The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch Party with Author Syrie James, & Giveaways

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch GraphicPlease help us welcome today bestselling author Syrie James. She is joining us for a two-day book launch party in celebration of the debut of her new Austen-inspired novel, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen.

I am so thrilled for the release of this new book. I was given the opportunity to read an early manuscript last winter and I must share that I was so impressed and excited about it that it was very difficult to keep the details a secret. It is structured as a novel within a novel—one of my favorite formats for fiction—revealing a contemporary story framing an historical novel. Samantha McDonough, a young American scholar is set on a quest to an ancient grand manor house in Devonshire to find the missing manuscript and meets the present owner Anthony Whitaker, who is at first reluctant to assist in her search until he realizes the possible financial gain. When they discover the missing manuscript they read it together, and so do we—a charming premise tying an historical novel together with a contemporary plot. The amazing thing about this book is that it was inspired by Jane Austen’s own short outline, A Plan of a Novel, a parody in which she comically describes characters and plot for a possible novel that was never written, or was it?

Our guest of honor today is the author herself, Syrie James, who will share insights with us on The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. Welcome Syrie.

What was your inspiration to write The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen?

Like many of Jane Austen’s fans across the globe, the first time I read all her books, I finished the sixth one and said, “Is that it? Only six?” To continue feeding my Jane addiction, I read her juvenilia, her shorter works, her unfinished works, and all her preserved letters. Then I went back to the beginning and read her novels all over again. It still wasn’t enough. If only, I thought, she’d written a seventh novel!

Five years ago, I was at the JASNA AGM (Jane Austen Society of North America Annual General Meeting) in Chicago. It was my first time at a Jane Austen conference—a truly wonderful immersion experience that I like to call “Jane Austen heaven.” My novel The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austenhad been published the year before. I was nearly finished writing my Brontë book. I had researched both novels like crazy, felt like a walking Austen and Brontë encyclopedia, and was pondering what to write next.

While walking down Michigan Avenue, a title suddenly downloaded into my head: The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I felt a sudden tingle, a momentous feeling of excitement and impending change. I thought: what a great a title! What if Jane did write a manuscript that somehow went missing? As far as the world knows, she only wrote six full-length novels. Could I write the seventh? I knew it would be a Herculean task, just as surely as I knew that I was supposed to do it.

I pondered the idea for a while, seeking a storyline that would be truly “Jane.” One day, while perusing her minor works, I re-read a little piece Austen wrote a year before she died: Plan of a Novel. It’s a comedic outline for a book about a beautiful, accomplished heroine and her clergyman father, who’s driven from his curacy by a heartless man, forcing them to go forth on all sorts of adventures. Plan of a Novel pokes fun at the overly dramatic books of the time. Jane even added footnotes attributing various story elements to ‘hints’ or suggestions from well-meaning friends and relatives. I’d always thought it was hilarious.

An idea occurred to me: What if Jane’s Plan of a Novel wasn’t just a bit of silliness she dashed off as a parody? What if she wrote it in a mood of wit and wistfulness, making fun of a manuscript she’d written years earlier, but had lost and half-forgotten?

That’s how The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen was born. I was excited. I could write a novel based on an outline for a book that Jane Austen had written herself! Plan of a Novel is, on a cursory reading, very silly indeed; but I envisioned a way to delve beneath the surface and make it work on a serious level—as a story with characters we would care about—a tale with heart and meaning in true Jane Austen style.

I wrote an outline for the book, but was soon distracted by other projects. Several years went by. I wrote other novels. During this time, I continued to steep myself in Austen literature and lore until I felt that I knew her world, her work, and her life inside and out, well enough to attempt to write the Austen book that had been simmering in my brain. By now, I’d come up with a new approach that I thought would be even more interesting: to make it a novel with a novel, wrapping a modern day story around the missing manuscript, so that I could show the impact that find would have on their lives.

I developed the main characters in the Austen manuscript (all of whom remain nameless in Plan of a Novel) as per Austen’s description. My heroine, Rebecca Stanhope, is the daughter of a clergyman; she is beautiful, highly accomplished, plays the piano forte and harp, and sings “in the first stile.” Rebecca’s father, the Reverend William Stanhope, is (as in Austen’s Plan) an excellent man and a model parish priest. I gave him enough flaws to give the story some edge and mystery, and set it in motion.

I kept the best story elements of Jane Austen’s (very short) outline and tweaked others. Austen wrote that wherever the heroine goes, “somebody falls in love with her, and she receives repeated offers of marriage” and she is compelled to “support herself and her father by her talents.” These were fun scenes to write.

I created the rest of the characters and story on my own, following the path I believed Austen would have tread. Since Jane Austen often reused character names from her juvenilia in her mature novels, I did the same. I titled it The Stanhopes since most of her early titles were based on the names of her characters.

