Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Rose Fairbanks...the Gentleman's Impertinent Daughter

We have a special treat in store for us as new author, Rose Fairbanks, joins us to talk about her first published work, a novella titled the Gentleman's Impertinent Daughter. Rose is enjoying a blog tour and I am pleased More Agreeably Engaged is a part of it. 

I enjoyed all the things you shared in your answers to my interview questions, Rose. They were all such a delight to read. I  loved your last answer, especially! It was obvious you had given it some thought and you brought out some very interesting points...ones that I agree with completely. 

Thank you for being with us today and for having a giveaway too.

How and when did your interest in Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice take root?

I first read Pride and Prejudice in 2003 for my AP English class. I was a big fan of Little Women, even as a teenager, and would sometimes check out the sequels (as I owned multiple copies of the first book) from the high school library. The school librarian suggested multiple times I try Pride and Prejudice but I never did. Once I read it though, I fell fast in love. I watched the BBC’s 1995 series adaptations a few times as well before buying it and nearly memorizing it. In college I had less time for leisure reading but I did read other JA works and developed a little circuit of works I would reread at least once a year for the next ten years. I favored P&P above the others. J I didn’t get interested in Jane Austen Fan Fiction until about a year and half ago due to pregnancy-induced insomnia.

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

A wrote a fair bit of poetry and song lyrics in high school and then since college I’ve started and scrapped several original works. Writing JAFF relieves a lot of the issues I faced with writing an original story. There’s a set idea of character and plot development. Even if I leave both I know where I left so I think I have a better idea of where the “too far” line is. I mentioned above I had terrible insomnia while pregnant and then with a new baby I was up a lot at night as well. I quickly ran through everything I could find on Nook and Kindle and would just sit and wait for someone to publish something new. Sometime in July of 2013 I started dabbling in the idea of writing my own stories because I had to know what happened to Darcy and Lizzy next! Fortunately, I found free online forums shortly thereafter because those early attempts of mine are rather bad!

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?

My first few stories, that appear to be rather abandoned and dying on my hard drive, were muse-only inspired stories. I was later inspired by a writing prompt on a JAFF forum and wrote two very short stories from it. My longer stories require an outline, but it tends to be a moving target. My muse typically gives me scene ideas, not particular lines. So I can typically hold onto the idea until I get a quiet moment. But heavy duty writing or editing has to happen on my husband’s days off, which is where an outline is helpful. I think there are a lot of jokes about writers and procrastination and I’ve found they’re pretty true. I see the time start to slip by and after I’ve goofed off too much then I sit and hunker down.

Is there any setting that is more inspirational to you when writing?

Quiet, but not too quiet. I can write in a public place if need be but I prefer my home.

What about the Regency era is appealing to you?

I have a degree in history and loved reading historical fiction as a teenager. For the narrow time span that is specifically Regency, I like the juxtaposition of the old and new. As a historian I can see how much the world was really changing during that era but I wonder if it felt that way to the people living in it. How does a gentry class start to transition to a world with a larger and emerging true merchant/middle class? How do women reconcile their burgeoning values of self-worth and notions of romance with reality? How do everyday people start to shape history?

Tell us something about your newest book that you love most. (if you can without giving anything away)

The next book to be published is called No Cause to Repine and is a forced marriage scenario. During Darcy’s first visit to the Hunsford Parsonage alone an innocent accident is misconstrued and an engagement is necessary. Elizabeth has not talked to Colonel Fitzwilliam about Darcy’s friendship with Bingley yet, but all her other prejudices are intact. She is certainly not in love, but once she gets there it is so beautiful and sweet. I think my favorite part is either Darcy’s second proposal or an even later scene when they offer each other true partnership in their marriage.

What have you learned from writing that has helped you in your daily life?

I’ve learned a lot more patience and to review things. My first few stories were like shooting straight from the hip and I posted without looking at them very closely. Anything worth doing in life is worth doing well, and that takes time and practice. I’ve also learned to be happy with where I am at present. I can see improvements from where I was as a writer and while I’m not where I want to be, I am improving. It can be tempting to just give up since I feel inadequate compared to the brilliant writers I enjoy reading, but I can be happy with who I am without settling there.

