The Austen Obsession

 © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

 © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

The most frequent questions I get asked these days are about my novel. Have I written much of it? What is the plot? What has inspired me? The truth is my novel has existed for a long time. I actually created the story before I came to realise I wanted to write it. And the same goes for all the others that are lined up. Nothing has really inspired me other than the desire of setting my imagination free and writing about the unthinkable.

I write to free myself from conformism. What’s the point to create something that is conventional? Or that depicts our reality? Isn’t enough of this around us? I want my stories to tell possibilities that our current existence believes out of reach. This brings me to what I call The Austen Obsession, the timeless attraction to Austen’s characters and plots.

Our beloved Jane did not write to ponder on mundanity. She told us tales of people we would aspire to or admire, because of their passion, determination, quirkiness or simply abundant lifestyle. She taught us to dream, enriching our minds with wittiness and laugher. Why do most women I know, including myself, dream of Mr Darcy two hundred years after? Because he offers what we all crave: looks, wealth and plenty of arguments. We don’t really like guys that agree with us. We like guys, who challenge us, take us out of our comfort zone, shake us in and out of bed, and ultimately, declare us their unconditional love. Her characters may seem Regency-standard to us, but they weren't for her readers when the books were published. They exulted modernity. 

So my book is about all the above. There are headstrong personas, inconceivable situations, beautiful homes, sexual encounters and everlasting love. Because if we could draw our perfect life, it would include all of this and more.