Thursday, March 3, 2011

Darcy Made Me Do It

A strange half-smile crosses some faces when I talk about HIS GOOD OPINION. They don't quite get the concept of Jane Austen sequels, and they don't understand why I would want to write one. After all, does the world really need another Darcy novel?

I confessed earlier that I didn't fall in love with Mr. Darcy straightaway. Like Lizzy, my love for him "has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began."

Then one day I was listening to Pride and Prejudice, right where Elizabeth is lamenting that Mr. Darcy seems to show up everywhere she goes in Kent--did she not tell him this was her favorite place to walk? Suddenly I heard Darcy's voice in my ear, his tones colored with mortification as he said, "I had not realized it was intended to be a warning, rather than an invitation."

Once Darcy started talking, he didn't stop. From then on, I listened to the novel in one ear and to Darcy in the other. (Picture that if you can.) Instead of finding his proposal presumptuous, as Lizzy did, I cringed because I understood why he believed her to have been expecting his addresses.

After only a few chapters of this, I knew I had to tell the story. As luck would have it, NaNoWriMo was right around the corner, with just enough time left to create a (very) thorough outline. I knew there were retellings from his point of view available, but even the best of those tales still focused on Elizabeth's story.

I wanted to try something new. I wanted to tell Darcy's story, to reveal his quirks. That is what I've attempted in HIS GOOD OPINION, and I hope that when I am through, you will believe I've succeeded.