Friday 2 September 2011

Interview/Guestpost and giveaway: Heather Lynn Rigaud - Fitwilliam Darcy, rock star

It's Friday and today I have Heather Lynn Rigaud over and she talks about her new book, Fitzwilliam Darcy, rock star. And there is also a giveaway of a copy at the end.

Dear Blodeuedd,

Thanks for having me on your blog to talk about Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star. I'm looking forward to the chance to get to know your readers.

-    The idea of them as rockstars....

I was thinking about how to represent the prestige that Darcy had in P&P in the modern world. It's not enough to just be rich- in the Regency gentlemen had a social ranking that doesn't exist in the same way today. So I was discussing the problem with my friend Abigail Reynolds and we hit on the idea of Darcy being an artist. And from there, I went to him being a musician. Now, I could have made him a (strictly) classical musician, but frankly, there are plenty of romances out there with the hero as a classical musician, so I went in a different direction.

I thought about a rock star that's a gifted artist, but not a very outgoing, social one. One who was willing to let his music do the talking. From there, it was a short hop to Slurry.

- Is it hard to take this classic and set it in the modern world?

Yes and no. In some ways, it's easy, because the emotions the characters feel are timeless. We've all felt what Elizabeth feels: Proud of our own insights. Hurt from being snubbed. Angry at being wronged. Embarrassed by our companions. Ashamed at our ignorance. These things are universal and make Elizabeth and Darcy very accessible characters.

Also, the general plot of Pride & Prejudice is pretty classic: First they kinda don't like each other, then they really don't like each other, then they realize they were wrong and change, and finally they admit they love each other. This is familiar plot to anyone, so that was easy to adapt.

But at the same time, some of the specific situations of Pride & Prejudice don't carry over at all. A great example is Jane's illness at Netherfield. Austen used this device to get Darcy and Elizabeth together for snappy dialog, to present Caroline Bingley as an antagonist, and to let us know more about all of their motivations. Poor Jane basically disappears in her bedroom and we don't see her until she's ready to go home.

Nowadays the idea of someone being too sick to take a 3-mile trip home is crazy and not very believable. But the device of putting Darcy and Elizabeth together in a situation that neither can escape is really useful from a story telling point of view. Plus, there are clear story-markers in the P&P story that I needed to hit for it to be a P&P adaptation. In the end, there was no escaping it- Jane needed to go down. I took a cue from the news, and had her knocked out by a bottle being throw from the audience.

As a storyteller, this was golden. By putting everyone in a stressful situation, I got to explore Darcy and Elizabeth in a vulnerable state. I got to have Charles and Jane crystallize their feelings for each other but not able to act on them, due to her injury, and as an added bonus (which I didn't see coming) I ended up with one of the most popular and memorable scenes in the story when Richard Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Lucas get together.

-    How did the love for all things Jane Austen start?

I've got to be honest and say it all started with Bridget Jones's Diary. I'm a huge fan of comedies and the movie got me. I followed it with Helen Fielding's book,  (a fearless modern adaptation in itself) which led to Pride & Prejudice (1995) and from there to Jane Austen. Once I finished Pride & Prejudice, I followed it with Persuasion, then Emma, and then the rest. At any given time, I'm rereading one of her novels, kept on my bedside table. Jane Austen's talent constantly stuns me. She has an understanding of human nature that is genius and her use of language is so skillful she makes what is truly difficult look easy.

-    Who would  play them all in a movie...

I'm often asked this and I'm going to admit right off I have a hard time with Darcy and Elizabeth. I'm sure there are many talented actors who could play them, but I don't have a clear image of any specific person.

However, I do have some ideas for the other characters, and I freely admit I'm all over the map on these. Jane Bennet has always been based on Gwen Stefani. If you notice I even stole her wedding dress for Jane. Richard Fitzwilliam would be (very) well played by Chris Cornell who's the lead singer of Audioslave. As for Charles Bingley, you need someone very athletic, who can be really friendly and outgoing, as well as a little goofy. I'd love to see him played by Ryan Gosling. Finally, there's Charlotte Lucas, who's tricky because she needs to pull an 'Anne Elliot'. When we first see her, she's just a pair of arms flailing behind a drum kit. When we actually see her face, she's very plain and unremarkable. But as Richard (and the reader) slowly comes to know, and ultimately love her, she becomes physically much more interesting. Because I think she's got such an interesting storyline, I'd love to give her to Michelle Williams, who is an amazing chameleon.