After I finished The Stanhopes, I wrote the modern day story around it. It was challenging to write the Austen part of the novel, but equally challenging to write Samantha and Anthony’s story—it took three drafts to get it right. Fortunately, Laurel Ann Nattress read an early draft and suggested ways to give the modern day story more edge and meaning—advice that was so brilliant and invaluable, I created a character based on her and put her into the book! J My editor, Jackie Cantor, also provided very insightful and helpful feedback. The whole book was a labor of love and a tribute to Jane. I hope readers enjoy the result!

Many thanks to author Syrie for her great guest blog and for allowing us to host her online book launch party for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen here at Austenprose. I look forward to reading the reactions by Janeites and historical fiction fans to your fabulous new novel. I hope they will be as pleased as I was with your delightful fictional creation.

Author Syrie James (2012 )Author Bio:

Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Nocturne, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. In addition to her work as a novelist, Syrie is a screenwriter, a member of the Writers Guild of America, RWA, and a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Syrie lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on her website, facebook, and Twitter.

A GRAND GIVEAWAY

Enter a chance to win one of these four amazing prizes being offered during our book launch party for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by leaving a comment either asking author Syrie James a question about her new book or her writing career, or sharing what intrigues you about reading her new Austen-inspired novel, or which is your favorite Syrie James novel, so far? The contest is open to US residents and closes at 11:59 PT Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Winners to be announced on Thursday, January 10, 2013.  Good luck to all participants.

Miss Lucy Steele Tea from Bingley's Teas

Miss Lucy Steele tea from Bingley’s Teas

Country charm but not quite a peach! From the Jane Austen tea line at Bingley’s Tea, this lovely box of Miss Lucy Steele, black tea will win you over with its juicy country apricot, sunshine gold petals of marigold and overtly polite and sweet vanilla. * Tested and loved by fellow Janeites. A festival favorite!

Darcy and Lizzy cards by JT Originals (2012)

Jane Austen-Inspired Cards by JT Originals  

One small packet of 10 cards each of this lovely set of Darcy and Elizabeth greeting cards will go to two lucky winners, generously offered by designer and Janeite Janet Taylor. Printed on 100% recycled card stock, single fold, blank inside with square flap envelopes. A corresponding quote is on the front of each card with more of the quote on the back. All drawings and cards copyright Janet Taylor, JT originals.

Jane Austen Charm bracelet from justbedesigns

Jane Austen Lovely Charm Bracelet by justbedesigns

Designed by the talented Bianca Fleischman, this bracelet is quite unique. There are 5 handmade cameos featuring portraits of pretty Jane herself. In addition to the cameos are charms of a fine tip pen point, a book locket, a clock, a hand, a feather, a brown gem, a Victorian charm, and a silhouette of a head. The bracelet measures 8 inches and can be altered. From the Etsy shop of justbedesigns.

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James (2012)

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James

Syrie’s publisher Berkley Trade has generously offered one print copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen to five lucky winners.

The party continues until December 31st, but comments left until January 9th, 2013 will qualify you for any of the prizes. (shipped to US addresses)

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, by Syrie James
Berkley Trade (2012)
Trade paperback (432) pages
ISBN: 978-0425253366

© 2012 Laurel Ann Nattress & Syrie James, Austenprose

156 thoughts on “The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch Party with Author Syrie James, & Giveaways

  1. I have pre-ordered this and can’t wait until it
    is delivered to my Kindle. Finding another
    Jane Ausyen novel is one of my favorite
    wishes/fantasies!

    Like

  2. I simply loved reading this book. Syrie James has surpassed herself and moved forward even respect to a successful achievement like The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. She did a brilliant job both at delivering a well-designed plot echoing Jane Austen’s voice – but modernizing it for a present-day audience – and at enclosing it in an intriguing frame of quest and romance. Unmissable :-)

    Like

  3. Favorite Syrie James so far? Lost Memoirs, for sure.

    Thanks for the chance to win– hope this wasn’t a duplicate entry. My other one didn’t seem to go through.

    Happy new year!

    Laura

    Like

    • Beth did you get an early copy of the book? If so how? I would love to be able to get advanced reader copies.

      Like

  4. I am interested in seeing how Syrie James transforms the joking Plan of a Novel into a story that could be a serious Austen work. I also am a huge fan of the historical novel framed within a contemporary story.

    Like

    • Hi Lynn, Syrie did an amazing job using Plan of a Novel as inspiration for her characters and plot. She used the descriptions of both and expanded upon it beautifully adding in secondary characters and a page turning plot that is like a road novel as displaced Rev. Stanhope and his daughter Rebecca travel about living with relatives. There is one big change she made at the end that differed from Jane’s intentions, and I was so relieved that she did. I will not tell you what it is, but let you discover it yourself. Enjoy!

      Like

  5. Already pre-ordered Syrie James’ new book and so excited. I loved the Lost Memoirs and cannot wait to read this one.
    Happy New Year!

    Like

  6. I would love to know what inspires you most about writing about Jane Austen and hows you keep coming up with new ideas for books.

    Like

    • Hi Margay! Thanks for your question. Everything about Jane Austen inspires me! I think she’s a genius, and reading her books (and seeing the films based on those books) has added so much joy to my life. It’s an honor and a thrill to “pretend” to be her when I write. As for new ideas… it isn’t easy. It happens after months or years of study, and seriously hard thinking and plotting.

      Like

  7. I liked reading about how the idea came for this new book. I’ve never heard about JA’s Plan of a Novel before and can just imagine the task of taking that idea and turning it into a complete story. Looking forward to reading it and thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    Like

  8. Loved reading how Syrie’s new novel evolved — I’m anxiously awaiting the release to read it immediately on my kindle! As much as I loved Syrie’s books inspired by Austen and Bronte, I particularly enjoyed her Dracula-inspired novel. Has she ever considered doing a reimagining of something by Edgar Allen Poe (for example, fleshing out the amazing poem, Annabel Lee)? I think Syrie could do something wonderful with that heartbreaking love story!

    Like

  9. I ordered Syrie James’ new book immediately after reading about its publication on Facebook, where I follow her news. I loved her MIssing Memoirs of JA (which I feel is one of the very best of all Austen spin-offs) as well as her Diary of Charlotte Bronte.

    Like

  10. I am looking forward to this book. I loved The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, and feel sure that The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen will be just as satisfying, if not more so!

    Like

  11. I can’t wait to read this book. I love the historical aspects of reading. You can tell when an author really does their homework, and you can almost get lost in another century. My favorite book by Ms. James so far is The Lost Memoirs Of Jane Austen. However, that could change as soon as I get hold of The Missing Manuscript. We’ll see.

    Like

    • Hi Robyn! I have been writing ever since I can remember. I wrote stories as a child, and was that person in school who always volunteered to write the class skit or play. I even wrote a full scale musical in high school that we performed at a local elementary school. I have always enjoyed writing so much that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!

      Like

  12. I am currently re-reading The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and I have been eagerly awaiting The Missing Manuscript for months!!! I am so excited to download it on my Nook!
    Ms. James, in your opinion, what was the most intriguing discovery you made regarding Jane Austen’s life while researching your novels?
    Thank you for the giveaway and Happy New Year!!!!

    Like

  13. I read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and loved it. I tend to get my hands on all things Austen related, and I just loved how the story had a different, yet still believable, take on what Austen’s life may have been like. I can’t wait for this new book as well! I’ll definitely have to pick it up!

    Like

  14. Congrats,Syrie and Happy New Year to all! My question to Syrie is,since you’ve written novels about British female writers,would you ever consider doing one about an American woman author?

    Like

  15. Hello Syrie! Ever since reading “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen” I have been a big fan of yours. You have the talent to know how to write like Jane and I praise you for it. I cannot wait to read your new book “The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen”. Sounds very intriguing and right up my alley! I am sure that I will LOVE it!!! Thank you again for writing another Austen inspired book. Keep up the fantastic work!!

    Like

  16. I’m looking forward to the book being available for my Nook. I can’t wait to read The Stanhopes. I can’t help but think that if Jane had written a novel according to the Plan of a Novel, it would have been hilarious. I’m curious to see at what parts The Stanhopes differ from the Plan.

    Like

    • Some parts of Plan of a Novel are purposely very silly, and I’m sure Jane never meant to include them if she’d written it as a novel! I tried to remain true to the spirit of the Plan’s story and characters, involving some humor, but most importantly creating a storyline with meaning and heart. I hope you enjoy it.

      Like

      • I’m sure she never planned to include all those things, she’s just got that wicked sense of humor that I share and love. I can’t wait.

        Like

  17. I’m so excited for “The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen” and can’t wait to have my copy of her new novel :-) !!! I’m sure the book will be just as beautiful and amazing as all other books by Syrie James! She is one of my all time favourite authors! I have fallen in love with every single book of her! ;-) I would really like to know how many Jane Austen related books she has in her private collection… :-) I wish all of you a Happy New (Reading) Year! :-) Nadja

    Like

    • Hi Nadja! I can’t count how many Austen books I have in my collection… Research, biographies, Regency era, fan fiction, Austens novels ( multitudes of copies, annotated editions)…, They take up three shelves in my office!

      Like

  18. Hi Syrie!
    How do the ideas for your stories form? Do they pop into your head, are they created from previous stories you like or ideas you have had? What do you do if or when you have a brain block?
    I love your book. I hope to win! :-D!

