A Jane Austen Tour with authors Syrie James and Laurel Ann Nattress

Chawton Cottage, Hampshire, England

Imagine being offered the opportunity to create your own dream excursion to Jane Austen’s England? What would you choose to see? Her home at Chawton, the cob at Lyme Regis and the pump room in Bath of course—but what other family estates, seaside villages and country escapes would be on your list? This was the question that author Syrie James and I were presented after we were approached by Ingenious Travel to create the ultimate dream Jane Austen tour—and boy did we have fun brain storming on this topic. We hope that you will be as excited by our choices as we are to be part of this fabulous eight day tour to Jane Austen’s Seascapes and Landscapes.

Here is our itinerary:

7 Sept (Saturday): Fly USA to London.

8 Sept (Sunday): Arrival at London Airport, welcome by the accompanying Jane Austen specialist guide, transfer by private coach to London. Visit the British Library, walk through the Covent Garden area to see places where Jane Austen stayed. Continue to Kent, check into the hotel. Welcome dinner.

Godmersham Park, Kent

9 Sept (Monday): Full breakfast (included daily). Visit Ramsgate and Goodnestone, lunch here; continue to Godmersham House and village. Visit Canterbury Cathedral if time permits. Return to the hotel for overnight.  (Lunch included)

10 Sept (Tuesday): Travel northwards to Oxford, visit the University and especially St. John’s College, which Jane Austen’s father and two of her brothers attended. Then to Steventon, the village where she was born: see the site of the old Parsonage, visit St. Nicholas’ Church where her father and eldest brother were Rectors. Continue to Winchester, check into the hotel. Evening social meeting after dinner with local Austen experts.  (Breakfast and Dinner included)

Winchester Cathedral

11 Sept (Wednesday): Touring in the lovely city of Winchester, visit the Cathedral, short ceremony at Jane Austen’s grave. View the house where she died. Then to Chawton, visit the Jane Austen House Museum: special meeting at Chawton House to see the Library, informal talk by the Director and (subject to permission) tea at Chawton House. Return via Alton, the charming country town which the Austen ladies frequented. Stay in Winchester.  (Breakfast and tea included)

12 Sept (Thursday): To the coast today – visit Cadland House, overlooking Southampton Water, to meet the Drummond family and see their fine display of maritime paintings and memorabilia. Then to Portsmouth, tour the historic Royal Naval Dockyard including HMS Victory, and see the former Naval College where Jane Austen’s naval brothers Frank and Charles received their training.  (Breakfast included)

The Cobb Stairs at Lyme Regis

13 Sept (Friday): Travel west to the pretty port town of Lyme Regis, walk the Cobb (scene of Louisa’s fall in ‘Persuasion’), meet Patrick Stokes and Diana Shervington, Austen descendants. Then to Bath, check in for 3 nights – the Jane Austen Festival begins this day. (Breakfast and Dinner included)

14 Sept (Saturday): Tour Bath, seeing houses where the Austens lived, also St Swithin’s Church, where Jane’s parents were married and her father is buried. Visit the Jane Austen Centre, 1 Royal Crescent, and the Assembly Rooms. Participate in the Festival Parade. (Breakfast included)

Assembly Rooms interior Bath

15 Sept (Sunday): To the nearby village of Lacock, film location for ‘Meryton’ in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice – as well as many other fictional places in various writers’ works. Return to Bath for a free afternoon – or a chance to attend other Festival events. Evening, private dinner party and entertainment in an elegant Bath townhouse.   (Breakfast and dinner included)

16 Sept (Monday): Transfer to London Airport for the return flight – opportunity for optional tour extension(s) in Bath (for more Festival participation) or London.  (Breakfast included)

As you can see, we are visiting all the special places in Jane Austen’s life and novels. Syrie and I are so excited to be part of this fabulous opportunity to share our admiration and knowledge of our favorite author Jane Austen and her world. We hope you can join us!

Additional information on the A Jane Austen Tour: Seascapes and Landscapes official website.

Cheers, Laurel Ann & Syrie

© 2013, Laurel Ann Nattress, Syrie James and Ingenious Tours

Austenesque Authors at Northwest Bookfest 2012, Sept 22-23, Kirkland, WA

Northwest Bookfest 2012

I am thrilled to be participating in this year’s Northwest Bookfest 2012 with fellow Austenesque authors: Shannon Winslow, Susan Mason-Milks and Jenni James. We will have our own booth to meet readers, greet friends and sell our books. Please stop by to introduce yourselves and have your picture taken with Mr. Darcy! Yes. Mr. Darcy (the flat Stanley version that is) will be there in person awaiting for your arrival.

Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995)Here is the scoop on the festival:

Connecting readers with writers, the Northwest Bookfest celebrates the literary arts where you will meet readers, writers, publishers and authors during this jam-packed weekend of workshops, panels, classes and author readings. This family-friendly event features dozens of author appearances and book signings, scores of exhibitors and booksellers, readings on multiple stages, storytellers and hands-on activities for kids, live music and a delicious variety of food and drink for sale. All events are free and open to the public.

Several Pacific Northwest bestselling authors will be giving presentations including: J.A. Jance (The Judgement Call: Joanna Brady Mystery), Ivan Doig (This House of Sky), Elizabeth George (Believing the Lie: Inspector Lynley Series), and David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars).  Shannon, Susan, Jenni and I will be representing Austenesque fiction to the great Northwest! This is my first bookfest, so it will be wonderful to meet readers, authors and spend some time with my fellow Janeites.

The weekend event is being held at Peter Kirk Park, in front of the community center. The hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. For those who want to Google Map it or use an in-car navigation system, this is the address for Peter Kirk Park: 202 Third Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Austenesque Authors participating:

Shannon Winslow, author of The Darcys of Pemberley (2011)

Shannon Winslow is a passionate appreciator of the arts and a creative person in her own right. With her two sons grown, she now finds more time to devote to her diverse interests in music, literature, and the visual arts – writing claiming the lion’s share of her creative energies in recent years. In addition to several short stories, Ms. Winslow has authored three novels to date. The Darcys of Pemberley, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is her debut. For Myself Alone, a stand-alone Austenesque story, is soon to follow. Her most recent project is a contemporary “what if” novel entitled First of Second Chances. Shannon is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband live in the log home they built in the countryside thirty-five miles south of Seattle, where she writes and paints in her studio facing Mt. Rainier. Visit Shannon at her website/blog Shannon Winslow’s Jane Austen Says, Austen Authors, follow her on Twitter as @JaneAustenSays, and on Facebook as Shannon Winslow.

Susan Mason-Milks, author Mr. Darcy's Proposal (2012)

Susan Mason-Milks says, “Writing stories inspired by Austen’s books offers a way to spend more time with characters I’ve grown to love. Just because the book ends, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story.” In addition to writing, her other loves include singing in “a cappella joy” (a women’s barbershop chorus), reading, and yoga. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and their four cats. Visit Susan at her websites Austen What If Stories, Austen Authors, follow her on Twitter as @SusanMasonMilks, and on Facebook as Susan Mason-Milks.

Jenni James, author of Pride and Popularity (2011)

Jenni James is author of the Austen Diaries, modern re-imaging of Jane Austen’s six major novels; Faerie Tale Collection, a new look at classic tales; and her latest release for children, Prince Tennyson. Married to a totally hot, redheaded Air Force Recruiter, Jenni and her husband live in New Mexico with their ten children. When she’s not writing up a storm, she enjoys reading, acting, portrait painting, directing plays, cooking, planning eleborate parties and chasing my kids around the house. Visit Jenni at her website/blog Author Jenni James, follow her on Twitter as @Jenni_James and on Facebook as Author Jenni James.

Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of Jane Austen Made Me Do It (2011)

Laurel Ann Nattress, a life-long acolyte of Jane Austen, is the author/editor of Austenprose.com a blog devoted to her favorite author and Jane Austen Made Me Do It, a new short story anthology released by Ballantine Books in 2011. 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. Classically trained as a landscape designer at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, she has also worked in marketing for a Grand Opera company and at present she delights in introducing neophytes to the charms of Miss Austen’s prose as a bookseller. An expatriate of southern California, Laurel Ann lives in a country cottage near Snohomish, Washington where it rains a lot. Visit Laurel Ann at her blog Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog, on Twitter as @Austenprose, and on Facebook as Laurel Ann Nattress.

From all of my fellow Austenesque authors, if you are in the Seattle area on the weekend of September 22-23, we would be thrilled to meet you and discuss our favorite author together!

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Cover Reveal of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart , edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)

Waving my flag for the cover of my book Jane Austen Made Me Do It, and feeling incredibly fortunate and humbled by the reality that this is really happening after so many months of hard work by many.

For the benefit of anyone who does not know, Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart is a short story anthology of Jane Austen-inspired stories from 23 best selling and popular authors. It releases on 11 October, 2011 from Ballantine Books, and I am the editor. I am also the luckiest Janeite in the world to see my dream come true. *sniff*

If you are so inclined, the book may be pre-ordered at many online booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Now I need that shot of port please.

Cheers,

Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose