Good Afternoon everyone,
I hope you are all well and safe and curious about what my guest has to say about her latest book. I am talking, of course, about Amy D’Orazzio who has just released a new Pride & Prejudice variation called A Wilful Misunderstanding. I’ve read this book, which has a very unique premise, and fell in love with it. In one word, this book is addictive!
My review will be published this week, so if you’d like to know why I loved it so much (spoiler alert: it’s a 5 star book!), stop by and check it out next Thursday. However, if you’re interested in more spoilers, this time story related, you can read what Amy has to say about it. She will also talk about her career as a writer and her other projects, and I hope you enjoy the interview, but if there is anything else you’d like to know and that I didn’t ask, please do not hesitate to ask her yourself in the comments, I’m sure she will be delighted to answer all your queries 🙂
First of all, thank you so much for visiting, Amy! It is a pleasure to have you here, especially when you’re visiting to talk about a new release. After The Mysteries of Pemberley I wasn’t expecting to see another book from you so soon, so I was very happy to know that A Wilful Misunderstanding would be coming out in the beginning of October. This new book is a sequel of sorts that will have more characteristics of a variation than a sequel, is it not?
Hi Rita! Thank you so much for having me! I am very excited to be here and hope I can do a good job of being interviewed!
A Wilful Misunderstanding is definitely more variation than sequel—we start somewhat in canon, but we really only get as far as the Netherfield ball before Darcy and Elizabeth get married. They tie the knot in December 1811, and we’re completely off canon from there! Jane and Bingley’s story is altered as well, as is Lydia’s story, so you are quite right: much more a variation than a sequel!
We have seen pretty much everything in the Austenesque genre, but this is something that seemed pretty much new to me. How did you come up with the idea for this story? What inspired this particular premise?
I have always had this belief that D&E had an immediate spark. I think he did (which is why he reacted so rudely, feeling perhaps frightened of the feeling) and I think she did too, and was thus more deeply affected by his comments at the dance than she seemed. So, when I started this story it was sort of exploring what would happen if they both fell into the spark and how that might play out with a Darcy who had not been “Hunsford-ized” and an Elizabeth who was also quite young and naive.
When I write a story, I tend to not really know where it will ultimately end up. For AWM I had a vision of Elizabeth and what she would become if she was taken away from everything she knew and loved. So that was the scene that started this, Elizabeth walking the moors of what started as Scotland but moved to Yorkshire—alone and having to dig down deep inside and become something different from the sheltered country girl she had once been. So, this story did become not only about her love of Darcy but also about her and growing from the girl she had been to the woman, wife, and mother she is by the end of the tale.
This seems like a pretty angsty story with many romantic and intense moments in between. Should we be prepared with lots of chocolate and tissues to read this book?
Hey, I will NEVER discourage copious amounts of chocolate haha! I do think it’s pretty angsty…I hope it doesn’t bring too many people to tears!
What about Darcy and Elizabeth, can you tell us a little of their characters? I know that authors cannot change these characters too much, but I’ve come to realise that in each story these characters have something in particular that defines them either in that moment in time or in that particular circumstance. What is it in A Wilful Misunderstanding?
I am a big believer in keeping characters as true to canon as I can—that said, characters are always tested and molded by the circumstances! I have always felt that Darcy of canon is probably a somewhat angry guy. At an age when most of his peers were out partying, he was left with a lot of responsibility and not a lot of fun. Add Ramsgate on top of it, and I think he was probably just sort of fed up with everyone and everything. My Darcy starts out much the same—a little angry, a little mistrustful. When he meets Elizabeth, in some ways he looks at her like a dieter looks at ice cream at the end of the day. Like screw it, I’ve been good all day, and now I’m doing what I want. It’s not until he loses everything and is faced with what his anger and pride have cost him that he really grows up and reclaims the good character we know he has.
Elizabeth is probably the most different because she is put through something most regency women never dreamed of—having to fend for herself and her child. She is extremely brave and probably a little foolish and by the time she comes through that she is also changed. For her, the real story is how she becomes happy again—she goes from being a naive girl to a bitter, very guarded and angry woman, and then needs to make the decision to come full circle, becoming the joyful Elizabeth we are all used to seeing.
