by Jessica Ham
Romance and web series writer Kate Noble will be speaking at the next Yosemite Romance Writers Meeting in Fresno on April 20. Kate Noble is the author of “deeply romantic historicals” and collaborator on the awesome Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She is the national bestselling author of the acclaimed Blue Raven Series, earning starred reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly for Follow My Lead, a spot on the Best Romance List from Kirkus Reviews for The Summer of You, and a RITA nomination for best Regency Historical Romance for Revealed. Her April 2013 release, Let It Be Me, has already been chosen as a Romantic Times Top Pick.
All meetings start at 10:30 a.m., and generally go to about 1:00 p.m. and are at Marie Callenders restaurant at: 3602 W. Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93711 (Between Marty & Brawley). Meetings include lunch and are $20.00 members and $30.00 non-members. Registration is done online at their website, and more information about each speaker can be found there as well.
KRL had a chance to interview Kate about her books and her work on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. But first, check out a review of the web series. (Interview after this review)
Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Review by Jessica Ham
Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Jane Austen is one of the most famous authors of all time. And vlogging is becoming one of the most popular things for people to do nowadays. Mix those three together and you have, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a series created by Hank Green and Bernie Su based on Pride and Prejudice. They took Pride and Prejudice and put it in a modern setting. Lizzie Bennet, the main character, talks about her life via her own personal vlog on the YouTube channel “The Lizzie Bennet.” Other characters make guest appearances throughout the vlog but almost every episode is in Lizzie’s perspective.
Taking an old story like Pride and Prejudice and putting it into a modern setting is not easy. Back then, women were married to men they barely knew and their only purpose in life was to find a rich man. But in the modern setting Lizzie is a grad student who wants nothing to do with finding a rich husband. She wants to be her own woman. The story of P&P is still there, just with a few changes to make it realistic to our time period.
I have been obsessed with web series lately and I like a lot of them, but LBD is definitely my favorite. The writing is incredible and the acting is beyond what you would expect from something on the internet. Each actor is perfect at bringing life to these old characters. They make them new and appealing to a modern audience. Lizzie Bennet, played by Ashley Clements, is spunky, prideful, and independent. William Darcy, is pretentious, proud, and eloquently spoken. The chemistry between the two main characters is undeniable. When you are watching, you just can’t wait for them to be together.
I never liked Pride and Prejudice or Jane Austen’s writing, but this web series has made me have a new appreciation for both. This story is beautiful, heartbreaking, and romantic. If you love romance and silliness, you will love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Learn more and watch the entire series by going to their website.
Interview with Kate Noble
KRL: How and when did you first start writing?
Kate: I have always been enamored with stories. I was a voracious reader as a child, and a complete movie nerd as I got older–my after school job was actually at a movie store. I started playing around with writing when I was in college, but it wasn’t until I was working at a menial job that didn’t fulfill me creatively (or financially) that I began writing to keep myself sane and from going broke. What I wrote ended up becoming Compromised, my first novel.
KRL: What different types of writing have you done?
Kate: Quite a bit, actually. Other than novels, I have written dramatic television for NBC and Fox, and I’m currently working on creating an original comic book with Javier Grillo-Marxuach and artist Kel MacDonald. I also have written original content for the web, working on the hit web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
KRL: How did you get into writing romances?
Kate: I have always loved romance novels–I read my first one at 13 and I haven’t stopped since. I loved historicals especially. So, when I started fooling around with my own story, its not surprising that the voice that emerged was an arch, Regency-esque one.
KRL: What are some of your published novels?
Kate: My first was Compromised, followed by Revealed, The Summer of You, Follow My Lead, If I Fall, and the latest, Let It Be Me.
KRL: Tell us about your latest book.
Kate: Let It Be Me is the story of Bridget Forrester, a brilliant pianist with a slight case of stage fright. When she’s offered the chance to study with renowned composer Vincenzo Carpenini, she doesn’t hesitate hopping a ship and sailing to Venice. Only problem is, when she arrives, Carpenini’s never heard of her! His friend, theater owner Oliver Merrick, has, though. And one look into her tantalizing green eyes has him cursing his impulsive letter-writing, which brought her across the continent. Yet before Merrick can apologize, Carpenini has ordered her away.
