“Love, Letters and Lies: A Pride and Prejudice Variation” started with a premise that Elizabeth would take extraordinary steps to avoid marrying Mr. Darcy. They end up locked in a room together at Netherfield Park. Darcy is not really all that upset at being forced to marry Elizabeth, but she takes down the curtains, fashions a rope and climbs out the window. This, needless to say, banishes all thoughts from Mr. Darcy’s mind that she is trying to attract him.
I wanted Elizabeth to be brave but not reckless. Thus, I had her climb out of what in America is called the second floor, but in England is the first floor. To avoid confusion, I had to make it clear without it being awkward. I solved that problem by never using “first floor” or “second floor.” I wrote that it was one floor up.
When I was writing Courting Elizabeth: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, I created a character whose existence is implied in Pride & Prejudice, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s older brother. I called him Lord Henry. Sadly, I got the title wrong and should have called him Lord Matlock. (I could claim that he was the Earl of Henry, but I don’t think anyone would believe me.)
Lord Henry evolved as I wrote him. I originally intended for him to die. I then started liking him so much that I couldn’t do that. I went back, changed a couple of very minor things intended to foreshadow his death and left him in. The reviewers made me glad of my decision. Lord Henry received more positive comments than any character I’ve ever created.
When I worked out the basic plot for “Entanglements of Honor: A Pride and Prejudice Variation,” I wanted to go with a variation of the standard compromise situation. Rather than having Darcy compromise Elizabeth, I wanted Darcy to compromise Jane, and Bingley to compromise Elizabeth. Then I would have them switch.
The problem was finding a single event that would cause this. I didn’t want one couple in a snowstorm in a cottage and the other couple accidentally locked in a room. I came up with Miss Bingley arranging for a large fire to be lit in an unoccupied room, when she was unaware the damper was closed. This gave people reason to believe there was a fire when there wasn’t. (Well, actually, there was a fire, but it was safely in the fireplace.) It also had the advantage of making Miss Bingley unhappy, because she caused two marriages to take place that she definitely did not want to happen.