The world of Austenesque fiction is filled with talented authors. With such an embarrassment of riches, the only logical thing to do is develop a project to involve as many of them as possible. Edited by Laurel Ann Nattress of Austenprose.com, Jane Austen Made Me Do It is just that. Twenty-two authors, all telling stories with one theme: their tales must be “inspired by literatures most astute observer of the human heart.”
I was absolutely delighted with the entire book. There’s a short story in Jane Austen Made Me Do It for every kind of Austenesque lover. Sequels, retellings, modernizations; Jane Austen Made Me Do It has them all. There’s even a ghost story or two–all written in a very tasteful, Jane-like manner of course.
As a brand-new author myself, I was most anxious to read Brenna Aubrey’s “The Love Letter.” As you may know, Brenna won a contest last year to be included in this volume. This is her first publication credit, and I have to say, it was an excellent way to begin her career. “The Love Letter” is a fresh, modern take on Persuasion which I absolutely loved, and I cannot wait to read her next work–perhaps a longer piece of fiction?
Overall, this volume delivers exactly what it promises: a respite from today’s busy world into the heart of Jane Austen. Five stars.
FTC disclaimer: Review copy provided by publisher.
|Me at Shakespeare’s Birthplace
After the geek-out confession posted, I received a tweet from someone wanting to know why Shakespeare didn’t make the list. Well… Shakespeare is his own post. That’s fitting for the man who is the only author to have his very own classification number in the Dewey Decimal System. Shakespeare, and Shakespeare alone, is 822.33.
Here’s a secret for my Austen friends: I started reading Shakespeare before I read Austen.
And a secret for my Shakespeare friends? I still haven’t read nearly as much of his works as I feel I should have.
That’s why I devised a plan shortly after my return from England last spring. I will read all of his plays in reverse alphabetical order. The one exception is that I’m planning to read all the histories in one go, chronologically. (I am willing to be talked out of that madness, if anyone would care to knock some sense into my head.)
More than any other author, Shakespeare formed the English language. I used to own a little book called Coined by Shakespeare, which detailed all the words and expressions he invented. Granted, he had the good fortune to live in a period when the language was still fairly elastic, but I think there’s something to be said for that level of creativity and imagination, no matter what era he lived in. If the word he needed didn’t exist, he simply created it.
I may not be able to invent words, but I hope I can be even half as imaginative as he was.
The outside of Bath Abbey is absolutely, breath-takingly gorgeous. Everything about the structure is impressive–its size, the high walls, the stone carvings on the outside of the building. Then you step through the doors, and the inside is just as lovely. Surely, you think, beauty like this doesn’t happen on its own.
Something causes you to look up, and suddenly you realize that, no, it doesn’t.
Fan vaulting was an invention of Gothic architecture designed to support the high, high ceilings of the period. The ceiling itself is actually the vault, and the fans are the support system. As impressive as the ceiling is, it could not remain where it is without the fans.
That’s how I feel right now. This amazing ride with His Good Opinion owes so much of its success to you. I only wrote the book–you, my friends and family, have been the ones to support both it and me in a way that has absolutely astounded me.
Thank you so much for this beautiful, beautiful ride.
ETA: I just sold my 100th paperback! Yet another milestone to be thankful for.
Last week I admitted my deep and abiding love for all things geeky. Today I want to share something even more important to me: Christmas.
I love everything festive. I am the annoying person who places Christmas music in July. I used to start itching to decorate right after Halloween, but in recent years November has been too busy with NaNoWriMo for me to even think about Christmas trees. I’m not entirely convinced my mother didn’t have something to do with that.
And oh, the baking! Mint cookies, molasses crinkles, fudge, homemade caramel! The calories go on and on, but it’s only for a few weeks, right?
I have a collection of Christmas headgear. The first piece was a regular Santa hat, of course. Then I got the reindeer, with little jingle bells attached. A few years later I bought a very stylish Santa hat, trimmed in leopard print fur. And finally, last year, Heather bought me this awesome penguin Santa hat.
And of course, there’s always the Christmas baking. This is what I’m really known for in my family–cookies, candies, fudge, and more. In fact, as soon as I finish typing this I’ll be making molasses crinkles.
What about you? What are your favorite parts of the holidays?
Over two hundred years ago in a small Hampshire village, Jane Austen was born. She died before her 42nd birthday, but in those four decades, she changed the course of English literature. The novel as we know it was birthed in her keen observations and clever wit.
More than most authors, I owe my own literary career directly to Jane Austen. I wrote stories before finding the niche of Austenesque fiction, but I never finished anything that was remotely publishable. Today, on her 236th birthday, I can say that I am a successful author thanks to Jane.
I’ve said my thanks before, but I wanted to once more: Thank you, Jane, for sitting down at that little table and writing books that would change my life. Happy birthday.
There’s been a lot of blogging and talking about Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy, and His Good Opinion lately. That’s not over, not by a long shot, but I thought it was time to throw some other topics into the mix. In that vein of thought, I’m calling Tuesdays for the rest of the year “True Confessions.” Each week will feature something new that you might not know about me yet.
Today’s confession: I Am A Geek.
Yes, capped like that because it is so, so true. I am the geekiest of geeks.
I was recently asked what other interests I have besides Jane, and the irony of the question made me laugh. I collect interests the way some people collect stamps, only mine are always, always related to story telling somehow.
In middle school it was Zorro.
High school and college, Star Wars.
Then a series of television shows: JAG, Alias, The Pretender…
Lord of the Rings
I watch the shows, read the books, buy the DVDs, check out extra materials from the library. I write fanfiction (obviously) and I read it as well.
And, upon occasion, I buy merchandise.
I’ve confessed, now it’s your turn. What things do you geek out over?
Never in a million years did I think I’d be posting this after less than a month, but here I am–just a few minutes ago, His Good Opinion crossed the 1000 sales mark. I screamed and did a little jig, because honestly, this is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
Not only are the sales looking great, people seem to be enjoying my book. The reviews have all been positive, and I’ve gotten so many nice comments on Twitter and Facebook from readers. This means as much or more to me as the sales figure, because while it’s nice to know people are buying my book, it’s even better to know they’re enjoying it.
Thank you so much everyone!
His Good Opinion can be purchased in e-book format from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, and Amazon FR. The paperback is available from Amazon.
The paperback is here!!
After a quick back-and-forth with CreateSpace, the paperback of His Good Opinion is finally available. The first proof I got back was missing page numbers on most of the even pages, so I had to correct that and ask for another proof. That came yesterday, and it is perfect. I am so pleased to see the actual book, with my name on the cover.
As a quick side note on indie publishing, I am very grateful I opted to release the e-book when it was ready, rather than waiting on the paperback. If you’re thinking about self-publishing, I definitely recommend this.
His Good Opinion can also be purchased in e-book format from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, and Amazon FR.
I’m a little tardy in posting this, and I apologize. So many of my fellow bloggers have reviewed His Good Opinion or posted interviews. I will keep this list updated from here on, with newer posts at the top of the list.
My Jane Austen Book Club
Author Jessica Grey
So Little Time…
Love Letters to the Library
Comedy or Tragedy?
A Word’s Worth
500 copies sold!!
You are all awesome, my friends. Every single one of you, whether you are one of the 500 or not. You have all supported me in some way, either by purchasing His Good Opinion yourselves, or by sharing it with friends, tweeting about it, or simply just being here.
I’ll see you at 1,000.