Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interview with Kara Louise + Giveaway

I am so excited to have Kara Louise as my guest today. I have long been a fan of her writing and am very thrilled that she has a new book released, Pirates and Prejudice. Kara agreed to answer some of my questions and host a giveaway. Read more about the giveaway after her interview. 

Now please join me in welcoming Kara Louise.

How and when did you become interested in Jane Austen?

My love for all things Jane Austen came with the 1995 film of “Pride and Prejudice” with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I had never before seen any film or movie that moved me in such a way. I watched it countless times and then went out and bought the book. After reading the book, I bought a book with all her works and began to work my way through each of her novels, watching a corresponding film if I could. I still love “Pride and Prejudice” the best, with “Persuasion” being my next favorite.

What drove you to start writing your own books? Did you write other things before writing PnP variations?

When I went online to see what I could find on “Pride and Prejudice,” I was amazed to find a whole community of people who felt the way I did. (Amazing, isn’t it?) I discovered the Republic of Pemberley and the Derbyshire Writer’s Guild. I began reading stories others posted and one day came up with my first story. I had plotted it out to be about 7 chapters, but it ended up being 20. That was my first novel, “Assumed Engagement.”

Years before, I tried to write a novel that I had in my head. I got three pages done and thought to myself, ‘I can never take the time to write a whole novel.’ Of course I also had a young son at the time! Then just before seeing P&P, I had found out some information about our genealogy and began a fictional story based on some of that information. I got a little further – 3 chapters!

Do you have a muse that causes your story to lead you at times or do you use an outline and follow it religiously? What is your writing routine?

I do not use an outline, but now I do make a list of the general direction I want to go. I used to just keep most of it in my head and then would just type away. Now, I might write a whole scene ahead of time if I think of it, or just jot a few notes down if I want to remember. I think one of the hardest things for me is having an idea that I cling to so tenaciously, but if anything changes in the direction of the plot, I have to let it go. I have found usually it’s for the better.

As far as my writing routine, I write better when I’m alone. Occasionally I write with music in the background (like in the other room), but sometimes I just write in the quiet of the day. I have an office where I write, but if the weather is nice, I’ll go outside onto my hammock swing and write. Since winters are cold and summers can get really hot here, I can’t do that as often as I would like. J

Is there any setting that helps inspire you to write?

Since I answered part of this in the question above (my 2 settings), I thought I’d describe my office. I have a bookcase hutch in it that is covered with Jane Austen items. I have each of my books on top, as well as an item that represents each of my books. (For example, I have a pair of ship bookends for “Darcy’s Voyage” (and would also be suitable for “Pirates and Prejudice”), a little English Springer Spaniel Webkinz dog for “Master Under Good Regulation,” a gardenia candle for “Assumed Engagement,” and a large red chess piece for “Only Mr. Darcy Will Do.”) I also have a doll that I think looks like Elizabeth Bennet, although she is dressed in more of a Victorian gown than Regency, a Jane Austen action figure, other Jane Austen books, and a few other special mementoes.

I am assuming from your novels that you prefer to write your stories during Regency times instead of modern settings? If my assumptions are correct, what makes the Regency era more appealing to you? If not, why do you set most of your stories during that time?

I do love the Regency period, although I did write a modern story, “Drive and Determination.” I would someday like to write a sequel to that novel, based on the Darcy character’s sister, Gina. It would be more of a “Persuasion” story. But I love the Regency era, the dress, manners, and even the class system really adds a special charm to stories were the characters fall in love outside that rigid structure. I also think it’s easier to write Jane Austen’s characters in the setting in which she wrote them. While her stories are timeless, to put them in a modern setting truly affects who they are, and a lot of changes have to be made.

I love all of your books and have read several more than once. As I am an animal lover, I was especially fascinated with Master Under Good Regulation.  I am curious as to what inspired your writing of that book?

