Jane Austen Made Me Do It contributors Frank Delaney & Diane Meier on NPR

Authors Diane Meier and Frank Delaney
Jane Austen Made Me Do It contributors Frank Delaney & Diane Meier on NPR | Jane Austen Made Me Do It!

Check out the great interview of “Faux Jane” short story authors from Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Frank and Diane on NPR. They chat about their story and our favorite author, Jane Austen of course!

Cheers, Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Follow Friday: Jane Austen Made Me Do It Excerpt @ Scribd.com

Image of Scribd logoHere is some gratuitous self-promotion for your Follow Friday fun!

An excerpt of my new Jane Austen-inspired anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is now available on Scribd.com. It includes my full introduction and the first two pages of all twenty-two stories. Such a teaser.;-0

You will have to wait until October 11, 2011 to read the full stories. That’s when it goes on sale from Ballantine Books – but – you can pre-order it now for delivery on release date!


Laurel Ann

Visit the official Jane Austen Made Me Do It website for complete story descriptions, author bios, event updates and blog.

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest Winner Revealed!

Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by Laurel Ann Nattress (2011)88 Austen-inspired stories were narrowed down to the Top Ten finalists last March in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest. One lucky winner was chosen and announced yesterday. My congratulations go out to Brenna Aubrey, a talented new voice in Austenesque fiction.

A contest to win one of four copies of Jane Austen Made Me Do It is open until midnight September 5, 2011. Leave a comment on the post announcing the opening of the JAMMDI website. An additional contest to win one of ten copies is also currently running on Goodreads, ending September 9, 2011, so make haste and head on over and leave a comment or a request to enter the contests.


Laurel Ann

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Preview of A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories, by Margaret Drabble

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories, by Margaret Drabble (2011)Home from the bookselling trenches today and eager to share my great find. As I passed by the new release fiction bays at my store – a familiar name just leapt out at me. Margaret Drabble!

Any die-hard Janeite will recall her wonderful introductions to the Penguin Classics and Signet Classics editions of Jane Austen’s novels. A renown English novelist, Drabble is also a skilled short story writer. Just released today is A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories, a new anthology of short fiction written throughout her life and assembled together for the first time in this new collection.

As I skimmed through the list of stories included, one in particular caught my attention: “The Dower House at Kellynch Hall: A Somerset Romance.” Readers of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion will recognize the residence of Kellynch as the home of Sir Walter Elliot and his daughters Elizabeth and Anne. The story is inspired by Austen’s, though it is contemporary to 1993 when it was written and published in the Jane Austen Society of North America’s journal Persuasions No 15. Here is a description of the book by its publisher:

Margaret Drabble’s novels have illuminated the past fifty years, especially the changing lives of women, like no others. Yet her short fiction has its own unique brilliance. Her penetrating evocations of character and place, her wide-ranging curiosity, her sense of irony—all are on display here, in stories that explore marriage, female friendships, the English tourist abroad, love affairs with houses, peace demonstrations, gin and tonics, cultural TV programs; in stories that are perceptive, sharp, and funny. An introduction by the Spanish academic José Fernández places the stories in the context of her life and her novels. This collection is a wonderful recapitulation of a masterly career.

I enjoy reading short stories as a brief diversion from the many novels and nonfiction books that engulf the majority of my reading time. I can’t wait to chip away at these little treasures and have already downloaded an edition to my Nook.

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories, by Margaret Drabble
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2011) New York
Hardcover (256) pages
ISBN: 978-0547550404

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Top Ten Finalist Announced in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest

Your votes have been tallied and the top ten short stories have been chosen in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest. Without further ado…

The Top Ten stories listed alphabetically by author are:

  • No 54 – Sophy and the Armada, by K. Ann Adams
  • No 56 – The Love Letter, by Brenna Aubrey
  • No 25 – The Marrying of Margaret, by Tracie Banister
  • No 78 – Assuming: A Tale of Persuasion, by Hannah Cowan
  • No 23 – Carpe Diem, by Jane Greensmith
  • No 85 – Mary Bennett Falls Head Over Heels, by Jenni James
  • No 70 – The Lost Portrait of Jane Austen, by Miranda Liasson
  • No 31 – Attempting Elizabeth, by Jessica Melendez
  • No 04 – Spinning White Hair Gold, by Megan Snider
  • No 16 – Mr. Collins Last Supper, by Shannon Winslow

Continue reading “Top Ten Finalist Announced in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest”

Last Day to Vote for the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Entries

Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest 2011 graphicMake haste. Voting closes today 2/28/11 at 11:59:59 pm ET in the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest.

I am really pleased at the incredible turnout. 88 aspiring Austenesque writers submitted stories for your consideration and enjoyment. All of Jane Austen’s major novels, her life and and some of her minor works are represented.

Your vote could decide who makes it into the Top Ten and advances into the final round in the selection process. Don’t pass up the opportunity to have your say.

A big round of applause to all the authors. You are all winners just by writing and submitting a story, but one among you will be chosen to be included in the new anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It to be released by Ballantine Books on 11 October, 2011.

Good luck to all!

Laurel Ann

Read the stories & vote

© 2007 – 2011 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

Intimations of Austen, by Jane Greensmith – A Review

Cover of Intimations of Jane Austen, by Jane Greensmith (2008)Gentle Readers, please do not be fooled! Neatly tucked into this slim volume are nine short stories entitled “Intimations of Austen”, and not “Imitations of Austen”, which on first glance at the thin and fluid type face on the cover stopped me cold! To imitate Jane Austen would be only a forgery! I am happy to report that the stories in no way attempt imitation and set off no decorum alarms from this sector. 

Instead, debut author Jane Greensmith has given us nine little jewels “inspired” by Jane Austen that if given a chance will surprise and delight the reader with new ways to look at bits of plot or characters from the original novels. This is not imitation. It is pure creativity offered with a light and satirical touch sweeping this reader from laughter to tears within a few short paragraphs. Who could not be moved to read of the last days of elderly Admiral Wentworth in the story Rainbow around the Moon, intrigued into sleuthing out the identities of the Elliot sisters from Persuasion or are they the Ward sisters from Mansfield Park in Three Sisters, or in Heaven Can Wait learn the identity of the young gentleman who wrote pretty little verses to Jane Bennet when she was but fifteen in Pride and Prejudice?  Each story is a brief glimpse into a “side bar” or “what if” story that can be easily read within a short time. The exception, and rightly so, is All I Do, which is by far my favorite deserving expansion into a full novel. Here we are offered a “what if” story that changes the ending of Pride and Prejudice separating Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. It is impossible to divulge much more of her stories than my brief descriptions reveal. Half of their charm lies in the mystery and investigation of hidden meanings for Janeites and offering more would spoil the delight of discovery. 

Intimations of Austen may be a slim volume at 114 pages, but it is packed with engaging stories respectfully portraying Austen’s characters, expanding her plots, adding creative twists and bends, and blending other classic literature favorites. Greensmith’s style is beautifully spare. Like Austen each word has been carefully chosen to balance each sentence. This volume is slim because of her skill at brevity, not by lack of imagination. These “Intimations” and not “Imitations” are the sincerest form of flattery to Austen and as far from forgery as any author would wish to comfortably rest. Highly recommended, this is a quick read for Austen fans who will be eagerly awaiting an encore. 

4 out of 5 Regency stars 

Intimations of  Austen, by Jane Greensmith
Trade paperback (114) pages
Lulu.com (2008)

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