The Austen Authors Blog, a source for readers looking for sequels and adaptations

September 14th, 2010 11:30 am ET (by Kelly Yanke Deltenar at www.examiner.com)

AustenAuthors.com
There exists a utopia, a place where all things good happen for good reasons. A world where Pride and Prejudice doesn’t stop when you reach the last page and Jane Austen’s pen never ran out of ink

I’m happy to introduce the wildly anticipated website AustenAuthors.com. A place where twenty published novelists of Jane Austen literary fiction have banded together for the first time in history to share their passion for Jane’s world and celebrate this ever-increasing genre.

The Austen Authors blog is the brainchild of best-selling authors Sharon Lathan, The Darcy Saga sequel to Pride & Prejudice and Abigail Reynolds, The Pemberley Variations. I spoke with Sharon and Abigail about their new website.

Sharon, how did this idea come about?
Sharon Lathan: The concept first occurred to Abigail and me while at the 2009 Romance Writers of America National Conference. It was there that I finally met Abigail in person after years as an online friend. I am part of the Casablanca Authors blog – all writers for Sourcebooks – and somewhere in the midst of general conversation about blogs and marketing, one of us piped in with the idea of starting our own blog for Austen writers. I think we were both serious to a degree and saw the potential, but it was also a random thought without great weight behind it.

We honestly thought we would be lucky to round up 8 or maybe 10 interested authors, which would not be enough, and then the whole idea would go belly up. I think we both had our private moments of wishing that would happen! LOL! It has been an incredible amount of work, but seeing the finished product and observing the amazing response has made it worthwhile.

Abigail, do you think this will make it easier for readers to find sequels and
adaptations?

Abigail Reynolds: Definitely. I’ve already heard from readers who say they had no idea all those books were out there. Since Austen-related fiction doesn’t have its own section in bookstores, Austen lovers have to rely on chance to find the books. Amazon.com helps a little by suggesting similar books to people who buy one, but it’s limited. Now readers only have to find one of us to get to Austen Authors, and they have the world of Austen fiction spread out before them.

Abigail, what sort of announcements, news and information do you see going up on the site?
Abigail Reynolds: We post upcoming new releases on the home page, so it’s easy to keep up to date with what’s out there. Eventually we’re hoping to add a news-in-brief section where authors can announce a signing, or that they’ve sold a book, or point out some interesting link, but we haven’t figured out the best format for that yet. It might be a separate page at Austen Authors, or we might end up using Twitter or our Austen Authors page on Facebook. We’re very open to ideas from readers about what they’d like to hear more about!

I spoke with Regina Jeffers, author of The Phantom of Pemberley, about her involvement in the new group.
Regina, do you find Austen authors have an interesting camaraderie?

Regina Jeffers: As with Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice the authors on this site have journeyed through a dynamic and reciprocal enlightenment in regards to their fellow writers. It seems to me that we have learned to recognize in one another unique individualities – no doubt, important distinctions. Yet, despite our differences, we have experienced a common process – a process of self-exploration and self-realization. So, whether we identify our writing style as romantic fiction, suspense, contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, or a retelling, we are all reinterpreting familiar texts.

Jane Austen mastered the cognitive and literary capacity of her characters, allowing us to imagine the inner lives of those characters. In fact, Austen said it best when Elizabeth Bennet declared, ‘People themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them forever.’ As writers, we are aware of minute differences in the interpretations, but the central patterns have much in common. We believe at Austen Authors that opportunities exist for new approaches in the Austen adaptation oeuvre, and that the union of styles can be accomplished without injury to egos.

The Austen Authors blog cordially invites you to join the entire month of September for numerous contests, quizzes, a scavenger hunt, oodles of information, spotlight guests, three new release parties, author introductions and so much more.

Current authors listed on the site are: Kara Louise, Lynn Shepherd, Marilyn Brant, C. Allyn Pierson, Victoria Connelly, Skylar Burris, Kathryn L. Nelson, Monica Fairview, Jane Odiwe, Susan Adriani, Mary Simonsen, Cindy Jones, J. Marie Croft, Marsha Altman, Regina Jeffers, Jack Caldwell, Carolyn Eberhart, and Heather Lynn Rigaud.

About reginajeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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