Q: What’s the premise of your novel? Kitty Bennet’s Diary is the third of my diary-format imagined sequels to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The story focuses on Kitty Bennet, younger sister to Elizabeth Bennet. To quote the back cover copy:
Kitty Bennet is finished with love and romance. She lost her one-time fiance in the Battle of Waterloo, and in the battle’s aftermath saw more ugliness and suffering than she could bear. Staying with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in London for the winter, Kitty throws her energies into finding a husband for her hopelessly bookish sister Mary, and discovering whatever mysterious trouble is worrying her sister Jane. But then she meets Mr. Lancelot Dalton, a handsome clergyman with a shadowed past–and discovers that though she may be finished with love, love may not be at all finished with her.
Q: What would you like people to know about the story itself? A little-known bit of Jane Austen lore is that according to accounts by Austen’s brother, she actually shared with her family a bit about what she imagined for the cast of characters in Pride and Prejudice after the official close of the novel. The basis for Kitty Bennet’s Diary was in fact the details Jane Austen shared with her family about Kitty and Mary Bennet’s eventual fates. It tremendously fun– and a tremendous privilege, too– to get to write both Kitty and Mary towards the endings that Jane Austen herself imagined for them. I hope Austen would approve of the road I had them travel to get there!