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Q&A: What ‘Really Angelic” author says when people don’t like her book January 24, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.

OK — let’s face it. Not every book is Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER. Or Karen Marie Moning’s FEVER series.  In fact, some fall incredibly short. I found that to be the case with Enid Wilson’s REALLY ANGELIC: Pride and Prejudice with a paranormal twist. It sure has got a twist. Elizabeth is Darcy’s guardian angel. But it’s almost as if she needs a guardian with all of the scandalous behavior that occurs right from the start.  This is not a book for Jane Austen purists. I also told Enid (CLICK HERE for her Web site) it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But Enid, who lives in Sydney and had sent me a copy of the book, agreed to talk about what happens when a reader doesn’t like her book. (You can decide for yourself. Enid will be giving away a copy of REALLY ANGELIC. Details at the end of this Q&A.)

Q. Your previous work included BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL, which has been ranked in the top 50 best-selling historical romances on Amazon USA and received several top reviews. Why mess with a good thing and switch genres?

A. I love to write stories in different genres. My first book IN QUEST OF THETA MAGIC is in fact a futuristic fantasy that features a shapeshifter. I find it more challenging to write a variety of stories than sticking to one genre. REALLY ANGELIC has received two 5-star reviews so far and its sales figure is doing quite well.

Q. We see lots of sequels, twists on the original PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. What possessed you to retell it? And how did you come up with the idea for angels?

Enid Wilson

A. I fell in love with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when I was around 12. I heard it as a radio drama but it ended at the inn of Lambton, where Elizabeth Bennet told Mr. Darcy that Lydia had eloped with Wickham. Lizzy and Darcy parted way sadly. The drama left me with a very heavy heart.

When I hunted the book down in a library, I was ecstatic that it had a happy ending. It was the first book I used money I earned to buy. I’ve bought several editions of it since and re-read them all. When I discovered the world of Jane Austen retelling about three years ago, I tested my creative skill. I love sexy romance, too, so it is rather satisfying for me to start retelling with a more spicy angle.

The conception of Really Angelic was from this scene (adapted for stand alone reading here):

    As to Elizabeth, when the lightning struck her husband, she had seen with wide and frightened eyes that he was hurt. She had not been quick enough to protect him. As she began to rush to him, another lightning flashed, and Michael appeared directly in front of her, blocking her path.
    “He is hurt, Michael!”
    “It is time.”
    “Yes, time for you to return to Heaven.”
    “No!” Elizabeth shook her head fiercely. “My husband is injured. I must stay with him and find help.”
    “If your concern is his well-being, you can guard him better from Heaven.”
    “I saved him from the clutches of the demon on Earth. I can guard him well here, too.”
    Michael looked at her soberly. “If you do not go now, there may not be another chance to return.”
    “But I love him. How can I leave him, especially now, when he is hurt? We did not even say goodbye. He would be heartbroken if he wakes and finds me gone, forever,” she said in a trembling voice.
    “He knew of that possibility when he married you.”
    “It will not make it hurt any less. I am hurting now. I shall be heartbroken if I cannot see him anymore.” Tears rushed down her face.

    I had this notion of Darcy and Elizabeth separated by a strong outside force, besides their own pride and prejudice and much stronger than the objection of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, From there, I created an angelic world that tested my beloved couple’s love.

    Q. In your telling of the tale, Darcy seems really out of control. And Elizabeth has the same problem. How have readers reacted to some of these behaviors, which didn’t occur in the original story?

    A. I’ve put a warning in the product description. But be warned: this book is not suitable for Jane Austen purists. My fans who have read the story loved it but one can never tell with Amazon’s reviews.

    Q. Did your editor try to talk out of doing the story?

    A. Funny you asked this because my editor Judith actually asked me to expand on one spicy scene. I guess that’s her way of showing support and wanting wilder behaviour for the characters.

    Q. What do you think Jane Austen would think of your version?

    A. I suspect Jane Austen would be diverted by all the attention to and retelling of her novels. I would be, at least. For example in BARGAIN WITH THE DEVIL, I created a character called Ipswich the Good Witch and another writer loved it so much she asked for my permission to use it in her story. I don’t mind it at all. As Jane Austen said in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?

    Q. When someone says they don’t like your story, how do you react? Do you ever feel like quitting?

    A. If they tell me why they don’t like my books, I’ll try to analyze their comments and find ways to improve. But I write what I love to write so I think I’d only quit if I get bored with writing.

    Q. What do your fans say?

    A. I have a circle of fans and they love my stories. Here are a few of their thoughts about Really Angelic.

    I loved the angel and her love slave. I am sure they both enjoyed that arrangement.

