Joy Dawn King is a native Oregonian grandmother of five-year-old twins. When the parents of the twins moved to the Andes Mountains of Ecuador several years ago, Joy and her husband of 34 years packed up and moved with them. Grandchildren have power! Two years ago, she had read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. It was love at the first sentence. Not long after Joy discovered the world of Jane Austen fan fiction, a story was born. She has always been a storyteller, but had not put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard until early this year. Two months later, A Father’s Sins was available.
Hello, Joy. Does this book continue on where Jane Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice? Please tell us about your novel.
A Father’s Sins is an alternate path for the central characters, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. The premise is based on terrible decisions that the fathers make earlier in their children’s lives. It is these children that suffer the consequences. They meet by chance in London a year before tragedy strikes both families and reconnect five years later. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a quiet, taciturn man who is honorable, responsible, and gorgeous. Due to circumstances, Elizabeth Bennet is a much more independent young woman who is kind, knowledgeable, and compassionate.
In the original Pride and Prejudice, the turmoil, misunderstandings, and trouble comes between Darcy and Elizabeth as their personal imperfections and incorrect attitudes inflict emotional pain on them both. In A Father’s Sins, the couple, who are far less prideful and prejudiced, pulls together as outside events try to pull them apart. There is humor, pain, sadness, and joy and enough melodrama to satisfy the most avid adventure lover. It is a morally clean variation that can be read by young and old.
My story follows Darcy and Elizabeth as deal with the fallout from their father’s decisions and come to terms with these men that they had once adored. It is a story of compassion and forgiveness.
What kind of research did you have to do for this story?
My research for this project covered Regency fashion, transportation, weapons, disease, and travel to India, Italy, Greece, Egypt, east Africa, and Portugal by ship during this period. It fascinated me to learn so much of history as my story took shape.
Who is one of your favorite characters in this story and what do you love about him or her?
I absolutely fell in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy. His love and tender care for his sister, Georgiana, showed the feelings that lurked behind that stoic exterior. Even his responses to Miss Caroline Bingley (his best friend’s sister who was intent on becoming his wife), his half-brother George Wickham, and his aunt (Lady Catherine DeBourgh) showed his strength of character and his goodness. He, too, was imperfect in my story just as he was in the original. However, once he realized that he loved Elizabeth, his determination to cherish and protect her was exemplary. Sigh!
I do have to mention the Fitzwilliam family too. Darcy’s Matlock relatives on his mother’s side were delightful. His aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Matlock, epitomized family members that would go to the ends of the earth in efforts to help their beloved nephew. Darcy’s cousins (Colonel Fitzwilliam and his older brother along with Anne DeBourgh) also stepped up and provided comic relief as well as genuine support. You just loved them as they stood together as a strong family unit to help our dear couple.
Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
While I love to cook, eat, and read – I hate, no I ABHOR, Brussels sprouts, sewing machines and snakes – not necessarily in that order.
That is so funny. Thanks, Joy, for this interview. I hope Jane Austen fan fiction followers enjoy your new take on this story.