Sunday, June 9, 2013

The time it was a homage

Perhaps you didn't know that I am a huge fan of Pride & Prejudice. It is my all time favorite, go-to, slump breaking book.  And of course, I am a firm believer that Mr. Darcy is one of the original swoony boys.  I mean...

Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy FTMFW

Imagine my delight when I saw there was going to be another P+P retelling, I was thrilled.  Mostly because I think I've read every other one that's out there. [Seriously.  It's like a sickness.] But, Spies & Prejudice wasn't just a retelling. It is entirely unique and I was beyond excited for it.  Especially when I was able to read it early. [Thank you, NetGalley.]

Of course, I absolutely fell in love with it. And Tanner. Annnnnd, of course I stalked asked Talia if she had the time to do an interview... But, before we get to her answers, let's check out Spies, yes?

Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.

But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?

With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

Sounds amazing, yes?

1. Where did the idea for Spies & Prejudice come from?

I was driving home from work one day, thinking about the summer I spent working my own father’s private investigation firm.  Not much happened that summer, but I started to play the “what if?” game and imagining things that could have happened if, you know, my marks were actually doing anything interesting.  By the time I got home from work, I had the idea for a book about a teenage private investigator who stumbles onto a clue to her mother’s disappearance and decides to investigate it on her own.  Once I had Berry’s character in place, I knew it would take a strong guy to break through the walls around her heart and her natural suspicion- someone like a modern day Mr. Darcy.  With the Darcy connection, it seemed natural to weave elements of Pride and Prejudice into the story.

2.  I love Berry, it's a lot of fun being inside of her head. How did she develop as a character? 
Berry was a blast to write!  I figured a teenage girl who spent her free time spying on cheating boyfriends and husbands would be independent, tough and a little jaded.  From there, Berry started talking in my head almost immediately.  She’s the first character that ever developed so quickly.  At times, I felt like a reporter, just writing down Berry’s words.  A friend of mine read the early version of the manuscript, and said, “no offense, Talia, but you’re not this funny.”  My response to her (mostly true) statement?  “I know, but Berry is.”   
3.  Let's talk Tanner. [thank you for letting me have him, swoon] He's a very Darcy-esque character, but not an exact replica.  Would you ever consider writing something from his POV?
Tanner was a little harder to figure out.  In early versions of the story, he had more of an edge to him, but he needed to soften a bit before Berry could really start to connect with him.  Tanner kept a lot of secrets hidden, and it took me a while to find (and exploit) his weaknesses.  I probably will write some scenes from his point of view for my website, but I haven’t yet…

4. To me, the nods to P+P were obvious because it's my favorite book. However, I think they were subtle [except the direct mention of Pemberley] if the reader wasn't as familiar with it. Was that intentional?
Definitely.  I like to think of Spies and Prejudice as more of a homage than a retelling.  Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books, but it was important that Berry and Tanner have their own story.  I tried to incorporate some of my favorite characters and scenes from Pride and Prejudice without detracting from the modern story I wanted to tell.  The first draft actually had quite a few more characters and plot lines from Pride and Prejudice, but it weighed down the mystery and took away from Berry and Tanner’s romance.  I hope that fans of Pride and Prejudice will be able to pick up on the overlapping scenes, plot points and characters inspired by the original story, overt, subtle or slightly twisted.

5. Describe Spies & Prejudice in 5 words, without using the words pride or prejudice. 
Careful what you look for.

Speed [ish] round:
1.  What's your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat? 

Burritos.  Too many carbs, but I can’t resist.

2.  What are you reading right now?

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise.  It’s romantic and fun!
3.  Who are your favorite swoony boys?

Perry from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi; Thomas Wyatt from Tarnish by Katherine Longshore; Archer Cross from the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins; and Kaleb Ballerd from the Hourglass series by Myra McEntire.  Wow.  I wrote those down in like ten seconds.  Obsess much?

4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?

See all the authors mentioned above.  Also, I think I would freak out if met Stephen King.  That man gave me nightmares in high school and college, but in the best possible way.
Huge thanks to Talia for taking the time [and giving me Tanner!!].

Find her on her website or on Twitter. And go add all of her books on GoodReads!

Now. To celebrate the book birthday of Spies & Prejudice, I've got a signed hardcover copy up for grabs that Talia so graciously donated.

Rules for the giveaway are listed under the "terms and conditions" on the Rafflecopter widget.
**Good Luck!!**
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. With a doubt Pride and Prejudice!! But 2nd would be Emma!

  2. Hmmm Meg and I had this convo the other day. I think Sense & Sensibility is my favorite book, but Darcy's my favorite guy! ILY

    1. It's been a while since I read S&S, I should rectify that. And yes to Darcy.


  3. I love Pride and Prejudice, I've read it at least five times :)

  4. You know it's Pride And Prejudice. I love her work, but that one was made for me.

  5. I would have to say Pride and Prejudice, but Persuasion is a very close second. I honestly love all of her work I have read all the books, seen all the movies, and have read tons of retellings as well. Thanks for the great giveaway and I love your blog your posts are always so much fun to read.

    1. Thank you, Bridget! I appreciate all of your comments and pimpage!

  6. so... no shooting me, but I've never read any Austen. :) lol

    but you're pretty!! :)

  7. My favorite is "Emma" because of how funny it is!

  8. My favorite is Pride and Prejudice. I just watched the first episode again today while making dinner. My second favorite used to be Emma but as I've gotten older I started appreciating Persuasion a lot more and it is currently my next favorite.

  9. Is there any other favorite to have but Pride and Prejudice? lol I really should read the rest of Jane Austen's books. I been slacking.

  10. It's Pride and Prejudice. Thanks! :D

  11. Definitely Pride & Prejudice :)

  12. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Oh man, don't hit me but I actually haven't read any Jane Austen... which is kind of sacrilege, because I do love all the adaptations. P&P is definitely on my 'to-read' list, I just always get distracted by all the new pretties, rather than focusing on older ones.

  13. Persuasion for me!! Thanks for the giveaway and your time in putting it up.



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