Today I’m pleased to be hosting Ann Galvia with her last guest post on the Side by Side, Apart blog tour.
Ann started writing sometime before she knew how letters functioned. Her first books were drawings of circus poodles heavily annotated with scribbles meant to tell a story. Upon learning how letters were combined to represent words, she started doing that instead. This has proven to be much more successful.
Sometime after that, she decided she wanted to study Anthropology and sometime after that, she decided she liked cats more than dogs. And sometime after that, she decided to become an educator and teach a new generation of kids how to combine letters to represent words, and use those words to express ideas.
And sometime after that, she realized all she really wanted to do was write, which probably should have been evident from the beginning.
And that brings us to the present day, Side by Side, Apart was written, released and Ann Galvia would like to share with you all how Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were present in her mind while writing it.
Persuasion is my second favorite Austen novel, after Pride and Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey one of my least favorites, so I was curious to see Mrs. Galvia’s thoughts on them. It appears are tastes are not that similar, but I’ll let you read her guest post and understand why 🙂
Side by Side with Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
This will be my final guest post during the Side by Side, Apart blog tour! (Fear not, though…still 4 more stops after this one!) Thanks to Rita for giving me this fourth opportunity to talk about my debut novel, Side by Side, Apart! If you have been following along since May 2nd, then you know I have been using the blog tour to talk about the various ways Jane Austen’s other novels were never far from my mind when writing Side by Side, Apart. Even though it’s a story about Elizabeth and Darcy, there are still influences from Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Emma woven throughout. So if you know me by now, you are probably wondering who got named after characters from Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.
And this is where I throw my curveball because it’s no one!
Unsurprisingly, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I’m kind of obsessed with it. (And, to finally do the requisite ‘How I got into P&P’ blog post: I read it for the first time in 2013 because my best friend made me. At that point, I’d been ignoring her entreaties for years, but given that it was the 200th anniversary, she stepped up her nagging. Joke’s on her, though, because I have not shut up about it since. Though I think I have gotten better about the flailing text messages sent at all times of day.)
Perhaps more surprisingly, my second favorite Austen novel is Northanger Abbey. After I read P&P the first time, I immediately read Austen’s other completed novels. For me, Northanger Abbey was an immediate favorite. I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than Pride and Prejudice. But I think P&P has more re-readability. I love P&P just as much every time I read it. Northanger, I only really loved the first time. I will always enjoy it enough to rank it my #2 Austen, but the humor isn’t as powerful on re-readings as it was on the first.
Because I read and loved NA before I ever sat down to write JAFF, when I did, I always liked to throw an NA reference in there somewhere. More often than not, this is just Elizabeth Bennet reading a Gothic novel. In this spirit, there are a few conversations about how women just love stories where a man spirits the heroine off to a decrepit castle on the continent in Side by Side, Apart.
Between references like that and all the theme-naming of original characters, it occurred to me that I needed a Persuasion reference as well. Here’s another confession: Persuasion is my least favorite Austen novel. Unlike Austen’s other works, Persuasion is not a coming of age story. Anne Elliot is wise, mature and knows exactly who she is. She doesn’t grow or change over the course of the story. No matter how much I love a writer, I don’t find stories where the central character doesn’t undergo some kind of transformation to be very interesting. Wentworth’s letter was romantic, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make me forget about how poorly he’d behaved during the rest of the book.
Still, I needed some nod to Persuasion. But I was out of new characters and had no ideas for ways to throw a reference to Anne Elliot into the dialogue… In the end, there’s one nod to Persuasion. Blink and you’ll miss it. Sorry, Persuasion, I’m just not feeling you. Edmund Wickham is in the Navy. I guess you can tell yourself that he’s an homage to Wentworth instead of William Price if you really want to. I find it unlikely Edmund will ever show the kind of promise and success of Wentworth’s career, though. But then again, Edmund’s future life is just as much of an open book as anyone else’s. There’s really no telling where his life will lead.
But that’s the fun of fanfic, isn’t? The book is over, but life is still wide open.
That’s it for me on the Side by Side, Apart blog tour! Still four more stops to go and more chances to win your very own copy! I hope you’ll follow along!
“You see what a strange circumstance it is,” she said, feeling some fleeting relief. “You know our acquaintance has not been easy.”
Elizabeth Bennet—stubborn, quick to judge but slow to revise her opinions, and entirely prejudiced against the man who had just proposed marriage at Hunsford—awakens to learn she has been in an accident. Bedridden in an unfamiliar house, she learns eleven years have passed since the last moment she can remember.
She finds herself a married woman, the mother of four, and pregnant yet again. Her children are strangers, and most mystifying of all, Fitzwilliam Darcy is her husband! How could she have married a man she loathes?
Confined to the house by her injury, Mr. Darcy’s company is inescapable. But is just being side by side enough to overcome their differences? What happens when Darcy, improved in manners and happily married to Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy, is faced with an obstinate, bewildered Miss Elizabeth Bennet?
***It’s giveaway time***
Did you like the guest post? And did the book blurb sound interesting? I haven’t read it yet, but I have heard from the best sources that it is one of those books I simply must read! If like me you haven’t read it, you have the opportunity to win a copy by clicking on the link below:
Don’t miss the last stops of the blog tour! There are still reviews, excerpts and giveaways to come 🙂
5/2: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
5/3: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
5/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
5/6: Review at Just Jane 1813
5/8: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
5/9: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
5/10: Guest Post & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged
5/11: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
5/12: Guest Post & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton
5/13: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
5/14: Excerpt & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
5/15: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
5/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…