Good Afternoon everyone,
I hope you’re all doing well 🙂
Life has been very busy for me with lots of extra work this week, but I’m very happy to share with you today one of my favourite types of posts: an Interview!
Author Christine Combe has recently released Why I Kissed You, a Darcy/Elizabeth centric romance, and she answered a few questions to tell you more about it. I hope you like this interview and share your thoughts in the conversation with us. And if you’re curious about the book, don’t forget to check out the other blog tour stops 🙂
Greetings, fellow Austenians! I’m so excited to be visiting From Pemberley to Milton again. Today I’m here to brag about my newest release, Why I Kissed You!
Although she vehemently refuses the marriage proposal of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet soon learns that an unexplainable moment of passion that occurred between them has led a furious Lady Catherine de Bourgh to demand she be thrown out of Mr. Collins’ house!
Fitzwilliam Darcy, although his pride was wounded by Elizabeth’s rejection, finds he cannot allow her to be harmed by his aunt’s fanciful ambition for a marriage between him and her daughter. Fearing further action may be taken to damage Elizabeth’s reputation, he knows that marriage is the only form of protection he can offer her.
Elizabeth and Darcy travel to London to begin the arrangements for a wedding that for all intents and purposes shouldn’t be taking place. In the midst of shopping for wedding clothes, sharing the news with family, and meeting Darcy’s noble relatives, Elizabeth is coming to learn more about who Darcy really is than she ever knew before. At the same time, Darcy is navigating the intricacies of realizing how wrong it is to interfere in the lives of others and how to deserve forgiveness from a friend.
Though they act quickly to begin a new life together where one person is in love and the other now unsure of their feelings, Elizabeth and Darcy can’t stop one final attempt to keep them apart forever. But faith and love—and a little bit of luck—will play their part in determining whether there is a chance to pursue the happily ever after that both of them desperately want.
Hope that blurb intrigues you! Now, I’m going to be answering some questions about the book and myself to help you get to know a little bit about my story and me.
This story is a variation that starts sometime after the original, correct?
Yes, it deviates from the canon in the immediate aftermath of the disastrous proposal at Hunsford. A lot of JAFF authors have started their story at about this point in the story, though this is the first time I’ve tried it.
What inspired you to choose this point to start?
I was working on my last book, Three Brides for Three Cousins. Habitually, I will play Austen films on another screen or classical music while writing to keep me in the right headspace for the Regency period. I prefer a little background noise while I write over absolute quiet.
Anyway, I remember I was writing away and had a P&P marathon going that day. I happened to look up at my second screen at the very moment in the 2005 movie where Darcy and Elizabeth have just finished arguing over the botched proposal and it looks like they’re about to kiss in spite of having just been fighting! I know the director did that on purpose, but I just remember having the thought “What if they did kiss?”
So, they do kiss in your new book?
Oh yes. More than once, actually.
Care to share any other changes you made?
Like in my other books, I tend to write Jane as less naïve and more sensible, and Bingley has a little more spine than in the original. I mean, he did walk away from Jane, but when he learns the truth himself, he’s a different Bingley.
Darcy and Elizabeth get their HEA, I hope?
Of course! I may challenge some JAFF standards—like Colonel Fitzwilliam’s first name or the name of his father’s title—but I am not fool enough to have Darcy and Elizabeth end up with anyone other than each other! I mean, they kiss more than once, why wouldn’t they get together? 😊
Tell the readers something about yourself. How long have you been writing JAFF?
2023 marks my sixth year as a published JAFF author. I started writing my first book, The Correction of Folly, in 2017, and published it in 2018. Why I Kissed You is my seventh JAFF novel. I will publish one more, possibly two more books this year.
Why I Kissed You is a P&P variation. Do you write variations for any of Austen’s other novels?
Not at the present, but I hope to in the future. My first book—actually the first in a series that will crossover all six major novels—was a Sense and Sensibility variation, which did not do quite as well as I had hoped it would. I will admit that I was very disappointed, and nearly considered giving up writing altogether since I had been self-publishing for several years and hadn’t had much luck at it. I figured, what was the point in writing a sequel if no one was going to read it? But I had met some really nice people on Facebook in various JAFF and Jane Austen groups, and they encouraged me to keep writing. It took me almost three years to finish Choice and Consequence, the second book in the series, which continued a sub-plot from the first book and focused on Pride and Prejudice characters. That book did so well that I very quickly realized Pride and Prejudice stories are the most wanted. So, I put the What Might Have Been series on hold and decided to focus on P&P variations.