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

As much as I love the what-if scenarios I do always want to know what happens after the wedding or when our dear couple fall in love (if that comes later). I suppose it’s because I’ve been married nearly ten years and have two kids and see the ups and downs. I don’t necessarily need a whole sequel but I love an epilogue that gives me a little taste of an older and settled within marriage Darcy and Lizzy.

Do you have a modern day author that has inspired you? If yes, what was it about their writing that was an inspiration?

Hm…I’m not really a fan of the modern genre! But I do love a few modern writers that write of the past! Trying to think of a non-JAFF writer (because I would hate to leave someone out), I think the biggest influence on me was the American Girl Series when I was a young girl and Ann Rinaldi, who writes young adult historical fiction with a dash of romance, when I was a teenager. A noteworthy mention goes to Helen Wells and Julie Campbell Tatham of the Cherry Ames series. One of my aunts gave me all her old Cherry Ames books when I was 14. Cherry starts as a nursing student during World War II and the series continues until the 1960s. She has a lot of confidence, independence, generosity, resourcefulness and spunk! In an era that had few career women and still lots of pressures to marry, Cherry never did. Nor did she have a steady beau. You can probably find traces of those qualities in most of my Lizzys!

Now for a very important question, we all have our special reasons for loving Mr. Darcy, what are your reasons?

This is long but I think I need to just quote one of my own blog posts!

What is so lovable about Darcy is that he loves Elizabeth entirely for who she is, flaws and all.  Time and again he cannot stay mad at her.  She turns him down for a dance which is borderline rude and his admiration overflows so much that he even tells Miss Bingley, which he had to know was a stupid move.  They argue at Netherfield, she calls him proud and resentful, she supports Bingley just for the heck of it, she mocks Darcy and insults him and even offends him and he's left realizing that he likes her too much.  During their dance at the Netherfield ball, Elizabeth mocks him more, she accuses him of wrong doing and prejudice towards Wickham.  At Rosings she reprimands him for what is essentially shyness, at Hunsford- well, we all know about that- at Pemberley she is certain he will not want to speak with her or her relations, she doubts he can overcome his pride to offer for her again between Lydia's disgrace and becoming brother to Wickham, she believes he continues to be too officious with Bingley and even teases that he might be a bit of a coward since she had to open the conversation that led to his second proposal, and he put off writing Lady Catherine.  And yet, he loves her still.

Elizabeth quite explains it, "To be sure, you knew no actual good of me- but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love."

Ahh, but he did!  He was first caught by her playful manners, he was enchanted by her lively mind, her wit and intellect, he was endeared at her affection for her sister, he credited her with understanding and intelligence as they debated at Netherfield, with wisdom at Rosings, with just reproofs at Hunsford and with restrained modesty at Longbourn.  And it's not just that he was so blinded by love that he turned all of her flaws into attributes.  It's that he loves her despite her flaws.  Even while recognizing that her reproofs were somewhat just, he allowed that the letter was necessary.  He had to defend himself and she had to see that she was wrong.  He never entirely excused away her flaws, he was never in a position to be abused by her.

But he did think rationally before acting on his admiration and love.  To act too quickly before he was certain of his constancy would be too much like Bingley.  To overtly show his admiration and raise her expectations when he did not feel like he could offer for her would be wrong and dishonorable.  He was not blind to the disparity of their positions.  If he did not look at that objectively and proposed and was accepted, then what would happen if London society reacted badly?  How would he react if his noble relatives did?  To not think prudently would make him no better than Lydia or Georgiana with Wickham.  And he was even sensible enough to not force his attentions on her without encouragement the second time.

So, Darcy is lovable because he unconditionally loves Elizabeth, albeit perhaps not quite selflessly at first, and is constant in his feelings, in addition to sensible.  We never have to worry about him being so violently in love with her and then later violently in love with another.  We never have to worry about him coming to regret the union because he acted too hastily or to be blinded by lust and desire.

Book Summary

When Fitzwilliam Darcy visits Hyde Park with his sister, he expects nothing more than a quiet walk on a fine day.  Instead, he meets a young woman who challenges his ideas and pulls his sister out of her melancholy.  He soon realizes Elizabeth Bennet is the only woman in the world with whom he could spend the rest of his life.

Elizabeth, clever and self-assured, refuses to change for the sake of gaining a husband, a prospect she finds impossible regardless. With wit and independence rather than fortune, she is entirely convinced no sensible man would have her, and she cannot respect a fool. Can Darcy prove to be this impossible man? Or is a figure from his past an insurmountable obstacle to a future with The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter?

