Q & A with A. K. Pittman

Can you tell us about the first time you read Pride and Prejudice? What stuck out to you in the story?

To be honest, the first time I read Pride and Prejudice was after I watched the 1995 BBC mini-series. I happened to have a “teaching” copy (with vocabulary and guided reading questions), and I was mostly curious about how much of the actual dialogue had been preserved in the screenplay. I would watch, then read, then watch, then read . . . I think the world found a renewed love with Austen thanks to that series.

There are several retellings and renditions of Pride and Prejudice set in various decades and locales—what made you want to write one set in 1980’s Texas?

The decade (the 80’s) was a choice of pure indulgence, so I could immerse myself in memories and nostalgia. And, it worked as a historical setting, too. As for why Texas? Mostly because I knew I wanted the Darcy character to be a football star, and while I know schools play football everywhere, there’s nothing quite like a Texas Friday Night football game.

What are some key memories or points of nostalgia you have about the 1980’s?

I remember staying up all night watching music videos on MTV. They would announce something like the new Madonna video premiering at midnight, so you’d stay up, watch it, then call a friend to talk about it. But you’d have to whisper on the phone so your parents wouldn’t hear. I remember spending hours in record stores, flipping through albums and the clack of the big plastic sleeves cassette tapes came in. I remember listening to American Top 40 everySaturday morning. I remember dropping rolls of film off at Fox Photo, then being disappointed when I picked up the prints because I’d cut off everybody’s head, or the shots were blurred. I remember when I finally got my own phone in my bedroom, and it was the first time I felt a twinge of independence.

What did you enjoy most about writing Pudge and Prejudice?

Pudge and Prejudice was the first novel I wrote during my professional writing career for which I had zero expectations for publication. I was between contracts and sad and I just filled my days wallowing in this familiar story set in the middle of every pleasant (and not-so-pleasant) memory I had from high school. It was drafted purely from a love of story and writing and setting and character. There are passages that, when I wrote them, I laughed myself to tears, and they still make me laugh. It was my first book to have a soundtrack—both in my head, and while I wrote.

About A. K. Pittman

A.K. Pittman is an award-winning author of thirteen novels, including the Christy-nominated Sister Wife series and the critically acclaimed The Seamstress. An enthusiast for all things writing, she leads two different writers’ groups, helping to bring new voices to the world of books. When not writing, Allison teaches middle school English, working as a conduit to introduce her students to new, fresh literature. You can follow her around on Instagram (@allisonkpittman) or Twitter (@allisonkpittman) and keep up with her writing news on her Allison Pittman Author Facebook page. Here you’ll learn what’s going on with new books, next books, and day-to-day life with Allison and her husband, Mikey. You’ll also get a peek at Snax, the world’s worst dog.