Today I have the absolute honor of hosting the next leg of author Karen Doornebos’ blog tour for her brand new release, UNDRESSING MR. DARCY. I’ve mentioned in the past how much I loved her first book, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, and am thrilled not only that she chose to make a stop at Skipping Midnight… but also that she will be giving one lucky reader a copy of her spanking new book! (Read all the way through for details.) And now, without further ado, here’s Karen!
Hello from the Floris Perfumery in London!
As an ice-breaker to each leg of my Blog Tour for UNDRESSING MR. DARCY, I’m taking you along for a ride to England, where I traveled during the summer of 2012 to do some research for the book.
Where am I on this stop? The irresistible perfumery to Her Royal Highness—Floris of London. My heroine and her friend visit this shop in a pivotal scene in UNDRESSING MR. DARCY. This is the shop where my English hero Julian Chancellor, buys his cologne, a lime-based scent that had been originally created by Floris in the 18th century. If you are ever in the St. James area of London, Floris is worth a stop! Read my book and you’ll see why 😉
I’d like to thank you, Laura, for hosting me here on Skipping Midnight.
A bit about the book:
He’s an old-fashioned, hardcover book reader who writes in quill pen and hails from England. She’s an American social media addict. Can he find his way to her heart without so much as a GPS?
You can read the first chapter here!
Buy now at Berkley Penguin – Indiebound – Amazon – B&N – Kobo – BAM – iTunes
On to the interview!…
1. Karen, it’s been two years since you released your debut novel, DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY — which, I have to say, I absolutely loved. How has your life changed since you achieved the dream? How has it remained perfectly the same?
So glad you loved my first book. Everyone seemed to enjoy the humor in that one. As for the dream, I’m living the dream…international book tours, wearing sunglasses in the grocery store so I’m not recognized…just kidding! Although, I often wear sunglasses due to the fact that I didn’t put any makeup on! My life has become infinitely busier. Writing my second book became serious business with daily word counts and just sitting down and writing—everyday. I’m still a mom who goes to my teenagers’ concerts and recitals and I still drive them around to their activities. The days are never long enough!
2. Now you’re releasing your second, UNDRESSING MR. DARCY, with a different protagonist entirely. Would you consider the Darcy books to be a series (nudge for number three) or do you just love writing about the Regency period in modern times?
I never really considered my books to be a series, although a third would be logical! They are stand-alones. I’m working on several ideas right now—they are not Darcy-related. However, a few of the ideas I’m working on do set our modern times and history on a collision course! My books will always provide you with a laugh and something to learn. And yes, I love writing about the Regency period in modern times!
3. What can fans of your first book expect more of with UNDRESSING MR. DARCY? What will be completely new?
I hope the same level of humor is there! I also hope, that like my first book, readers will learn something along the way. What’s new? As you mentioned, the characters. This time my heroine IS NOT a Jane Austen fan. In UNDRESSING MR. DARCY the setting is much more varied, and I enjoyed taking my readers along for a journey through London, Chawton and Bath.
4. I was fascinated by all the tidbits about life in Regency England (I still think of the bath water ordeal when I step into a wonderful, hot shower). How did you research this and can we expect more of that in your second book?
Thank you, Laura! So kind of you to say you enjoyed that aspect of my first book. So many readers I met at signings and book clubs liked learning things about the Regency era too. In UNDRESSING MR. DARCY you will learn more about Jane Austen’s life and the places she lived. You’ll get a pretty good feel for what it’s like to attend a Jane Austen conference or festival, too!
5. What is your writing process like?
I write with classical music on, for the most part, in my home office. I write really well outside, on the deck with my sunglasses on to reduce the screen glare. I can’t write while songs with lyrics are processing through my brain. However, I love to brainstorm to lyrics and I power walked with my “Novel Playlist” on my iPod throughout the neighborhood as I worked out story problems! I work with an outline, so I generally know where the story is heading unless a good-looking pirate swoops in and derails my plans as he did in UNDRESSING MR. DARCY! I write every day, and I like to start a scene fresh if I can, yes, with the first line, but knowing the ending of the scene!
