Austenesque, Contemporary Fiction, Giveaways, Guest Blog

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star Blog Tour with Author Heather Lynn Rigaud

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Heather Lynn Rigaud on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, a new contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice published today by Sourcebooks.

It’s so nice to be here on Austenprose today. It’s the first stop on my very first every blog tour, so I’m very, very excited.

So many people have asked me “Why a modern Pride and Prejudice and WHY a Rock Band???” Well, as always, it’s Jane’s fault. I came to Jane Austen, as many people have, through the movies. It started with Bridget Jones’ Diary the movie, then the book, then the 1995 Pride and Prejudice movie, and then the book. And then Persuasion, and then Northanger Abbey, and then Emma, and then Sense and Sensibility and then… Well, your readers know how that goes.

Like many hungry JA fans, I found JAFF fan fiction on the web, and soon was writing and posting my own. That’s when I met Abigail Reynolds. I was writing a modern P&P adaptation called Longbourn & Pemberley Go to War and she was writing Impulse & Initiative when she asked if I’d be willing to look at her love scene. Of course it was fantastic, but it started us beta-reading for each other.

It was Abigail who got me thinking about how would Darcy live in this modern time. It’s given that he would be wealthy and successful, but he also needed a modicum of fame. I was puzzling on how to make him a celebrity, but still Darcy- proud and aloof. He would never be glad-handing fans on TV Guide, or pushing his next big thing on Letterman.

He would be Darcy, at heart always true to his integrity, and yes, his pride. It came to me that he could be some kind of artist. They could easily maintain a quiet and aloof persona. A musician maybe? At the same time I was thinking about this, I heard a new song from a new band called “Puddle of Mudd”. The song was ‘She Hates Me’ and it occurred to me that this was so much like Darcy right after Elizabeth rejects him at Hunsford (I freely admit to having Jane Austen on the brain, and I strongly believe I’m not the only one) The chorus of the song goes like this:

I tried too hard

and she tore my feelings like I had none

and ripped them away

It was perfect. It expressed so clearly Darcy’s bitter anger at Elizabeth after she rejects him, as well as his underlying anger at himself. It was something I had to incorporate into my story. So then I thought about well known guitarists: Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Eddie Van Halen from Van Halen, The Edge of U2, even Slash from Guns & Roses. Men who were perfectly content to let someone else do the front man stuff. Men who let their instruments express what they felt. Then in a flash I had it:

Fitzwilliam Darcy is the enigmatic virtuoso guitarist of the world famous rock band Slurry.

I knew right there I had my story, and my Darcy. It was remarkable how quickly the pieces fell into place after that: Of course Bingley and Col. Fitzwilliam would be in his band. Of course, Wickham would have previously been part of the band until the ‘incident’ at Ramsgate. Of course Lady Catherine would own the record company. And of course Lizzy would be part of an ‘up & coming’ band. A new band seeking success and fame by playing with a world famous group is an excellent parallel to poorer women in the regency seeking to improve their lives by finding and marrying richer men. And of course Darcy would try and protect his friends from these opportunistic women.

In short, it was all there and I just had to write it down. I took the blueprint for my Mr. Darcy from JA – tall, handsome, dark eyes and hair. From there, I made him very talented, so there would be a basis of his pride. I made him independently wealthy, so he would be jaded by the whole music industry. And because he’s so good, and so rich, and so proud, I also made him very responsible. For him, everything connected to his band is his concern, especially his tour. So when something comes along to upset it, he’s going to be very defensive.

Into that already messy pile of emotions comes Elizabeth Bennet, who is as talented as Darcy, but is not rich and is not famous, and who has a big chip on her shoulder about being ‘good enough’. Is it any wonder that when these two fiery, driven, brilliant souls come together it’s explosive?

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star is their story. There are also the stories of their companions to keep things rolling, but it’s always Darcy and Elizabeth.

I hope your readers will try this crazy premise out and read it, and let me know what they think.

