I've been a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) since the summer of 2005 and, in the past four years, I've enjoyed attending a couple of huge U.S./Canadian conferences, called AGMs, and a few smaller regional events, too. In October 2008, at the sold-out AGM in Chicago, I had the pleasure of meeting several new authors and--like the Jane fan-girl I am--it was there that I hatched my plan to lure these smart and funny ladies to my blog... Thus, my mini-AustenFest was born!
Between now and the end of the month, I'll have four fabulous guests joining me from the wonderful world of Austen fiction and nonfiction. Visitors to Brant Flakes will be treated to Q&As with celebrated authors Syrie James on 6/22 (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte); Kim Wilson on 6/24 (Tea with Jane Austen and In the Garden with Jane Austen); Abigail Reynolds on 6/26 (Pemberley by the Sea, Impulse and Initiative and more); and Laurie Viera Rigler on 6/29 (Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict). Two have brand new June releases, two are currently up for 2009 Regency World Awards, two are members of my awesome regional JASNA chapter and ALL are fascinating and truly lovely people. I'm so thrilled to have them here!
To add to the party atmosphere, each of us will be giving away copies of our books to commenters (yes, even mine, which isn't released until Sept. 29th :-). Visitors who leave a note for the author in the comments section of the blog will be eligible to win a free book with every new post--and some authors have generously offered 2-3 books! So, if you comment on Syrie's Q&A, your name will automatically be in the drawing for the book she's giving away. If you comment on Kim's, you'll be in the drawing for hers, too. The same goes for Abigail and Laurie.
As for me, I will not personally be writing a Q&A--I'm merely your devoted interviewer--but I'll pick the Wild Card winners of the week. I'll choose a person (or two...or three...) from all the commenters between today and when we close the contest [at 7pm CST on July 7th] to win a bound advanced reading copy of my debut novel. For those new to Brant Flakes, my book is called According to Jane, and it's the story of a modern woman who receives dating advice from the spirit of Jane Austen.
But that's not all! Because the party is ongoing, I'll be giving away $10 B&N giftcards throughout the week (names for those will be drawn within about 48 hours of every new guest-author post) and, quite possibly, some other surprise items in keeping with an Austen celebration will be heading toward lucky commenters...
So, a warm welcome to everybody! Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of your favorite tea, indulge in a few scones (the virtual ones are calorie-free :) and enjoy getting to know some very talented authors!!