Saturday, August 3, 2013

Guestpost: Art Imitating Art. Taking Inspiration from the Classics by Ingrid Jonach, Author of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)

When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio.


Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again. 
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

Guest Post: Art Imitating Art. Taking Inspiration from the Classics

Aldous Huxley took inspiration from Shakespeare when writing Brave New World [IMAGE SUPPLIED]. And, in a case of art imitating art, Conan Doyle modeled Sherlock Holmes on C.

Auguste Dupin, a fictional detective created by Edgar Allan Poe. Stephanie Meyer has said that Eclipse was inspired by Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (even though she apparently dislikes the book!). And James Joyce famously channeled Homer in Ulysses (which I have tried to read about ten times).

It seems that creativity breeds creativity (and intertextuality!). 
There were a number of inspirations for When the World was Flat (and we were in love), including a variety of films, music and locations. A major muse, however, was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I would definitely say that Lillie is prideful like Elizabeth Bennet and Tom is prejudiced like Mr. Darcy (who is my biggest fictional crush of all time), but aside from similarities between the characters, there are two scenes in When the World was Flat (and we were in love) which were modeled on my favorite moments in Pride and Prejudice.

The first was inspired by the scene where Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth. That moment breaks my heart every time I either read or watch it, because he goes about it ALL WRONG! For one, he tells her that he loves her in spite of himself.

Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice:

"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

In When the World was Flat (and we were in love), there is a scene in a clearing where Tom comes close to telling Lillie the truth about their connection. He is completely putting himself out there and she shuts him down because at that point she thinks he is spoilt and arrogant. I am not going to share an excerpt though, because it contains some spoilers!

The second scene inspired by Pride and Prejudice is when Lillie visits the estate where Tom lives – Rose Hill. There is an awkward meeting between the two, just like the unexpected encounter between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth when she is caught having a sticky-beak at Pemberley.

Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice:

They were within twenty yards of each other, and so abrupt was his appearance, that it was impossible to avoid his sight. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of both were overspread with the deepest blush. He absolutely started, and for a moment seemed immovable from surprise; but shortly recovering himself, advanced towards the party, and spoke to Elizabeth, if not in terms of perfect composure, at least of perfect civility.

Excerpt from When the World was Flat (and we were in love):

Tom paused when he saw us and, in that moment, he looked like some kind of modern day Mr. Darcy on the steps of Pemberley.

As you can tell from the short excerpt above, Rose Hill was inspired by Pemberley (the amazing estate belonging to Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice). Rose Hill is a more modern building (by another two hundred years or so!) than the Sixteenth Century Chatsworth House, which is said to have inspired Pemberley
. Chatsworth House is also where they filmed part of the 1995 movie there (the one with Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen).

When he arrives at Rose Hill, one of the characters (Jackson) comments to Lillie that he should have brought his fishing rod when he sees the large rectangular lake.

Excerpt from When the World was Flat (and we were in love):

As Jackson drove down the avenue of trees, I caught glimpses of freshly mown grass and a man-made lake, rectangular like the Reflecting Pool in DC, but deep and dark. I wound down the window to breathe in the fresh air and listen to the trill of birds as they flitted through the branches. Red birds. Like in my dream, I realized with a start.

The tires crunched on the white gravel, sounding like someone shushing us – or shushing Jackson, who was commenting on the size of the lake and wondering about catfish.
“I should have brought my rod.”
Shhh. Shhh. Shhh.
I was thinking of the scene in Pride and Prejudice where Mr. Darcy generously offers his stream to Mr. Gardiner (apparently a big deal back then!):

Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice:

The conversation soon turned upon fishing; and she heard Mr. Darcy invite him, with the greatest civility, to fish there as often as he chose while he continued in the neighborhood, offering at the same time to supply him with fishing tackle, and pointing out those parts of the stream where there was usually most sport. Mrs. Gardiner, who was walking arm-in-arm with Elizabeth, gave her a look expressive of wonder.

I am joining a long list of authors who have taken inspiration from Pride and Prejudice. Helen Fielding loosely based Bridget Jones's Diary on Pride and Prejudice. And it is said that Elizabeth Gaskell was one of the first to pay homage to the work with North and South in 1855 (although it was not publicly acknowledged). Not to mention the stream of parodies and spin-offs like Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (which I actually own).

Of course, there is also a lot of originality in these adaptations as well, just like in When the World was Flat (and we were in love). The last time I checked there were certainly no sci fi elements in Pride and Prejudice (although there could be another spin off that fixes that)!

Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.

Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.

Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.

Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at 

Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.  
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes: 
  • a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
  • a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
  • a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.

The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via

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