Thank you for having me, Laurel Ann, I’ve enjoyed being here.

Author Heather Rigaud (2011)Author Bio:

Heather Lynn Rigaud can usually be found trying to juggle too many things. A wife and mother of two, she suffers from excessive interest in almost everything that comes her way. She cooks, she sews, she writes, she knits, she Geo-Caches, she makes soaps, she collects perfume, she paints silk-and she overthinks every single one of them. But she’s lively and has a good (if bawdy) sense of humor.

Born and raised in world famous Woodstock NY by Republican parents, Heather Lynn has a lot of experience feeling like you just don’t fit in. This used to bother her greatly, but she’s mostly managed to overcome it, and even learned to enjoy walking ‘to the beat of a different drummer’. She enjoys reading, fine food and wine, and art. She is a professional writer with degrees in music therapy and teaching who lives with her husband and two sons in Kingston, New York. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star is her debut novel.

Visit Heather Lynn at her blog Austen Nights, on Twitter as @hlrigaud and on Facebook as Heather Lynn Rigaud.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you most about reading a contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice, or which character from the original novel will, in your estimation, translate easily into a modern rock band setting, by midnight PT, Wednesday, September 14th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, September 15th, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star, by Heather Lynn Rigaud
Sourcebooks (2011)
Trade paperback (432) pages
ISBN: 978-1402257810

© 2007 – 2011 Heather Lynn Rigaud, Austenprose

51 thoughts on “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star Blog Tour with Author Heather Lynn Rigaud”

  1. Can I tell you how long I have waited for this book to come out? I missed it as Slurry and have now pre-ordered it on Amazon and am anxiously awaiting its arrival in the mail! The way you descrived the story here sounds even better than the back cover!! Oh.My.Word!! I cannot wait to see how your story plays out and all the rising action that is going to lead to the climax!


  2. I can see “Darcy” in his skin tight leather (similar to Firth in “What a Girl wants”) just as Riguad has described him. WOW, this sounds like fun. One more tidbit to feed my imagination that is already pretty well stoked up by JA. Thanks for more fuel.


  3. Jakki: I know! Amazon will start shipping on Saturday (Wha?) so you hopefully will have it soon. I just got my copies yesterday.

    Jane: I hope you enjoy Rock Star Darcy. Did I mention he performs just in his leather pants and dark sunglasses? lol!

    Linda: There’s a really long excerpt on Google books (the first 100 pages). Give it a look, you might find it works for you. :D

    Debbie: Oh, I hate Wickham so much. I made him extra repugnant, and then I let Richard Fitzwilliam punch him out. That was very satisfying.

    I’m loving your comments ladies! Thank you!


  4. I never thought of P&P in this kind of setting. I think it will be a very interesting read. Plus I like the idea of getting inside of Darcy’s head a little more and having him express his feelings.


    1. Danielle,

      thanks for the comment. I hope you enjoy the story. I worry I spend way too much time in Darcy’s head, but he’s such an interesting man! :D


  5. Interesting concept using the rock world with all it’s groupies, drugs and jealousies as a back drop. I think I’m most interested because this is a background that is unique and it will be fun to see Darcy in this situation. A can’t wait read!


    1. Sherry:

      It was so much fun when I was writing FDRS I was posting it to a fan fiction board and I asked for ladies who’d be willing to be groupies. If course, they wanted to be for Darcy, but I had no trouble convinsing them to be for Richard. :D I hope you enjoy the story and thanks for commenting.


  6. When I first read this story years ago on H.G. I was amazed at how unbelievably well the music and words fit together with my beloved P&P. I think it was sheer genius on your part for the story line idea and the way you wrote this fantastic story. Thanks :)


  7. What intrigues me is how Darcy will be a contemporary rock star, yet I hope still have the same sense of chivalry, honor, and integrity that I love so (yes, I said “love so”) in Miss Austen’s Mr. Darcy. The whole story line sounds like a fitting tribute to P&P.


