Saturday, October 22, 2011
Jane Austen Made Me Do It: It’s like a box of chocolates! by Laurel Ann Nattress (and GIVEAWAY)
Hi Laura, thanks again for hosting me during my Grand Tour of the blogosphere in celebration of the release of my new Austen-inspired anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It.
“It is only a novel… or, in short, some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.” Northanger Abbey, Volume 1, Chapter 5
Novels in Jane Austen’s day were not as popular, nor did they garner the respect that they do today. Considered low-brow fare, her poke at those who objected to young ladies reading novels is evident in this quote from the narrator in Northanger Abbey. The reader is obviously reading a novel, so it is a double pun.
I proudly profess to be an ardent novel reader. I have also always had an affinity for short story anthologies. I will pull a Forest Gump on you and proclaim anthologies are like a box chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Because of that unknown adventurous element, I have discovered fabulous new authors over the years. My new anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is indeed like a box of Austen-inspired confections. Each story is unique and a surprise.
While I was working with the twenty-four authors on their twenty-two stories (two stories are written by teams) as the editor of the anthology, my idea from the beginning was to give them a free reign by asking them to “stay within the theme of exploring Austen’s philosophies of life and love by reacquainting readers with characters from her novels or introducing original stories inspired by her ideals.” They could write in any genre, era or style. I asked them to send me their ideas and I encourage them with my best instincts.
My editor and I had wanted a mix of stories, of which we hoped about half would be historical, and the balance contemporary. Interestingly, with very little micro-managing, that is exactly what happened. It split right down the line. To further enlighten you, here is the genre breakdown:
Jane Austen as a fictional character or inspired by her ideals: 7
Inspired by her characters or a novel: 10
So you can see there is quite a mix. I was delighted with the end result. I hope you will be too.
Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Brenna Aubrey • Stephanie Barron • Carrie Bebris • Jo Beverley • Diana Birchall • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Monica Fairview • Amanda Grange • Syrie James • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Alexandra Potter • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubino Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret Sullivan • Adriana Trigiani • Laurie Viera Rigler • Lauren Willig
A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the author/editor of Austenprose.com a blog devoted to the oeuvre of her favorite author and the many books and movies that she has inspired. She is a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, a regular contributor to the PBS blog Remotely Connected and the Jane Austen Centre online magazine. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington. Visit Laurel Ann at her blogs Austenprose.com and JaneAustenMadeMeDoIt.com, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.
Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
Ballantine Books • ISBN: 978-0345524966
Giveaway of Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Enter a chance to win one copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It by leaving a comment by midnight on Saturday October 29th, stating what intrigues you about reading an Austen-inspired short story anthology. Winners to be drawn at random and announced on October 30th. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck to all!