Please join us in celebration of the release of author KaraLynne Mackrory’s new Austenesque novel, Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Spirited Courtship, published in March by Meryton Press.
KaraLynne has joined us to chat about her inspiration to write her book, a paranormal “what if” of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
When I first begin formulating plans for my most recent work, Haunting Mr. Darcy, I started off by considering what elements I like when reading a Jane Austen-inspired book. The number one element I came up with was bunches of Darcy and Elizabeth page time. I love to read when our hero and heroine are together a lot. From the start, this desire led me to some roadblocks. Mostly the roadblock called propriety. Historically, single men and women did not spend considerable amounts of time together alone.
While letting this problem stew in my mind, a plot bunny of lunatic proportions jumped into my mind. It solved the problem while also highlighting nicely my belief that our beloved characters, Darcy and Elizabeth were destined to be together. Jane Austen could not have conceived it any other way.
The plot that came to me was Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Spirited Courtship. In this book Elizabeth is in a horrible carriage accident just before midnight on New Year’s. At the same time in London, Darcy is struggling to forget his admiration for Elizabeth and just as he drifts off to sleep makes a wish to see her again. Elizabeth cannot die and leave the other half of her destined happily ever after alone!! So Fate jumps in and transports Elizabeth in spirit form to Darcy’s London residence. Her body is in a coma at Longbourn but her spirit is far from home. Together Darcy and Elizabeth, who fate has tethered together, cannot break this bond until they have learned to appreciate, understand and love each other. (Haha! Think of it as an otherworldly ‘get along shirt’)
This process is made difficult by our hot-stubborn hero who adamantly believes Elizabeth is just a hallucination of his overwrought mind while Elizabeth believes she is dreaming. Once Fate deems their futures secured (because finally those two quit knocking heads and fall in love) then the source of their bond is revealed. It is then possible and urgent that Darcy and Elizabeth endeavor to reunite her spirit with her slumbering body before it is too late.
The possibilities for lots of Darcy and Elizabeth page time were endless. The intimacy of being the only two able to know Elizabeth is there made for a charming spirited courtship with lots of swoon worthy moments and quite a few Jane-Austen-Would-Laugh-At-This scenes. Now many people have told me that the paranormal aspect of it made them hesitate. I wish I could tell them that it doesn’t feel paranormal at all. In fact, the first time a reviewer called it a “ghost story,” I thought “it is not a ghost story.” Although it is quite obvious that Elizabeth is a ghost for much of the book, it feels so natural to the scenes that you think nothing of it. The scenes are built around Darcy and Elizabeth regardless of their tangibility. Their bond is felt beyond their physical limitations and yet when those physical limitations are removed, the connection is pronounced.
Those same people who hesitated due to the paranormal aspect have come back to me to state how glad they were that they gave it a try. Because like I said – it isn’t really a ghost story. It is a story about a happily ever after that was supposed to happen no matter what; heedless of first impressions, regardless of personal pride and oblivious to prevailing prejudice.
KaraLynne Mackrory is the author of three Austenesque novels: Falling for Mr. Darcy (2012), Bluebells in the Morning (2013) and her latest release, Haunting Mr. Darcy (2014) all published by Meryton Press. You can visit her at her website, follow her on Twitter as @KAMackYah, and like her author page on Facebook.
Haunting Mr. Darcy – A Spirited Courtship, by KaraLynne Mackrory
Meryton Press (2014)
Trade paperback (286) pages
Cover image, book description, and guest blog courtesy of Meryton Press © 2014; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose.com