Welcome “Just Jane 1813” readers, for today we have another special treat for you. Rose Fairbanks, author of numerous JAFF books, including “No Cause to Repine” and “A Sense of Obligation,” is here with us today to share an exclusive interview with us and to offer a giveaway for her new JAFF book, which happens to be a JAFF paranormal book, where some of our favorite Austen heroines happen to also be witches.
Once I heard about this great new release this week, I asked Rose to join us here at “Just Jane 1813” to offer us a glimpse into this new series and to offer one lucky reader an ebook of her latest book, “Sisters Bewitched – Pride & Prejudice & Witches.”
I know Rose has many fans who will be thrilled to join her here today, as she shares this interview with my readers.
Please tell us about this new series you are currently working on.
In The Witches of Austen Series I re-imagine Austen’s works as though Austen always intended for the heroes and heroines to be witches and wizards. Many around them also have magical qualities, but their personalities as much as their powers continue to make them the real stars. In Sisters Bewitched we meet Jane and Elizabeth Bennet and their step-sister Catherine Morland. This introductory book follows as the young ladies have their powers returned to them and are told they are destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy. That’s quite an adjustment for them! The next three books will continue to mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey as they follow the journeys of self-discovery and romance of each heroine. I do have plans for each heroine, so that’s a total of eight more books but I will have a final one that wraps up the series for a total of ten books.
What made you consider the world of writing P&P paranormal?
I’m a sucker for a challenge from a friend. I immediately thought of Northanger Abbey, but I love Pride and Prejudice and am very familiar with the text so I wanted to mix in the Austen world I was most familiar with. Adding a magical element works really well, actually. Pride, prejudice, snobbery, condescension, mistaken judgments, insecurities all jump out even more when you’ve added supernatural qualities. If any readers are familiar with the Harry Potter universe, JK Rowling presents many conflicts that astute Austen readers will recognize.
What inspires you to continue Austen’s work?
My academic background is history but as far back as I can remember I always considered “what if?” Probably some time after reading P&P for the 50th time I began to wonder what if things changed. I actually resisted reading reimaginings when I first learned about them! Who would have thought when I picked up the first one that such an obsession would begin? What inspires me to write, is that Austen’s characters are very much still alive and still speaking. I’m a willing ear.
How is Austen relevant for you? What do you hope young girls today take away from reading Austen and JAFF?
Austen and her works are timeless. I first read Austen when I was 17 for a school reading assignment. I quickly identified with Elizabeth Bennet. She’s not perfect, she’s not always the kindest, her temper and feelings can get the better of her, she has relatives she doesn’t always like to spend time with, is quick to perceive injustices, and is challenged by other women to be something different but she can only be herself. She’s imperfect but willing to change *for herself.* I see that in each of Austen’s heroines. A struggle between confidence and conceit in many ways, but they always follow what their conscience dictates and not what their peers or society tells them they should do. They are not disrespectful, but neither are they spineless. 200 years later the world still has a thousand opinions on what it means to be a woman, but we must be true to ourselves.
How do you find JAFF that you love to read, published and unpublished?
When I first found JAFF, I had a Nook. Then I branched out to Amazon titles and eventually found the free forums. There are some good resources out there for finding JAFF. On Amazon a group of writers are now listing “a Lady” as a contributor to their works. That is the name Jane Austen actually published under. Amazon will not give us a category of our own, we frequently take over the best selling Classics list, but it still misses authors who choose to put their books in other categories. A list of “also boughts” on a book viewing page is also not a complete picture. Jane Austen’s author page is full of her original works. A Lady is just for JAFFs–all kinds– and fixes the holes in Amazon’s algorithms. Readers can then search by various filters. Not every author has joined the list, but we hope more will in the future.
Other options I know of are the JAFF Index and JAFF Recs, both catalog stories from the free forums.
Thoughts on Pride & Prejudice & Zombies … Do you think we will see more Austen paranormal JAFF in our movie theaters?
I read this book after I had read many other JAFFs. I read it at perhaps the wrong time in my JAFF reading legacy. When I first found JAFF I read everything, then I honed my tastes, but for a time was a bit snobby (yes, I am a recovering snob like Emma) and couldn’t make allowances for differences in taste. My biggest question with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was- what if? And so in that case it was quite like Austen’s original. I think the movie trailer looks great and I’m excited to see it! I really think we’ll see an increase in paranormal JAFF books.
I know too little about the movie industry and what’s trending to guess if more movies will be made, but I think it’s clear that Austen remains popular in film and paranormal has always had a place in film. It may be the perfect marriage. The younger audience is certainly open minded to seeing Austen in different ways. Who says you can’t like Austen if you like zombie stories? And who says you can’t mix fantasy and witches with historical fiction and classic literature?
I am thrilled to offer my readers an opportunity to win an ebook copy of “Sisters Bewitched.” Please leave a comment about today’s post in the comments section by November 5th to enter this giveaway. Winners will be announced on this blog on Nov 6th.
I want to thank Rose for her generosity and support with the launch of this blog!