It’s Friday and today I have Heather Lynn Rigaud over and she talks about her new book, Fitzwilliam Darcy, rock star. And there is also a giveaway of a copy at the end.
Thanks for having me on your blog to talk about Fitzwilliam Darcy Rock Star. I’m looking forward to the chance to get to know your readers.
– The idea of them as rockstars….
I thought about a rock star that’s a gifted artist, but not a very outgoing, social one. One who was willing to let his music do the talking. From there, it was a short hop to Slurry.
– Is it hard to take this classic and set it in the modern world?
Yes and no. In some ways, it’s easy, because the emotions the characters feel are timeless. We’ve all felt what Elizabeth feels: Proud of our own insights. Hurt from being snubbed. Angry at being wronged. Embarrassed by our companions. Ashamed at our ignorance. These things are universal and make Elizabeth and Darcy very accessible characters.
Also, the general plot of Pride & Prejudice is pretty classic: First they kinda don’t like each other, then they really don’t like each other, then they realize they were wrong and change, and finally they admit they love each other. This is familiar plot to anyone, so that was easy to adapt.
But at the same time, some of the specific situations of Pride & Prejudice don’t carry over at all. A great example is Jane’s illness at Netherfield. Austen used this device to get Darcy and Elizabeth together for snappy dialog, to present Caroline Bingley as an antagonist, and to let us know more about all of their motivations. Poor Jane basically disappears in her bedroom and we don’t see her until she’s ready to go home.
Nowadays the idea of someone being too sick to take a 3-mile trip home is crazy and not very believable. But the device of putting Darcy and Elizabeth together in a situation that neither can escape is really useful from a story telling point of view. Plus, there are clear story-markers in the P&P story that I needed to hit for it to be a P&P adaptation. In the end, there was no escaping it- Jane needed to go down. I took a cue from the news, and had her knocked out by a bottle being throw from the audience.
As a storyteller, this was golden. By putting everyone in a stressful situation, I got to explore Darcy and Elizabeth in a vulnerable state. I got to have Charles and Jane crystallize their feelings for each other but not able to act on them, due to her injury, and as an added bonus (which I didn’t see coming) I ended up with one of the most popular and memorable scenes in the story when Richard Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Lucas get together.
– How did the love for all things Jane Austen start?
I’ve got to be honest and say it all started with Bridget Jones’s Diary. I’m a huge fan of comedies and the movie got me. I followed it with Helen Fielding’s book, (a fearless modern adaptation in itself) which led to Pride & Prejudice (1995) and from there to Jane Austen. Once I finished Pride & Prejudice, I followed it with Persuasion, then Emma, and then the rest. At any given time, I’m rereading one of her novels, kept on my bedside table. Jane Austen’s talent constantly stuns me. She has an understanding of human nature that is genius and her use of language is so skillful she makes what is truly difficult look easy.
– Who would play them all in a movie…
I’m often asked this and I’m going to admit right off I have a hard time with Darcy and Elizabeth. I’m sure there are many talented actors who could play them, but I don’t have a clear image of any specific person.
However, I do have some ideas for the other characters, and I freely admit I’m all over the map on these. Jane Bennet has always been based on Gwen Stefani. If you notice I even stole her wedding dress for Jane. Richard Fitzwilliam would be (very) well played by Chris Cornell who’s the lead singer of Audioslave. As for Charles Bingley, you need someone very athletic, who can be really friendly and outgoing, as well as a little goofy. I’d love to see him played by Ryan Gosling. Finally, there’s Charlotte Lucas, who’s tricky because she needs to pull an ‘Anne Elliot’. When we first see her, she’s just a pair of arms flailing behind a drum kit. When we actually see her face, she’s very plain and unremarkable. But as Richard (and the reader) slowly comes to know, and ultimately love her, she becomes physically much more interesting. Because I think she’s got such an interesting storyline, I’d love to give her to Michelle Williams, who is an amazing chameleon.
1 copy of Fitzwilliam Darcy, rock star
1. US and Canada
2. Ends September 12
3. Just enter, or you could ask a question, or tell me what you think of Darcy as a rock star, or anything really 🙂
Darcy’s as hot as he is talented…
Fast music, powerful beats, and wild reputations-on and off stage-have made virtuoso guitarist Fitzwilliam Darcy’s band into rock’s newest bad boys. But they’ve lost their latest opening act, and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster. Now Darcy and bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are about to meet their match…
But she’s about to rock his world…
Enter Elizabeth Bennet, fiercely independent star of girl-band Long Borne Suffering. Elizabeth, her sister Jane, and friend Charlotte Lucas have talent to spare and jump at the opening band slot. Elizabeth is sure she’s seen the worst the music industry has to offer. But as the days and nights heat up, it becomes clear that everyone is in for a summer to remember.
My flash fiction for this week
And I am guestblogging over at Escape in a book and talking about YA PNR