Hello, reader friends! We are celebrating the release of Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman with a quick visit and a giveaway!
about the author
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.
Visit her website or you can follow her around on Instagram or Twitter 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.
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?
A: The decade (the ’80s) 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.
B: I’m pretty fond of the 80s and Texas too! Excellent choices in my opinion.
Did you observe any notable similarities between Austen’s era and the 80s?
A: Pre-social media, if a guy and a girl wanted to talk to each other, they had to . . . talk. Voices on a telephone. Visits on a front porch. Walks to and from school. With the exception of the telephone, the channels for courtship in the ’80s were exactly the same as in Austen’s time. Right down to the letters. I had a box full of notes my friends (and boyfriends) and I wrote to each other. Extensive and detailed. We’ve lost that art with social media and texting.
B: Yes! What a different world we live in now yet the introvert in me rejoices at the invention of texting, emails, and social media.
What are some key memories or points of nostalgia you have about the 1980s?
A: 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 every Saturday 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.
B: Fortunately, I missed out on the 80s-90s big hair but I did have a beastly time growing out my big bangs.
Why did you choose to highlight the theme of body image in your retelling?
A: I knew I didn’t want the initial chasm between Elyse and Billy (my Elizabeth and Darcy) to be one of class. There is a socioeconomic difference, but I knew I had to go beyond that. I’ve always gotten the idea that the arrival of Bingley and Darcy brought Elizabeth to the realization of her family’s financial situation. She knew they weren’t by any means wealthy, but it didn’t really matter until the idea of marriage was on the table. It’s the same with Elyse and her body image—the same as it is, I think, with most girls. It’s easy to be accepting of yourself until you’re thrust into the world of wanting—maybe needing—others to accept you.
B: It’s an important issue for sure!
What is Jane Austen’s best wisdom for high school girls?
A: Know your mind and don’t be swayed by what others would deem “acceptable” or “polite.” Throughout Austen novels we see her women refuse the affections of unsuitable men . . . at least until they become suitable. An Austen girl doesn’t settle for a guy just to have a guy. An Austen girl knows her worth. An Austen girl speaks up and speaks out. An Austen girl is content with her own company.
B: Well said!
What did you enjoy most about writing Pudge and Prejudice?
A: 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.
B: I love that! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Allison!
about the book
Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman
Pudge and Prejudice is an homage to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, transported to the fictitious Northfield Texas High School in the year 1984.
After moving to Northfield with her family, Elyse Nebbit faces the challenge of finding her place in a new school, one dominated by social status and Friday night football. When Elyse’s effortlessly beautiful older sister Jayne starts dating Charlie Bingley, the captain of the school football team, Elyse finds herself curious about Charlie’s popular and brooding best friend, Billy Fitz.
Elyse’s body insecurities eventually complicate her relationship with Billy, leaving Jayne and Elyse’s exceedingly blunt friend, Lottie, to step in and help Elyse accept herself for who she is, pant size and all.
Thanks to the generosity of the publisher, one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader friend will win a print copy of Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman.
US only | ends 01/28/21 | giveaway policy
Do you have fond memories of the 80s?
Be sure to add Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman to your tbr!