Yours truly was privileged to moderate a book publishing panel for the Jane Austen Society of North America at the JASNA 2012 Annual General Meeting this past week. The illustrious panelists included Sourcebooks editorial manager, Deb Werksman, Curtis Brown literary agent Mitchell Waters, and Penguin Classics Associate Publisher, Elda Rotor.
The panel focused on the book publishing history of Jane Austen's novels. Beginning with Austen's own experiences (including rejection, multiple publishers and, ultimately "self-publishing" her first book), we discussed Austen's current life in print, e-book and apps and the the wealth of stories she inspired, from Georgette Heyer's Regency-Era novels to "fan fiction" to contemporary novels with Austen overtones.
For the latter part of the discussion, the session also drew on the expertise and experience of fiction authors whose books' wide-ranging subjects were inspired by Jane Austen and her characters.
Participating authors included:
Linda Berdoll -- who has written three erotic Pride & Prejudice sequels;
Diana Birchall -- who spins off stories of Austen's own characters into stylistic, humorous pastiche;
Karen Doornebos -- who writes Austen-inspired stories with modern heroines;
Kathleen Flynn --whose science fiction sends a doctor back to in time to cure Jane Austen of her final illness;
Bonnie Herron -- who puts a Jane Austen-like character into 1920s Scottish moors;
Patrice Hannon - whose latest book is a novel set in New York and Lyme Regis;
Ann Herendeen -- who turns Jane Austen's stories into bisexual romantic comedies;
Syrie James -- who has been called "queen of nineteenth century re-imaginings" for her novels based on Jane Austen's own life;
Cindy Jones --who writes contemporary women's fiction, using Jane Austen as a centerpiece for plot;
Janet Mullany -- works have ranged from Jane Austen and vampires to Jane Austen and the Beatles;
Inez Ross -- who has written Jane Austen-inspired adventure/romances set in the American Midwest and Southwest;
Mother and daughter Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway -- who teamed up to write a modern day mystery adapted from Austen's Lady Susan.
The panel was assembled with the assistance of Cindy Jones and Karen Doornebos, as well as Laurel Ann Nattress, blogmistress of AustenProse.com and editor of the anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It.
Image courtesy of Valerie Peterson