I’d like to give a big thanks to Zoe Burton – this month’s featured author!
Zoe is the author of I Promise to…
and a contributor to the Peculiar Ramblings newsletter.
Blurb from Amazon.com – “In this ‘Pride and Prejudice’ novella, Elizabeth Bennet has known Fitzwilliam Darcy since both were very young. When she flees Longbourn and an unwanted suitor, her uncle and his father arrange a marriage between the two. Will Lizzy and Fitzwilliam agree to such a marriage? Will it keep her safe from a Peer who is determined to have her? Will this young couple be able to keep the promises they have made to each other?”
I hope you’re ready for Zoe’s answers since I’m certain she’s put a lot of thought into them! Let’s get going then, shall we?
I have two questions: What do you prefer to write? Regency or Modern? AND since writing your recent short story about finding love at the speedway, have you toyed with the idea of a novel or a series of NASCAR short stories to make up an anthology?. Darcy as a driver could be a first and an interesting little series of stories. 🙂 Hugs
I prefer to write Regency. I think it’s a more interesting time period than modern-day. The only modern I can really imagine writing is set in the NASCAR world. I actually have the beginning of a novel-length NASCAR story in my files. I want to finish the Regencies I’m working on before I write it though. I have also been encouraged to turn Pocono into a novella. That’s a possibility. Darcy would be an owner/driver in my novel. I even have (hold on to your horsepower, this does not usually happen) an actor in mind to be my Darcy. Usually my Darcys are faceless, but not this time. 😉 Thanks for leaving me a question! (((hugs)))
When did you first get interested in Jane Austen’s characters and who was inspiring you besides Jane Austen and the characters?
I first got interested in Jane Austen’s characters a few years ago, the first time I saw Pride and Prejudice on TV. I think it was 2011. I bought that movie and the book. I alternated for weeks between reading the book and watching the movie every day. (I didn’t actually *read* the book in a day….but every day I was either reading or watching or both.) It got to the point where if I told a certain friend/colleague that I was watching a movie, I was asked “Which one, Pride and Prejudice?” LOL
I’d have to say that I was inspired in large part by the JAFF authors I was reading. I would think to myself, “She should have had them do this instead. How would it have come out if she had?” I read everything I could find, and at some point I ran out of stories that appealed to me and began writing myself. Thanks for leaving me a question! 🙂
Zoe, what do you do to distract yourself when you have writer’s block or just need a little break from JAFF?
When I have writer’s block, I go do something unrelated like laundry or dishes. It seems like the movement away from the computer often helps me think of what I want to say next, with the added benefit of actually getting some housework done.
So far, I have not felt a need to have a break from JAFF, though I do have non-Jaff books, and have read a few in the last couple months. I am still very much enamored of Darcy and Lizzy and I just want writers to write MORE of them. Thanks for leaving me a question, Jen! 🙂
Zoe, I love that you always seem so cheerful. Where do you get your inspiration?
LOL I do not always *feel* cheerful! I have a very strong relationship with Jesus, and time spent in prayer and Bible study is what helps me stay positive. When I let that slide, things get very tough and it becomes almost impossible for me to remain good-humored. Also, I am rather laid-back. Some might say I’m so laid back I’m completely reclined! LOL I try not to let things bother me overmuch and it takes a whole lot of stress before I break. (And when I do break, it is spectacular!) I avoid confrontation or anything that will rock my boat, if I can. 😉 Love that question, Jen! 🙂
OK, here goes. I’ll try not to go crazy, but… (JDawnKing)
1) If Fitzwilliam Darcy was to cut in front of Matt Kenseth on the final lap at Daytona, would you still love Darcy?
Is he married? If not, I’ll be mad at him for a while but I’ll get over it quickly. If so, I’ll be mad at him a lot longer. Will I still love him? Maybe. 😉 This IS the final lap of Daytona we’re talking about….
2) Are you more Lizzy Bennet or Jane Bennet? Or possibly, Lydia? (No!!! Not Lydia!)
Oooooohh…good question! I am a lot like Lizzy and a lot like Jane. I *used* to be like Lydia, but then I grew up. 😉 I am like Jane in that I always try to see the good in people. I try. I’m like Lizzy in that I am capable of being witty and I see the bad in people. I’m actually suspicious by nature and not terribly trusting. I have issues. LOL 😉 But once you are my friend, I am loyal to a fault. I will build you up and coddle you and try to take care of you. Be careful what you wish for. 😉 LOL
3) Since you are a fulltime teacher, how do you find time to write?
Mainly by NOT doing housework! Seriously…in September, a month after I published “I Promise To…”, my floors were still swept and mopped weekly. Then came October and diagnostic testing and add writing to the mix and routine went out the window. Today my kitchen floor is disgusting. BUT I have completed a second novella!! I have my priorities straight! 🙂
Really, though, I spend most of my Saturday, some Sunday afternoons, and at least half of every holiday writing. I teach online. My commute is nonexistent, but my workday is longer and busier. At the end of a school day, I tend to be too mentally exhausted to write. One hundred words a day would thrill me during the week. But I make up for it on my days off. J Good question…thanks for asking! 🙂
4) (see question #3) What is your greatest sacrifice to use your extra time writing?
