Good Afternoon everyone,
You all know that Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Austen novel, but sometimes I need a break from Darcy and Elizabeth and it feels great to have the company of other characters. Unfortunately there aren’t as many variations of Austen’s other novels out there as I would like, but I believe that trend is slowly changing and I keep seeing more and more books that develop her other novels.
Today I have as my guest Virginia Kohl, an author who is contributing to this change and whose debut novel, True Love Comes to Delaford, is a variation of Sense and Sensibility, one of my favourite Austen novels.
She interviewed my two favourite characters from Sense & Sensibility, Colonel Brandon and Elinor Dashwood, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know them better.
Elinor Dashwood’s father dies, leaving the fate of his family in the hands of two self-serving vultures. With diminished chances of making a respectable match and several uneventful Seasons behind her, the fiercely independent, bibliophile focuses on helping her family adjust to their new life. However, as her friendship with an honorable gentleman grows, the twenty-year-old begins experiencing feelings she never thought possible.
When Colonel Brandon resigned from the army to become the master of his family’s estate, he thought his best days were behind him. For years, the bachelor of five-and-thirty has successfully avoided every attempt of his well-meaning friends to find him a suitable wife. Although, he soon finds himself questioning his long-held beliefs regarding his single status, when Miss Dashwood strolls into his life.
In this refreshing whimsy, Virginia Kohl explores the possibility of Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon’s devoted friendship turning into more.
My name is Virginia Kohl. I have written a Sense and Sensibility whimsy titled True Love Comes to Delaford. Today, the main characters, Elinor Dashwood and Colonel Brandon, have kindly agreed to an interview. So without further ado:
Colonel Brandon, Miss Dashwood. Welcome and thank you for joining me.
Colonel Brandon, Elinor Dashwood: *bow and take a seat* Thank you.
First, please share with the readers where you are from.
Colonel Brandon: I grew up at my family’s estate, Delaford, in Dorsetshire.
Elinor Dashwood: My family is originally from Sussex. We lived at Norland Estate until my father’s passing earlier this year.
My condolences, Miss Dashwood. How would you describe your childhood?
Elinor Dashwood: Thank you. It was ideal. I always felt loved, safe, and important. My parents made my younger sisters and I their greatest priority and supported all of our dreams and ambitions.
Colonel Brandon: For me, the accompanying memories are not the fondest. I have never had a close relationship with my parents or older brother. The military was where I finally found camaraderie.
Where do you live now?
Elinor Dashwood: We now live at Barton Cottage in Devonshire. A lovely place on the grounds of Sir John Middleton’s residence, Barton Park.
Colonel Brandon: After resigning from the army, I returned to Delaford.
Both sound delightful. Do you share your home with a pet?
Colonel Brandon: Yes, I have two curly coated retrievers named Magnus and Zeus.
Elinor Dashwood: Unfortunately, we are unable to have any due to my sister, Marianne’s sensitivities. Although if we could, I would love to have a dog.
Dogs are lovely companions. If you were to name one physical attribute that sets you apart from others, what would it be?
Elinor Dashwood: Instead of the ton-approved, yet impractical quizzing glass, I wear spectacles. A nice pair of round-rimmed, silver spectacles.
Colonel Brandon: *Taking a deep breath* I have an old war injury that causes me to limp during times of harsh weather or exhaustion.
I hear you both are quite skilled at the game of Whist.
Elinor Dashwood: *sharing a chuckle with the Colonel* I would not describe myself as skilled by any means. When an additional player is needed, I join in so Mrs. Jennings (John Middleton’s mother-in-law) can enjoy her game.
Colonel Brandon: It is more a matter of frequency than skill. As this is one of Mrs. Jennings’s favorite pastimes, I am often asked to play during my visits.
Speaking of pastimes, which do you enjoy?
Colonel Brandon: While at home, I enjoy a quiet evening reading in the library. When invited to Barton Park, I engage in sports such as duck hunting with John.
Elinor Dashwood: In addition to reading and jam making, I enjoy writing. I always carry my journal with me to write down everything from recipes and ideas, to various stories.
Reading is a common interest. Do you have a favorite book?
Colonel Brandon: *Smiling over at Elinor* Miss Dashwood and I enjoy engaging in literary parlays. There are so many we have discussed that it is hard to simply choose one favorite.
Elinor Dashwood: *Nodding in agreement* Two that come to mind are Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and Frances Burney’s Camilla.
Since Robinson Crusoe is a favorite novel, which three items would you take on a deserted island.
Colonel Brandon: What an interesting question. I would take three items that served me well throughout my time in the military; my compass, my dragoon sword, and my tent.
Elinor Dashwood: I would bring a book about the flora and fauna of the island, my bible, and tea.
All useful items. Is there a particular meal you enjoy?
Colonel Brandon: Having spent many years in the East Indies, I have developed a taste for the cuisine. One of my favorites is a chicken curry in a cream sauce. It is served with a spiced tea beverage called Chai.
Elinor Dashwood: That meal sounds lovely. *An expression of genuine interest crossed her face before she turned to answer the question* I would have to say something more traditionally English such as Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
Those both sound delicious. Who would you say is your closest friend? *noticing the glance they shared, I clarified* In addition to one another.
Colonel Brandon: John. We began serving together when I enlisted at sixteen.
Elinor Dashwood: Mrs. Louisa Delaney. She moved here from the East Indies last year when her husband’s regiment transferred.
Lastly, what do you hope the future holds for you?
Elinor Dashwood: I hope that my family continues to find happiness in Devonshire among our dear new friends.
Colonel Brandon: My life has recently undergone some changes *gazes over at Elinor* and I hope to be able to explore them further.
Thank you again for agreeing to this interview.
Colonel Brandon, Elinor Dashwood: *Stand up and bow* Thank you. It was a pleasure.
If you enjoyed this interview, you can read their story in True Loves Comes to Delaford available now in Kindle and trade paperback.
Virginia Kohl has been fascinated with the regency era since discovering Jane Austen’s works at the age of eleven. While others dreamt of Willoughby, it was Colonel Brandon who stole Virginia’s heart from the very beginning. Originally from Germany, she shares her Texas home with her illustrator mother and faithful rescue dog. When not passing her love of learning on to her students, this college math professor enjoys reading, writing, and being an active member of her local writer’s guild.
Virginia Kohl can be reached at www.facebook.com/VirginiaKohl3
Her debut novel can be found at www.amazon.com/author/virginiakohl
The accompanying tea blend can be found at www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=127735
Virginia Kohl would like to offer signed one paperback copy of True Love Comes to Delaford to one of my readers. All you have to do is comment on this post and let us know your first impression on this book. The giveaway will end on the 29th of November and is open for readers with a continental USA address.
Good luck everyone!