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Monday, October 10

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Book Giveaway and First Stop on the Blog Tour

Thank you Vic, for graciously hosting me on my first stop of my Grand Tour of the blogosphere in celebration of the release of Jane Austen Made Me Do It. As a fellow Janeite and blogger, we have both clocked some major mileage researching, reading and writing about our favorite author, Jane Austen. When I created my blog Austenprose.com in 2007, you were one of the first to leave a comment of encouragement – and I thank you.

I never dreamed that when I started blogging about our “dear Jane” that it would culminate into a book deal, but it did! My new short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, releases tomorrow, October 11, 2011 from Ballantine Books. I have been working on it now for close to two years and I am so anxious for everyone to read it.

How it all came to pass can be credited to passion, connections and fate.

Jane Austen has long been admired for her witty dialogue and engaging plots, inspiring writers for generations. After the 1995 A&E/BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy introduced her to a wider audience, there was a flood of Austen-inspired fan fiction available online and new sequels being published monthly. So many so, that they became the new Austenesque book genre. Over the past fifteen years I have enjoyed reading many of them. I had this idea about an Austen themed short story anthology rolling around in my head for years. I just didn’t know if anyone would be interested in reading it, or more importantly, how to get it published.

While working with some of my favorite Austenesque authors to promote their new books on Austenprose, I began to see a thread that might be woven into my dream. Luckily, the Internet is a powerful tool and you just don’t really know who is paying attention. That came in the form of Mitchell Waters, a literary agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd. in New York, who also admired Jane Austen and recognized my passion and connections. The fate part of this equation comes from timing in life – and that is the big one! I guess you could say that I had paid my dues to the sweat equity Gods, or whatever, because when we proposed my book idea to my future editor at Random House she loved it, and I had a deal within a week. Thank you Jane Austen!

That is my whirlwind romance with publishing. It took years of hard work and dedication to get to that point. I just didn’t know that when I was pounding away, day and night, about Austen, her novels, and the books and movies that she has inspired, that following my bliss would produce such a surprising reward. As one of my contributors Diana Birchall told me, “You're just Cinderella and this is your ball! Take it and enjoy it.”

I have been favored with twenty-two stories by twenty-four fabulous authors. Here they are in all their glory:

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

Over the next month I will be visiting 30 of my favorite blogs on my Grand Tour. Now that you know my story, I hope you will follow along as I continue sharing how my dream evolved into Jane Austen Made Me Do It and reveal a bit about each of the stories along the way.

Many thanks to all my Janeite friends for your help, and support.

Cheers, Laurel Ann

“But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must and will happen to throw a hero in her way.” – Northanger Abbey

About the editor:

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. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington where it rains a lot. Visit Laurel Ann at her blog Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog, on Twitter as @Austenprose, on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress, and at the Jane Austen Made Me Do It website.

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

GRAND BOOK GIVEAWAY! Contest is over. Congratulations, phastings. Laurel Ann is giving away a copy of her new book. All you need to do is leave a comment and tell us which contributing author is your favorite and why! The winner will be drawn by random number generator on October 15th, midnight, EST. (Only residents in the US and Canada are eligible.)

77 comments:

Carole Beth Rhodes said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you.

SmalltownOntario said...

Thank you for the chance to win this interesting book. I am new to blog land and very new to the Jane Austen legacy.

Gabriella said...

Thanks for the chance to win! At the moment, all of the authors are my favorite as they are all brand-new to me. What a wonderful concept for a collection!

Tracey Devlyn said...

What a wonderful concept and I enjoyed reading about your publishing journey. Love hearing tales of dreams come true.

Isabella Gladd said...

What a grand idea for an anthology. Toss my hat in the ring of hopefuls.

Jessica said...

It would be a delight to win a copy of the book! I can think of no greater pleasure than continuing my Austen-tatious travels in new directions.

Lois said...