If I can think back that far, I believe I had been reading Pamela Aiden’s great P&P novels, and in it Darcy has a very faithful dog. I got to thinking about how a dog may have influenced the story. I randomly chose an English Springer Spaniel (we had a cocker spaniel at the time), and I began writing. Reggie became very dear to me, and three years ago, we got our own Reggie, although ours is a female. Unfortunately, our Reggie is not as well behaved as Darcy’s Reggie was.

I am very excited about your new book, Pirates and Prejudice. How did you come up with the idea to have Darcy mistaken for a pirate? I read an earlier excerpt from it and it was intriguing indeed. I can hardly wait to read it. What can you tell us about it without giving anything away?

I had a rough draft of the first chapter for several years. I had seen the stories written about zombies, vampires, etc., and I actually was surprised that no one had done pirates. I didn’t know what I was going to do with the story; I only knew Darcy was going to be mistaken for one when he becomes so despondent after Elizabeth’s refusal that he withdraws to London. In this first chapter, we see him walking the docks, berating himself for how destitute he had allowed himself to become. Just as we think he is about to pull himself together, he is grabbed by some men who believe he is a pirate who recently escaped from the authorities. Because of his resemblance to this pirate, he is asked to impersonate him (complete with dress and talk) to lure him in. Darcy agrees, hoping this will be a way to help forget Elizabeth and get his life back in order. Of course he doesn’t realize the adventure he is about to go on will include an encounter with the woman he is trying to forget!

Is there anything you have learned from writing that has helped you in your life?

I think one thing I had to learn is to accept constructive criticism so that it doesn’t affect me personally and feel attacked. This comes throughout the whole process of writing, beginning with the very first edits all the way to the comments and reviews readers make about the book. It’s difficult to read a scathing review, but I actually like a review that gives some helpful criticism. It has made me think how I might want to politely correct someone.

Is there anything special about yourself or your writing that you would like to share with us?

As I answered the above question about previous writing, I thought I would elaborate on the story I wrote based on our genealogy. I still have it, and occasionally go back to it and work on it a little. In thinking about it, though, I realized it actually has a ‘reverse’ P&P feel, with the heroine marrying beneath her and her family disowning her. Funny thing, she married a sea captain! Maybe that’s why I have a special place in my heart for stories out at sea! (This all took place in Norway.)

Thanks for having me as a guest, Janet! I will be giving away a paperback to anyone in US, or an ebook for an international winner.


Visit Kara Louise at her blog:
delightful diversions from the heart...

Pirates and Prejudice may be found at:
Amazon, Paperback and Kindle
Barnes & Noble, Paperback and Nook


Thank you again, Kara Louise, for being my guest today. It has been an honor! Thank you also for the giveaway to one lucky winner. As was stated above, the giveaway consists of a paperback to anyone in the US, or an ebook for an eReader to an international winner. What do you think sounds exciting about Darcy being a pirate? Please leave your comment to be entered in the giveaway. Be sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @.  Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight, June 18.




32 comments:

  1. What an introduction to the new book and Kara Louise herself, Janet!
    I wonder what Darcy will be up while he is a pirate captain! And I wonder if Elizabeth will recognize him as the gentleman who asked her to marry him at Rosings?!
    I can't wait to read this new book! Please enter me for the giveaway! I can't wait to fall in love yet again with Darcy!
    I would love to win this book, because any chance to read about Darcy and Elizabeth would be welcome! And I look forward to falling in love with a roguish pirate Darcy!

    sophiathorsen1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Sophia-Elizabeth! I'm so glad you came by! Good luck in the giveaway. I know you would love this book! You will fall in love with Darcy for sure!!

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  2. I had to chuckle about the weather being too cold or too hot. That is what it is like a great deal around my neck of the woods. I really enjoyed Darcy's Voyage and Only Darcy Will Do so I look forward to this exciting venture for Darcy as a Pirate.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

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    1. I have read the two books you mentioned several times! I loved them both and this one is just as good!