1 copy of Fitzwilliam Darcy, rock star

1. US and Canada
2. Ends September 12
3. Just enter, or you could ask a question, or tell me what you think of Darcy as a rock star, or anything really :)

Out Now from Sourcebooks

Darcy's as hot as he is talented...

Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations-on and off stage-have made virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy's band into rock's newest bad boys. But they've lost their latest opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match...

But she's about to rock his world...

Enter Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl-band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band slot. Elizabeth is sure she's seen the worst the music industry has to offer. But as the days and nights heat up, it becomes clear that everyone is in for a summer to remember.


My flash fiction for this week

And I am guestblogging over at Escape in a book and talking about YA PNR


  1. Thanks for coming over Heather :)

    I see that you took my guestblog topics and made them into an interview. So I changed my "questions" a bit :) Because before that I just looked lost, lol

  2. I LOVED Gwen's wedding dress! Brilliant cast. And very true about the characters and emotions being timeless. Every time I read/watch that scene about Jane not being able to go home due to her illness, it always throws me. That would be hard to adapt in modern times.

    Awesome guest post and giveaway. Thanks!

  3. Interesting essay, thank you Heather!

    Your guest post rocks too, Blodeuedd!

  4. I think Darcy would make a great rock star! I've known a few as I was a vocalist for a few bands over the years. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!


  5. Blodeuedd,

    Thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I'm sorry about the interview thing-this is my first blog tour and I'm still figuring stuff out.

    I've always wanted to ask if your name is Celtic? It seems like something what would be, but I don't know, maybe it's Finnish. My husband has learned Scots Gaelic and it looks like that. (All those vowels) lol

  6. Missie!

    I was writing FDRS (the first draft) when Gwen got married, and so I HAD to check out her dress. lol.

    For something writen 200 years ago, I find Austen's characters very modern. These are real people to me and I keep meeting 'Darcy-types' and 'Lizzy-types', even 'Bingley-types'. Thanks so much for commenting.

  7. Anachronist: Thank you!

    And I think Darcy would make a great Vampire hunter. :D

  8. Margaret: Even I was surprised at how well Darcy fit into the Rock Star shape. He's really a natural- Talent, Ego and Good Looks! What more could you ask?

  9. I love how you find all these P&P stories, I never knew so many where out there in existence:) And Darcy as a rock star? Complete win:)

  10. Heather
    That was no problem at all :) I am just glad my guest blog topics worked as questions. Cos in the end those were the things I wondered, and I am glad I got answers to them

    And yes Blodeuedd is Welsh. As is Mur-y-Castell. I love mythology and the Blodeuedd myth is interesting

  11. I really enjoyed this post. I think it's interesting to see why she went the rock star route and how it all worked out so well.

    carolsnotebook at

  12. Great interview! No need to enter me because I will be reading this soon and can't wait!

  13. Ohmygosh! Heather, that cover rocks!

    Seriously, why has no one ever written Mr. Darcy as a rock star? That's brilliant!

    Awesome, awesome interview!



  14. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  15. What a fun take on a classic. Darcy totally makes it as a rock star. "Jane had to go down" cracked me up. Ryan Gosling - I'd go see anything with him in it. Would love to read this one - and imagine Ryan!

  16. Heather, you are the first author who answered so nicely my very short and rather crude little comment! I am glad you like the idea of Darcy as a vampire hunter! I am soooo sorry I can't enter the giveaway! Damned Europe address!

  17. I think Darcy could rock it as a rock star! That's a cool twist!

  18. All these wonderful comment! I'm sorry I'm running around today and so my posting isn't as frequent as I'd like.

    Jenny, Carol and Anna: Thanks for the love. I'm so excited, I don't know what to do with myself.