    1. Hey Jenny,

      I think you hit on one of the underlying themes of FDRS- Slurry has a horrible reputation. They’re in the tabloids all the time, and Darcy is the worst of the bunch.

      And yet, with Elizabeth goes on tour, she’s surprised, and puzzled, at how little debauchery is going, on, especially from Darcy. When she figures out the reason behind that contradiction, she learns a whole new side of Darcy’s personality.

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the story.


  8. I love the premise of the book, and I’m really curious to see how the Rigaud arranges all the P&P in the rock scene.

    The character I think would transition well is Lydia. I doubt she would have any problem with performing, even if she might not be very good. And she would definitely revel in the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll lifestyle as she is a very Impetuous person, who seems to be incapable of engaging in delayed gratification. I think she would be similar to maybe Amy Winehouse and Lindsey Lohan, particularly since they all had shared a very weak support system.


    1. Melora,

      This is a very thoughtful comment, and I feel sorta bad, because Lydia is barely in the story, just a bit in the beginning. She does make a scene, of course, because, you know, Lydia. Her life is embaressing Lizzy, but no, she’s not a rocker.

      I really appreciate the comment.


  9. I remember this! Congratulations,Heather, on getting it published — am confident your original fan base and your new fans to come will send this to the top of the charts! Darcy in leather pants, dueling bands,great lyrics, lots of sizzle — it’s a sure hit!


  10. Been looking forward to this one! Does anyone know where to get it in Canada? I think Lydia would translate well to a rock and roll lifestyle. Only because she was the wildest Bennett.


    1. Nicole,

      I do know it’s being carried by I don’t know if the other chains will have it, but I suspect they will. I feel a tiny bit bad for not knowing more options being my husband is Canadian. Thanks for commenting.


  11. I am first interested in the premise of the book since I have been bouncing around ideas for a book set in the rock and roll world; it just isn’t done much but we all have a favorite band at some point that inspires some sort of fantasy.

    I actually think the Caroline would be a good character; perhaps working with Lady Catherine at the label as a conniving manager or some other label-type trying to snag Darcy.


    1. Brandi,

      You have good instincts. Caroline works for Darcy, but as the tour manager. (I had to give her *some* reason for going on tour with them) And she’s very much obsessed with Darcy.

      I hope you get to writing your Rock and Roll book. It’s a lot of fun and you get to listen to so much great music!


  12. Congrats Heather! I missed Slurry when it was still online, but have been anxiously waiting for this book to come out after reading LPGTW and how very different that setting was (which I thought really made the story standout).

    Looking forward to seeing Darcy in a modern setting where he is not a billionaire business man or professional type. Out of the original trio of Bingley, Fitzwilliam and Bingley, I think the Colonel would be the most likely to be in a band due to him having a bit of a open maybe more wild? personality and would probably be a good lead man. Looking forward to how Darcy fits in :)


  13. When I first saw this headline I was skeptical, but as soon as I started reading Heather’s story I became extremely intrigued. I (like the rest of you!) have read SO many reinterpretations/sequels/inspired by’s of P&P and I think what frustrates me most is how many authors seem to get Darcy wrong! They simply do not understand who he is and what his core values are. But from what I see Heather saying, I think she absolutely gets it and that really excites me! I’m looking forwards to reading her interpretation of Darcy… as a rock star!


  14. Wow! Darcy as a rock star in skin tight pants..oh my! I think my heart just skipped a beat! Sounds very interesting from all the tidbits revealed about the plot it.


  15. Colleen, Chelsea, Elena and Vidya:

    Thanks so much for commenting. I can see my enthusiasm for Darcy is spreading. I really hope you read FDRS and tell me what you think!

    If anyone can’t wait, the first hundred pages of the story is available on Google books. Please, take a look and see if you like it!


  16. That Puddle of Mudd song has new meaning to me now! What an interesting take on Darcy. I am really excited to read your book! Congrats!


