www.marilynbrant.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome to AustenFest on Brant Flakes!

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!!

16 comments:

mmarques said...

What a lovely idea! I love Austen and Austen-related books. I'm not familiar with these authors and would love to learn more.

Are those of us in Canada eligible for prizes?

Caryn Caldwell said...

What a terrific idea! I can't wait to read all of these. And cross-promoting sounds fabulous for all of you!

Marilyn Brant said...

Hi mmarques (Michele, yes?)~Welcome! Thank you for asking this. For my part, I'm willing to send my books and prizes anywhere in the world (although, it'll be up to any international winners of the $10 B&N giftcards if they'd rather I sent them an alternate gift instead. I'm happy to work that out privately :). As for the other authors, I've just sent them emails. Two of the four have already let me know that anyone, anywhere is eligible, and I'll add another note as soon as I hear back from the rest!

Caryn~thanks, sweetie! I'm seriously excited about it :-). I've had a chance to read all the Q&As already, and this is a group of genuinely interesting writers. (So glad to see you online again--you've been missed!!)

Phyllis said...

Ooooh. I like the sound of your book. Congrats!

Phyllis (from Cherry Nano group)

Treethyme said...

First of all, I love the name "Brant Flakes," which is inspired. I also love the pretty teapot in your post.

I'm not as Austen-mad as some of my friends, but I've always loved Pride and Prejudice, in particular.

Recently, I've started working my way through the Austen-related books that seem to be doing incredibly well. I've enjoyed all that I've read, but I keep finding more that I've missed.

Thanks for introducing me to more books/authors -- not that my TBR pile needs any added weight!

Simone Elkeles said...

This is going to be an exciting week! I can't wait for your book to come out!

Nancy J. Parra said...

This is a fabulous idea! I look forward to the fest. cheers!!

Marlyn said...

Nancy took the words out from under my fingers: it is a fabulous idea!
And that is a very pretty little teapot set.

Marilyn Brant said...

Thank you, Phyllis! Always great to see Cherries here :).

Becke, I'm so glad you like the blog name! BTW, P&P is my all-time favorite. I'll read anything by Austen, but that book has a very special place in my heart...

Simone, thanks!! Hey, you know I couldn't have done it without you :).

Thanks so much, Nancy--I hope you'll have fun!

Marlyn~it's lovely to have you here! (I love that our names are so similar, too. :) I'm glad you like the teapot--I adore those cute little "tea for one" sets and have a couple of them. (I actually collect teapots, so I have a lot more than that, too, much to my husband's amusement/annoyance!)

LaShaunda said...

What a cute idea. I learned about Jane late in life, but I've become a fan. I like the tea cup too.

Marilyn Brant said...

LaShaunda, welcome!! Always a pleasure to meet another Jane fan :). It's great to have you here.

To mmarques and all interested, I've heard back from the authors and we're all willing to send prizes anywhere in the world--so eligibility is not limited in the least!

L.A. Mitchell said...

I know you must be in blog heaven right about now, Marilyn. What a fantastic idea to tie into your release. Congrats on the galleys, too. You must be over the moon :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, L.A. It *was* exciting to finally get the galleys and, somehow, less anxiety-producing than being faced with the page proofs. As for the blogging--yeah :). I've been waiting a long time for this event...

Joan Doyle said...

Hi Marilyn!
Thank you for including me in your mailing for the AustenFest! It sounds like fun! I enjoyed meeting you at the Chicago AGM! I am the "Totebag Queen" for the 2009 AGM. I hope you will send me something that I can put into the totebags for the AGM in October!
I will try and participate as often as I can in your AustenFest!

Hope to see you in October at our AGM in Philadelphia! Joan Doyle

Marilyn Brant said...

Joan!! It's absolutely wonderful to see you here! Thank you so much for visiting. I sent you an email last night, but just in case you see this first...a huge YES for the totebag stuff. I'd be happy to do so. :-)

Melanie said...

This is such a great idea! I just came here from a post at Jane Austen today. Looks like fun!