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully imaginative and hot story with us.

    A very refreshing fun story

    Q. Do you think if I drank a bottle of wine and read REALLY ANGELIC, I might take things less seriously and would like the book?

    A. LOL, is that your usual way of lightening your heart or dulling your senses? As a half Buddhist, I don’t like to force people and there is no way I can. I believe it makes the world more interesting to have differences of opinion.

    Q. What’s up next for you?

    A. Another retelling, perhaps, if readers are not sick of them. A Martian Mr. Darcy and a human Lizzy…

    Enid is giving out a copy of REALLY ANGELIC in paperback for those brave souls who don’t mind PRIDE AND PREJUDICE  with an out-of-control twist. Just leave a comment below by 12 February 2010 EST, and she’ll pick a winner. Contest open for U.S. readers only.


1. maria rose - January 24, 2010

your retelling of the Jane Austin stories sounds like a good idea too bad we can’t get it added to the required reading lists i look forward to the full read of the story and any other rewritten versions using the themes set up by Miss Austin after all she was considered radical in her days

2. Jennifer - January 24, 2010

I love Enid’s positive attitude! I’m not a hardcore Austen fan and this book sounds intriguing, so I can’t wait to read it 🙂

Diana McCabe - January 24, 2010

She was a good sport for yakking with me. Have you read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”?


Jennifer - January 25, 2010

Not yet, but it’s definitely on my to-read list 🙂

3. zoewinters - January 24, 2010

I want to read this!

4. Enid Wilson - January 25, 2010

Thanks Maria, Jennifer and Zoe for commenting. It’s good to know there are so many Jane Austen’s lovers around. Thanks again Diana for having me.

5. Patricia A - January 25, 2010

I am not a Jane Austin purist, so I’m not at all bothered by imaginative changes to Pride and Prejudice.

Really Angelic sounds like a fun read!

Diana McCabe - January 25, 2010

Hey Patricia — Thanks for stopping by! Have you read any other Jane Austen spinoffs?


6. Enid Wilson - January 25, 2010

Thanks Patricia, it’s a fun story to write.

7. Amanda - January 25, 2010

Hey, with the right forewarning (thanks to this review) I’ll read it and like it. Who doesn’t want a little more Darcy and Elizabeth?

Diana McCabe - March 1, 2010

Hey Amanda — You are the winner of Enid’s giveaway. I just emailed you to get our snail mail address. It was a random drawing. Sorry for the delay!


8. Enid Wilson - January 25, 2010

Thanks Amanda for dropping by. There are plenty of P&P spin off around to satisfy our apetite for more of D&E.

9. Diana McCabe - January 25, 2010

Enid — Forgot to ask you about the cover. Who did it? And was it the first choice?


10. Enid Wilson - January 25, 2010

The cover illustration and design were done by Zorylee Diaz. She’s a very talented photographer too, from Rockport, MA. The cover was her first choice. I was a bit worried about Lizzy being to aggressive, grabbing Darcy’s face. She then presented another 4 alternatives. In the end, this one was chosen because of the intensity of the couple and the flying motion.

Diana McCabe - January 25, 2010

That’s cool.

11. Lisa Champ - February 4, 2010

I love all of Austen’s work, but I don’t know if I would call myself an Austen purist. I really enjoyed Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, so I am not opposed to a re-tell. As long as the story seems interesting and the writing is good, then I am on board to give most things a try.

12. Enid Wilson - February 4, 2010

Thumbs up to you Lisa, for being brave.

Diana McCabe - February 4, 2010

I know Lisa and she is beyond brave!!!! How’s it going in Australia? No more Australian Open. Still having wicked weather?

Do you think anyone will adapt Emma as a paranormal read? Notice new BBC version on right now. Been watching.


13. Enid Wilson - February 4, 2010

Flooding in the Blue Mountains. Very horrible weather here. Emma with a paranormal twist? Perhaps Emma is sent by cupid.

14. Q&A: Lucy Monroe on her Medieval Scottish werewolves « Paranormal Romance - March 2, 2010

[…] Enid Wilson — What ‘Really Angelic’ author says when people don’t like her books […]

15. Q&A part 2: Lucy Monroe on how she writes (including what music inspires her!) « Paranormal Romance - March 7, 2010

[…] Enid Wilson — What ‘Really Angelic’ author says when people don’t like her books […]

16. Q&A: Author of ‘The Body Finder’ on echoes and serial killers « Paranormal Romance - July 20, 2010

[…] Enid Wilson — What ‘Really Angelic’ author says when people don’t like her books […]

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