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  3. Ah, we have two ladies named Sophia who have commented, and that ties in well with what I was going to say to the first Sophia! I believe you are confusing me with the lovely KaraLynne Mackroy, who wrote Falling for Mr. Darcy. But that is fine with me! If you haven't read any of my books, I hope you will soon discover them! Thank you, both Sophia and Sophia Rose, for stopping by!

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  4. The genealogy story sounds very interesting - just how did she meet a man from a "lower" class? He must have been very spectacular for her to give up her family.

    I think Darcy as a pirate would be fascinating. He abhorred disguise of every sort, yet is in a position where he has to disguise himself. I wonder what he would do if he had to kill someone attacked his ship. Intriguing!

    ~ junewilliams7 {at} yahoo dot com

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    1. Good point about his abhorrence. That is a significant point in the story too!

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  5. Darcy as a Pirate sounds soooo SEXY!!!! & PERFECT!!!
    why wasn't this thought of sooner?!?!!? LOL!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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    1. Oh, it is sexy and wonderful. The chemistry sparks do fly!

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  6. June, in the genealogy story, I'm not sure how they met in real life - I only know how they meet in my story! :) Cyn, I'm not sure why no one thought of this before, either! I hope you get a chance to read it! And good luck to all in the giveaway!

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  7. I loooove rogish Darcys. Congratulations for your new book and thank you for the give away!

    mariaelena dot fuentesmontero at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

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  8. I bought it. So excited to read it.

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    1. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I did! Wonderful book.

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  9. I really loved this interview, especially as Kara Louise is a longstanding favourite of mine from DWG :)
    I read an excerpt to 'Pirates and Prejudice' recently, and it sounds like a fantastic book. The very thought that they meet again, and Elizabeth does not recognise the man she has refused in the 'pirate' Captain creates the premise for a great read, like all of Kara Louise's books, in effect! Looking forward to devour it!

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    1. She is one of my favorite authors, too, Joana! I think I have read all of hers but the modern adaptation. I loved every one of them. Thanks for commenting.

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  10. The thought of Darcy totally out of his social comfort zone sounds like fun

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

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  11. I love reading your comments, reconnecting with fans and meeting new ones! Thanks for visiting Janet's blog and good luck in the giveaway! (Although, kneyda, I guess since you already bought the book, I'll say - enjoy it!)

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  12. So excited you have a new book out! Can't wait!

    Jennifer W
    jandjwebb(at)msn.com

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Jennifer. Good luck in the giveaway!

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  13. I'm a fan of Kara Louise, and have enjoyed her previous two books very much! Darcy as a pirate sounds like the perfect kind of book to read this summer -- I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the interview, too.

    joannemccabe9 (at) cox (dot) net

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    1. I'm so glad that you came by, Joanne. I am a big fan of Kara Louise, myself. Her books are so good and I was thrilled when I found out about this one. It does not disappoint, either!

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  14. Thanks, Jennifer and Joanne! Good luck in the giveaway, and thanks for stopping by!

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  15. Kara Louise, thank you so much for agreeing to be my guest. It has truly been my honor to have you and learn more about your writing and love of Jane Austen.

    I love this new book and I wish you much success, although I feel certain that success is a given!

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  16. Thank you so much for this giveaway opportunity!

    patkf2007 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for coming by and entering!

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  17. Thanks so much for hosting me, Janet! It's been fun! And good luck to all, I hope those who read it will enjoy it!

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  18. Lovely interview, ladies! I love how Kara has momentos for all her books in her office - that's really special!

    How interesting about your family having a reverse P&P marriage and with a sea captain!!! That's pretty neat!

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    1. Thank you, Meredith. Glad you stopped by! By the way, I loved your interview with Pirate Darcy! Great job!

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  19. Lovely interview, ladies. I always enjoy everything that Kara Louise writes. And Darcy as a pirate sounds like so much fun!!=)
    kellik115(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Kelli! I love everything she writes too. You can depend on it being very good! You will love Darcy as a pirate.

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