6. Thousands of people dream about going from polished manuscript to agented writer to debut author with a huge house like Penguin. Can you tell us a little about the process that worked for you, and what you learned along the way?
Once I had my manuscript in place, it was a very clear path for me to get traditionally published, and that’s what I wanted to do. There are only two steps: get an agent and have that agent sell to New York! I really did my homework on literary agents. I sought out the ones who claimed Jane Austen was one of their favorite authors. I looked at the agents who took on humorous manuscripts. Paige Wheeler of Folio Lit was only the sixteenth agent I queried. I did my homework! She did her homework, too, because DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY sold in less than six weeks to Penguin! I did learn, though, that old cliché that writing is rewriting…I revised three times after my agent took it on…but that’s why she sold it in less than six weeks!
7. How do/did you weather the rough patches?
Coffee. Rewards. Bribery. Seriously. I’d say to myself: finish this and you can have dark chocolate. Bribery is an old Chicago tradition and I’m a born and bred Chicagoan. Oh, and scented candles. Every time I needed to focus I’d light a scented candle and it would signal it was time to get to work.
8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
Have fun with your work. If you’re not having fun as you’re writing it, who will have fun reading it?
9. How can fans connect with you and help spread the word about UNDRESSING MR. DARCY?
Please join me on Twitter and Facebook! Visit my website at www.karendoornebos.com and my group blog Austen Authors. The best way to an author’s heart is to leave a positive review on Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N!
Skipping Midnight readers, comment below for your chance to win a copy of UNDRESSING MR. DARCY… What inspires you as a writer? To increase your chances of winning you can share this post on your Facebook page or Twitter—let us know you’ve done that! You can also increase your odds by following me on Twitter or Facebook, or, if you’re not already, following Laura on her social media (Twitter here or Facebook here). Don’t forget to let us know about it in your comment, thanks! Contest limited to US entrants only.
Mr. Darcy’s Stripping Off…
His other stocking. At each blog stop Mr. Darcy will strip off another piece of clothing. Keep track of each item in chronological order and at then end of the tour you can enter to win a GRAND PRIZE of the book, “DO NOT DISTURB I’m Undressing Mr. Darcy” door hangers for you and your friends, tea, and a bottle of wine (assuming I can legally ship it to your state). US entries only, please.
Karen Doornebos is the author of UNDRESSING MR. DARCY published by Berkley, Penguin and available here or at your favorite bookstore. Her first novel, DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY, has been published in three countries and was granted a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly. Karen lived and worked in London for a short time, but is now happy just being a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and living in the Chicagoland area with her husband, two teenagers and various pets—including a bird. Speaking of birds, follow her on Twitter and Facebook! She hopes to see you there, on her website www.karendoornebos.com and her group blog Austen Authors.
JOIN THE BLOG TOUR:
12/3: The Penguin Blog
Launch! 12/3: Austenprose
12/4 Laura’s Review Bookshelf & JaneBlog
12/5 Chick Lit Plus – Review
12/6 Austen Authors
12/9 Fresh Fiction
12/10 Writings & Ramblings
12/11 Brant Flakes & Skipping Midnight
12/12 Risky Regencies Q&A
12/13 Books by Banister
Jane Austen’s 238th Birthday! 12/16 Jane Austen in Vermont, My Jane Austen Book Club & Author Exposure Q&A
12/17 Literally Jen
12/18 Savvy Verse & Wit – Review
12/19 Kritters Ramblings
12/20 Booking with Manic– Review
12/26 My 5 Monkeys – Review
12/27 All Grown Up – Review
12/30 Silver’s Reviews
1/2 Dew on the Kudzu
NEXT WEEK, author Jennifer Laam will be stopping by to answer some questions and give away a copy of her historical fiction debut, THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR. You won’t want to miss it!
If you are a published/soon-to-be-published author and would like to be interviewed for Skipping Midnight, please click here.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@Laura_Kenyon) or Facebook (LauraKenyonWrites) to increase your chances of winning Karen’s book!!