    Zoe and Darlene: Thanks for commenting. Sourcebooks will be giving away a lot of books on my blog tour, so keep following me and I hope you get lucky.

    Alyssa: I'm so bad. I really like hurting Jane. It's terrible. I'm ashamed (but I don't stop). I find myself getting distracted thinking about all these hot men. It's an occupational hazzard. Thanks for writing.

  19. Oh Chris Cornell would make such an interesting Darcy! I would SO watch that. I am so curious about this version. I must read it! Oh please enter me in the giveaway! :)

    @Blodeuedd...Oh my... someone was in a earth destroying mood today! Oh man... I really loved it!

  20. Great post/interview :) Updating classics can be such fun!

    [not an entry]

  21. I love this twist on the P&P tale. Darcy in a band? Yes please :) I'm interested in the scene with the bottle.

    Fun interview!

  22. Please enter me in contest.

  23. Ooh, this looks like so much fun! I can totally see Darcy as a rockstar! Thank you so much for sharing!


  24. Twitted about your giveaway at:!/cherrymischivus/status/109865775459872768

    Goodluck to everybody entering!!

    Cherry Mischievous
    (not an entry, non-US)

  25. I love this twist on JA!! I HAVE to read this book, thanks for an awesome giveaway :)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  26. Nice interview, I think someday I will read a P&P adaption...

  27. I would love to read this book! Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and I've been working my way through 'sequels' and remixes of the novel.

  28. Fitzwilliam Darcy as a rockstar? Hmmmm....I wonder.
    Nice post!

  29. Great guestpost...I loved Bridgette Jone's Diary too and every once in a while updated versions of P&P are good.

  30. Thank you Heather for coming by yesterday and making this so fun :D

    Hihi, I know, I am so wicked. And it was fun ;)

  31. Whooo! This is going to be a long one!

    Debbie: HUGS!!!!

    ANA: I'm serious! Get writing girl! :D There are so many great stories to be written, sometimes people just need a little encouragement.

    Nikki: He does rock, that he does.

    Melissa: I picked Chris for Richard because Richard has some dark places in his soul, that I think Chris could relate to very, very well. (Plus, he's hot!)

    Jenny and Patti: It IS a lot of fun finding modern situations to match Austen's. Its one of my favorite parts of writing.

    Lieder and Cherry! I recognize both of you for Austen Authors. Thanks for commenting.

  32. Julie and Aurian: I hope you give FDRS a try and enjoy it.

    Lisa and naida: As ideas go, it's a little bit out there, but I think it works.

    Staci: Bridget Jones's remains one of my favorite all time books. Whenever I need a laugh. *DingDong!*

    Blodeuedd: THANK YOU!!!! So much for having me here. I've really enjoyed getting to meet your lovely readers. They're good people. :D

  33. I would never have guessed that your relationship with Jane Austen started with Bridget Jones(I love the both book and movie).

    Wonderful guestpost :)

  34. i luved following Heather's thought in plotting this book ~ thanks for great questions Blodeuedd!
    Meredith gave it a full positive review as well at austenesque. sorry we won't be meeting up for twitter, but really enjoyed the sunday parties '') thanks for the giveaway!

  35. I would love to see Darcy as a rock star! I have not read many P&P adaptions, but this one sounds irresistible. Count me in!


  36. Great post! It sounds really neat to take a classic and turn it around some to make it current with the same ideas. Thank you!

  37. I'd love to read this. Please count me in :)

  38. loved learning a bit behind this book. i would love to see darcy just rock-out! it would definitely would be a fun movie!
    vvb32 at

  39. sounds great! i love pride and prejudice inspired modern stories!

  40. I want this book I love Jane Austen, lisapeters at yahoo dot com I really want to read other books on the same subject as Jane, thanks Lisa

  41. I have resisted P&P set in modern times but this one sounds fascinating. I will be getting this one. When you talked about Jane's cold not transferring to today you are so right, but there is more. I think the rock world with its stars, opening bands, stage hands, groupies probably stands in well for Regency England.

    Ruth Clapp



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