Hi! :) Well, when I first heard about this book, it was from Lauren Willig, who I absolutely love, so while there are others I regularly read that are in here too, I'll go with her! :) So I'm definitely looking forward to this one!

Lois

LA said...

I would love to win this book! I have been hearing a lot about it. Thank you!!!

Patricia Finnegan said...

I am looking forward to this book. I am most looking forward to Carrie Bebris. I asm a huge fan of hers and love her darcy mysteries series.

A Stumbling Christian said...

I would love to win this book. I am completely an old fashioned girl.

Kristin said...

I'd love to win a copy! :) I don't think I've read anything by the authors, but I'll say Beth Pattillo. Because the covers of her novels are gorgeous!

~Kristin

Felicia said...

All these wonderful Austenesque authors in one place!?! It will be pure heaven for Jane Austen enthusiasts! I've read most of the authors and definitely couldn't name a favorite, they are all wonderful.

Laurie said...

What an amazing and beautiful book cover. Kudos to you! I am an aspiring author myself, and the world's biggest Jane Austen fan. At least, the biggest one in my little world! Congratulations again, and, honestly, I can't say which author is my favorite because they are all new to me but I am looking forward to reading the book and discovering which one is!

Lauren Gilbert said...

I would love to read this book! I'm in!

Coley said...

I think Amanda Grange is probably my favorite, although I did see a lot of authors on this list whose books I have not had the privilege of reading. I like Amanda Grange, because she has exclusively written the male side of the stories. I really enjoy hearing what the men think, and can't wait to read Henry Tilney's Diary!

Wendi said...

I'd love to win a copy, but I couldn't possibly choose a favorite from this fantastic list of authors!

Sunflower38 said...

Jo Beverly is a favorite for her wonderful Hisorical Romance novels. I am an Austen fan as well as Regency. This wonderful Anthology would be a great read. Thx

maria horvath said...

Your book promises to be a wonderful read.

Thank you for giving us the chance to win a copy.

R said...

Thank you for a chance to win, I am excited to read your book! I am looking forward to reading all the authors stories!

Katie said...

It sounds like a great collection! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this book!

Anonymous said...

I would pick Stephanie Barron. She does a wonderful job of incorporating her mysteries into actual events in Jane Austen's life. She also does great research into the Regency period, and makes her stories totally believable.

Kathryn Schultz said...

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you which of the authors included is my favorite, but I am sure I will have one after winning and reading the book to see the various ideas for stories Jane Austen has inspired.

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I've been greatly looking forward to the release of this marvelous idea of a novel! My favorite of these writers is probably Margaret Sullivan because I have enjoyed reading all of her works that I can get my hands on as well as following her blog! Her wit and intelligence always amaze me.
I'm also very fond of Stephanie Baron and Laurie Viera Rigler's works. Thank you all for your hard work on this novel and for offering this giveaway! :)

Mitchell Geller said...

I have read nearly all of the writers involved, and all with enjoyment. Having said that, as a Janeite for the last 47 of my 60 years, whose first excursion into sequels by other writers was my mother's 1948 copy of Dorathy Bonavia's "Pemberley Shades," I have to say that my current favorite is Carrie Bebris, whose limning of Darcy, Elizabeth and their respective relations seems to me most authentically Jane-ish. In addition to this her plotting is always fresh and clever, and I invariably treat myself to her newest title.

Elvina Herewood said...

Being a fan of Jane Austen, I would like to have a copy of this new book.

Thank you.

suzan said...

I would love a copy of this book. My favorite of those listed is Monica Fairview because I love the way her stories flow. She has a unique way of writing. It was hard to pick however as I love pretty much all the authors listed works.

Birdsong said...

The release date is my birthday, so I'm hoping that will give me extra luck in the drawing! Congrats, and do enjoy your turn at the Ball:)

bethanish said...

Amanda Grange is certainly my favourite contributing author. I adored her "Diary" novels and plan on reading many more of her Jane Austen fiction in the future. I've read quite a few Jane Austen spin-offs and fan fictions and Amanda Grange above all the other authors I've read so far keeps the characters true to themselves even whilst changing the events around them.

