regency England. Did people of that era believe in werewolves? Possibly. But they weren’t a real threat as wolves had been eradicated from England by the time of Alfred the Great (circa 900 A.D.). By early 19th century, old-growth forests had disappeared from the British Isles because of the need for fuel and housing as well as for the ships of the ever-expanding British Navy. (They needed those tall trees for their masts.) As a result, there was no place for a pack of wolves to hide from a population bent on their destruction. Although these creatures of the night would not have been seen looping about the English countryside, in the great forests of the Continent, there was still a belief that a man/beast existed, and such tales were told throughout Europe.
Even though there were no wolves or werewolves in England, that didn’t mean that an author with a good imagination couldn’t reintroduce them into the wild. In Mr. Darcy’s Bite, I do just that. As with wolves, who are hunt in packs, werewolves congregate near each other for protection. For the same reason, they usually marry another werewolf, and Darcy was preparing to do just that when he met Elizabeth Bennet. However, after the Meryton assembly, all thoughts of marrying another went out the window. But can Lizzy love a man who was also part beast? After his first transformation, Darcy wonders what Elizabeth will think about his dual nature and what information she would need to know before making her decision.
The question Darcy feared most was that Elizabeth would want a detailed description of his transformation. She would be repulsed by a vision of a man dropping to his knees as his arms became legs, followed quickly by the thickening of his neck, an emerging muzzle, and the change in his teeth that were designed to tear an animal apart. The metamorphosis was completed when his hair became fur. She would want to know all of that, and his stomach churned at the idea of speaking of such things to the woman he loved.
I hope you will want to read Mr. Darcy’s Bite to find out Elizabeth’s answer to Darcy’s second proposal. (You can probably guess.) Please keep in mind that this is primarily a love story.
So tell me, what would you do if you knew Mr. Darcy was a werewolf and he proposed marriage to you? I’d love to know. Thanks for stopping by.
1 copy of Mr Darcy's Bite
1. Open to US and Canada
2. Ends October 27
3. Go ahead and enter :) As easy as that.
But be free to answer Mary's question if you want to :D
OUT NOW - Mr Darcy's Bite
In this fresh, original paranormal Jane Austen sequel by bestselling author Mary Lydon Simonson explores Mr. Darcy as the leader of a secret world of werewolves threatened with extinction.
Elizabeth comes to realize that she loves him in both his incarnations, and all his servants protect his secret. But then Elizabeth must confront a shocking danger to her beloved with every full moon, when Darcy is alone and exposed to those who hate wolves...