About the Author

Rose Fairbanks fell in love with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy 11 years ago.  Coincidentally, or perhaps not, she also met her real life Mr. Darcy 11 years ago.  They had their series of missteps, just like Elizabeth and Darcy, but are now teaching the admiring multitude what happiness in marriage really looks like and have been blessed with two children, a 3 year old son and a one year old daughter. 
Previously rereading her favorite Austen novels several times a year, Rose discovered Jane Austen Fan Fiction due to pregnancy-induced insomnia. Several months later she began writing. The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter is her first published work.

Rose has a degree in history and hopes to one day finish her PhD in Modern Europe and will focus on the Regency Era in Great Britain.  For now, she gets to satiate her love of research, Pride and Prejudice, reading and writing....and the only thing she has to sacrifice is sleep! She proudly admits to her Darcy obsession, addictions to reading, chocolate and sweet tea, is always in the mood for a good debate and dearly loves to laugh.
You can connect with Rose on Facebook, Twitter, and her blog: darcyobsession.blogspot.com

the Gentleman's Impertinent Daughter may be purchased at:

It was such a joy to have you visit today, Rose. I am excited to read your novella and look forward to the next one, No Cause to Repine. It sounds wonderful too. I am happy to have been included in your blog tour and wish you much success. The book has such an interesting and appealing cover. I do like it very much!

Rose Fairbanks is generously offering two books for a giveaway, one trade paperback, US only, and one eBook for your eReader, international. Thank you, Rose!  We want to hear your share in the conversation so leave a comment to be entered in the giveawayBe sure to include your email address in the comment. To prevent unwanted spam, put your email address with an (at) instead of @. Winners will be chosen in a random drawing. Giveaway ends at midnight on August 11, 2014. Good luck to all. 


  1. Congratulations on your first published work, Rose. Like Janet, I too, have been intrigued by the cover design (and the title!). Very much looking forward to your second book as well.

    Regina Silvia

    1. Thanks, Regina! The title was suggested by a friend. When I first posted the story online I called it St. Michael's Little Summer, which is what the Welsh call an Indian Summer. The story was prompted by an online writing challenge. When I decided to publish I really thought it needed a title change as the original one merely described the setting and weather. Early in the story Darcy overhears Elizabeth speaking on things and is very intrigued by her but believes she is in trade and is later very happy to learn she is a gentleman's daughter. Elizabeth happily describes herself as impertinent.

      The cover design is done by Peculiar World Designs and it's beautiful, isn't it? The background is Hyde Park in autumn by Camille Pissaro from 1890 (it's public domain). The people are from various fashion magazines that we put together. The grouping is from the where Darcy, Elizabeth, Mrs. Gardiner, Michael Gardiner and Georgiana all meet in the park. We changed how they faced each other, the colors etc. The two women in the middle, which are meant to be Lizzy in yellow and Mrs. Gardiner in white, are a pairing so we couldn't do much with turning them but Sarah did with the others. We modified Lizzy's neckline just a bit too, changed the color of Darcy's coat, the color of Mrs. G's parasol, the color of Michael's gown, the color of Georgiana's coat and we added some color to Michael and Georgiana because they were super pale compared to the others. I never knew a cover design could be so much work! And that was after probably 10 tries of different groupings and looking at hundreds of fashion plates. I'm sure Janet could agree how much work it is!

      Best of luck in the drawing!

  2. I fell in love with Mr. Darcy 51 years ago when I was 12 years old ;-). I really can't believe that it has been over a half century already!! (Mr. Rochester took second place.) Anyway, I was a History major as well, though my areas comprised ancient Greece and Rome, the Mediaeval, and the Renaissance. I am interrested in being a part of the contest. Good luck with your book and the next.

    1. Hi Julia! Such a pleasure to meet another history lover! I love the Medieval era. It's my favorite, actually. It's not very marketable though, so I've had to give it up for grad school but becoming obsessed with P&P has helped and now I am very happily interested in the late Georgian era and how it merges with the Victorian. The actual Earls Fitzwilliam are fascinating.

      Best of luck with the contest!

  3. Congratulations, Rose. Please do not enter me as I have both. I just finished your newest update and LOVE it. This was a wonderful interview - both for the questions and the answers. Greatest of success to you.

