I’m thrilled to welcome April Floyd to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of Mr. Darcy’s Debt and learn about her inspiration for the novel, which I will be reviewing here soon. Please give her a warm welcome, and stay tuned for a very generous giveaway at the end of this post.
I am pleased to be a guest on Anna’s blog today and share with her readers the birth of the idea for Mr. Darcy’s Debt.
It’s always hard to say where ideas begin for stories and variations, mainly it is an exercise in asking yourself what if Elizabeth or Darcy did something different at some point in the story that changes the outcome.
For this story, the idea of Elizabeth not only being an accomplished walker but an excellent horsewoman tickled my fancy. I read about women racing in Regency times and I could see an Elizabeth Bennet that loved horses being more than tempted to race.
When I sat down to write that Elizabeth, the idea of an estate near Pemberley that was in the Fitzwilliam family sprang to life. Apparently, this story wanted me to move Elizabeth and family to Derbyshire and so I had to consider how to make that happen.
Cue the scene of Lady Anne and Lady Catherine at a frozen lake on their family estate many years before we meet the Bennet family as we all know them from Jane Austen’s classic, much beloved tale.
I knew there had to be some reason that their eldest brother would consider Thomas Bennet’s future offspring and subsequently provide for them if the entailment on Longbourn came into play.
So, back to that partially frozen lake we go. Bertram Fitzwilliam was a daredevil and Thomas Bennet his partner in crime. Of course the two handsome, young men would test the waters so to speak.
But Lady Anne was never meant to come to harm, it’s just a detail that entered the scene as I wrote it. Originally, it was only Bertie who would go through the ice and Thomas Bennet would save him only to lose him months later as he would not beat the pneumonia that overtook his already weakened body.
By saving his friend, Thomas Bennet would inspire the young man to make a deathbed promise that would lead the rest of his family to honor his dying wish.
Now, with that bit of history, I could have Mr. Bennet succumb to the illness that plagued Jane at Netherfield while Mr. Collins was visiting. Marriage proposal denied, Bennet ladies out in the streets, but how to get them to Derbyshire.
Enter Lady Catherine, a very different personality in this story than the original. She comes to the reading of Mr. Bennet’s will and observes Collins as he deals with the ladies of Longbourn.
She steps in when he’s been provoked by the sisters’ camaraderie and delivers the news that shocks the ladies and sends them on their way to Somersal, that estate near Pemberley where Elizabeth and Darcy will fall in love, have their misunderstanding, and find their way back to one another.
I chose a stronger Bingley for this story and a happy ending for Lydia.
For some, the match made by Lydia seemed a stretch but it was her frivolity and lack of maturity that was needed to lift the severity of the situation instead of her sister Mary.
I considered making a match for Mary instead, but her demeanor would not have been the tonic that was desperately needed.
I hope that you come to love this story as much as I loved writing it and I’m happy to offer THREE digital copies to THREE winners.
Again, much thanks to Anna for hosting me and allowing me to share my writing process with you.
Thank YOU, April, for being my guest today. I am very much looking forward to reading the book!
About Mr. Darcy’s Debt
Thomas Bennet has died and left his wife and five daughters during the visit of his cousin Mr. Collins who has come to offer marriage as an olive branch to soothe the way when he inherits their home, Longbourn.
A deathbed promise from the past saves the ladies and Elizabeth Bennet becomes better acquainted with the wealthy, handsome Mr. Darcy, the man who insulted her at the assembly in Meryton.
With the Bennets living at Somersal, a country estate that belongs to the Fitzwilliam family and is only a short distance from Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy, their mutual love of riding fosters a love neither Darcy nor Elizabeth can deny.
After a terrible accident, Elizabeth believes she must race in the spring to secure her family’s future, much to Mr. Darcy’s dismay. His proposal, given to keep her from racing, is summarily refused as Elizabeth Bennet will not marry from necessity.
About the Author
April Floyd lives in Alaska with her husband and youngest son. She loves happy endings, nice people, and reading great stories. Once upon a time, she was an Army wife and a phlebotomist and recently ran a successful ebook deals site for four years. Historical fiction, Jane Austen, and fantasy/dystopia are her favorite genres.
April is generously offering three ebook versions of Mr. Darcy’s Debt. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will close on Sunday, March 5, 2017. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!