A Very Austen Valentine, Austen Anthologies

Austen, the Creator of a Genre

I recently answered these questions for our blog tour of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2. I’d like to know your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with my answers?

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Do you agree/disagree that Jane Austen is the mother of the romance novel?

Yes, I agree that Jane Austen is the mother of the romance novel, but I more definitively think of Austen as the creator of a smaller genre: the novel of manners.

I have loved Austen’s works since my high school years, but teaching her work during my twenty-five years as an English teacher convinced me of her genius. I showed films of several versions of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Emma to my juniors and seniors during the final half of school each year. The boys started out complaining, but soon were asking for their Austen fix when they entered my classroom.

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I assigned book and gave a book test every six weeks, but students were allowed a reader’s choice for their final book. Many chose to read the Austen novels they had watched. They were quite eager to point out the differences between the novels and the film versions. Discussions were lively.

You see, I taught Austen, loved Austen, and turned out Austen lovers long before I ever wrote anything Austenesque.

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Sir Walter Scott wrote, “Also read again Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of Pride and Prejudice. That young lady had a talent for describing the involvement and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment is denied to me.”

A novel of manners re-creates a social world, conveying the customs, values, and mores of a highly developed, complex society.

Scott defined the novel of manners, and he attributes the creation of that genre to Austen.

To me, this is the area in which Austen shines most brightly. She left a wonderful legacy of her time period – the behavior of the classes in early nineteenth century England.

What is up next for the Austen Anthologies series?

Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, and I hope to do at least three more anthologies. The next will be A Very Austen Romance, to be released at the end of 2019. Various guest authors will join us in the different books of the series.

All of the stories in the anthologies will be Austen-based Regency sweet romance, but we allow prequels, sequels, mashups, variations, and humor, as well as “what ifs.” Each of us has a specialty of sorts, but all of our stories are clean reads with happily-ever-after endings.

The goal is to have stories of twenty thousand to thirty thousand words. That length limits the time given to develop and resolve a plot, thus our plotlines are fairly simplified.

However, a wonderful read can be delivered within the limitation. Laura Hile’s Sir Walter Takes a Wife in the Valentine anthology is, in my humble opinion, brilliant. I can write humor for a chapter, but she sustains her high level of romantic comedy from the first word to the last. I don’t know of anyone else in the Austenesque genre who does it as well.

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My writing is usually very emotional with a touch of the paranormal and/or music. Wendi Sotis’s style is pure, sweet romance. Barbara Cornthwaite has a very delicate touch, a crystal bell of insight.

Wendi, Laura, Barbara, and I choose to work with like-minded authors, seeing our anthologies as “the books that friendship built.” We spend a good bit of time emailing and messaging back and forth, and we think it’s very important that the process be as stress-free, pressure-free, and enjoyable as possible. I think the anthologies show the respect and feeling of camaraderie we have for each other.

A Very Austen Anthology, A Very Austen Valentine, Barbara Cornthwaite, Book promos, Christian Fiction, Christian romance, Clean Romance, Darcy and Elizabeth, FREE books, Laura Hile, Mandy Helm Cook, New Release, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Robin Helm's books, Sense and Sensibility, Susan Kaye, sweet romance, Valentines Day

More Than Reviews and Giveaways!

Janet Taylor, at More Agreeably Engaged, did a spectacular job of arranging our blog tour for A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2.

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She not only launched the book, but she chose the book as her favorite anthology of 2018!

Be sure to visit each stop on the tour to register for the giveaways (thirteen ebooks and one print book); read story excerpts, author interviews, vignettes, guest posts, and reviews; and chat with the authors – Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Susan Kaye, Mandy Helm Cook (my daughter!), and me.

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We look forward to talking with you, so please don’t disappoint us.

A Very Austen Valentine Blog Tour Schedule

01/06 Just the Write Escape; Guest Post, Giveaway

01/07 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Giveaway, 5 stars!

01/08 So Little Time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/09 Babblings of a Bookworm; Author Interview/Character Interview, Giveaway

01/10 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Excerpt

01/11 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway

01/12 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette, Giveaway

01/13 open

01/14 From Pemberley to Milton; Excerpt, Review or Vignette, Giveaway

01/15 My life journey; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway

01/16 My Vices and Weaknesses; Guest Post or Vignette. Excerpt, Giveaway

01/17 open

01/18 Diary of an Eccentric; Review, Giveaway

01/19 open

01/20 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway

01/21 Austenprose; Author Interview

blog tour

Buy Link for A Very Austen Valentine:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

A Very Austen Anthology, A Very Austen Christmas, A Very Austen Valentine, Book promos, Cheap books, Christian Fiction, Christian romance, Clean Romance, Darcy and Elizabeth, Holidays, New Release, Pride and Prejudice, Robin Helm's books, Writing Life

Big News!

AVAC99Tomorrow, December 29, is the launch date of our newest Austen Anthologies offering: A Very Austen Valentine! Watch for the details on Janet Taylor’s blog, More Agreeably Engaged.

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To celebrate, A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1 is on sale for 99 cents through the end of December.

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My story in the new anthology, I Dream of You, is considerably lighter and more romantic than my offering in A Very Austen Christmas. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of it.