Victoria Kincaid is visiting From Pemberley to Milton today with a guest post, an excerpt and a giveaway of her latest book, Darcy’s Honor. This book was downloaded into my Kindle last Saturday, and even though I was reading something else at the time, it didn’t leave my mind as I kept thinking, “how will this one be?”. In situations such as this, I know that I’ll never stop wondering, so I started reading it after lunch and only stopped when I finished it a little after midnight.
Darcy’s Honor is a true page turner, and I felt Victoria Kincaid had written this book specifically for me. It is actually quite frequent for me to read her books and think she had put into paper what had been on my mind for a long time. So, it appears we have the same taste for premises because she always develops ideas I would like to read about. Taking this into consideration, I found particularly interesting to see the topic she decided to discuss with my readers today 🙂
Victoria Kincaid will explain you how the ideas for her books come up, and share a little excerpt of Darcy’s Honor. I hope you enjoy it 🙂 And if you want to start reading the book right away, you can find it at: Amazon.com.
So, as an author, one of the questions I get a lot is “where do you get your ideas for what to write?” My first impulse is always to say, “I have no clue.” That’s not entirely true, but it’s sort of the way it feels to me by the time I sit down to write a book. Obviously Jane Austen’s works are my biggest inspiration, but I’m hard pressed to say where I get the ideas to make changes to her world.
Usually by the time the book is ready to be written it’s been simmering in my mind, like a pot on the back burner, for months—if not years. I kind of imagine my brain looks like an airport with at least a dozen airplanes circling around and waiting to land.
Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m working on a story idea until it reaches a mostly formed state. It starts with a random musing: “What would happen if I combined Pride and Prejudice with Romeo and Juliet?” Or “What if Colonel Fitzwilliam proposed to Elizabeth?” Sometimes these musings don’t amount to anything. And sometimes they thicken as I tease out the plot implications and consider how different characters would react. They gain details the way a snowball gets bigger as it rolls downhill.
So, by the time I put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard), the ideas for any particular book have usually been marinating for quite a while and it’s hard to remember where the original impulse originated—let alone some of the individual plot details. However, I do remember some of my inspirations. The main plot for The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth was inspired by reading about a brief period of peace in the Napoleonic Wars, and a scene in that book where Darcy encounters Elizabeth while dancing was reminiscent of a similar scene in the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility. But the rest of the book? Who knows where it came from?
It’s similarly hard for me to say where the idea for Darcy’s Honor first originated. I had been mulling it over for a long time—considering different plot permutations and character interactions—before I started writing. Probably the idea partially originated from the loss of reputation that Lydia faces in P&P—which is also the fate of a character in Mansfield Park. Another source of inspiration was an offhand comment in a romance novel that made me think, “what if someone did do that?”
Inevitably, however, the book ends up being different from my expectations. That is the nature of writing. The characters demand that you do certain things, and the world of P&P calls for changes that I hadn’t anticipated. But that is the really fun part of writing: it’s a constant process of discovery.
As they rounded a bend in the road near Longbourn, Elizabeth disengaged her hand from Mr. Darcy’s arm, rather more reluctantly than she would have expected. It felt unaccountably natural there. She turned to Mr. Darcy with words about a headache on her lips; however, before she could open her mouth, a shriek emanated from the direction of Longbourn.
“Lizzy! Lizzy!” Elizabeth turned to see her mother, hands bunched in her skirts, rushing toward them. A coach and driver waited outside Longbourn’s entrance. Presumably her mother had been about to embark on an outing when she spied them. What horrid luck!
Her mother stumbled to a stop in front of her, puffing and out of breath. “Lizzy! What on earth is the matter with you?” She gestured wildly at her daughter, apparently oblivious to Mr. Darcy’s presence. “Your hair! Your clothes! You look as if you have been tramping through the woods. What have you been getting into now? What if someone should see you?”
Elizabeth felt her face heat, no doubt turning all shades of red. She did not even know whether she was more embarrassed by the rebuke or her mother’s lack of decorum.
“Indeed, madam,” Mr. Darcy intoned. “It is almost as if she had been rushing about the countryside shrieking loudly.”
Mrs. Bennet turned to Mr. Darcy and blinked at him, not comprehending his sarcasm.
The situation likely was unsalvageable, but Elizabeth fell back on her manners anyway. She gestured to Mr. Darcy. “Mama, you may remember Mr. Darcy?”
Her mother’s mouth formed a perfectly round “o” of surprise. “Mr. Darcy! Oh! Oh!” She fluttered her hands and then executed an excessively deep and clumsy curtsey which threatened to pitch her into the dirt. “What has Lizzy been about this time, sir? Has she been causing you trouble? She is such a sly, headstrong creature!”
Elizabeth had not believed it was possible for her face to get hotter. I must be as red as a tomato now!
Mr. Darcy returned the curtsey with a stiff bow; his blank face betrayed neither disgust nor amusement at her mother’s behavior. “Indeed, madam, Miss Elizabeth has done nothing wrong.” Elizabeth felt a rush of gratitude that he did not mention the horse theft.
Mrs. Bennet took another look at Elizabeth’s disheveled state and sniffed loudly in disbelief. “Such a troublesome girl!” she exclaimed. “She is quite a trial to me!” Then her face lit up as it occurred to her that Mr. Darcy’s presence was an opportunity. “Why don’t you come into the house for a cup of tea, and you can converse with some of my other daughters?”
Elizabeth suppressed a desire to roll her eyes. Her mother was not nearly as subtle as she believed.
Mr. Darcy stiffened. “Not today, I thank you. But I will take the opportunity to call another day.”
As he mounted his horse, Mrs. Bennet took the opportunity to voice effusive offers of welcome and exclamations over the virtues of Cook’s poppy-seed cakes. Before he turned his horse toward Netherfield, Mr. Darcy’s gaze caught and held Elizabeth’s as if he intended to communicate some important message to her. But it was lost on Elizabeth. Seconds later, he had bidden them farewell and rode away.
Victoria Kincaid would like to offer 1 copy of Darcy’s Honor to one of my readers who will be able to choose between an ebook or a paperback.
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on Darcy’s Honor. To get a second entrance in the giveaway, comment the review that will be posted next Monday. Comments on each post will be considered for the giveaway.
The giveaway is international and is open until the 30th of April. The winner will be announced shortly after.
If you don’t want to miss the announcement of the winner and therefore miss the opportunity to see your name there, please follow From Pemberley to Milton. By doing so you will receive an email every time a new post is published and will not miss your prize if you are the lucky winner.
Good Luck everyone!