  17. I admit it, I’m really curious,especially since I know a bit about rock bands on tour. Wickham definitely will be the one who embodies the whole “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. I’m sorry to hear Lydia isn’t in it more. She’s already a groupie!


  18. After reading your interview I am really intrigued. Now that I understand the reasons the choices were made and were not gratuitous, I am really excited to read this! Please consider me for the drawing!


  19. LynnS: I hope you try it. When I was writing it, I contacted a lot of people to get it right: musicans, professional light and sound people, video directors and cameramen, even lawyers. (I’m very detail oriented)

    I had a few people who were either musicians or married to musicians compliment me on my verisimilitude. (3 point word)


  20. I think that’s the amazing thing about Jane Austen…most of her stories easily translate to contemporary stories. That’s why she’s still popular today. I happen to love musicians so putting P&P and musicians together you can’t go wrong.


  21. I have been around rock stars my whole life as vocalist and I have known a few Darcy’s. I think his character will translate well in this novel. i would love to read it! Very intriguing!



  22. I hate to always be all, “Ooh! Pick Wickham!” regarding the contemporary retellings, but I think he would make an excellent rock star of dubious intentions. The charisma, sliminess and sketchy attitude seem like they could translate into a modern rock band setting.

    Sounds like a fun read — count me in!


  23. I am very excited to read this modern spin! I had a similar idea but with Persuasion.

    I love the freedom characters can have with modern adaptations. They can say exactly what they feel which is very satisfying for readers.

    I hope to see Lydia as a groupie and Mrs. Bennett as a wannabe overbearing stage mom!


  24. I am excited to read this! I love the idea of a modern twist as long as the essential character traits are the same. I am sure that Elizabeth Bennet would be a powerful modern woman!


  25. I love the Regency and Austenesque novels, but with so many to choose from an idea really has to stand out. Heather, the plot for your novel is so fresh and different that I think I would really enjoy it. I have head great things about this book.

    A contemporary retelling allows for the themes of a book to remain but they are put in an updated setting. There are so many things that could happen in Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star. I look forward to reading this book.


  26. I can’t wait to read this. I ordered the sample for my Kindle after reading Abagail’s review. I must have missed this online. I love the concept and reading about the thought process. Oftentimes authors don’t seem to put much thought in the details…history, background (in this case the rock star life)…I already appreciate your efforts from what I’ve read here. “Overthinker” never heard that label but now I have a new way of thinking of myself as well. Best of luck to you!


  27. I can’t wait to read this book! I love Darcy (who doesn’t) and think featuring him in a rock band is utterly brilliant! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win :)


  28. I’m really looking forward to reading this. When I first heard about it I was like whaaat? Lol but it makes so much sense. I said in another comment here that I was hoping that Darcy’s rep of being promiscuous was more a rep than reality because even in a modern setting it doesn’t seem characteristic of him. I guess that’s what I’m most curious about. I can’t wait to see Lizzy and Darcy butt heads. I’m sure she, as an up and coming female rocker, feels like she has a lot to prove.

    Lydia and Kitty would definitely make good groupies. I read somewhere that when Slurry was posted online there were tshirts made and everything. I haven’t even read it but I already want one! Lol


  29. This sounds fab! What I love most about the original story is that it’s the characters we all love so much, so as long as they’re in the story any re-telling or modernization will catch our attention. I’d love to see Wickham as a modern baddie.


  30. Looking forward to reading this new modern P & P!

    I think Mrs. Bennet would translate into a modern rock culture well as a promoter especially for her daughter’s group driving them all insane, but driving them to the top of the charts and popularity too.

    Congrats Heather!


  31. Congrats on one of the best written fan fics out there. I can hardly bear to put it down & go to sleep or work. Get working on a sequel! May I offer one tidbit of advice. Tell me if I’m too old fashioned but I prefer the use of the more poetic terms for sexual interactions, over the F word. Why go there. Anyway, much love to you & your book! Sandi


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