Friday, September 10, 2010

Launching a New Austen Blog

"My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." ~ Jane Austen ~

It’s my pleasure to again have Sharon Lathan visiting Over Coffee, and this time she brought her partner, Abigail Reynolds. Both of them write Austen fan fiction. Regardless of whether you like or hate fan fiction, there are so many readers who love Austen stories and want to read about the research, social mores, fashion, and of course the continuing love affair between Lizzie and Darcy. These authors and the additional twenty plus Austen fan fiction authors can all be found on one site now. You want a daily dose of Austen like stories and ondits; you’ll now have that opportunity on this wonderful blogsite.

I’m so proud of Sharon and Abigail. I well know what work goes into creating a new blog, setting blog times and guests, as well as getting the word out. I love how quickly like minds came together to do a final chat about the blog to launching it a month later. All this month there will be all sorts of goodies on the blog.

First, for those that don't know Sharon and Abigail let me introduce them to you.

Abigail Reynolds is a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast and a physician. In addition to writing, she has a part-time private practice and enjoys spending time with her family. Originally from upstate New York, she studied Russian, theater, and marine biology before deciding to attend medical school. She began writing From Lambton to Longbourn in 2001 to spend more time with her favorite characters from Pride & Prejudice. Encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking ‘What if…?’, which led to five other Pemberley Variations and her modern novel, The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice. She is currently at work on another Pemberley Variation and sequels to The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice. She is a lifetime member of JASNA and lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two teenaged children, and a menagerie of pets. You can read the blurb, and excerpt of her soon to be released book.

Sharon Lathan is a native Californian currently residing amid corn, cotton, and cows in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. She divides her time between being a homemaker, nurturing her own Mr. Darcy and two children, and working as a registered nurse in a Neonatal ICU.  Sharon is generally found reposing in her comfy recliner with faithful laptop adhered to her thighs. Throw in the cat, dog, and a ton of fish to complete the picture. Read the Blurb and excerpt.

Sharon and Abigail in costume

So how did the two of them come up with this idea? Funny, I wondered the same thing and so I asked (as per usual, lol!)

Funny things happen when you get a bunch of authors together. Add in a party atmosphere and perhaps a bit of wine and rich food and watch out world!

Writers recognize that often times their best story ideas begin with some tiny snippet. Maybe an overhead comment or random one-liner meant as a joke that then takes flight and evolves into a huge bestseller! Well, for us the genesis for our Austen Authors blog began as a halfhearted proposal and has flamed into a massive undertaking successful beyond our wildest dreams.

The first time we tossed out the concept of a group blog for Austen fiction writers was in 2009 at the RWA National Conference. It was a great idea even if verbalized more as a jest about the hundreds of Austen writers banding together and taking over the world! For a host of reasons we did not pursue it, yet neither of us totally shelved the concept. We met again at this year’s Nationals in July and before lunch on day #1 we were again talking about a group blog. Seriously this time.

Now, barely a month later, Austen Authors has launched. With a sonic blast! Despite our flippant remark about hundreds of Austen fiction writers we truly did not grasp how many there were nor how positively they would respond to our invitation. It has been overwhelming, but in a fabulous way.

We have needed to rethink our process many times, but our mission has remained clear and unwavering:

To provide a consolidated website where lovers of Austen who want to experience more of her world can learn about the variety of literature published in the genre. As authors we want to share our passion for Austen and support each other, no matter whom we are published by, so that the diverse visions sparked by her brilliance will flourish.

Why? ... because there’s never enough Jane Austen

As of today, 20 published novelists of Jane Austen literary fiction have banded together for the first time in history to share their passion for Jane’s world and celebrate this ever-increasing genre. The brainchild of best-selling authors Sharon Lathan - The Darcy Saga sequel to Pride & Prejudice - and Abigail Reynolds - The Pemberley Variations.

Austen Authors

We cordially invite you to the launch of Austen Authors blog!

For the entire month of September there will be posts by each author as well as contests, quizzes, a scavenger hunt, oodles of information, three new release parties, author introductions, entertainment, humor, polls, secrets, recipes, games galore, and a massive giveaway of gifts and books from the authors and their publishers.

Today we are welcoming Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy Vampyre and Mr. Darcy’s Diary!

The group also includes these established and debut authors ( to learn more about each one and what books they have out or being released soon, click on their names and it will bring you to their website):

Skylar BurrisKathryn L. Nelson, Monica Fairview

Jane OdiweSusan Adriani, Mary Simonsen,
Cindy Jones, J. Marie Croft, Marsha Altman
Regina Jeffers, Jack Caldwell, Carolyn Eberhart
Heather Lynn Rigaud, Kara Louise, Lynn Shepherd

Marilyn Brant, C. Allyn Pierson, Victoria Connelly

  • Sharon and Abigail, I'm so excited for you. Thank you so much for being my guest today!
Thank you, Sia, for giving us this opportunity to talk about our blog and the amazing talent involved. We hope everyone will click over and join in the fun.

**** Other links

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All materials, logos, pictures, bookcovers, copywrited and used with permission.