Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to the next stop in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It blog tour!  Today The Calico Critic is honored to have our guest, Laurel Ann Nattress.  She is the editor of this delightful anthology of Austenesque short stories and the talented woman behind the blog  She's put some thoughts together for us today, reflecting on the many themes and styles within this collection.  Don't forget to enter to win a copy for yourself as well!

*          *          *

How to Give Loose to Your Fancy:
(Or, the recipe to Jane Austen Made Me Do It)

Hi Laura, thanks again for hosting me here at The Calico Critic during my Grand Tour of the blogosphere in celebration of the release of my new Austen-inspired anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. On first perusing your review list, you appear a very eclectic reader, but I do see a common thread throughout your reviews – historical fiction with a strong romance. Right? From Georgette Heyer to Abigail Reynolds to Gillian Bradshaw, every book you have read and reviewed here I would love to read too (and some I have). I trust your judgment implicitly.

When I was thinking about the mix of stories that I wanted in my short story anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, I wanted readers to have a variety of genres and emotional experiences – from romance to comedy to irony – so I encouraged my twenty-four authors to visit Austen’s novels, characters and philosophies on life and love as an overall unifying theme. The stories could be set in any era or genre and should be approximately 5000 words in length. I was very flexible and open to any and all of their ideas.

"[S]uppose as much as you chuse; give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford," Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 60

Austen has many qualities as a writer that I admire, but I am particularly fond of her characterization, acerbic wit and the tension that she creates within the love story. Even though it has been two hundred years since her first novel was published, we can still identify with the struggles of social acceptance, financial freedom and a happy union of attraction, situation and temper that her heroines and heroes face and ultimately overcome. For me, Austen succeeds as writer because she creates heroines that I can relate to and admire, honorable heroes that I can fall in love with and a reproving social commentary that allows me to laugh at the folly and nonsense of human nature and culture.

As I encouraged my authors to give “loose to your fancy” I was all anticipation of what would develop. From historical to contemporary the stories were as varied in their style as their authors. Amazingly, the final combination would end up equally balanced with historical and contemporary tales. The genres chosen were always a surprise. Some of the authors Like Amanda Grange (Mr. Darcy’s Diary), Jane Odiwe (Lydia Bennet’s Story) and Monica Fairview (The Other Mr. Darcy) continued in their known historical fiction vein with “Mr. Bennet Meets His Match,” “Waiting,” and “Nothing Less Than Fairy-land,” presenting side stories of minor characters from Austen original novel, or back stories offering more depth or continuations of the lives of the characters after Jane Austen’s novel had closed. These were all comfort food to me and played off well with some of the surprises that arrived. Mother/daughter team Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway (Lady Vernon and Her Daughter) jumped from historical to contemporary young adult story in the humorous “What Would Austen Do?,” Janet Mullany (Jane and the Damned) took a sharp right turn from Jane Austen as a vampire to a contemporary story of a teacher using Sense and Sensibility and the Beatles to reach her students in 1964 England, Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger” parodies Austen’s parody of Gothic fiction,  Northanger Abbey, with a spoof on a ghost hunter television show and a young lady visited by the ghost of a very familiar specter.

From Regency to contemporary, romantic to fantastical, each of the twenty-two stories in Jane Austen Made Me Do It reaffirms the incomparable influence of Jane Austen on writers over the past two hundred years. My objective was to honor and entertain. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I had editing it.

Cheer, Laurel Ann

*          *          *

Editor bio:

A life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, Laurel Ann Nattress is the author/editor of 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 and, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.

edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
Ballantine Books • ISBN: 978-0345524966

Giveaway of
Jane Austen Made Me Do It

**Contest Closed**

Enter a chance to win one copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It by leaving a comment by November 22nd, stating what intrigues you about reading an Austen-inspired short story anthology. Winners to be drawn at random and announced on November 23rd. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck to all!

More Contest Details
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011.
  • After the winner is announced and contacted, they must supply a US or Canadian mailing address for prize shipment.  
  • Prize will be mailed through Laurel Ann Nattress.
  • Make sure your comment includes your email address. If you'd rather not have your email posted here, you may contact me directly to give me that information after you've entered here.
  • I will contact the winner on Wednesday the 23rd.  Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message. ( You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
  • More information on the giveaway policies can be found on the Contact / Policies page.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It
Blog Tour Schedule: 

And while you're here, check out my other giveaways!


  1. I love anything Jane Austen! Short stories though does sound interesting. I am always interested in authors creative ideas as to where Jane's stories take them. Thanks for the giveaway!


  2. I love Jane Austen, and stories about her.

  3. I am so interested in getting to read other authors' take on the Austen characters. So many same characters yet all have different ideas.

  4. I love Jane Austen so much, Pride & Prejudice is my favorite, my best friend and I are addicted to classics novels and I would love to find out more about Austen's characters! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  5. What intrigues me is how the authors with involve Jane Austen into their stories.
    polo-puppy-fluffy at hotmail Dot com
    I'm a big Jane Austen fan too.

  6. i love that this is short stories, i'd love to read it! thank you!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  7. Would love to win this book!

  8. Rosanne:

    Thanks for entering! Honored you stopped by!

  9. What intrigues me most is there are so many stories by my favorite authors in this book. I would love to win. Thank you for the opportunity.

    lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

  10. I love the idea of reading so many different themes by different authors, all in one place. And all Austen! You really can't go wrong. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  11. Beyond seeing the spin different authors put on the Austen canon, I'm excited to discover new authors in the Austenverse. Always on the lookout to add to my reading list.


  12. Love Jane Austen, so I'm totally intrigued by short stories inspired by her work.



Related Posts with Thumbnails