Dusting the Bookshelf – A Jane Austen Daydream

As we get closer to the release of my latest novel (In Jerry’s Corner) from Stargazing Publishing, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of my previous novels. Maybe, if I am lucky, it will inspire you to check them out. Whenever I set out to write a book, I am aiming to do something unique, surprising and original. This might be a bad business model, but for me as a reader and an artist, it is a lot of fun.

Most people know me because of A Jane Austen Daydream.

It led to most of my followers on Twitter and this site, it led to me working on Current State on WKAR for three years talking about books, and it led to almost 250 reviews on Goodreads (a number which continues to grow each month).

When the book came out (after going through a separation with an old agent and two publishers, one of whom tried to massively re-edit it and then finally released it with Austen spelled wrong on the paperback), I became for many the Austen man. Every interview I did had a question that was kind of like “Hey, you’re a guy! Do you know it is strange for you to like Austen? Because you’re a guy, I mean.”

Honestly, even though I always found that question a little insulting and sexist. I never pointed it out in my responses (and I’ve given dozens of various little playful responses to it). Jane Austen is a great author and wrote probably the greatest novel in the English language. It really doesn’t matter if I am a guy or not; it doesn’t change that fact. To enjoy her writing is human.

…And, on a side note, the professor that got me into Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen’s work was a dude as well. He is sadly gone now, but I did add him in as a character in the book as a thank you. He is the local doctor in Jane’s village, Dr. Chesley. Continue reading

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“With a sharp knife.” Read an excerpt from the new A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM

A Jane Austen Daydream“I consider this novel one of the best not only in regency era literature, but also in mainstream fiction.” -NovelTravelist.com

Today I am happy to share an excerpt from my new novel A Jane Austen Daydream. A Jane Austen Daydream is a re-imagining of Miss Austen’s life as a work of fiction, influenced more by her own novels than what reality decided to give her, filled with love, rogues, heartache, adventures and a lot of wit… as well as a few new post-modern literary surprises.

Published by Madison Street Publishing, it can be purchased in print and as an eBook for only $3.99 via amazon here.

From Chapter III of A Jane Austen Daydream

“Cassandra,” Jane sighed, “you must take part in the play. I could never dream of opening the curtain without you by my side. Charles and I put your name on the poster; the posters alone would be ruined.”

“Please, do not tease me like that, Jane. I do not dare be seen in public right now. I am uncertain what it will do to my heart. Can you imagine all the attention that we will get because of this dance?” As if expecting a crowd of onlookers to appear over the horizon, Cassandra looked behind herself to make sure that they still had privacy on their walk.

No matter how exaggerated Cassandra’s concerns, she did have a point, and it was for this reason that the two sisters made a pact not to travel into town for a full week. So on this day, they were on a hike, making sure to walk away from Steventon rather than towards it.

Cassandra almost tripped and Jane caught her.

“You will not be on the stage, dear sister,” Jane said, helping her sister to stand up. “Lady Hampton will be on the stage. You will be in character and Hampton is a wonderful character, if I can compliment my own writing. If it makes you feel better, I will be dressed as a man for most of my appearances. I was to wear a mustache, but I promised it to Charles.” Continue reading

Mark Your Calendars! A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM Will Be Released on April 30!

A Jane Austen Daydream

A Jane Austen Daydream, my latest novel, will be released by Madison Street Publishing on April 30!

I could not be happier (or prouder) of this experimental, romantic, funny, moving, and surprising book. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Here is the description of my upcoming novel:

All her heroines find love in the end–but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years–did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us–to a greater or lesser degree–are head over heels for Jane.

On a side note, are you a reviewer? Would you be interested in reading the novel for your site or magazine? If so, please contact my publisher at MStPublishing@gmail.com. They will be reviewing requests.

Let the countdown begin!

A Taste of Austen

To those who are new to my blog (and hello), a big part of my writing life right now is trying to find a publisher or agent for my novel, A Jane Austen Daydream.

A Jane Austen Daydream was a labor of love, a project I had worked on and off of for over seven years. It was inspired by the idea of what Jane would have done if she could’ve rewritten her life as one of her novels, making this book both for newbies and Austenites.

Last year, I was honored to have the novel chosen to be shared via Green Spot Blue (a literary Web site). The links to the chapters can still be found via the A Jane Austen Daydream page above. In the past on this blog, I have debated myself around agents or not (I have a history with agents that make me a little nervous), created a query letter, and wrote about different possibilities for the work. Currently, I am sending out query letters again for the work to both agents and publishers. So if anyone knows an agent or publisher that might be interested, please feel free to share (Because honestly, nothing is more persausive and important than contacts in the arts; it is one of the reasons I recommend often for new writers to find opportunities to make contacts and friends in the writing community)… And speaking of sharing, I thought I would share a taste from the work.

This is the second chapter from the first volume. Previously, it was announced that a big ball is being planned to introduce Cassandra to society and possibly find her a worthy suitor, the only problem is her sister Jane has to come to the dance as well…

-Chapter 2-

From Volume I of A Jane Austen Daydream

To the residents of Steventon, she was known as the “other Ms. Austen.” So, when Jane was spoken about, it was in a manner such as this:

“Will the other Ms. Austen be attending?”

“Has the other Ms. Austen discussed the matter with her mother?”

“I try to avoid the other Ms. Austen when I see her, she does effect me so.”

Not to say that Jane was not liked in her hometown, if pressed a person would have a hard time finding anyone that disliked her or had any reason to dislike her, per se, it was just that she had something about her that was different. Continue reading

A Jane Austen Daydream… available for the time being…

A painting of Jane by her sister, Cassandra

While A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM is done with posts and chapters via Green Spot Blue, the complete novel is still available for the time being online.  You can find all of the links to the chapter (as well as exclusive introduction for the online publication) via the A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM page here-

https://sdsouthard.wordpress.com/a-jane-austen-daydream/

My hope is for the book to find a home with a publisher and/or ebook publisher and I am actively pursuing  that direction with the novel (well, at least trying to, but we’ll see what happens… fingers crossed and all. You never know really what is going to catch the eye of a publisher or an agent).  When that hopefully occurs the page will probably need to be taken down.

I hope you enjoyed the book (or will enjoy it). For me it was a great pleasure writing the book and sharing it with you. Please, if you enjoyed the work, share it with a friend. If you wish to ever comment on the book or write to me, I do read posts and comments on this blog.

Thank you.