    Like

  19. Syrie, I read The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen as well as The Secret Diary of Charlotte Brontë and Dracula, My Love. I love your books! I’m excited about this one. I was wondering what you did to find Jane Austen’s voice as you wrote. Did you go back and re-read all the books?

    Like

    • Hi Dana! Yes, I re-read all of Jane’s books over and over while I was writing the novel, to keep her voice in my head. I studied the way she constructs stories and develops characters–that was a huge part of my research–as well as the way she constructs sentences. I wanted to sound like “early Jane,” as she is supposed to have written this in 1801. It was such fun to write, but also really difficult!

      Like

  20. Since you create your stories from other book characters, like Dracula and Jane Austin, what other ideas do you have for books?

    Like

  21. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy via Net Galley– so of course I hope to win a copy for my collection. As in my review, this is a must read– I think Syrie James’ best work yet. Anytime anyone takes on the daunting task to write for Austen – it almost seems presumptuous. But James does it with skill, daring and obvious love of the work. Brava! And the LaurelAnn character was just the cherry on top for me. I wasn’t expected it and it stopped me dead in my tracks as I pondered the honor and delight!

    Like

  22. Hello Syrie, I’ve loved all of your novels–The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen was fascinating and The Secret Diaries did not disappoint, either! I’m so glad you’re returning to the Austen world and the new novel sounds very intriguing!

    Like

  23. Thanks everyone for your comments and questions. And a BIG thank you and hug to Laurel Ann for hosting this launch party. I’m so grateful for all your support, and thrilled to be here today!

    Like

  24. Iam so excited about the new book. I read your book about Charlotte Bronte and fell in love with your writing. Now there is a new book, GREAT!

    Like

  25. I have been excited about this book ever since I first heard about it. I loved reading about your thought processes and research for the book. As someone who keeps trying to write but keeps getting stuck, I would like to ask if you have any tips for getting through writer’s block? I have ideas, but I can’t seem to figure out how to get them onto the paper! What do you do?

    Like

    • Becca, I have never had writer’s block, but I cannot stress enough the importance of making an outline of your story or book before you begin. I know that some writers just plunge in with an initial idea and figure out the rest as they go, but that would never work for me. I always say that would be like trying to drive from L.A. to N.Y. without a road map; you might eventually get there if you’re really lucky, but it will take ten times longer and you’re bound to get lost and take a lot of unnecessary side trips on the way.

      I need to know where I’m going, how I’ll get there, and what I want to say with a book, before I can write that first chapter. I always begin by doing a ton of research, until I understand my subject and my characters completely. If it’s historical fiction, I research the era and customs; if it’s a modern day story, I begin by researching the characters’ occupations, the location, and the activities/events that will be involved in the storyline. This usually involves interviewing professionals in particular occupations or experts in certain fields.

      I also spend a LOT of time doing character outlines, until I know everything about the main characters (their life story, their habits and preferences, etc) After I transcribe all my interview notes, and have written up detailed character sheets, I have so much fascinating information! I then write a story outline, based on the story elements and structure that I learned as a screenwriter. Every book I write follows the structure of a film, with the required 3 acts and plot points along the way, and my characters always go through an arc/journey/learning curve. I spend a lot of time on the outline and character arcs, coming up with the book’s theme, and what the main characters’ learn (how they grow and change at the end, as a result of what they’ve gone through in the story.)

      It’s a lot of work up front, but it takes all the stress out of the writing process. WIth all my notes and detailed outline finished, I can finally start writing the book. Which is the most fun part of all! This answer is WAY longer than you probably expected, but I hope that this is helpful!

      Like

  26. I had a chance to meet Syrie almost 2 years ago at the LA Book Festival at USC and I was just so happy to get a signed copy of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. I have been a big fan of Jane Austen and Syrie James – and I can’t wait to get this new book tomorrow. I know I can buy a copy for my Kindle or pre-order from Amazon, but I want the actual book the day it’s released =) So Barnes, here I come. I can’t wait!

    Like

  27. That’ s such a brilliant idea. I did my senior project in high school on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and how modern retellings have compared to the original work. This book sounds fascinating! Ive still not read Persuasion because I dont want to run out of Austen. This book would most definitely satiate that fear. It must have been a great challenge. What kinds of research were done for this work? Thank you very much for the great opportunity and insight! =)

    Like

    • Hi Sammie. You asked what kind of research I did for this book. Well, I studied the story structure, character types, character arcs, locations, situations, and themes of Austen’s novels, to ensure that the book would fit within her canon, and be the kind of novel she might have written. I immersed myself in research about the Regency era. I re-read Jane Austen’s letters, because they are full of a wealth of small details.

      I found a friend and Londoner who was kind enough to research obscure facts for me, such as clerical stipends and the cost of nineteenth-century bell forging. She also read the first draft of the manuscript to make sure it didn’t contain any egregious Americanisms.