How has that worked out for you?
Very well, actually. I made very good money on that second book, so was encouraged to try my hand at a standalone novel. The first standalone I wrote was an alternate history variation in which the fortunes of Darcy and Elizabeth were reversed called The Reintroduction of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Each book since has done well, due in large part to their all being Pride and Prejudice variations. The money I have made since May of 2021, when Choice and Consequence was published, has been very much a blessing. I’ve caught up on bills, gotten myself out of debt, and improved my credit score, among other things.I don’t want anyone to think I’m throwing these stories out there just to make a quick buck, because I’m not—I care a great deal about writing a quality story. Besides which, if the stories were bad, no one would read them. Word spreads pretty quickly in the JAFF community, and readers are very particular about what they do and do not like. I respect that they want to see these beloved characters well treated, and I want to respect Austen’s genius in having created them. It’s just that I have learned what I need to do to make money at this, and I will keep doing it as long as I can.
Do you work outside of the home and write on the side, like many independent authors do?
I used to, but in November of 2022, I took the plunge and dedicated myself to writing full time. I don’t make Nora Roberts-level megabucks, but all my bills are paid, my pets and I have food, and there’s even a little extra left over for treating myself. Much as I wish I had a few million dollars to purchase an English country estate, I’ll be content with what I’ve been blessed with.
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I have a couple of stories started on my hard drive. I am eight or nine chapters into another story under the working title The Safe House, and I am also considering what my next book should be about. I think I may have settled on something, so we will see what the future holds!
Why I Kissed You is now available from Amazon in eBook, paperback, and hardcover editions! Leave a comment on today’s blog for a chance to win your very own Kindle copy—and follow along on the blog tour for a chance to win a signed paperback! If for any reason you cannot comment on a blog, notify me (Christine) by email and I will be sure to add you to the drawing for the paperback.
Christine, like many a JAFF author before her, is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen’s work, and she hopes that her alternate versions are as enjoyable as the originals. She has plans to one day visit England and take a tour of all the grand country estates which have featured in film adaptations, and often dreams of owning one. Christine lives in Ohio and is already at work on her next book.
Blog: All That They Desire / Facebook: Christine Combe
20 responses to “Why I Kissed You by Christine Combe – An Interview”
Loved hearing more about the story & have it added to my wish list.
Thank you for the kind words. I hope you enjoy the story!
I’m so glad you are thriving on the proceeds of your lovely books! I must admit I much prefer stories about Darcy and Elizabeth so you’re definitely on a winner there. I also love early marriage stories so Why I Kissed You is an absolute winner for me! I do look forward to reading it. 🙂
Glynis! So happy you could actually reply on this one! Thank you for the lovely comments, and for all your support!
Fun to read the interview, Rita and Christina. I actually loved that Christina tackled an S&S variation which was my intro to her work, but I know that P&P variations are where its at, too.
Looking forward to this latest.
Thank you so very much for the kind words! So happy you liked that first book — I *will* get back to the series someday, lol. But I’m working on saving money for a house now, so P&P stories it is until I achieve that goal!
Thank you for all your support.
Thank you for the giveaway. Best wishes and congrats on the new release!
Thank you so much for all your support! I see you on these blog tours almost as often as Glynis, lol.
I love the cover – the dress is beautiful. Wow! Kissing before Elizabeth even likes Darcy? This book sounds fabulous and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.
Thank you for the kind words! I, too, fell in love with that gown the moment I saw that portrait — it really is so lovely! I hope you enjoy the book when you get to read it.
Enjoyed the interview and am glad you’ve written a less naïve Jane and Bingley with more spine.
LoL, I think I always write them less naive and with slightly more backbone (although the Bingleys hardly had any part in Three Brides for Three Cousins). I can’t seem to write either of them as being as blind and weak-willed as others do, though I have been encouraged to try my hand at bad Jane.
Enjoyed reading the interview and looking forward to reading the story!
I would like to enter the giveaway. I already have this in my wish list, and I think it sounds great!
Thank you for the kind words, and good luck in the giveaway!
sounds fascinating. on my tbr list!
I’m anxious to find out the answer to the implied question in the title! Great cover, as well.
Looking forward to reading this story. Thanks for sharing.
I like the sound of this story, and Jane plus Bingley as stronger people is a great bonus 🙂
Thank God that you persevere and continue writing JAFF, Christine. It is true that P&P stories sell better but I hope readers to give a chance to try other variations of Jane Austen’s novels. All the very best to you.