This may be Stories from the Past, but I also enjoy moderns inspired by great classics. Boots and Backpacks- Pride and Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, roughly looks like it hits all the spots. Not only am I interested in this reimagined and modernized Pride and Prejudice tale, but I grew up near the Appalachian Trail, although I’m no where near the excellent walker Elizabeth Bennet is! Join me as I welcome new author KC Kahler and her guest post!
Boots & Backpacks- Pride and Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, roughly
William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly?
Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trail is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both.
In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!
Guest Blog Post: Modernizing Austen Characters
In a previous stop on the Boots & Backpacks blog tour (at My Love for Jane Austen), I wrote about how many of the themes Jane Austen explored in her novels are universal, even 200 years later.
Similarly, Austen wrote characters who are still familiar to us today. They may even remind us of real people we know: an embarrassing mother, an apathetic father, a boy-crazy girl, a snob, a playboy, a drama queen. It isn’t much of a stretch, therefore, to reimagine Austen characters in a modern setting.
Reimagine, I did, and I had a lot of fun doing it! This is a bit of a spoiler, but Boots & Backpacks features not only updated characters from Pride and Prejudice, but also from Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Here are a few of them:
William Darcy: our protagonist starts out as a rather unlikeable character. He’s a terrible snob, spoiled and sheltered. He comes from a long, proud line of important Darcys, but he’s the last one left. Darcy has some issues with women: he judges them by their appearance, he distrusts their motives and believes they are only after his money, but he isn’t above sleeping with them – a lot of them. Like Austen’s Darcy, he changes for the better over the course of the story. His journey of self discovery is both literal and figurative.
Elizabeth Bennet: an excellent walker, indeed! She is a great lover of the outdoors, and enjoys long-distance hiking. Clever, independent, and feisty, Elizabeth is perhaps a bit more prickly than Austen wrote her; she doesn’t take any of Darcy’s crap. Lizzy is loyal and protective of her loved ones, but has some trust issues of her own, particularly where men are concerned. She, too, changes over the course of the story.
Marianne Dashwood: Elizabeth’s best friend is a self-described drama queen. We meet Marianne after she has overcome her Willoughby ordeal and realized the error of her impulsive ways, so readers may find her a bit less…grating? than Austen’s Marianne. But she still isn’t much for moderation.
Christopher Brandon: much like the original, he is a calming, supportive presence for everyone around him. He is also devoted to Marianne.
Isabella Thorpe: a big fan of the Twilight movies, she insists on being called Bella, and is looking for her Edward – preferably a rich and famous one. She and her brother only appear in one chapter of B&B, but that’s all it takes for them to complicate things for Darcy and Elizabeth.
John Thorpe: a boorish braggart, just as Austen wrote him. His favorite thing to brag about is his beloved SUV and its impressive sound system. He installed it himself, you know.
Hopefully, Boots & Backpacks readers will find that my updates to these and other Austen characters still preserve their essence. I didn’t want to mess too much with a good thing!
My thanks to Rose for hosting a stop on the B&B blog tour.
Ms. Kahler is offering a giveaway: one Ebook (Kindle or Nook) and one Paperback, both open internationally. Please comment below with your e-mail address and format preference. Entries close November 12, 2014 at midnight, eastern standard time.
KC Kahler has worked as a writer and editor in both non-profit and academic settings. Until discovering Jane Austen Fan Fiction several years ago, KC’s writing had been limited to the dry and technical, which is a shame, since she considers herself witty and sparkling. Her first novel, Boots & Backpacks, will be published in 2014 by Meryton Press.
KC lives on a four-acre slice of Penn’s Woods with her husband and two dogs. They enjoy hiking, gardening, and being beer snobs.
On Twitter: @KCKahler
Follow the tour:
10/27: Guest Post & Giveaway at Babblings of a Bookworm
10/28: Review at Songs and Stories
10/30: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
10/31: Review at Wings of Paper
11/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen
11/2: Review at The Delighted Reader
11/3: Excerpt at More Agreeably Engaged
11/4: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
11/5: Review at Warmisunqu’s Austen
11/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Stories From the Past
11/7: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice