Karen Wasylowski

Cousins, best friends, and sparring partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam have never parted company. Fitzwilliam is the only one who can help Darcy fix his marriage and the only one to help Fitzwilliam out of an increasingly dangerous entanglement is Mr. Darcy

  
 
 
 
 
 
Welcome to my Austenesque Author Interviews…                                            

Karen Wasylowski

Author of Darcy and Fitzwilliam: The Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer!

 

R: Why did you choose a Jane Austen sequel to be your first novel?

K: Sometimes I really believe it chose me. I was actually trying to write something else entirely and this story kept banging away in my brain, pushing at me. I would say to myself as soon as I finish writing this first thing I will have to do this other‘whatever it is’ about Pride and Prejudice. It was driving me crazy. Finally I realized I had to drop the first story – I couldn’t wait another moment to begin Darcy and Fitzwilliam.

 

R: You are also a retired accountant and a best-selling author–did you always want to be a writer?

K: To tell you the truth, I had a deep feeling many years ago that this would happen and I never forgot that feeling. However, until we retired to Florida, I didn’t have that much time to read for pleasure. In my early thirties I had gone back to Weekend College at Loyola University in Chicago to get my degree, then I studied for my CPA, then I studied for real estate – I always seemed to be studying for school or work with no time for pleasure reading. Also, when we initially got to Florida we spent a great deal of time with Sister Nora and her mission to help the homeless and poor in our area. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I finally gave into that feeling I had so many years ago. I finally sat down and wrote a book.

  R: You are also apart of an organization that helps immigrants to learn to read. Tell us about this amazing charitable foundation?

K: Project Light of Manatee is an all volunteer organization that was begun by a Franciscan Sister, Nora Brick, about fifteen years ago. She is very well-known in our area for her work with immigrants and especially the migrant workers who are brought to Florida to work in the strawberry fields and for the tomato growers. Their days are long and grueling, the work low paying and exhausting. They are doomed to that existence without the basics of English and reading – it is a form of slavery. So sister would go into the camps, pray with them and teach them English late into the evenings. With the help of donations, after a short period in the back of a garage, we were able to purchase a small building; the classes grew and the students began functioning in better paying jobs, providing for their families and taking pride in their accomplishments. There is no real way out of poverty except education. The rewards of this work are immeasurable!

 R: Thank you Karen! There is certainly  more happiness in giving than there is in receiving! What you do for Project Light truly is a blessing!  I wanted to ask you further about your first published work called Darcy and Fitzwilliam. Can you tell us the plot of the story?

K: With pleasure. The story begins a few months after Fitzwilliam Darcy and Lizzy have married. They are deliriously happy and in love. His cousin Richard Fitzwilliam, has just returned from years of being on campaign with Wellington and has no clue what to do with his life. Fitzwilliam is a carefree second son with no real plan for a life after the Army. Darcy is now a besotted married man with responsibilities that are growing daily. Even though they are opposites in personality and life stations, they are close as brothers. They fight, they bicker but they loyally stand up for each other in a fight.

When Elizabeth becomes pregnant, Darcy becomes fearful for her. Between his hovering and her hormonal emotions their marriage becomes rocky. Then Fitzwilliam falls in love with a woman and decides to clean up his life, become respectable, settled down. The lady he loves cannot commit so Fitzwilliam charges like a bull into the fray to help her solve her problems.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh is on hand to lend her exasperating help wherever she can, wanted or not, along with her daughter Anne, the scheming Caroline Bingley and a small boy named Harry. It is always great fun, a little bawdy at times, and very tender.

 

 R: Do you think Darcy and Fitzwilliam may appeal to more male readers of Jane Austen novels?

K: I don’t know but I hope it does. I pray mostly that it finds an audience outside of the Austen community as well as within. It is not really a ladies’ type of book with Almack Assemblies and batting eyelashes and furtive meetings in the library. It is more about authentic feelings and new marriage, about actual life problems that arise between men and women. In that way it is very unique among the Pride and Prejudice sequels. It’s also very funny; I have begun describing it as “Pride and Prejudice” meets “Tom Jones“.

R: Do you have a favorite sentence, line or quote from Darcy and Fitzwilliam?

K: I remember one line that came from real life. Our nephew was married several years ago and we saw him about four months after the wedding for the first time. Sitting down with him, my husband Richie asked, so how’s married life Ronny? Ronny shook his head, rubbed his chin and said I have never fought so much in my entire life. My husband and I laughed until we were blue in the face. I had Fitzwilliam tell that to Darcy when Darcy asks him about his new marriage.

R: If you could speak to or ask Jane Austen anything, what would say to her?

F: I would be interested in how different her writing would be in this era. She was writing very modern stories for her day, very up to the minute. She was so witty too and so sympathetic to her heroines. With the full license we now have of saying anything, writing anything, how much more exciting would Pride and Prejudice be today; if we saw that story for the first time and she could write truthfully instead of insinuating situations. I bet it would have been explosive, a real page turner.

Also, you realize that Austenites are pretty well divided into two camps – the Colin Firth camp and the Matthew Macfadyen camp for who plays Darcy. The competition among the women is fierce and sometimes hotheaded. We P&P women are very passionate about our Darcy. In the end I would ask her the question I am often asked – If they make a movie of your book, which man would you rather play Darcy? Firth or Macfadyen. I would love to hear her answer to that.

R: What encouragement can you give to up and coming writers?

F: I would say don’t ever give up and read, read, read. Also, have a passion for what you write; write something you yourself would love to read. It’s your little universe you are creating – have fun.

 Thank you Karen for this wonderful interview. You are an inspiration to all us writers and aspiring authors! We look forward to your future novels and your  incredible work with your charitable organization!

 

 

 

About the Author:

Karen V. Wasylowski is a retired accountant living in Bradenton, Florida. With her free time not only does she write novels but also volunteering alongside her husband at the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Stillpoint House of Prayer. These are both charitable organizations that assist the poor living in the Bradenton community.

Follow Karen via Twitter @KarenWasylowski or Web page:  http://www.karenwasylowski.com

 

 

Karen would like to offer TWO readers of this blog a chance to WIN a copy of her novel…

~Darcy and Fitzwilliam~

Post a comment on this blog to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Contest is open until May 31st… 

ALL THE BEST!

 

Karen was interviewed by Rosita, An Avid Writer @AnAvidWriter on Twitter

19 thoughts on “Karen Wasylowski”

  1. Oh, I replied just now but not sure if it ‘stuck.’ Just to say many congratulations on a wonderfully insightful interview and a marvellous book. Grace x

  2. What a wonderful interview. So lovely to learn more about you and the marvellous work with others. Darcy and Fitzwilliam sounds terrific. x
    Grace x

  3. Sue Anne Pate said:

    Sometimes I believe it just chose me. Such a true statement. A great author just let’s it flow. I feel that way about books. Sometimes they just jump out at you from the shelves when you walk by choosing you! Darcy books jump right into my waiting arms!! Can’t wait to read Darcy and Fitzwilliam.

  4. I can relate to what Karen said about having no time to read for pleasure, let alone write, at the busiest time of life. That’s what happened to me. Only after the kids were older did I take it up again… and then with a vengence. I’m now a total JA addict. I would love to read Karen’s book and see if she portrayed Col Fitzwilliam anything like I did in my own P&P sequel.

  5. Really good interview. The book sounds amazing. 🙂 x x

  6. Miss our lovely Jane who had know idea what kind of a gift she left generations to come. Thrilled that others have picked up where she left off as they imagine the next adventures of Jane’s characters. Love the cover!

  7. Miss our lovely Jane whom I never knew but has left a gift for generations to come. Thrilled that so many have chosen to be inspired and give us continuing stories from these characters so dear to us.

  8. Danielle Tracy said:

    I love any novel having to do with the other characters mentioned in passing in Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy’s relationship always intrigued me, and it always got me thinking about how they first met and became friends. I can’t wait to eat up this novel.

  9. Sounds lovely! I’m addicted to all things Jane/Janesque – do pick me for the giveaway!!

  10. One thing I love about JA is that she is absolutely lucid; she opens a little window into each character’s soul, however hidden, however quiet. With perfect accuracy she describes internal conflict and character development so we come to know the whole person by the end– I feel I always know each character intimately when I’m done, and frankly, I miss my friends! 🙂 I’m so excited to watch the family continue in Darcy & Fitzwilliam! It’s so sweet to think of Lizzy home and pregnant with all the material her wit and hormones have to offer, and I think that the plot brings the characters we know and love on a very real, relatable level as these kind of relationship dynamics plague modern readers! Very excited, thank you Karen!

  11. Kelly Lindquist said:

    I hope I win…=)

  12. RavenRoseBeetle said:

    Love the cover and love Karen. Looks like a great read!

  13. Great interview and giveaway! The author offers a lot of sage advice, and so charitable with her time; commendable! I’d love to read her novel.

  14. Danielle Tracy said:

    This book sounds really good! The relationship between Fitzwilliam and Darcy always intrigued me and was never really explained in Jane Austen’s P&P. To have a book dedicated to those two men makes me happy.

  15. After reading JA, I tend to write in the same Regency style. It doesn’t work in business emails, but it is quite fun. Did you find yourself writing a al Austen in your other world? I always thought Mr Fitzwilliam was an interesting bit of a character. I bet it was fun to flesh him out.

  16. Great interview Rosita! I liked when Karen talked about her JA’s question. It’s so difficult to know how Jane Austen had Darcy’s face in mind…
    The book looks very exciting and I’m looking forward to read it.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy.
    conchisc(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Dear Conchi: Thank you for the compliment on the interview with Karen. I also enjoyed the answers that Karen gave regarding Jane Austen and if she could speak to her today, what would be the discussion. I can only hope, through all the movie adapations that us modern-day Janeites have represented Mr. Darcy and Fitzwilliam well. Thanks again, Rosita

  17. This is a great interview. I liked learning more about Karen as a person. Although we chat quite a bit on “business”, I find things I did not know about her. It sounds like a very fulfilling life. 🙂

    Thanks, Rosita, for the interview and enter me in the drawing! Debbie

    • Thank you Debra: I am happy that you enjoyed getting to know Karen better through the interview. Her beautiful novel is definitely a Good Read but its her charitable contribution to helping others that touched me. There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. This geninue happiness is obvious with Karen. Thanks again, Rosita

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