      For the modern day story, I worked with a doctor to hammer out and verify the medical details. I worked with a university Special Collections Librarian to understand Samantha’s current occupation, and with an English professor to gain insight into Samantha’s teaching background.

      I contacted Oxford University for details regarding their doctoral program. I researched the sales records for the most expensive manuscripts ever sold. I studied the way sales are conducted at Sotheby’s Auction House. And of course I continued to re-read Austen’s novels the entire time I was writing, to keep her voice in my head!

      Like

  28. Syrie, are there any sequels planned for your Mina Harker series?

    I look forward to reading your other books, as well.

    Like

    • No sequel planned as yet for “Dracula, My Love” but I would LOVE to write one!! I have one in my head, and hope that some day I will get a chance to write it!

      Like

  29. Ms. James, your wonderful novel, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen was such a pleasure and a delight to read; it was so well researched and written, and so believable! I loved it, and am looking forward to reading your new novel, The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. :)

    Like

  30. I had never heard of JA’s Plan of a Novel before. I think this sounds like an awesome idea for the book and it sounds SO good! I always have a vision that one of these days, someone will discover an unpublished story in an attic in one of those English manor houses. That’s my dream, anyway! :)

    Lovely giveaway!

    Like

  31. I eagerly awaited the release of this book. I was thoroughly taken by The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, which was hard to put down. I was always eager to re-start my reading. When do you think some of this material will make it to the silver screen? Can you let me know when to expect the audio book?

    Like

    • I’m a huge fan of Syrie James! I’m in a book club and in Feb it is my turn to host. We will be reading The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. I’m so excited to read The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. Syrie has made me excited about reading again.

      Like

      • A lot of my questions I have for you Syrie seem to be asked by multiple people already. :) I am curious like someone else has already asked, what has been the most interesting thing you have found out about Jane Austen in all your studies? Something new you found out about her?

        Like

        • I couldn’t say what’s the “most interesting thing” I’ve learned about Austen in all my studies–I’ve been studying her and her work for so many years, I wouldn’t know where to begin!! Everything about her fascinates me!

          But here’s one tiny, interesting thing I learned while researching this novel. While re-reading Jane Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra, I found the following mention of a “shut-up bed”:

          “Martha kindly made room for me in her bed, which was the shut-up one in the new nursery… The bed did exceedingly well for us, both to lie awake in and talk till two o’clock, and to sleep in the rest of the night.”

          I take this to mean that a “shut-up bed” is what we now call a Murphy bed, or a bed that folds up and away by day into a piece of furniture. I happily put this information to use in “The Stanhopes.”

          Like

    • The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte has been optioned for film and I’ve written the screenplay. These things seem to take forever to get financing, so please keep your fingers crossed. It’s a wonderful project and I’d love to see the film get made. Re: the audio book, there already is one for “Secret Diaries” (it won the 2011 Audie award in the romance category!!)

      The audio book for THE MISSING MANUSCRIPT OF JANE AUSTEN has just been recorded by the fabulous Justine Eyre (who narrated my novel DRACULA, MY LOVE) and will be available soon.

      Like

  32. The suspense is killing me! I thought the book came out today and now I realize I have to wait til TOMORROW!!! I absolutely loved your books the Lost Memoirs and the Secret Diaries and am so looking forward to this one.

    Syrie, I think you had been in script writing for many years (please correct me if I’m wrong), but how did you find your agent to get your first novel published?

    Thank you for your writing! Your books just make my world a happier place ;)

    Like

    • I found my literary agent by using http://www.agentquery.com. It’s a great website where you input the genre of your book and it gives you a list of agents who might be interested and/or accept unsolicited submissions. I sent out dozens of query letters and sample chapters, and after a 6 month search, I finally was offered representation by my wonderful agent.

      Like

  33. As one who read this in manuscript at about the time Laurel Ann did, I have always known that it was going to be a huge success – vastly entertaining, as well as completely satisfying to the most serious Jane Austen fans. Brava to Syrie on a remarkable achievement.

    Like

    • Thanks, Diana. And thank you for your great comments on that early draft–they were insightful and much appreciated! It’s been so much fun writing and being in Austen-themed theatrical productions with you this year, and I’m excited that we’re going to write and produce an original play for the JASNA AGM in Montreal in 2014!!

      Like

  34. I’ve been a fan of Syrie James after reading the Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and so look forward to this one. What I find so intriguing and equally amazing is how writers find their inspiration from the simplest of sources. It’s so refreshing to hear when an author feels uniquely directed to and qualified to take on such a task.

    Like

  35. I really enjoyed reading The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. I can’t wait to read this one. I am just curious, what is is like going from writing a book like Forbidden to writing about Jane Austen? And do you plan on writing another book with your son?