These characters certainly went through a lot of changes in this story, especially Darcy who had to overcome his pride just like in canon. But speaking about your entire portfolio, which one of your books do you love the most? Is it A Wilful Misunderstanding?
Honestly, AWM is the book I always swore I would never publish, but many who read it online asked about it so here it is. (Ha ha!) My favorite is one I most definitely won’t ever publish—it’s a dual-timeline thing that combines my love of genetics and genomics with JAFF! I had lots of fun writing it, but I did kill off Regency Darcy in the course of the story, and I think it ripped a lot of people’s guts out. (Ha ha!) I had hoped the modern Darcy would make up for that but apparently, no—people were still pretty upset!
How do you balance your own expectations with those of your readers when writing a new story?
Wow this is a really good question because one thing that makes writing JAFF tricky is that the reader DOES come into it with a lot of preconceived feelings about the characters and the story. I think some people might think writing JAFF is easy because Jane Austen did a good bit of the work for us, but I don’t think it’s true at all—we have to constantly be aware of how deeply our readers feel for our characters.
I think it’s a really good thing for a writer to simply take off, let the muse drive the story, and write whatever is in your head trying to get out. No worries about the potential readers at all, just let it flow. However, when it comes time to publish, it’s a different matter. I don’t want to try and sell something to people that I would not want to buy myself. JAFF readers are really wonderful in the sense that if you can assure them of a HEA for Darcy & Elizabeth, they’re generally pretty willing to go along for the ride!
What about reviews? Do you read them? And what is your position about them?
I do read them! I have never lost the genuine sense of excitement that I feel knowing someone has read my words. I was never trained as a writer, certainly never imagined I would be an author, so to me it is endlessly thrilling that someone not only read my words but cared enough about it to leave me a review. So even when it’s not a nice review, I am still smiling because, hey they read my book! They had feelings about my book! 🙂
I’ve always wondered, for you, what is the hardest part about being a writer?
Ugh, I have no discipline. I might sit down to write and crank out 2000 words but more likely I’ll sit down to write, check Facebook, then discover a light that needs dusted, then decide to throw in a load of laundry and, next you know, it’s dinnertime. The sitting still is hard for me.
I imagine that would also be the hardest part for me, it must be hard to be so focused, but not all is hard I’m sure, what are the pros of the job?
Quality time with our favorite couple of course! And because truly, I just adore the JAFF community. I think we are very fortunate to have formed this global sort of close-knit group and I really appreciate that and feel grateful to be a part of it.
That is definitely true, I feel very happy to be a part of this community too. I’m sure they’d like to know if you have have many unpublished and half-finished books at this moment.
OMG…so many. So, so many. I have a folder on my hard drive called WIPS, and in it are 17 manuscripts in various stages of completion. If I ever finished half of them, I’d be thrilled.
And what can we expect next? Where is the muse taking you in 2021?
My next book will be out next July and it’s another from the boards: So Material A Change. Darcy and Elizabeth are both forced into marriage by outside circumstances—it’s mainly a love story, not so much angst and lots and lots of romance!
I am looking forward for So Material a Change to come out so I can read it Amy! Thank you for letting us know about it and for taking the time to answer all these questions. It was a pleasure receiving you at From Pemberley to Milton today.
The moment he saw her at the assembly in Meryton, he knew he loved her.
WHEN FITZWILLIAM DARCY MEETS ELIZABETH BENNET in the fateful autumn of 1811, their mutual infatuation is immediate and undeniable. Within months, they are married and spend a blissful winter at Pemberley, falling more deeply in love with each other than either might have imagined possible. But spring in London proves more challenging to them. Accident and artifice join to devastating effect for the young couple, destroying their felicity and creating an outcome neither might have imagined.
TWO YEARS LATER, happenstance reunites them. Sorrow and anger have built walls between them but the love they once shared still remains. Will it be enough to conquer the sins of the past? Is the love they still hold within them strong enough to prevail over the anger and mistrust that tore them apart?
You can find A Wilful Misunderstanding at:
and on Kindle Unlimited
Today is the final stop of the blog tour for A Wilful Minunderstanding, but you can still go back and check out the other blog stops. Here is the schedule:
Quills and Quartos are kindly giving away an ebook of A Wilful Misunderstanding. To enter, please comment on this blog post.
Good Luck everyone!