I guess my greatest sacrifice is throwing out the routines it took me so long to establish. I was a slob for well over 40 years and a neatnik for about 6 months. LOL! I hate that my house is not clean again, but the feeling I get when I have finished a story…or even a scene…makes it all worth it. Good thing I’m single, childless, and petless, eh? 😉
5) What drew you to Jane Austen fan fiction?
When I finished reading and watching Pride and Prejudice, I did not want their story to end. I found JAFF when I was buying other Jane Austen books for my Nook, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven! THEN I discovered entire websites with FREE Darcy and Elizabeth stories. I *knew* I was in heaven then!! 😉
6) When is your next book due to be published?
My next book, Lilacs and Lavender, is due to be published around April 1st as part of a boxed set. I will be publishing it as an individual book a few days later.
7) If Matt Kenseth was to cut in front of Fitzwilliam Darcy on the final lap at Daytona, would you still love Matt?
Oh, heck yes! Matt is THE MAN! Have you never seen that cute gap between his teeth when he smiles? Is he married? Well, yes, but shhhhh…don’t disturb my fantasy. Besides, Matt is the.best.NASCAR.racer on the track today. He’s consistent, persistent, and a hair bit sneaky. 🙂 He WILL win the championship this year!! 🙂 Good questions, Joy! 🙂
Zoe, where is your favourite place to write? Any special things you need to make it “feel” inspiring….tea, nutella, music, post its? 🙂
Hmmm…..my favorite place to write is actually my kitchen table, but only because I have more freedom of movement there. I actually wrote a large part of “I Promise To…” on a note app on my Kindle Fire, sitting on the couch. 🙂 I wrote part of the Christmas story at Kalarahi during a staff meeting on a legal pad. 😉
Special things I need to make it “feel” inspiring…tea often does this for me, as does pretty much any food, especially if it’s chocolate. I do eat a lot of Nutella and pretzels while I write. LOL! A clean table is frequently helpful, so oftentimes I will stop writing or put it off a while so I can straighten up. All those piles of paper and stuff behind the computer can be annoying. Great questions, Leenie! 🙂
Do you have a character you love to hate? And does it remind you of anyone in real life? (You don’t need to give names but if you hate Caroline, maybe she reminds you of all the catty girls from high school, for example).
Well, I do love to hate Mrs. B. She’s a piece of work, in my opinion. There’s a hairstylist here in town that I went to high school with who reminds me of her…both love to gossip. I don’t like Caroline either…she does remind me of a particular mean girl from high school that I still avoid like the plague. And Wickham reminds me a lot of my ex-husband. Great questions, Rose! 🙂
What inspired you to write this version of P&P? In the blurb, it mentioned if the arrange marriage happened will it keep her safe from a member of the peer… Is the peer you speak of someone in Elizabeth’s circle or more of Darcy’s circle or even someone titled?
This idea for a P&P variation came to me one night as I was trying to go to sleep. I had not seen anything like it before, and when I was encouraged to write my own story, it was the one I wrote. The peer is named Lord Regis, and he is titled. Good questions! Thanks for asking! 🙂
First let me say that I appreciate your having me here. I have been addicted to Jane Austen since grade school ( I am now 67). I Jane Austen Fan Fiction immensely. I do have trouble when reading sometimes. I always have anywhere from 4 to 6 books going at once. I am always reading so there is something to read next to me all the time.I handle that quite well. The exception is this. If I have a Regency era novel going and a modern one at the same time. I sometimes find myself having to stop intermittently and think the storyline and get myself back into the proper era. Lol My multi-tasking self ( which is quite competent normally) needs a reboot so to speak. How as a writer do you manage to train your thoughts to do that? I do remember and keep the comprehension but have to stop and take a breath more often.(louannlajeunesse)
Oh my! That is hard to keep straight sometimes! I have done that myself, having more than one book going at a time. As a writer, I focus on writing one story at a time. I do read other stories when I’m writing, and I know not everyone does, but it doesn’t distract me at all from my own story. But if I tried to write more than one at once, I’d have a mess on my hands. That’s easy enough to do as it is! Great question! Thanks for commenting and asking your question!! And I hope that in 19 years, when I’m your age, I’m still as sharp!! 🙂
I loved your book,I Promise To. I found the characters of Darcy & Elizabeth very tender and loved them. Are you working on another story? If so, can you tell us a little about it? Can’t wait to read any and all future books from you!
Thanks, Aimee! I am working on another story. It’s out for final proofreading and such right now. It’s called Lilacs & Lavender, and it starts right after the Netherfield Ball, but with greatly altered events. It’s another novella and it’s going to be available as part of a boxed set and individually. The boxed set will be on sale beginning April 1st or so, and the individual copy will be on sale a few days after that. I am so glad you like my books! Thanks for your questions! 🙂
But wait!!! Don’t forget to leave that comment!!!!
Zoe is offering one e-book of I Promise to… as a giveaway! Usual rules apply – Every person who submitted a question has one chance entered into the pot. A comment now also gets you a chance, so if you submit a question and comment on the final interview you get two chances!
Get your comments in by
Final comments to be entered into the drawing Wednesday, 11 February
to be entered into the drawing!