56 responses to “Karen Doornebos interview… and Undresssing Mr. Darcy giveaway!”
So happy to be here, Laura! Thank you so much for hosting me!
It’s my pleasure, Karen!
Mr. Darcy rules! You’re so right about the rewriting.
I wish I could get it right the first time 😉
I really enjoyed your first book, Definitely not Mr. Darcy, and would love to win a copy of Undressing Mr. Darcy to read 🙂
I remember years ago visiting London and walking into a perfume shop – it had a tinned ceiling and all the bottles were displayed on beautiful wood shelves. It was absolutely wonderful! I stumbled upon this shop by accident as I was looking for the Cavendish Hotel on Jermyn Street, hoping to see the chair Mr. Starr used to sit in (which I did!).
That’s the thing about London, Susan, is that you can just bump into fabulous shops/sights etc at every turn!
I write a lot of articles for work so I’m mostly inspired by my subject matter. I adored the first book and would love to read the second!
Megan, now I’m curious: what is your subject matter for your articles?
I loved Definitely Not Mr. Darcy……so I know I’ll enjoy this one, too! 😀
Thanks for the heads-up about your giveaway and the blog tour. Super interview! I enjoyed reading the Q&A very much.
Ricki, how great to hear that you loved DNMD & this interview. I think Laura asked some great questions!
loved the first book! I find inspiration while people watching! at the mall, on my walk from the train to my office, in the office etc..
Thanks, Laura, to alerting me regarding this interview, the new release and giveaway via Goodreads! Now that I’m properly stalking you on Facebook, Twitter, and Feedly, I can stay up to speed 🙂 I loved DNMD and look forward to reading Undressing Mr. Darcy. What inspires me as a writer? Awards and deadlines 🙂
Deadlines do inspire! 🙂
I loved the first book and met Karen when she spoke at a JASNA event in Cleveland last year. I can’t wait to read her new book!
Kim, I had such a great time in Cleveland! Thanks for chiming in here!
Before I had a gaggle of kids I wrote often as an outlet for everything. As of late I am attempting again!
Human emotion and connection is what inspires me. Who doesn’t love a good love story or a happy ending? Life has so many ups and downs, unhappy and happy moments. Why not focus on and hope for the good times?
I loved Karen’s first book and can’t wait to read the second!
Hillary, I encourage you to carve out a bit of your own time to write! My 13 yr old daughter now writes with me & writes much more…she has no internal editor, it seems! Thanks for all of your kind words!
DNMD was so fun to read. I would love to get my hands on another book of that quality. Thanks for posting part of the book.
I enjoyed the first book but felt like it left me hanging. I would love to win the second one to see what will happen! Thank you for letting me know about this giveaway on goodreads!
Great interview! Thank you. I am looking forward to reading Undressing Mr. Darcy !! uuuummmm, so sexy!!
Thank you for letting me know about the giveaway! I loved the first book, and spread the word about it (my mom and sister fought over who got to read it first after me!) Here’s hoping this one will be just as good (and I’m sure it won’t disappoint!)
Thanks, Rosemary for passing the DNMD around! Let me know what you think of UMD!
Really enjoyed Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, and would love to see some bibliographies of regency era sources used. Is that going to be a possibility in future books? I subscribe to Jane Austen’s Regency World periodical and my favorite section is the page devoted to excerpts from actual newspapers and periodicals of that era. Looking forward to reading Undressing Mr. Darcy, but for some reason my local B&N is not carrying it but still is carrying the print copy of DNMD. Guess I’ll have to buy it online!
Gena, it is at B&N, but might not be on the shelf for some reason or another (sold out?!). Be sure to ask one of the booksellers to order it. Someday I’ll have to gather all of my sources in one place…I’ve used hundreds and hundreds over the years!
I really enjoyed your first book also. I am kind of picky. Smiles. The second sounds very intriguing. I love learning about the regency era. I do really love your humor. I loved the interview and the photo. I have never been to London. Hmmmm citrus scent sounds nice.
Suzan, thank you so much for the compliment! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview…so did I!
