Tag Archive | Austen variation

4.5 Star Review for Darcy vs. Bennet

Darcy vs. Bennet received 4.5 (out of 5) stars from the Jane Austen blog JustJane1813!  The post also features a giveaway of the book.

From the review:  “Once again, this was another book by Ms. Kincaid that I just couldn’t put down once I started reading it! Her plot was clever, her characters were great fun to spend time with and her dialogue is just as sharp and as engaging as ever….”

“For my JAFF reading pleasures, I love when there are lots of tender moments between Darcy and Elizabeth that are wrapped within a story that maintains a steady pace and a consistent amount of even-handed angst. Ms. Kincaid’s newest story provides all of this while giving us quite a few new twists and curves. I highly recommend this story for all JAFF readers who are looking for a book that will bring them all of the above while effortlessly sprinkled with some funny and light-hearted moments!”

“Darcy vs. Bennet,” By Victoria Kincaid/ A Review and A Giveaway

Blurb for New Book Pride and Proposals

Here is a draft of the blurb for my upcoming book, Pride and Proposals. It’s amazing how hard these things are to write given how short they are! I welcome any feedback about it.  Too much information about the plot?  Not enough?  Just right?  Thanks for your help!

What would happen if Mr. Darcy proposed…too late?

Everyone comes to a crossroads, a defining moment that changes the rest of one’s life. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy has fallen devastatingly, irrevocably in love with Elizabeth Bennet. He visits Hunsford Parsonage intending to propose. But when he arrives…Darcy discovers that Elizabeth has just accepted a proposal from Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Darcy leaves England rather than watch the love of his life and his best friend prepare for a lifetime together. But he cannot stay away forever. He returns, determined to be the friend Elizabeth needs and vowing never to speak of what is in his heart.

Will Darcy find his happily ever after?

Lovely 4.5 Star Review from InD’tale Magazine!

Okay, so in August I was still recovering from having moved my family into a new house and completely missed (somehow) the fact that The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth got a lovely review and 4.5 Stars from InD’tale Magazine! The reviewer said it was “a must read for any Austen fan!” Squee!

http://indtale.com/reviews/historical/secrets-darcy-and-elizabeth

march2015 InDtale

What Should Authors Do With Reader Reviews?

There’s a lot of debate among authors about how much you should read your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads (although there’s a definite consensus that you shouldn’t respond to reviews).  Some authors say they never read their reviews and I can understand that.  It can drive you crazy if you feel like you have to satisfy every reader.  There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like your work.

At the other extreme, I have a friend (who writes in a different genre from me) who I think must have read every review ever written about her book.  She’s looked up other reviews of the people who gave her one star so she knows what other things they don’t like.  While I can totally understand that impulse (wouldn’t you want to discredit or at least discount someone who didn’t like your work?), I don’t think it’s a good idea to get that worried about reviews.  Like I said, someone will always dislike your work.  Does it matter who they are?  Plus, I simply don’t have that kind of time.  I’d rather be writing my next book.

That said, I’m not in the camp that says you should completely ignore reviews.  They are particularly useful when there is a consensus of opinion. In the reviews of my last book, a couple of comments cropped up in a number of reviews and I thought they had merit.  It’s not as if any book is perfect or any writer can’t improve his or her craft.  One of the ways you get better is to get feedback.  And readers are a great source of feedback.

I come from a playwriting background, which is pretty unusual in this business.  When you write plays, you have staged readings where you invite an audience to a reading of the play (in which the actors read from the script rather than have it memorized) and then ask for their feedback afterward.  Getting that feedback is very valuable.  It tells you when the pacing of the play is dragging, when you’re confusing the audience, or if they find a character unsympathetic.  Of course, you have to discount some of the audience comments you get — not everyone is going to like everything about your play.  Sometimes you say, “thank you for your comment,” and move on.  I know that if Shakespeare had a reading of Hamlet, there would be people telling him they didn’t like the main character because he was too indecisive or that they thought the language was too hard to understand.

Readers’ comments are similar.  They can help you figure out what really works about your book and when you’re confusing or (God forbid) boring your readers.  I’m grateful that my readers’ comments have been overwhelmingly positive.  I’m grateful that people are buying my book 🙂  Yeah, the negative comments bother me.  But just about everything helps me become a better writer.

What do you think?  I’m interested in other authors’ opinions as well as readers’.

A New Year Thank You to My Readers

In many ways 2014 was a difficult year.  My family moved.  My son has a mysterious digestive problem that has caused him to miss a lot of school.  My daughter started high school and encountered new difficulties caused by being a bright kid with a learning disability.

But 2014 was a great year too.  When I published The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth, I had no idea what to expect. I considered it entirely possible I would sell 100 copies and no one would ever hear about it.  I wasn’t at all prepared for thousands of people buying the book and hundreds of good reviews. There are times I still can’t believe it :).

So 2014 was a great year because of my readers.  I am very grateful to everyone who bought, read, and reviewed my book. Thank you!

And I’m humbled and thrilled that I may have brought fellow readers the kind of pleasure other authors have given me.

I am hoping 2015 will be just as good (or even better!).  I am working hard to publish my next Austen variation, Pride and Proposals, as quickly as possible. And I’m germinating the ideas for the next story.  Stay tuned!

Fireworks-5thNov2011-Banbury

Some of My Favorite Things (in an Austen Variation)

As I write my next P&P variation, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I like in my Jane Austen variations – and, naturally, what I don’t like.

One of the things I look for in all my books is passion, emotion, true feelings. In life it might not be realistic to believe that two people must be together to be happy, but I love to see that premise in my novels. So, I look for these extremes of emotion in my Austen variations as well. If the characters aren’t feeling like this is one of the most important moments in their lives, why should I care?

However, in order to have extreme emotions (or an interesting plot), you need conflict; bad things need to happen to your protagonists. They can’t be happy – particularly at the beginning. I’ve read P&P sequels (taking place after the original book) in which Darcy and Elizabeth are happy most of the time. They have sex, they go to the beach, they laugh. I would love to be those people. I do not want to read about them. It’s boring.

Another thing I look for in my P&P variations is being true to the characters. I love to see variations which put the characters I recognize and love into new and interesting situations. That’s my idea of a great book – even if the situation is a bit farfetched.

Now, of course, my idea of true to the characters might not be someone else’s. I don’t mind me some sex scenes. I believe Darcy and Elizabeth would have a passionate relationship. I believe they might anticipate their marriage vows (there’s evidence lots of people did back then – particularly when engaged) under certain circumstances.

However, I can’t see Miss Bingley slipping into Darcy’s bed in the hopes of seducing or compromising him. She’s a harpy, but that’s not her style. She’s as interested in preserving her virtue and reputation as any other well-bred woman. I can’t picture Colonel Fitzwilliam becoming a letch who Darcy has to protect Elizabeth from. There’s nothing to suggest that interpretation of the character in the original text. I have a hard time imagining Jane becoming the protective head of the household after her father dies and defending a fragile Elizabeth. When did they both have a personality transplant? Mr. Collins may be a vain idiot, but would he become an evil villain? It doesn’t seem to be in his nature – plus he’s a dim bulb.

Now, maybe some readers can overlook these things. There are some improbabilities I don’t mind if they’re explained well. But for me this kind of radical reinterpretation of the characters makes it hard for me to stay in the world of the novel and enjoy it.

There are, of course, other things I like and don’t like about variations. But that’s enough for now. I’d love to hear others’ opinions. What are your favorite things about Austen variations?