I am participating in the Meet My Main Character game sponsored by the English Historical Fiction blog. Thanks to Diana Birchall for tagging me for the game! You can meet Diana’s main character in her current work in progress here:
Find other game participants on the English Historical Fiction Authors Facebook page:
Here are my answers to the game questions:
This book is a continuation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and continues after my previous book, “Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister.” We pick up the story when Caroline Bingley marries the Comte de Tournay, an impoverished French nobleman who escaped the French Revolution with his family as a young adult. Both of these characters are fictional and are a collision between Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Baroness Orczy’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”
2) When and where is the story set?
The story is set in 1814 England, primarily at the Comte de Tournay’s manor, to which he and his new wife retire after their wedding.
3) What should we know about her?
Caroline is a snob, as in Austen’s book, but is able to suppress her sarcastic comments in order to get what she wants.
Caroline has married the Comte to associate herself with his aristocratic background and show up Fitzwilliam Darcy, who rejected her in “Pride and Prejudice.” The count has married her with his eyes open to her abrasive personality because he wants her dowry to enlarge his land holdings and he hopes that she will give him an heir. He has had two previous wives who were of the English nobility and they were both sickly and died at a young age. He has decided that he must be less particular about good breeding in the hope that Caroline’s sturdy good health will enable them to have healthy children…particularly a healthy son.
The main conflict in this story is the opposing goals of the two partners: she wants to show off her refined French nobleman in London society, and he wants to spend her dowry on land and improve the inheritance for his future heir. In addition, the count makes a bet with his best friend that he can tame Caroline and turn her into a proper wife. When she inadvertently learns of his wager she is furious…until she comes up with a better way to punish him than hiding in her room…
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
Caroline has several goals, as already mentioned: she wants to put herself on a higher social level than Mr. Darcy to show that she doesn’t care that he rejected her advances, and she wants to show him off in London society.
6) Is there a working title for this book and can we read more about it?
The title is “Miss Bingley’s Pas de Deux.” The pas de deux is a ballet form in which a female and a male dancer do a dancing duet- both together and in separate virtuosic performances, with a finale where they come together again and return to some of the themes from the earlier parts. The pair begins and ends together but in between they pursue their individual themes. In my pas de deux the two participants not only have their separate parts, but they act in opposition to each other. I hope to share more about it on Austen Variations blog!
7) When can we expect it to be published?
Hmmmmm, that is a good question. I’m afraid this is not a WIP, but a WILP (a Work in Little Progress)! The demands of my “real job” have taken up most of my time in the past two years and “Pas de Deux” has been the victim of my distraction and exhaustion. I am hoping that I can finish it this year and release it in 2015.