Happy Monday dear readers! It is a special day for me. Ten years ago on October 11, 2011 my short story anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It was published by Ballantine Books. I can’t believe how the years have flown by.
The collection includes 22 original short stories and reading group material from bestselling authors Jo Beverley, Syrie James, Adriani Trigiani, and Lauren Willig; top Austen sequel writers Stephanie Barron, Pamela Aidan, Elizabeth Aston, Amanda Grange, Alexandra Potter, and Laurie Viera Rigler; mother and daughter (Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway) and husband and wife (Frank Delaney and Diane Meier) teams; and a brand new voice in Austenesque fiction—Brenna Aubrey, the Grand Prize winner of the anthology’s short story contest.
- “An Austenesque box of bonbons,”— The Seattle Times
- “…this anthology is bang on the money.”— Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine
- “Jane Austen Made Me Do It is the rare short-story compilation in which each and every one of the twenty-two stories manages to shine. Each contains a new take on Austen, a new concept of what Austen hoped to do with her life and work or even a new take on modern romance from Austen’s viewpoint.”— Romance Junkies
I am happy to share that as editor it was a joy to select and work with the authors and a bucketlist moment for me to have a book launch party at Barnes & Noble. I am so proud that it remains the best-selling Austen-inspired short story anthology in print, due in part to a whole new generation of readers.
“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world.
In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.
Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, I am offering a giveaway of three signed paperback copies. Just leave a comment below sharing what intrigues you about a short story collection of Austen-inspired stories, or if you have read it and would like a signed copy, please share your thoughts on your favorite stories for the benefit of those who want to know reader’s impressions. The contest is open to US residents and closes at 11:59pm PT on October 21, 2021. The winners will be drawn from the comments with this post and announced on October 22, 2021. Good luck to all.
Best, Laurel Ann
- Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress
- Ballantine Books (October 11, 2011)
- Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook (464) pages
- ISBN: 978-0345524966
Cover image & book description courtesy of Ballantine Books © 2011; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, Austenprose.com