By now, we all know Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg is downright awesome. Now, here’s part I of our three-part interview with her, so read on to find out the story behind the story! (And be sure to check back for parts II and III!) Our thanks to Elizabeth for taking the time to talk with us!
Q. In Prom and Prejudice, Lizzie seems to have just as much prejudice as Darcy (in addition to her legendary pride). How come?
A. By the time Darcy enters the picture, Lizzie has been bullied for an entire semester because she’s a scholarship student. She really hasn’t had a positive experience with many of the rich students, so she’s built this wall that’s really hard to break through. I needed to have a lot more obstacles between the two and since Darcy is such an infamous romantic hero, I needed to make my Lizzie a lot more stubborn to create tension for the reader.
A. This is why I had to make the setting a prestigious boarding school. Class is such an issue in the original book, it’s what drives apart Jane and Bingley (as well as creates Mr. Darcy’s prejudices against the Bennet family). But I don’t think class struggles exist that much in contemporary high schools, so I needed to put my Lizzie in a situation where money did matter.
Q. You mention in your acknowledgments that it was a conversation with Stephenie Meyer that turned you on to writing Prom and Prejudice. Can you tell is about that?
A. few of us were talking about Pride and Prejudice and about how it still resonates today, especially with all the different takes on it (Bridget Jones’s Diary in particular). So I started thinking to myself if it could be retold in a way that it would apply to teens – what are they “in want of”? Since I was in the middle of writing The Lonely Hearts Club, where there’s the message that having a boyfriend shouldn’t rule your life, I really didn’t want them to be in search of boyfriends. So what else do girls and guys do in high school where they need each other? Prom! And the title Prom and Prejudice just came to me and I knew what my next novel was going to be!
Q. Just for giggles, if Prom and Prejudice was made into a movie, who would you cast as your young Will Darcy? Lizzie?
A. This is so hard! I really need to start watching more teen TV shows and movies. I recently watched the Percy Jackson movie because I always thought Logan Lerman would make a good Ryan Bauer (from The Lonely Hearts Club), but he might make a good Darcy… I need for teens to tell me what they think, or what shows I should be watching so I’ll have a better answer!