    Like

    • I love writing different kinds of stories. It was great fun to write with my son Ryan, and a real delight to return to my roots (so to speak) and write as/about Jane again. I have many other Austen books in mind! Ryan and I do hope to write the sequels to Forbidden. We’ve both been so busy that they’ve been on hold for a while.

      Like

      • I can’t wait to see what you have coming up next. I would find it fun to write a variety of stories. You would be able to live different lives through them. Or use it as an excuse for having multiple personalities. :-)

        You might want to put a disclaimer on your books that it is not a good idea to lend them out to friends or family. They keep getting passed around and it takes forever to get them back.

        Like

  36. I am soooo excited to read this new book. I love the idea of a “missing manuscript” of Jane Austen. If only she had written more… And are there any future plans for more Jane Austen inspired novels?

    Like

  37. I have enjoyed all of your books. I really looking forward to reading your new book as Jane Austen is one if my favorites.

    Like

  38. Love, Love, Love the idea of a missing manuscript story line, can’t wait to read it! However, I must admit that I am truly excited that you created a character based on Laurel Ann as I have been a fan of hers for forever!

    Now, an American author for you… why Margaret Mitchell or Harper Lee would make good choices…in my opinion.

    A wonderful New Year to all!

    Like

    • LOL Pat. Me a celebrity? You must be confusing me with Syrie. She is the real Austen rock star!!!

      Still giggling, though I must let this new found status sink in since I am a character in The Missing Manuscript. THAT was a total surprise when Syrie asked if she could do it. I about fell off my chair! Enjoy!

      Like

      • Laurel Ann, you are my mentor and my muse. I can’t express how much I value your input and brilliant advice on a wealth of subjects. You are such a good friend! When I decided to create a friend who was a true Janeite for Samantha, I knew I had to base her on you! It’s the first time I’ve ever named a character after a real person, and it was such fun to give her your charming personality as well. :)

        Like

  39. I am always on the hunt for an Austen-inspired modern novel and can’t wait to read this one!

    Ms. James–what did you like best about writing this novel, and what scene do you wish you could just live in for days at a time, experiencing and re-experiencing it?

    Congratulations on your new novel and great advance reviews.

    Like

    • This was a challenging book to write, and it took many drafts before I was happy with it, but I enjoyed the process immensely.

      There are two scenes that were my favorites to write. They are similar in nature, and they both come near the end of each story.

      In the Austen manuscript, The Stanhopes, it’s the scene when the hero finally opens his heart and passionately admits how he feels about the heroine. I am exceedingly fond of such scenes. I believe I have included one in every single book I have ever written. There’s something thrilling to me about a man who has adored a woman, often from afar, for very long time, and who at last breaks through all the barriers of his reserve and of social propriety to reveal his love to her with deep feeling and passion. I spend the entire book working up to that moment, and it’s exciting to write it. Austen was also fond of such moments. So of course there’s a scene of that nature at the end of the modern day story, as well!

      Like

    • LOL Janet! It was so great seeing you at the AGM. You are an awesome lady and a wonderful writer, deserving of all the praise and success that comes your way! Hugs and happy new year!

      Like

  40. What fun to have another Austen inspired work to read! Just wondering what differences you noticed from when you wrote in Bronte’s voice to Austen’s voice.

    Like

    • Hi Sally! I think Charlotte Bronte’s voice is very passionate and dramatic, and in general more descriptive than Jane Austen’s; I simply adore “Jane Eyre”. Jane Austen has unforgettable, wonderful characters who feel very real; her writing is clever and witty (Charlotte was not funny); Austen has an incredible sense of story (I think she had so many more stories to tell); and she has a subtle way of making the reader feel every emotion that she wants us to feel!

      Like

  41. I love all things Jane Austen and I am very much looking forward to reading this. I haven’t had a chance to read any Syrie James yet but i’ve heard great things! Can’t wait to pick it up and start!

    Like

  42. Syrie, you’re both a Jane Austen fan and a screenwriter. What do you think of the different movie versions of her novels — Pride and Prejudice (from Greer Garson to Keira Knightley), and Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson’s in 1995 and Andrew Davies’ in 2008)? Thank you!

    Like

    • Hi June. I love all the Austen film adaptations. My absolute favorites, which I watch over and over again, are the A&E Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth)–of course!– and Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility. Runner ups are both versions of Persuasion (1995 and 2008), Gwynyth Paltrow’s Emma, and the 1999 version of Mansfield Park starring Frances O’Connor. The 2008 Northanger Abbey is also very sweet. It is such a thrill to see these stories come to life!

