Although my AustenFest comes to a close tonight, Austenmania is never quite at an end...nor would I want it to be.
I was talking with a very personable bookseller a few weeks ago, and she told me the staff is thrilled with -- but rather surprised by -- the mushrooming popularity of Austen. She wondered if I could account for it in some way.
Truthfully, I could not. To my limited (and seriously prejudiced) perspective, it seems the world is finally catching on to the genius of Jane. I'm sure I wasn't the first 14-year-old to fall in love with Jane's characters, her humor and her worldview, nor was I the first to claim her as my favorite author in the early 1980s...but it does feel as though many more people are jumping on a bandwagon of collective Austen consciousness these days.
It's impossible for me to see that as a bad thing, even if I can't quite explain it.
I began writing According to Jane in the summer of 2004 and finished it in early 2005. And that wasn't the first Austen-esque novel I'd tried to write. (I attempted to do a P&P spinoff in the late 1990s, but I didn't have either the determination or the narrative skill to push this beyond the idea stage back then.) But publishing is an industry where the wheels often turn at a snail-like pace, so I've gotten a raised eyebrow or twelve this year at my premise, along with a knowing nod and an air of certainty that I'm jumping onto one of the faster-moving writing wagons.
I shall let doubters ponder what they will. I, personally, don't think it's possible to fake a love for Austen, however. I believe true fans of her work will spot copycats in a matter of paragraphs. And it thrills me that amongst the authors of heartfelt Austen-related projects, I've had a chance to host four such dedicated writers in the past few weeks. Thanks to all of them, and to all of you, for being a part of the "fest."
So, now...onto the giveaways!!!
Names have just been drawn and, so, let me be the first to say Congratulations to all of the winners below for coming away with a book. And, for the record, we'll be giving away 12 books tonight, not just 10!!
The winner of Syrie's Charlotte Bronte novel is Melanie!
Kim's In the Garden book goes to Caroline!
Abigail added an additional novel tonight, so her FOUR winners are: alison (who is with the Knitty Bloggy Baby Bumpers), Erica, Marlyn, and hthideman!
The winner of Laurie's Confessions novel is Maria Geraci and the person whose name was drawn for Rude Awakenings is Deb Jensen!
Finally, I have personally decided to give away four ARCs of According to Jane, as well as some Starbucks VIA Ready Brew coffee, so the winning names for that are: AlisonB, Kwana, Nina (aka: Lizzy), and Stargazer!
Some of you I know I can reach, but if we have never emailed privately before or if you know for sure that I don't have your mailing address--and that's most of you!--please contact me here with it: marilynbrant AT gmail DOT com. I will be passing along those addresses to the authors as soon as I get them. So, the faster you email me, the faster you'll be able to get the books you won!!
Congrats, again, to everyone, and thanks to you all for making this event a success. And, don't forget, if you're a coffee lover, I have something exciting coming up very soon especially for you. Expect further details no later than Monday!!!