Wow! It has been several months since I sat down with a guest for a chat. I was tickled to death when my invitation to visit was accepted by author Alexa Adams while she’s out on tour this month. Alexa’s been a shining star in the Jane Austen community for some time. I know I’ve been loving on her books for hmm, seven years… something like that. Whew! Time flies. She has a friendly on-line presence both on social media and through her blog, happily connecting with readers and fans.
For this occasion, Alexa is dropping by to chat, but also to share about her latest release, Darcy in Wonderland, which comes out this month. Woohoo!
Hi, Sophia! It’s a pleasure to be here.
Thanks for dropping by. Have a seat on my comfy couch that tends to swallow people up and won’t let them go. Can I get you iced tea or lemonade to help cool you off after your trip?
A lemonade sounds perfect, thank you.
I got this fantastic peach tart recipe from a friend and peaches in season out at the local orchard so I had to make up some mini tarts to share. Help yourself!
I will. They look delicious.
How has your summer been going? Do any fun trips, festivals, family outings?
My family and I recently returned from two weeks visiting with friends and family in the United States. Since we moved to Switzerland two years ago, these summer trips across the Atlantic are not exactly relaxing, but they are great fun. It’s wonderful to catch up with everyone and indulge in all the foods we miss. Now we’re back to schnitzel and sausages.
Now isn't that how it is- we do seem to need a vacation after our vacations. Haha!
Did you read any great ‘summer-beach reads’?
I haven’t had as much reading time as I like with the book release, but I did find time to finish A Quest for Mr. Darcy by Cassandra Grafton, which was excellent.
It's on my pile and glad to know it got your seal of excellence.
Speaking of reads… Happy Release for Darcy in Wonderland…
I understand it’s a mash-up of Pride & Prejudice and Alice in Wonderland. I am hopping with curiosity and love the idea.
How did that idea come about?
My inspiration was my daughter. She’s quite Alice-like. I’ve always loved the story and have long wanted to blend Pride and Prejudice with a different writer’s work. Also, I was looking for something fun to write. My last book, The Madness of Mr. Darcy, emotionally drained me. This is much more lighthearted.
Ahhh, now how can one not find this inspiration adorable.
These are both fantastic stories, of course. What’s a favorite scene from both stories?
That’s a tough question. I think, as it is for so many other fans, that the mad tea party is my favorite part of Alice in Wonderland.
I adore every minute of Pride and Prejudice, but if I have to choose a favorite, I’d better go with when Lady Catherine barges in on the Bennets at Longbourn, if for no other reason than it manages to creep into almost all my books. I adore writing for Lady Catherine. She’s a major plot mover in the new book.
Did you lean more toward one book more than the other in the mash-up or is it even-Steven?
The story is more Carroll’s than Austen. I stay pretty close to his original tale, but it is encapsulated within a Pride and Prejudice sequel (many years on), with Darcy tagging along on his daughter’s adventure. As is so often true, he’s the real star of the show: a proper foil for his whimsical little girl.
Now, that does captivate my attention.
What was the most difficult thing about writing such a mash-up?
Trying to balance the tones of my two muses, which are very different. Austen is far more formal than Carroll. I tried to keep the characters from the former’s world true to her stylings, while allowing the latter’s to run amuck, as they are so prone to do. This was rather tough on my editor, I think, as she really wanted to limit my contraction use in the manner of a typical Austenesque novel, but Carroll uses them constantly. It was a tricky negotiation.
Was there a character that really surprised you once you started writing?
Alice. As I said, she’s based on my own six-year-old daughter. What I didn’t expect was that she would also prove the perfect little Lizzy.
Is there a particular non-spoiler scene that really hit you emotionally?
Throughout the adventure in Wonderland, Darcy tries so hard to impose reason on all the impossible things happening around him. Finally, when he meets the Mock-Turtle, he cracks from the effort, losing himself in hysterics and really relishing the absurdity. I had a blast writing that scene.
Sounds like a really insightful read on his character.
Are you busy with another work in progress or maybe plotting out a future work in progress now?
I am on my fourth round of edits on a very long-term project, Being Mrs. Bennet. It’s the story a modern woman who, following a car accident, finds herself inhabiting the body of Mrs. Bennet. It’s a very challenging piece that I’ve been working on for years, but I hope to publish it early next year.
And, I know I will not be the only one perked up with interest for this news.
Orange or Yellow?
I guess yellow, as it is the color of madness, but I’m really not a huge fan of either. More of a blue or green girl.
Italian or Mexican food?
Mexican because they don’t really have it in Switzerland.
Beach or Mountains?
Must I choose? I’d be lost without both.
Traffic Jam or Long Line?
Long line. Better people watching.
Music or Sports?
Mini-Tool Kit or Mini-Sewing Kit?
Sci-Fi or Steampunk?
Mrs. Norris or Lady Catherine?
Definitely Lady Catherine, who really is one of my favorite of Austen’s characters. However, I did write a novella a few years ago entitled Becoming Mrs. Norris. It’s a Mansfield Park prequel told from her perspective. I’ve never done a purely Lady Catherine story. Maybe it’s time.
Well, I should let Alexa get going. Let me package up some of these tarts for the road. Thanks so much for dropping by, Alexa.
Thank you, Sophia! It’s been a lot of fun (though I think I might have overindulged on the tarts).
If she’s not visiting here on GoodReads, you can find Alexa at:
Now, isn't this cover adorable? Love how it suits the story inside so well.
Feel free to leave your calling cards at the stops along the way for Alexa's blog tour:
August 5th - Laughing with Lizzie
August 7th - Austenesque Reviews
August 8th - Just Jane 1813
August 9th & 10th - From Pemberley to Milton
August 11th - Austen Authors
August 12th - Sophia Rose's Blog (Goodreads)
August 13th - Musings from the Yellow Kitchen
August 14th - Diary of an Eccentric
August 15th - More Agreeably Engaged
August 16th - My Jane Austen Book Club
August 17th - Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
August 18th - Babblings of a Bookworm
August 19th - Savvy Verse & Wit
Darcy in Wonderland is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Darcy-Wonderla...
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