Furthermore, "Mr. Knightely's Diary" made me squeal with glee. Yes, that's my main reason for favoring Amanda Grange. ;)

Jana said...

Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to read the works of any of these authors. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy whether I win the giveaway or not. Thanks for hosting!

Laurel Ann (Austenprose) said...

Hello everyone and thanks for your great compliments and comments. It is really intriguing to see what stories interest you. I had a great time working with the authors and hope you enjoy reading the book.

Thanks again Vic for hosting me.

Sophia Rose said...

The blog was very nice to read. I love knowing how a book comes into being.
As to a favorite amongst these authors, may I just say, really? I couldn't do it. I have not read half of them, but the other half I have found stupendous in their own ways. No, no, Jane Austen will not let me choose one over another. (-;
Thank you for the opportunity of a giveaway.

Julie and Becky said...

Don't include me in the drawing - my own copy is already on order - but I did want to wish you well and say congratulations!

Julie

AustenBiBi said...

Oh, please pick me. It would make up for the week I'm having...

Eva-Joy said...

I really love anything Jane Austen so I'd love to win this book. Good luck!

Joan said...

I have only read Beth Patillo, but thanks for the other authors' names to add to my list! Just read a good one by Karen Dournebos, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy, and it was a very good read. A Jane Austen book lover goes to England to live life (for a few weeks) as they did in Regency times, finding herself in the middle of a reality show.

The Sassy Librarian said...

Stephanie Barron was my first real intro to Austenesque fiction. I loved the idea of Jane (who seemed so true to the biographies I devoured about her) as a super sleuth!

marilyn said...

This book sounds like a fun read! My favorite author is Amanda Grange as she is the one I read last. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Carolynn Carey said...

This sounds like a delightful book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

graceismine said...

Love the site! Thanks for the chance to win! :O)

Cissy said...

I'm so excited for a chance to win this book! Currently my favorite author is Monica Fairview. I think all the authors capture Jane Austen's voice in their own way, but I feel Monica Fairview does an amazing job and I love her creativity with Jane Austen's characters.

Cathy K said...

Thanks for chance to escape into these stories. In today's day-to-day world you can feel good about bringing some happiness to us Janeites!

Steph said...

Although I've read several of these authors, Amanda Grange is my favorite! I already loved Captain Wentworth, he's neck and neck with Mr. Darcy for my affections, but after reading Captain Wentworth's Diary I fell in love with him even more!! Amanda did a great job of bringing this character to life!! I can't wait to read Jane Austen Made Me Do It!!!!

astarrynight said...

Yes, please! :)

Becca A. said...

Amanda Grange is a favorite of mine, I love her retellings of the Austen men! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

jjg said...

I really like some of these writers and look forward to reading the ones new to me. Hope to win!

Anonymous said...

I am new to JAFF, and the only author whose name I recognize is Pamela Aidan. I'm currently starting her Darcy trilogy. I like how she gets into the heads of her characters. I'd love to win a copy of this book; it sounds wonderful.
Susan R.K.

AnnaRobyn said...

This is so exciting, I'd love to win a copy.

Angela said...

You are living out a fantasy of my own! I would love love to receive a copy of this delightful sounding book! Two of my favorite Jane spin-off authors include: Amanda Grange and Beth Pattillo!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Congratulations, Laurel Ann! Picking a favorite is difficult...so many wonderful choices. But if I *have* to pick, I will say Lauren Willig. I love her Pink Carnation series.

I'm sure I'll see you on the Grand Tour! :)

stbensgirl said...

The community of Janeites that has grown up around the rediscovery of her work is just delightful! Thanks for your imaginative means of getting us all involved in your party!

Myriam said...

This book sounds like fun, and a good addition to my collection!

Danielle said...

I really like Laurie Rigler. Her writing style was great. Can't wait to read the other authors!