      Like

  43. Oh my heaven. It would be awesome if this were really true. That there was some missing manuscript discovered out there! Genius! Syrie, when did you first get hooked on Jane Austen? I haven’t read your books yet but now I have to. A fellow Austen & Bronte fan, definitely a kindred spirit! I hope I can find your work at the library as I am one of the few who does not have a Kindle or e-gadget. Oh and I think it’s awesome that Laurel Ann is a character in this book!! (PS I’m drooling over that that charm bracelet)

    Like

    • Shelly, all my books are available in Trade Paperback online and at your favorite bookstore, not just for e-readers! I studied and enjoyed Austen in college, but I’ve been hooked on/obsessed by/addicted to Austen ever since I saw the A&E Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth) and Ang Lee/Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility. About the same time, I saw Shakespeare in Love, and thought: what about a love story for Jane Austen? That’s how my first Austen novel, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, was born. It has been an amazing ride ever since!

      Like

  44. I was glad to get your newsletter and have ordered your two latest Jane Austen books. I am most anxious to read them. I hope to be more involved this year. Thanks!

    Like

  45. This is a much wanted to read book!! Thanks…What character of JA do you feel you most relate to?
    Thanks for the giveaway! too

    Like

  46. This book has been on the top of my to-read list every since I first heard about it. I’m very much looking forward to reading it. My question for Syrie is: where did your inspiration come from for Greenbriar? Did you have a real English country house in mind?

    Like

    • Greenbriar springs entirely from my imagination, but it’s inspired by all the many, many gorgeous English country houses I’ve visited in my travels.

      Like

  47. I can’t wait to get this one for my Nook. I really enjoyed the first book. My question would be (and I apologize if it was already asked) if you plan on more books?

    Like

  48. I couldn’t put Nocturne down while I was reading it! I also enjoyed The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte very much. I passed it along to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who also loved it! I can’t wait to read The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austin. I find the novel within a novel format draws me in very quickly and then I am intrigued to discover how the two are related. It is a nice combination of the past and the present. Thanks so much for sharing so much of your writing process.

    Like

  49. Yay, yay, yay! Can’t wait to read another one of your books! Syrie, if you could step back in time & meet Jane, what would you ask her?

    Like

    • Helen, why can’t you get it on Kindle in Australia? The book should be available in North America, Australia, and the UK.

      Like

  50. I was privileged to see Syrie at this year’s JASNA AGM and now reading about this newest book I can’t wait to read her work. Besides this book, what would you recommend as a starter (needs to be a Kindlized version)?

    Like

    • Hi Diane! Wow, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite child… I just can’t do it! It depends on what you’re looking for. All my books are available for the Kindle (as well as paperback, Nook, and other e-readers.) If you want more Austen, you could start with “The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen.” If you love “Jane Eyre” as much as I do, I think you’ll love “The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte,” the true story of Charlotte’s life and tempestuous romance. If you enjoy paranormal and are up for a super sexy and charismatic vampire, try “Dracula, My Love” (my husband’s favorite of all my novels.) For a really, really sexy, fast read that will (I’m told) keep you up reading all night, I recommend “Nocturne,” “Songbird,” and “Propositions.” If you like angels, dashing heroes, and forbidden romance, try my young adult novel, “Forbidden.” You’ll find reviews, more details, and handy book order links at http://www.syriejames.com. Thanks for your interest and support, and happy reading!

      Like

      • I loved Green Gables! I had a teacher who showed part of the movie in class and after they said I was just like Anne I had to read the books. I think they may have been right. Although I ended up dying my hair a bright red once trying to get it to go from blonde to auburn. :-)

        Like

      • I loved The Secret Garden, too. Still do to this day. I gave my childhood copy away to the flower girl in my wedding. Regretted it later, but my thoughtful sister found an old hardback for me. Thank goodness for ebay!

        Like

  51. I love everything Jane Austen. I have read several of your blogs about her. I grew up on stories of her. I really would love to win and write a review.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

    Like

  52. I think like many of us, this book feeds our Jane Austen addiction and showcases how we all hope some day to find our special piece of Jane left behind that we discover. Can’t wait to read this book and thanks for writing it Syrie!

    Like

  53. This is a New Year filled with New for me! New home-job-town! And now new author ! Can’t wait to get started!

    Like

  54. Ok, so I have to admit, I’ve never read any of your books yet (but I will quickly change that, I promise!!). This book looks SO interesting, so my question is: Did you feel apprehensive in writing “new territory” for Jane Austen fiction? This seems so different than all the others out there–was it difficult to write about? (Sorry, I’m pretty sure that’s two questions…)
    Thanks for doing these amazing giveaways!

    Like

    • Yes, it was a very, very challenging book to write. To attempt to write a novel that Jane Austen might have written herself…. how crazy is that?? LOL! But I’d been studying Austen for years, I adore her work, and once I had the idea in my head, I knew I was supposed to do it. I just humbly hope I did her justice, and I hope you enjoy the result!

      Like

  55. This book sounds so fascinating. I love the idea of a novel within a novel and the fact it has a character based on Laurel Ann. From all the comments it must be very good. I will be reading this one. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Wonderful post!

