Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chaos Comes to Longbourn...Victoria Kincaid

Available on Amazon
Victoria Kincaid is visiting today with a blurb and excerpt from her latest novel, Chaos Comes to Longbourn. She was also kind enough to answer some questions for me.

Victoria, it is so good to have you back at More Agreeably Engaged and I thank you, for indulging me with my questions. The excerpt and blurb made me ready to break out my copy of the book and start reading! 

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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?

The older I get the less time I spend plotting out my books.  I think it comes from having more faith in my abilities as a writer.  I used to write long, involved outlines, but now I sketch out a general idea for a plot and dive right in.  I have faith that I’ll work out whatever problems I encounter along the way.  When I wrote detailed outlines I found that the actual books usually diverged from them anyway, so all that prep time wasn’t necessary.

Outlines and muses aside, what about the Regency era is appealing to you?

One of the things that helps write Regency romance is all the restrictions on male and female interactions.  That might sound contradictory, but it’s true.  Today, it’s very easy for couples to meet, date, fall in love, get married.  There are few obstacles to encounter, and sometimes when writers invent obstacles they can seem rather artificial.  But the Regency barriers to male and female interaction were real and quite strict.  The courtship system wasn’t necessarily set up to allow for people to fall in love (as opposed to setting up arranged marriages) and people rarely say what they are actually thinking.  All of this sets up some interesting obstacles for your protagonists and creates some delicious conflicts.

Oh, those strict rules do make for some interesting situations, I agree. Hmmm, do they play a significant part in your latest? Tell us something about it that you love most. (if you can without giving anything away)

It’s odd.  When I read P&P variations, or almost any other kind of book, I often like those with emotional intensity.  I love angst!  But when I write books, I often find that I most enjoy writing comedy.  This book was great fun to write.   I loved the idea of having everyone engaged to the wrong person and all the chaos that would ensue.  It was such a hoot thinking of stupid things for Collins to say or funny things for Lydia to do.  The biggest creative challenge was making it funny while still keeping it true to Austen’s characters, but I think I accomplished that. 

That sounds like a neat idea. I have a feeling you accomplished your goal as well. What have you learned from writing that has helped you in your daily life?

Too many things to list!  I’ve learned a lot from reading and writing about dissecting people’s motivations – what does someone really want as opposed to what they say (or think) they want?  This is a useful trait when dealing with anyone in real life (or, say, helping a teenage daughter navigate the treacherous waters of high school friendships).  Reading and writing also help you learn empathy.  You spend a lot of time in another person’s head—learning their fears, desires, and motivations.  Even if you don’t always agree with the way someone tries to accomplish a goal, you can understand why they want it.  When you’re empathetic about other people’s thoughts and feelings, you’re more likely to be patient with them and work with them to resolve problems.

Good answer! I like your thoughts but do not envy helping a teenage daughter navigate high school friendships! Those can be very treacherous waters! Now for something less treacherous but very important, we all have our special reasons for loving Mr. Darcy, what are yours?

It’s hard to list them all!  The biggest one is that he’s willing to change his behavior for Elizabeth’s sake.  Swoon!  Wouldn’t every woman like a man to do that?  The fact that he is a rich, proud, powerful man makes his willingness that much more powerful.  He could easily stay the same and marry someone else, but he makes the change for Elizabeth—that speaks to how “violently” he is in love with her. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention why I love Elizabeth.  Of course, we would all like to be Elizabeth and capture the love of a handsome, rich, loving (but flawed) man.  But one of the things I love about her character is that although P&P is a bit of a Cinderella story (handsome prince marries poor, but beautiful woman), Elizabeth isn’t a Cinderella character.  She stands up for herself; she doesn’t sit around pining away for him.  As readers, we’re rooting for them to fall in love, but we’re also proud of her for not just falling into his arms because he has money.  She’s true to herself, but she still gets the guy—what a great book!

I'm glad to read your reasons for loving Elizabeth and Darcy! You give good sound reasons for both! Thank you again, for taking the time to share these and the other answers with us. Now for the blurb and then the excerpt!

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Blurb:

While attempting to suppress his own desire to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy flees the Netherfield ballroom only to stumble upon a half-dressed Lydia Bennet in the library.  After being discovered with her in a compromising position, Darcy is forced to make her an offer of marriage.

Fearing the Bennets will attempt a similar “trick” with their brother, Mr. Bingley’s sisters convince him to leave Hertfordshire without any intention of returning.  After Elizabeth refuses Mr. Collins, a heartbroken Jane Bennet accepts his proposal.

Having resolved to propose to Jane, Bingley returns to Longbourn; but when he learns of her betrothal, he makes an offer to Elizabeth instead.  She accepts, with the hope that Jane will change her mind if Bingley remains at Netherfield. 

Meanwhile, Sir William Lucas is aware that Wickham had actually compromised Lydia in the Netherfield library and blackmails him into proposing to Charlotte Lucas, who is in danger of becoming an old maid. 

Hertfordshire has become a tangled web of misbegotten betrothals.

Although Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, he feels honor bound by his promise.  Elizabeth is also developing feelings for the master of Pemberley, but he has never seemed so far out of her reach.  How can Darcy and Elizabeth unravel this tangle and reach their happily ever after? 

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Excerpt:

Elizabeth dropped the napkin on the tray.  “You cannot flirt with officers now, Lydia.  You are betrothed to Mr. Darcy.”

“I remember, silly!”  Lydia waved away this objection as she shrugged off her night rail and donned her dress.  “I shan’t kiss anyone!  But I must have some fun before I marry that stodgy old man.”