Schlomit said...

It is a hard task for me to choose my favorite author from the list of contributors to your book, I read (and have the books) most of them, this time I will have to say that Jane Odiwe is my favorite, several years ago, she changed the way I see Lydia ...

The Blissful Banter of a Creative Crafter said...

OMG! I wold love a chance to win this book. I love all of the books you recomend on this blog and look forward to reading this one regardless.

Unknown said...

So excited about your book! (and love the cover!) Hard to choose among the authors, but I must give a shout out to Pamela Aidan... she creates love and humble majesty, just as Jane would do... GOOD LUCK with your NEAT book! Karylee, wishing Jane were here with me right now....

melora said...

It looks like an awesome book, congrats!

There are two authors on your list that I love, Stephanie Barron and Lauren Willig. I can't choose between the two because they both are great. Willig's books are frothy fun frolics and Barron's is a good interesting mystery that makes me fancy I know Jane Austen a little bit better.

Terry said...

This is such a great concept for a collection of stories. Lauren Willig is my favorite because I love all of the books in here Pink Carnation series! There are a few authors that I haven't heard of before but I will definitely give them a try!

tmrtini at gmail dot com

Laura S. said...

Lauren Willig, I love her books and am always wanting more.

Larry said...

Love Jane A! Would really like to win!

Nicole said...

I would love to win one

Anonymous said...

Definately want to read this one! Thanks for the giveaway.

lynnquiltsalot said...

While it's a tough choice, my favorite author is Stephanie Barron. I love her Jane Austen books. I so would love a copy of the book. Thanks for the chance to win.

teabird said...

Right now, I'd choose Lauren Willig, but - that could change... I'd love to win a copy of this book!

Margay said...

That's not fair! I love Janet Mullany for her wit and humor, Lauren Willig has an amazing series in the Pink Carnation books, which I adore, and Adriana Trigiani just writes some fabulous books. I love them all!

glgoodwinconstruction said...

What a great giveaway! Stephanie Barron is my favorite at the moment as I am most familiar with her Jane Austen Mysteries. This is a great topic for a book...bound to be a bestseller!

phastings said...

Beth Pattillo is my choice. I enjoyed reading Jane Austen Ruined my Life and Mr. Darcy Broke my Heart. Beth Pattillo was the first Jane Austen spin-off novelist that I read. I'm looking forward to reading The Dashwood sisters tell all. I have not read many of the authors that contributed to your anthology. I can't wait to read it. Good luck with the release!
pamo321(at)comcast(dot)net

hazel said...

Always looking for something good to read. I hope to win a copy of this book!

Mary Bliss said...

I'll choose Pamela Aidan. Her trilogy was exquisite in style, thoroughly apropos, and an absolute delight. It would be a pleasure to read more from her.

Charlotte B. said...

My favorite is Adriana Trigiani because I find myself totally immersed in her stories. Thanks for the chance to win.

A Scattering said...

I'm new to "austenesque" books so I couldn't possibly pick a favorite. I hope I can still be included in the draw for the book - it sounds delightful.

Sofia Ahmed said...

I am excited about this collection of stories especially as it contains stories from many authors I enjoy especially Lauren Willig.

Blaire said...

Is it too late to enter I hope not.

rebekah said...

I am supposed to pick Just One Author ? No. Impossible. Every author has a Gift and I refuse to pick just one !!!

rebekahramie@yahoo.com

DIY Endeavor said...

Of all the authors I'm only getting to know Amanda Grange right now. Just bought Mr. Darcy Vampyre and Mr. Darcy's Diary. All her books based off Austen all seem very interesting.

Ria
riabougas@gmail.com

Marybeth said...

I've been looking forward to this collection for ages, especially Carrie Bebris' contribution. I've read all her Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery series.

Jessica said...

I want this book!! Come to Dallas on the tour!

Laurel Ann (Austenprose) said...

Congratulations phastings. I hope you enjoy reading Jane Austen Made Me Do It!