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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guest Mary Lydon Simonsen: Mr. Darcy Grows Fur!

Linda Banche here. My guest today is Mary Lydon Simonsen and Mr. Dacry's Bite, her paranormal take on Pride and Prejudice. Here she tells us why she made Mr. Darcy a werewolf instead of a vampire.

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win the copy of Mr. Darcy's Bite which Sourcebooks has generously provided. Mary will select the winner. Check the comments to see who won, and how to contact me to claim your book. If I cannot contact the winner within a week of selection, I will award the book to an alternate. Note, Sourcebooks can mail to USA and Canada addresses only.

And the winner Mary selected is Calisa Rhose! Congratulations, Calisa, and thanks to all who came over.

Welcome back, Mary!

Mary Lydon Simonsen:

Hello Linda! It’s so good to be back at Historical Hussies!

You have asked me to write about why I chose to transform Mr. Darcy into a werewolf in my novel, Mr. Darcy’s Bite. Actually, it all started as a lark. I had been reading a werewolf story on a Jane Austen fan fiction site. With Halloween 2009 approaching, I decided to write a short story called “Mr. Darcy on the Eve of All Saints’ Day.” It received such a positive response that I kept writing. Before I knew it, I had a full-length novel, and Sourcebooks wanted it for my fourth novel with them.

You also asked why a werewolf and not a vampire? Despite the enormous success of the Twilight series, I did not choose to make Mr. Darcy a vampire because that would have required dealing with a lot of blood, and I am a bit squeamish in that department. Because I eat very little meat, and what I do eat cannot remotely resemble the animal it came from, I should have had the same problem with werewolves. But I left the situations where Mr. Darcy is out in the wild hunting for his food to the imagination of my readers. If you are looking for scenes of the werewolf Mr. Darcy tearing apart a deer, you won’t find it in Mr. Darcy’s Bite. However, he does smack his lips after a satisfying hunt and a particularly tasty kill.

Mr. Darcy was not born a werewolf. Rather, he became one as a result of a bite he received in the Black Forest when he was 14. Because of his dual nature, he always thought he would marry a she wolf. You know, keep things simple. But that was before he met Elizabeth Bennet. Stalking and bringing down a buck is a piece of cake compared to telling the woman he loves that he grows fur, fangs, and a bushy tail once in every moon cycle.

At first Lizzy is horrified. Although she wishes Mr. Darcy well, she wants no part of his world. But after seeing him in his altered statement and noting how much his sister and cousin, Anne de Bourgh, love him and how much his servants respect him, she softens and eventually realizes that her love for the master of Pemberley is so great that she must share his life no matter what. Besides, what’s a little fur between two people in love?

You also asked if being a werewolf “confers power and privilege?” Yes and no. Because he is the alpha member of his small pack, he does have power, and he is supremely confident in both his manifestations. However, if his lupine nature were to be discovered, he would be killed. As a result, there is no privilege associated with his being a werewolf. Everything the Darcys do must take into consideration the danger of being exposed.

I loved writing this story because I love wolves. This goes back to the time when I was a kid reading Jack London’s stories. I was fortunate to have watched a wolf in Yellowstone Park doing his/her best to kill field mice in a meadow. I don’t know if he/she was young, but the mice were winning this day. Even so, there was something primal in watching an animal hunt.

I would love to know what your readers think about Mr. Darcy as a werewolf. Personally, I’ll take him anyway I can get him.

Thanks again. This was fun.

Mr. Darcy has a secret...

Darcy is acting rather oddly. After months of courting Elizabeth Bennet, no offer of marriage is forthcoming and Elizabeth is first impatient, then increasingly frightened. For there is no denying that the full moon seems to be affecting his behavior, and Elizabeth’s love is going to be tested in ways she never dreamed...

Darcy has more than family pride to protect: others of his kind are being hunted all over England and a member of Darcy’s pack is facing a crisis in Scotland. It will take all of Elizabeth’s faith, courage, and ingenuity to overcome her prejudice and join Darcy in a Regency world she never knew existed.

Praise for The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy:

“Simonsen spins off another superior Jane Austen homage.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Engrossing and delightful…Simonsen takes quite an intriguing approach.”

“A fast-reading, engaging style…brings a new and enjoyable immediacy to Jane Austen’s most popular novel.”
—Linda Banche Romance Author

“Creative, well-paced, and definitely diverting.”

About the Author
Mary Simonsen
Mary Lydon Simonsen’s first book, Searching for Pemberley, was acclaimed by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times. She is well loved and widely followed on all the Jane Austen fanfic sites, with tens of thousands of hits and hundreds of reviews whenever she posts. She lives in Peoria, Arizona.


Linda Banche said...

Hi Mary. I loved Mr. Darcy as a werewolf. I especially like that you made his condition more curse than privilege. Enough with the werewolf supermen already--there are too many of those around and they're boring.

Calisa Rhose said...

I'm excited to read this story! Being a lover of wolves, too, and part Cherokee I 'relate' to these wild creatures. No, I'm not savage. Wolves are highly respected by 'the people', so I tend to soak up these beings when possible. Thanks for offering a copy and I hope I win!

MarySimonsen said...

Hi Linda. It's so good to be back at Historical Hussies, and thank you for your kind words.

Calisa, In this story, endangered wolves go to Canada near Hudson Bay and intermingle with the Native American population because of the respect of which you speak. Thanks for stopping by.

Billie said...

Hey Mary. You know I really enjoyed reading Mr. Darcy's Bite. It was a love story with a slight twist. Mr. Darcy makes a great werewolf. I liked the fact that this story wasn't dark.

Dee said...

I loved Searching for Pemberley but admit to having never read a P&P paranormal as I just couldn't seem to get my head around the concept. This sounds like a really cool story and I am adding it to my wishlist!

catslady said...

I have to say this is the most original premise for a P&P variation and I find it extremely fascinating. I am totally intrigued as to how you blended both worlds!

MarySimonsen said...

Hi Billie. Always good to see you.

Dee, So glad you enjoyed Searching for Pemberley. It seems like I released that book 200 years ago. :)

Catslady, Thanks for stopping by.

Chelsea B. said...

I agree with you completely, Mary! I'll take him any way I can get him! :-) Love me some Mr. Darcy!


Regina Jeffers said...

Mary, I continue to sing your praises.