Just in time to get you into a Gothic mood this Halloween season, please join us today in welcoming author Janet Mullany on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion, her second novel featuring Jane Austen as a vampire, published today by William Morrow.
Janet graciously offers us a sampling of her witty writing with a guest interview with the undead Jane Austen.
Austen: I believe you have done it once more, Mrs. Mullany.
Mullany: Yeah. I have. Sorry.
Austen: My sister is furious and my brothers talk of little but lawyers these days.
Mullany: Does Mrs. Austen have no say in the matter?
Austen: I regret my mother wishes only to know if you can spare a cutting of your red clematis and a root or two of lemon balm.
Mullany: Absolutely, although I should warn you that the lemon balm takes over. I very much admired the garden when I visited your house last year although I was disappointed that you were not at home. Please convey my regards to Mrs. Austen and tell her the lavender is doing very well although I am not confident it will survive the winter.
Austen: I am much obliged. I shall tell my mother so.
Mullany: But do you wish to sue me for libel? I really wouldn’t recommend it. My book may help sell more of yours, although I strongly recommend that you publish under your own name. “By A Lady” sounds so prissy. (Nervously) So, um, what did you think of the book?
Austen: It was tolerably well written and had a few moments of genuine wit although I cannot approve of the excessive sensuality; however one may behave between the sheets should not necessarily reflect on that which appears between the pages of a book. In all fairness, though, I have taken the liberty of borrowing a few of your ideas—the idea of the upstart newcomer forcing her neighbors into a music club is something that appeals to me, for instance. I am also considering another novel in which an aging woman meets her former lover.
Mullany: Absolutely. I’m glad you adopted my idea of two or three families in a village as a starting point for a novel. For the new one, you could even borrow my title if you like. I think “Persuasion” would be a wonderful name for a book. How is the current WIP going?
Austen: My brothers persuaded me that Fanny should not be one of the Damned, even though the persons of Mary and Henry Crawford offer delightful prospects. In fact none of the characters, in the most recent draft are vampires, although many maintain the characteristics of greed, selfishness, and excessive sensuality so typical of the Damned.
Mullany: Even Luke?
Austen: Indeed, although I love him against my will and my reason, even against my character.
Mullany: You’re quoting yourself again. A lot of readers of JANE AND THE DAMNED were very upset with us at the end of the book. They thought you and Luke would have a HEA. Shall we let the cat out of the bag?
Austen: Indeed not. Why should they believe us? Some people even now doubt that the French invaded England in 1797—I am grateful, by the way, for the afterword that explained some of that lost history.
Mullany: And where is dear Luke now?
Austen: Why do you wish to know?
Mullany: Oh, no reason. Just that I may be going back to England soon and I wondered if I could … you know, just see if he was OK.
Austen: Absolutely not.
Mullany: I should like to invite you and him to the book launch party for my book, our hostess Ms. Nattress’s collection of stories JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT, and Ms. Bebris’s THE DECEPTION AT LYME at Fort Worth in Texas on October 14. If we ask the booksellers now, I’m pretty sure they’d have time to get in some of your stock to sign.
Austen: I regret I do not travel often, and I do not believe Texas has been discovered yet. I am not overfond of military men, either, so I have no wish to visit a fort. A naval uniform, however, is another matter.
Mullany: You could order a new gown for it.
Austen: You tempt me greatly, but I fear I must decline.
Mullany: We’ll do our best without you. Thank you, Miss Austen.
JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION. It’s 1810 and Jane Austen settles down to some serious writing in the peaceful village of Chawton. But it’s not so peaceful when the Damned introduce themselves as her new neighbors. Jane has to deal with the threat of a vampire civil war, her beloved niece Anna in peril, her best friend borrowing her precious silk stockings for assignations with the Damned, and a former lover determined to hold a grudge for eternity.
Witty, smart, and sharp as a stake, Janet Mullany’s vampiric Jane is my favorite reimagining of Ms. Austen’s proper world. Colleen Gleason, author of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles
Janet Mullany was born in England but now lives near Washington, DC. She’s worked as an archaeologist, performing arts administrator, waitress, bookseller, and as an editor/proofreader for a small press. Her debut book was Dedication, the only Signet Regency to have two bondage scenes, followed by The Rules of Gentility (HarperCollins 2007), which was acquired by Little Black Dress (UK) for whom she writes more Regency chicklit. Her career as a writer who does terrible things to Jane Austen began in 2010 with the publication of Jane and the Damned (HarperCollins), a book about Jane as a vampire, and a modern retelling of Emma, Little to Hex Her, in the anthology Bespelling Jane Austen headlined by Mary Balogh. Her most recent book is Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion, about the vampire invasion of Chawton (William Morrow, 2011). Visit Janet at her website Janet Mullany, on Twitter as @Janet_Mullany, and on Facebook as Janet Mullany.
Garden at Chawton Cottage, Jane Austen House Museum
Giveaway of Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion
Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion, by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about reading this fun and witty novel, or which of Jane Austen’s characters might make a great vampire meal, and why, by midnight PT, Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Winner announced on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!
Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion, by Janet Mullany
William Morrow (2011)
Trade paperback (304) pages
© 2007 – 2011 Janet Mullany, Austenprose