Elizabeth was not an admirer of Mr. Darcy’s, but she would hardly describe him as stodgy or old.  “Engaged women must behave with greater discretion,” she said. 

“I can be discreet!” Lydia declared.  “I shall have discretion shooting out of my ears!”  Elizabeth winced at this image as she laced up her sister’s dress. 

Once her dress was fastened, Lydia flopped back onto her bed.  “Although honestly, Lizzy, I wish I were not engaged to Mr. Darcy.  I agreed to marry him because everyone said I must, but I always wanted an officer.  They are so dashing and so much fun!  Mr. Darcy almost never smiles and never laughs.”

Elizabeth pulled Lydia into a standing position before she could wrinkle her dress.  “I understand, my dear.  But the circumstances last night were…quite bad.  You are betrothed now, and you must make the best of it.”

“That is what Mama said, and she reminded me of Mr. Darcy’s fortune.”  Lydia sighed.  “If only he were more dashing…Although I suppose I shall comfort myself with jewels and hats…”

“Yes, indeed,” Elizabeth said.  She hardly approved of such an obviously mercenary approach to marriage, but Lydia must not break off the engagement.  Her reputation was in tatters. 

“I cannot wait to tell everyone in Meryton about Mr. Darcy’s ten thousand a year!”  Lydia giggled. 

Elizabeth’s righteous anger at Mr. Darcy was gradually transforming into an amorphous regret.  Last night she had been so certain of his guilt, but now…if what she suspected was true, he had been wronged, and Elizabeth had helped to wrong him. 

Moreover, she did not need to learn more of his character to be certain that he was spectacularly ill-suited to be Lydia’s husband; most likely they would both be miserable in the marriage.  Elizabeth rubbed suddenly sweaty palms on her gown.  What can I do?  She had nothing but suspicions and no way of confirming them without Lydia’s cooperation.

“I shan’t let anyone forget I have a fiancé.  A very wealthy fiancé!”  Lydia dashed from the room and down the stairs.  Elizabeth followed at a slower pace. 

At the bottom of the stairs, however, they both encountered Hill, followed by the tall figure of Mr. Darcy.  He bowed to the two ladies.  “Forgive the intrusion at such an early hour,” he said.  “But I was hoping to have a word with Miss Lydia.”

Elizabeth’s first reaction was alarm.  Surely he was not suggesting she leave them alone!  But then she recalled that they were betrothed, and it was appropriate for betrothed couples to enjoy some privacy.  Although she could not imagine what two such different people would say to each other.

Lydia pouted.  “I am bound for Meryton with Kitty!”

Elizabeth barely refrained from chastising her sister.  How could Lydia treat her fiancé so rudely? 

Mr. Darcy looked affronted.  “I shall be departing from Hertfordshire within the hour.”

Lydia heaved a great sigh.  “Very well, I suppose I have time for a brief conversation.”

“Thank you for making time for me.”  Mr. Darcy’s tone was so dry that Elizabeth could not discern if he was being sardonic.

“I suppose I must, for I am your fiancée!”  She gave Elizabeth a sidelong glance and giggled.  “Isn’t that such a grand word: fiancée?”  Elizabeth rolled her eyes, but Lydia mistook the gesture.  “Don’t worry, Lizzy,” she patted her sister’s hand, “I am sure someday a man will want to marry you as well.”

Mr. Darcy regarded the sisters with a carefully blank expression.  Did he also believe Elizabeth would be lucky to procure a husband?

“You are too good,” Elizabeth murmured to Lydia.  Mr. Darcy made a strangled sound that turned into a cough. 

“I know.”  Lydia tossed her head so her curls bounced.  “Mr. Darcy, shall we retire to the drawing room?”

He nodded mutely.

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Poor, Mr. Darcy! I cannot imagine the mess that he is in. I believe Meryton and Longbourn are in complete chaos! My, oh my, what a tangled web of betrothals? Thank you, Victoria Kincaid, for giving us such a delightful sounding novel. It will be much fun to discover how you untangle this mess that your characters have made.  

Ms. Kincaid is offering 1 eBook of Chaos Comes to Longbourn to a lucky reader and the giveaway is worldwide. Please leave your contact info in the comment. Giveaway will end at 11:59 PM on the 17th of August. Good luck to all.

12 comments:

  1. When I heard of this story, the thought that came to mind was, "What a riot, wish I'd thought of it first!" I have been falling woefully behind on my TBR pile lately, but I absolutely must make time to read this. I love a good laugh!

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    1. Hi Nicole, I've felt that way about other authors' work! I hope you enjoy it when you get to it;

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    3. Wow, technical problems abound here today! Ahem! Anyway, this is on the top of my list. Poor dear Darcy dealing with Lydia... Oy!

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  2. I'm sure that Darcy will kill Lydia very soon (accidental of course), or get the Colonel to do it

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    1. Hi Vesper, I'm sure he would like to! :)

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  3. Mr. Darcy and Lydia - oh, say it can't be so! How do these entanglements work themselves out? Thank you for the giveaway. It would be wonderful to win this ebook and be able to laugh with our favorite couple during the last days of summer.

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  4. What a wonderfully funny story!!! Can't wait to read it and discover how all these weird engagements become satisfactorily disentangled!!!

    A great idea,Victoria!!!

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  5. Oh how I loved the excerpt, this promises to be a great story! Lydia destined to be Mrs Darcy, what a laugh :D

    lotsofgingers AT hellokitty DOT com

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  6. What are jewels and hats when you have Darcy for a husband?! Don't understand the girl at all, but the story promises to be rather amusing!

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