Thanks for telling me about the giveaway. I wasn’t aware of the first book, so I’ll have to find it. I’m a sucker for contemporary Austen retellings. Sharing the England trip on the blog tour is a great idea, I’ve always wanted to go. Yes, I’m an Anglophile.
I’m glad you like the idea of my sharing the England trip on the blog tour. I’ve really enjoyed rehashing the trip…it was only 8 days but I packed in a lot!
I’m so incredibly excited about the new book!
Thank you for writing a great first book – can’t wait for the next! Sometimes it is hard to find a great different perspective on an Austen inspired story. I am really looking forward to reading Undressing Mr. Darcy.
I admire authors so much. A blank page is so intimidating! Thank you for the giveaway!
Glad to hear that you have a new book coming out. It is so good to have entertaining books to read in the midst of life’s stresses! [Now following you both on FB and Twitter, too 🙂 ]
Yes, as Jane Austen herself said: “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Thanks for the follows!
I saw this on Goodreads. Looks interesting!
I was looking for this at the library last night and it was out. Too bad. I really look forward to reading it. I am an AuAu fan and love that website. I have tried writing and made it to page 6, after that could not think of anything else.
Hi Karana, great to see you here! Personally, I’m happy to hear your report that someone at your library has already checked it out…but it’s not so great for you!
Stick with the writing! Six pages is a short story!
I saw the new book on goodreads and didn’t know about the first book. It has been the most horrible year for me and my family we found out my mom has breast cancer, my step dad died earlier this year and then my daddy passed away on nov 7th, my 15 month old nephew has had rsv twice this year and stays sick all the time bless his little heart…Anyways as you can see i havent had much time for reading this year. I HOPE and PRAY the new year is better and i can get back to reading… I would love to read both books. Thank You for letting me tell my life story.
Rebecka, I wish you strength and courage…so glad you have hope for the new year. I don’t mind hearing life stories…I’m a writer! All the best to you. (((Hugs)))
I really enjoyed DNMD and I’m pretty picky about anything related to Austen, Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet! I really enjoyed the Q&A with Ms. Doornebos; it gives me hope that someday I can get published and keep up with my “mom duties” at the same time. 🙂
Jana, I really encourage you to keep going for your goal! It shows your kids perseverance and tenacity!
Loved the first book, so I’m sure I’m going to love this one as well!
Thank you Laura for leaving me a message about your blog and this interview with Karen. Blessings!
Karen, thank you for your kind words!
I’m not a writer, except for reviews, which I do love writing simply because I know authors need them and like the feedback.
I’ve followed both of you on Twitter and Facebook.
This slipped under my “upcoming releases” radar! Thanks for the tip Laura. I really enjoyed the first book and am now greatly looking forward to this one.
I loved the first book and I’m looking forward to the second!
I write mostly for work, so I’m inspired by my own research. In my spare time, I love reading, and I write reviews when there’s a book worthwhile of comment!
It’s great to get paid for your writing! Congrats on writing for work & nice that you take the time to do reviews in your spare time!
Thank you for the tip Laura, I enjoyed reading the interview. I look forward to reading Ms. Doornebos’ books, they sound like a good deal of fun!
I’ve never been to Floris. I would like to smell a lime-based cologne. It sounds fairly unique.
Thanks for letting me know about the interview Laura. I really enjoyed reading the interview and can’t wait to read Undressing Mr. Darcy.
I also enjoyed Definitely Not Mr. Darcy – I have 25 books on my Jane Austen goodreads shelf – I would love to add Undressing Mr. Darcy to it! Already marked to-read 🙂 Hope I got the right place now for the give away!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. It was a blast reading all of your inspirations, and I’m happy to announce that Tawnya Bentley will be receiving a copy of UNDRESSING MR. DARCY.
Please come by next Wednesday for another giveaway — of Jennifer Laam’s THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR. I’ll look for you there!
I’d love to read the book! Sounds pretty spectacular.
Thanks Noor! The giveaway for Undressing Mr. Darcy has ended, but be sure to check back tomorrow for an opportunity to win The Secret Daughter of the Tsar!
Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together.
I once again find myself personally spending way too much
time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth