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!
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!
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
12/5 Chick Lit Plus – Review
12/6 Austen Authors
12/9 Fresh Fiction
12/10 Writings & Ramblings
12/12 Risky Regencies Q&A
12/13 Books by Banister
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.