Guest Author Laura Briggs Post & Giveaway

 

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Putting the Austen Touch in Modern Romance by Laura Briggs

Say the words ‘Regency Romance’ and for most people, one author immediately comes to mind: Jane Austen.

Two hundred years later, she still exemplifies the period in terms of story, style, and character. But what is it about Jane that’s so irresistible to us modern authors? Including myself, beginning with the ‘modern Regency romance’ I penned, titled “Dear Miss Darcy”.

In the case of “Dear Miss Darcy”, I wanted to play on the timeless nature of her romantic couples, the plot devices and character conflicts that prove that almost any setting can become a Jane Austen story. So I constructed a Pride and Prejudice sequel–one where Lizzie and Mr. Darcy are real people who knew Austen and inspired her to write the classic love story. Set in modern day London, it follows their descendant, Olivia Darcy, as she pens romantic advice for lovelorn newspaper readers.

Sequeling Jane Austen is, of course, intimidating (although, thanks to my co-author, I didn’t have to face it alone!). And I do hope that Olivia shares some of the wit of Austen’s strongest heroines, as her feud with notorious bachelor Christopher Stanley thrusts her into the classic ‘are they or are they not in love’ dilemma.

For my holiday novella “Christmas with Miss Austen” I again tried to pay tribute to the author’s works, with lots of obvious nods and references to her creations. Fun and lighthearted, the story includes a first edition of Northanger Abbey, some Regency-inspired Dali-esque art, and an appearance by Jane herself, it seems–as impossible as that scenario truly is in a modern-day city park.

But I’m not the only one eager to pay tribute to Jane’s style. The world of Indie publishing, in which so much of my work exists, has seen many more sequels, prequels, and variations on her famous works.

Great modern authors like Jennifer Becton have added books to the shelves of Austen sequels, including the post-Pride and Prejudice circumstances of Maria Lucas and Charlotte Collins (both must-reads for Austen-theme fans). Author Nancy Kelley explores Mr. Darcy’s Point of View in the wildly popular historical novel “His Good Opinion”.

And the world of Indie Austen authors has even inspired a website: Indiejane.org, where writers and lovers of independent Austen-themed books gather for book club discussions, reviews, and giveaways.

My next Regency novel is slated for release at the end of April, the first in a three-book series. And while it’s not an Austen-themed work–that is, Jane and her characters won’t be referenced in its pages–I hope the heart of what made her literature so enjoyable will be present. A different path from both “Dear Miss Darcy” and “Christmas with Miss Austen”, it joins them in the common bond of paying tribute to the greatest of all Regency Romance authors.

Book Blurb:

Olivia Darcy has it all: looks, charm, a successful career as a love columnist, and a connection to Jane Austen’s greatest love story. Being the descendant of Lizzie and Darcy, however, hasn’t guaranteed her a happy ending in love–in fact, Miss Darcy seems cursed by disaster and destined for a long and romantically-lonely life of solving love’s problems for others.

But when a letter from a girl known as “Cottingley” pits Miss Darcy’s wits against Britain’s most notorious bachelor, something’s bound to change…

 

My thoughts so far on the book, I am  in the middle of the book as I could not get started in time to finish before today.  I have to say, this is one of the best continuation of Austen’s characters that has been written.

Oliva is a character I am still getting to know and enjoy reading about her life and some things going on.  I know I am vague but  I don’t want to let anything out just yet. You will be pleasantly surprised how well the book is.

 

 

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5 Comments

  • Laura Briggs

    Thanks for posting this Babs! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book—hopefully other Austen fans will feel the same!

  • Shannon

    Ok, I’m sold. I love Jane Austen and JA fanfiction. I really like the idea of a descendant of two of my favorite Austen characters – don’t recall having seen or heard of something like this before. I have added this to my TBR list.

    Best wishes for the upcoming book releases Laura!

    Thanks for sharing Babs!

  • Diane Sallans

    Anytime I see something related to P&P I have to check it out! Plus the cover comment ‘Modern Regency’ is an eye-catcher.

  • Mary Preston

    I would love to read DEAR MISS DARCY thank you. It looks wonderful.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com