    1. Dawn, you're so sweet to really be following my tour and commenting everywhere! Thanks so much!

  4. Loved your interview and your interpretation of Darcy's feelings for Lizzy. The eBook is on my TBR and I will be reading it soon. skamper25 (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Thanks Deborah! I think after nearly 10 years of marriage I think of Darcy differently than I did at 17. Lots of men can be good but give me a man that is devoted and can stick with me through all my mistakes and my craziness. I don't mean that Lizzy's love is entirely contingent on Darcy's feelings for her, but *my* love for Darcy is very contingent on his feelings for Lizzy.

      Best of luck in the contest!

  5. Great interview. I agree with you about Darcy's love for Elizabeth. He endured alot including his own feelings and still his love for her was stronger. Look forward to reading your book.

  6. Thanks for such an interesting interview, Janet and Rose. I love hearing about how authors got into writing and their inspirations. Rose, your summary of Darcy is absolutely spot-on to my mind!

    I can't quite claim the 50-plus years that Julia has above, but it's not very many years short of that for me. I was 11 when I saw the 1940 film version one Sunday afternoon in the mid 1960s and checked the book out of my school library the very next day.

    Your book sounds such a good read (already on my Wish List) and I'd be delighted to win a copy. I'm in the UK, so it would have to be the ebook. Thanks for your generosity.


    1. Thanks Anji! Good luck! I think it's a little funny that I met my husband the same year I read Pride and Prejudice. I suppose my husband doesn't have to worry about my love for Darcy being stronger than my love for him. ;) I wish I could say that when I decided to ask *him* out after I turned him down for a date and seemed to have broken his heart as I didn't particularly like him at the time (met in government class and were on opposite ends of the spectrum, at first) I was thinking of Darcy and Lizzy but I really wasn't. I suppose they were guiding me subconsciously!

  7. Hi Rose, really enjoyed the interview. I am Welsh and I'd never heard of St Michael's summer so I found that particularly interesting. I loved your reasons for your love of Darcy too. Since I'm in the UK I'd like to enter for an ebook please. Babblingsofabookworm (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Oh my! And here I took Wikipedia's word for it! Maybe it's an older term? The writing prompt gave us unusual names for an Indian Summer and I thought it fit given the fact that the beginning of the original is close to Michaelmas. And then an original character, Michael Gardiner, came to me and I went with it from there. Well, I'm certainly glad I changed the title! Best of luck!

    2. I had a look at Wikipedia and I think perhaps it's a saying in Welsh, or in Welsh-speaking areas. You'd be more likely to hear the phrase 'Indian summer' where I live, but few people in my part of Wales are first language Welsh speakers. It's very interesting to know though, so thank you (or 'diolch yn fawr')!

  8. Your book sound interesting and i enjoyed the interview. Wiki said who St Michael's summer is an older term like St Martin's summer (who is the more common name for that event in many European states, including mine) and the actual English name for it is Indian summer. I also think who Darcy love Elizabeth as she is and do it because he know she is always true to herself (and this is a great difference between her and the Society's girls who he dislike). Thanks very much for the giveaway. I'am Italian so enter me only for the kindle ebook adavittoria(at)email(dot)it

    1. Thanks! Good luck in the giveaway. I'm in luck on the St. Michael's issue as the story is set in the past as well. :)

      I agree, Elizabeth is entirely genuine and without artifice. My little essay was less about why or how Darcy loves Elizabeth than it was on I love him because of his constancy and mature love for her. It's not simply infatuation, nor is it just respect for her mind. He called it an ardent love, he said he put aside his arguments due to passion and he called her one of the handsomest women of his acquaintance. But it's also a match that is good for him. It's not toxic. That's something I think some people miss out on when they wonder how Darcy could manage to love Elizabeth still after her refusal. They only see her poor treatment of him and his continued love, but Darcy does stand up for himself. He's not just some lost puppy following her around. That might be less of an issue back then than it is now, but I know lots of people that supposedly love someone and it's just so very bad for them. For all their misunderstandings, Darcy and Elizabeth have the foundation for a very healthy relationship filled with respect but aware of each other's flaws and not prone to pedestal worship.

  9. I would like to win for my BFF who is an avid reader

    1. What a nice BFF you are! Be sure to add your e-mail address to be entered, though.