What would it be like to see Elizabeth Bennet in 1930’s clothes? What if Emma Woodhouse was the daughter of a car dealership owner? What if Marianne Dashwood was seeking to become a movie star in the golden age of film? The Vintage Jane Austen series explores the world of Jane Austen, set in 1930’s America. Five authors took on Jane Austen’s five most popular novels and retold them set in the depression era, remaining faithful to the original plots. As an extra bonus to the series, there is a collection of short stories that were inspired by Jane Austen. Today, we’re interviewing Rebekah Jones, author of Presumption and Partiality.
Pride and Prejudice is my personal favorite Jane Austen tale, so I was excited to hear about this amazing series coming out! I have yet to read this story, but I’m excited to read my free e-book as soon as it’s released in December!
If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll love this interview! In order to ensure maximum enjoyment, be sure to listen to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack as you read Rebekah’s answers! 😀
Livy: Your book, Presumption and Partiality, is part of the Vintage Jane Austen series. How did you get involved with this series/being asked to participate?
Rebekah: I got an e-mail from Sarah Holman, asking if I’d consider writing Pride and Prejudice in the 1930s.
Is this your first novel, or do you have other published works?
I have three other novels and two children’s books. My previously published novels are Contemporary Christian Mysteries, though sometimes with a bit of Historical Fiction thrown in.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was about eight-years-old. Before that, I did picture books and I have no idea when I started those. Probably when I was about three.
Which is your personal favorite, classic Jane Austen work?
Mansfield Park has long been my favorite. I love Fanny, especially, as she selflessly and gently serves those around her.
Why do you think Jane Austen’s novels are still so popular, even after all these years?
One reason, I think, is because they are so multi-faceted. She never hyper-focuses on just one or two characters; there are many storylines. Besides that, they are true to life and relatable in so many ways, even if we don’t deal with the same societal rules and cultural norms that existed in Regency England.
Tell us a little bit about Presumption and Partiality, and why we should read the story.
Presumption and Partiality is set among the cotton fields and farmland of Gilbert, Arizona in the early years of the Great Depression. The Bailey family are cotton farmers, living a simple but fairly happy life, when Richard Buchanan moves to town, bringing his family, friend, and a desire to learn about cotton, despite his wealthy status.
It has been quite interesting taking the idea of life in affluent Regency England and transferring that to life in 1930’s Arizona, but I do love the results. Since few people tend to set books in the Arizona desert, I thought it would be an interesting spin. I hope I have managed to keep the story itself recognizable, but with an added twist that will keep reader turning the pages.
Who is your favorite character from Presumption and Partiality?
I actually don’t do favorites. With any of my books. I do love Sidney, but I also love Eloise, Richard, Alice, and Virginia. I couldn’t possibly pick one over the other.
Lastly, if you could ask Jane Austen ONE question, what would you ask?
Hmm… Possibly, what inspired her to write? I know people speculate, but I wonder what first sparked her love of writing. What first got her brain spinning about that first story? I think, that’s what I would ask.
What is your favorite Jane Austen Novel? Comment below!