Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Interview with Ophelia London + Giveaway

I am very happy to welcome back to Ex Libris Ophelia London (who was here just last week, sharing some of her Halloween memories), celebrating the release of her latest novel, Definitely, Maybe in Love, a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling! Being a huge P&P fan, I am really excited, so join us as I quizzed Ophelia about the ins and outs of Definitely, Maybe in Love! ;-)

Stella: Hi Ophelia, welcome back to Ex Libris! Care to share what you have been up to since you stopped by in February when you were on a tour celebrating the release of Speaking of Love?

Ophelia: Hi Stella. I always love being invited to be on your blog. Thanks again! Since February? Wow, that feels like a lifetime ago. Since then, I’ve released another book called Abby Road. It’s about a rock chick and an ex-Marine who meet by chance in Florida. It’s pretty dreamy. I’ve also been busy writing the last book in my Perfect Kisses series. It picks up where Speaking of Love leaves off. It’s got a smexy solider in it, so that’s been way fun to write.

Stella: Your brand new release Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, why did you choose to write a retelling of such a classic? What inspired it? 

Ophelia: I’ve always been curious about Mr. Darcy’s side of the story. I know there are about a zillion “his side” books, but I wanted to tell my own. Instead of that, I decided to tackle a story based on a very specific kind of “opposites attract” patterned after the Darcy & Lizzy relationship.

Stella: Could you tell our readers what they can expect of Definitely, Maybe in Love
Ophelia: Sure! It’s looooosely based on P&P, so don’t expect it to go right along with the story. If you’ve never read P&P, it’s not like you’ll be lost or anything. It’s set at Stanford University—so the main characters are all college aged—and has lots of fun banter and kissing. :-)
Stella: In what way is Definitely, Maybe in Love similar/different than the original Pride and Prejudice

Ophelia: The main theme (“opposites attract”) is still front and center. But obviously, my story isn’t about five sisters who have a mother who will do anything to get her underage daughters married off to rich husbands. Ha-ha. But it does take the themes of the original and give them a modern twist.

Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Definitely, Maybe in Love to us?

Ophelia: The heroine is Spring Honeycutt. She’s so cool; I just love her. She’s an Environmental Science major at Stanford who is pretty hardcore about her beliefs, right down to vegetarianism and picketing the erection of new buildings on campus. Henry is our hottie hero, and couldn’t be more different than Spring. At least, she thinks so at first.

Here’s a little snippet:
A weird noise was coming from the other side of the table. I lowered my shield. “What’s so funny?” I asked, surprised to see Knightly chuckling into a fist.
“Your buttons,” he said.
I looked down at the top I was wearing. It was a black pullover sweater, no buttons.
“No,” he said with another chuckle. “Your buttons, Spring.” He pointed at me, his fingers like a gun. “They’re very easy to push, aren’t they?”
“Depends on who’s pushing them, and where.” I nearly choked on the unintentional innuendo that had spewed out of my mouth. Wow. Now I was flirting back? I reached for my glass of ice water and held it up to my suddenly dry lips. When I snuck a glance at him, his mouth was frozen in a boyish grin, pleased as punch.

Stella: Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern Pride and Prejudice story, featuring a hero called Mr. Knightley. Are you a fan of Jane Austen’s Emma as well? Who are your favourite Jane Austen characters (hero/heroine)?

Ophelia: Oh yes. I’m a crazy fan of all Austen’s books. And it’s funny because it didn’t occur to me that Henry Knightly’s name might confuse some readers because Mr. Knightly is the hero in Austen’s Emma. But as I said, I’ve read all Austen’s books many times. It’s probably pretty obvious that P&P is my favourite because, yeah, Darcy is the ultimate broody sex pot. I also adore the sisters in Sense & Sensibility, and Mr. Tilney from Northanger Abbey is one of the most perfect guy characters in an Austen book. He’s just so fun and chill…no drama. :-)

Stella: If Definitely, Maybe in Love was made into a movie/TV series, who would you cast for the roles? 

Ophelia: I’ve always pictured Kristen Bell as Spring, especially in Veronica Mars. She can be sunny and laid back, but she also has a tough, sarcastic streak that she shares with Spring. For Henry, a saw Adam Brody on some MTV awards show. He was wearing a suit and looking all young and dapper and hot. I remember staring at the screen thinking: “THAT is my Henry!”

Adam Brody as Henry and Kristen Bell as Spring

Stella: Music is usually pretty crucial in your stories, so I wonder, if you had to pick a song for each character, which ones would you choose and why? 

Ophelia: You remember that well, Stella! Yes, I always make playlists for my books. With Definitely, Maybe in Love, Spring and Henry are really into music, but their tastes are as opposite as can be. So of course this meant I had to make a playlist for each of them, plus a playlist for the story. Yeah, so that makes three! The fun thing is, Henry’s playlist is one he actually makes for Spring in the book. So those songs are extra special. :-)

If Spring had a theme song, I’d say it was Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack.” It paints a pretty clear picture of Spring’s inner struggle about her feelings.

For Henry, let’s give him Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” ‘cause he’s just sexy that way.

Stella: Could you whet our appetites for Definitely, Maybe in Love in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Ophelia: Love sexy guys in argyle? Love kissing? If you're also a fan of P&P, you'll love my #newadult modern retell "Definitely, Maybe in Love."

Stella: Is Definitely, Maybe in Love a standalone, or are you planning on exploring other Jane Austen novels/classics as well? 

Ophelia: I am! Right now, I’m working on a modern retelling of Persuasion. It’s been so much fun to write because the theme of past loves being thrown together again is really interesting. I guess I kind of love torturing my characters…it’s all for a good cause, though. :-)

Stella: Would you like to share with us your future plans, what shall we be on the lookout next? 

Ophelia: If all goes as planned, my next book, the third in my Perfect Kisses (Bliss) series will be out in January. I’m sad to see this series coming to an end because I’ve fallen in love with these characters, but I’m also cooking up a new series, so it’s all good!

Stella: And since we are talking Jane Austen and adaptations: which (modern) Jane Austen retelling/adaptation movie/TV series, book, etc. is your favourite? 

Ophelia: The 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth is absolute perfection. All the others have paled in comparison.

Thanks again, Stella. I always love being on your blog. You treat me right!

Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE... and ABBY ROAD. Visit her at http://ophelia-london.blogspot.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.

Connect with Ophelia at her Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Her theory of attraction is about to get a new angle.

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.


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