**Giveaway is now closed**
We welcome Karen Doornebos, who is here with us today to talk about her debut novel, "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy," (Berkley, Penguin; released yesterday and reviewed here). Karen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with honors in English Literature and then lived and worked in London as a writer at a management consultant firm. Back in the states, she has had an award winning career as a copywriter for huge name brands, such as Diet Coke and Johnnie Walker. Currently Karen lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, daughter and a variety of pets.
Karen is here to share with us why, after 200 years, women are still lusting over Mr. Darcy. Thanks to Heidi Richter at Penguin Group, we have two copies of "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" to give to some lucky readers in the US and Canada.
To learn more about Karen, you can visit her at her blog, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you think you would LIKE Mr. Darcy?
By Karen Doornebos
First of all, I want to thank Chick Lit Central for welcoming me here and for hosting a giveaway of my debut novel, "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy." What a fabulous review Gail Allison gave my book!
“Much obliged,” as a lady in the Regency era would say...
Jane Austen died during the Regency, in 1817. But right now she has 405,114 fans (and growing) on Facebook and that doesn’t include the other Jane Austen page with 125,691 LIKES on it (and growing, as well). Not to mention the plethora of pages beginning with her name, including one of the groups I belong to: Austen Authors.
Mr. Darcy has 114,376 facebook fans and he’s not even a real person. As you know, he was a fictional character from "Pride and Prejudice," published almost 200 years ago!
These facebook fans, along with more than 4,000 members of the Jane Austen Society of North America, are having a lot of fun with things like tea parties, ballroom dances, and Austen festivals of all kinds. They enjoy Austen movies, musicals, plays, prequels, sequels and mash-ups with zombies, sea monsters and vampires. There are hundreds of hilarious Austen-related clips on YouTube such as the “Jane Austen Fight Club,” and that video became an instant viral hit. Google “Jane Austen” and you will get 21,800,000 results. She’s on twitter, too. I personally just enjoyed my first twitter party #Austenesque!
Even the shopping is great for Jane Austen fans. Zazzle offers 900+ Austen-related gifts. T-shirts and jewelry with quotes on them aside, one of my personal favorite items comes from The Republic of Pemberley.
Why, after 200 years, are we experiencing Jane-o-mania? I have a few theories, none of them proven. There is of course, Austen’s writing itself, and her characters, all of which have withstood the test of time, including Mr. Darcy himself. Austen wrote about types we can easily recognize in our everyday lives: loveable bad boys, hypochondriacs, back-stabbers, BFFs, liars, charmers, relatable heroines, heroes to die for, and then there’s Mr. Darcy.
He’s handsome, enigmatic, rich, and he changes for the better—just because he falls in love with our heroine. Did I mention he’s rich?
Yes, there will always be Mr. Darcy, but I think Austen appeals today because, during the Regency era, there were these things called rules.
A man had to be properly introduced to you, and he would bow when he met you. He stood up when you walked into a room. Even if he was a scoundrel he would ask you to dance nicely and he wouldn’t break up with you on twitter. He didn’t text other people while drinking tea with you and your mother and he didn’t have 500 female facebook friends.
The fact that life in Regency England had no computer technology is, I think, a large part of Jane Austen’s current appeal. We can escape into one of her novels and escape into a simpler, pastoral era without the constant time suck of smartphones, emails, texts, apps, video clips to watch, and so on.
But was her era really simpler? And would you really like Mr. Darcy anyway? These are questions I’ve posed in my debut novel, "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy."
"Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" tosses a single American mom into a reality show set in Jane Austen’s England, and Chick Lit Central's associate reviewer, Gail Allison, thought it was “loads of fun”. Gail nailed it, and I fully intended my novel to be fun, and funny, in the spirit of an Austen novel itself. But what I’m finding so cool is that even the readers who don’t know much about Jane Austen are loving the book. They think "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy" is hilarious and, at the same time, thought-provoking and informative. What’s more, many of them are inspired to pick up "Pride and Prejudice," the very book they may have thrown at the wall during high school. Some may be compelled to read any one of Austen’s other five novels, too, and that makes me smile.
So, whether you LIKE Mr. Darcy, or love him, I hope you’ll leave a comment and win a copy of "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy!"
Special thanks to Karen for introducing us to another leading man (if we didn't know him already) and to Heidi for sharing Karen's book with our readers. Thanks also to Amy Bromberg for her help putting this post together...her first as our promotional associate!
How to win "Definitely Not Mr. Darcy":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)
Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Do you think you would LIKE Mr. Darcy? Why?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.
US/Canada only. Giveaway ends September 13th at midnight EST.
For another chance to win this book, visit Manic Mommy. (US/Canada only. Ends sometime this weekend.)