Little does either man know that they will soon be embroiled in a wager that will require the beautiful Miss Forrester’s help—or that there’ll be far more at stake in this gamble than money…
KRL: What do you like best about writing a romance novel?
Kate: I love getting swept up in the world. I love getting to research and delve into a time and place I’ve never been. I love buying books about history and having an excuse to read them. I love sitting with character’s voices in my head as they work out that endlessly frustrating process of falling in love. I don’t love typing so much, but that’s only because I never learned proper form. I’m a 2-finger typist.
KRL: What is the hardest?
Kate: The hardest is when those characters don’t want to talk to you, but they have to, because you have a word count to make that day! It’s frustrating, but somehow it gets done.
KRL: What will you be talking about at the Yosemite Romance Writer’s meeting?
Kate: My talk is titled “Learning Structure from Hollywood: How Being a Movie Nerd Helped Me be a Better Novelist.” It’s about those little tricks I learned watching/loving movies that I used in writing my books.
KRL: Web series seem to be getting really popular–what is it like writing for one?
Kate: It’s wonderful! I really enjoyed my experience on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries–web series are still young, but becoming very sophisticated in their storytelling, and Hank Green and Bernie Su are some of the best web content producers out there. The fact that it was writing on a version of Pride and Prejudice (my favorite book) was just a bonus.
KRL: How does writing a novel and writing for a web series differ?
Kate: There are two ways web series differ from books. The first is collaboration–The Lizzie Bennet Diaries had a team of six writers. We all sit in a room together and break the story, figuring out what is going to happen in each episode–then the individual writer assigned to the episode goes away and writes it. When writing books, I have no room full of writers. I only have my own story, and of course, those characters knocking around my head.
The second way it differs is money. By that, I don’t mean how much I get paid, but how much it costs. When I’m writing for the screen, I am limited by what we can afford to put on screen. Every actor, every prop, every lighting crew person costs money, and you have to stay in budget. When I’m writing my novels, my only limit is my imagination.
KRL: Future writing plans/goals?
Kate: As long as I can make a living writing, I’m happy. I would love to see more of what I write on the screen–heck, I’d love it if any of my novels were adapted to the screen.
KRL: New projects coming up? Any more web series?
Kate: There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline! I’m looking forward to writing my next trilogy, the first of which will be out in 2014, and I will be working on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries spinoff series, Welcome to Sanditon. Other than that, I have a couple of pet projects that I hope to make see the light of day.
KRL:vWebsite, Facebook, Twitter?
More Lizzie Bennet Diaries questions from Jessica Ham:
Jessica: What was your favorite episode, you wrote, from Lizzie Bennet Diaries?
Kate: I have too many favorites. Writing 59 and 61–the episodes surrounding Darcy Day, was a huge responsibility, especially since I was still fairly new to the show at that time. I adored Briana Cuoco’s Mary Bennet in episode 72, and episode 83, 84, and 98 were such pivotal episodes in Darcy and Lizzie’s relationship, I can’t help but be proud of them. And getting to write 92, Goodbye Jane, where we finally got resolution to Bing and Jane made me very happy.
Jessica: What was your favorite LBD episode that you didn’t write?
Kate: I loved Hypermediation in New Media. I thought it said so much about Darcy and Lizzie, and had some great chemistry. And of course, I thought Bernie Su did a marvelous job with episode 60.
Jessica: Who is your favorite LBD character?
Kate: Lizzie. She’s so wonderfully forthright, and flawed. But she grows and learns about herself by being forced to confront her prejudices.
Jessica: What’s a funny behind-the-scenes story that happened while working on LBD?
Kate: There’s a lot of laughter on set, so it’s hard to choose just one. When we were shooting the last set, we were at a house that happened to have a cat that simply didn’t care that there was a film set going on in the living room. I’m sure in the blooper reel, there are going to be a couple shots of Ashley Clements saying “kitty!” at inopportune times.
Jessica: How did you get the job of writing for LBD?
Kate: I worked on a show with LBD’s co-executive producer Margaret Dunlap. When they were looking to expand their writing staff, she introduced me to show runner Bernie Su. He liked me and my writing and I was hired. Not a terribly exciting story, but there it is.
Come hear Kate speak at the Yosemite Romance Writer’s meeting & watch for a possible video interview with Kate coming soon!