    Like

  56. Pingback: On My Bookshelf ~ Jane Austen in 2013, Or, How My “Wish-List” Just Got Longer « Jane Austen in Vermont

  57. My favorite Syrie James novel is undoubtedly The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte! I’m looking forward to reading The Missing Manuscript.

    Like

  58. Just ordered Songbird and Propositions. Can’t wait til Jan 26 so I can buy The Missing Manuscript – love to hear Syrie and get a signed copy!

    Like

    • Thanks, Ann! I look forward to seeing you at the Barnes and Noble bookstore launch party!

      Details: Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 at 3PM
      Barnes & Noble 3rd St Promenade book store
      1201 3rd Street, Santa Monica, 90401

      I will be doing a reading and signing books, so bring your friends–
      and any other books you want me to sign!

      Like

  59. love Jane Austen. have not read any books from sytie jones. hope the missing manuscript of Jane Austen is the first! I really admire writers & aspire to b one some day. what is the shortest & longest time frame for your books from start to finish?

    Like

    • Hi Jane (love your name!) The book that took the longest to write was THE SECRET DIARIES OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE–two years of research and writing, and a true labor of love. The shortest was NOCTURNE, which I wrote in a burst of unstoppable passion over a few months.

      Like

  60. Totally awesome rout Janeites! The official book launch party has concluded, but the giveaway opportunities remain open until Jan 10. Syrie will be checking in when she can, so please continue to ask questions and leave comments. I hope everyone had a grand time and reads The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I loved it.

    Like

  61. What a wonderful story line! I have always found great humor in Jane Austen’s early works. I enjoyed learned about the process of how Syrie James wrote two separate novels and then wove them together. Jane Austen herself would be proud!

    Like

  62. My only criticism of Jane Austen is that she just didn’t leave us enough of her work to enjoy–I’m greedy and I want more! That said, Austen-inspired sequels give us a chance to get as close to the real deal as possible. The thought of another well reviewed author to add to my stack is daunting, but in this case I’m willing to take that chance. And her book about Charlotte Bronte sounds amazing!

    Like

  63. Laurel Ann thanks for great post, and you are a character in the book too. Each of these treasures is wonderful, I have been having fun looking into each.

    Syrie could it be a dream to have your author world criss-cross your screenwriter world? Seems like a perfect fit.

    Like

  64. I only discovered that Austen-inspired works existed when I received my Kindle as a gift five months ago but am absolutely loving that this genre exists. I just downloaded The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen this morning and see a late night/early morning in my future as I cannot put it down. I have loved Jane Austen’s works for so long I am positively giddy with the quality of Syrie James’s expansion on her themes. The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is next in my queue!

    Like

  65. Did you try to mimic Jane Austen’s writing style for the novel within your novel? If so, how did you go about doing so? Do you think you succeeded? Do you feel the rest of the novel invokes your unique writing style or does it also attempt to sound like Austen?

    Like

    • I did indeed work hard to emulate Jane Austen’s writing style… after a decade of intensely studying her life, work, and letters, and constantly re-reading her books and letters to keep her voice in my head. I’d love to know if you think I succeeded! :)

      Like

  66. Hello, I guess I am going to be the one to ask the easiest question perhaps? What is Syrie James’ favorite Austen novel?
    I am finally reading “Emma,” which I don’t think I ever finished. But I am really enjoying it and it inspired me to ask.I just would like to know if she has a favorite, or list them in order of preference? :)
    Also liked her short story in “Jane Austen Made Me Do It.” One of my faves.

    Like

  67. Although I’m a Jane Austen fan, I’m just starting to explore Austen-themed fiction and historical fiction in general. I wasn’t familiar with Syrie James, but this book sounds fabulous! I’ll definitely be checking out her other work, too! Thanks!

    Like

    • I didn’t get into JAFF until about 2 years ago. You will find a lot of books on this blog that you will really enjoy. I really enjoy the reviews here and they really do help you to pick good books to read.

      Like

  68. My favorite novel by Syrie is The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen. I finished reading it this weekend and loved it. I especially liked the novel within the novel The Stanhopes.

    Like

  69. Syrie, when you are writing in the voice of Jane do you find that you tend to speak like her in your everyday conversations?

    Like

  70. Oh my goodness! So excited to see you wrote another novel about JA! I adored The Missing Manuscript and can’t wait to read this one. I LOVE that her friend is Laurel Ann! :) Thanks for writing it!

    Like

  71. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen Book Launch Party « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  72. Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you everyone for participating, and thank you so much Laurel Ann for organizing this wonderful launch party. I had a wonderful time reading your comments and responding to your questions. Happy new year, and happy reading!

    Like

  73. Pingback: Guest Post and Giveaway ~ Syrie James on The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen « Jane Austen in Vermont

  74. Pingback: Review and Book Giveaway of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James « Jane Austen's World

Comments are closed.