Dec 2, 2017

Guest Author Ginger Monette on Jane Austen Fan Fiction

Jane who?...what? Jane Austen fan fiction. You probably read Pride & Prejudice in your high school British lit class. Yes, that Jane Austen. And if you're a swoon for period drama, surely you've watched either Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen portray the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy as he wins the heart of Elizabeth Bennet.

Well, you weren't the only one swept up in their romance! Audiences clamored for more of the dashing rich landowner and the obstinate headstrong girl, and authors began imagining what if. The result has been a wildly popular sub-genre known as Jane Austen fan fiction, (JAFF for short) or Austenesque literature.

For the past ten years, authors have been spinning the lives of Lizzy and Darcy in a dizzying array of alternative situations and circumstances. Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, and Death Comes to Pemberley are two of these re-imaginings that have made their way to the big screen.

So why is JAFF so popular? Probably for a few reasons. First, it appeals to us for the same reasons we love Cinderella—a rich, handsome “prince” falls in love with a woman decidedly below his station. And off course we all love a happily-ever-after. But I think it is more than that. Most of us can relate to Austen's themes of embarrassing relatives, family scandals, or wishing we could take back hurtful words.

But my love for Pride & Prejudice goes beyond its fairytale quality and universal themes. I appreciate the evolution of Austen's hero and heroine. After a scathing castigation by Elizabeth, Darcy is forced to examine himself and determines to become a better man. Elizabeth realizes her prejudice has blinded her against a good man who is her perfect match. I also love how Elizabeth is willing to defy cultural expectations regarding a “suitable” marriage to stand up for what she believes. And finally, I'm a sucker for a handsome, brooding hero like Fitzwilliam Darcy—I married one!

But why so many retellings and re-imaginings of this story? Because, beside the fact that audiences love the story, Austen's original novel works particularly well for fan fiction. It easily lends itself to manipulation. Not only are Austen's characters varied and colourful, but the plot itself has numerous key turning points. Shifting a detail here, or character there can completely change the course of the storyline and results in endless (and delightful!) alternate outcomes.

For my Darcy's Hope series, I chose to manipulate the era. While watching Downton Abbey, I could see Darcy dining with Lord Grantham with little change in decorum. I began to imagine, what if the romance between Darcy and Lizzy were to unfold in the era of Downton Abbey? I could reframe Austen's original storyline and characters against the dramatic backdrop of a field hospital on the Western Front. Hmmm. That had potential for an exciting plot and romance. Besides, the “turbulence” of WW1 seemed a fitting setting for a romance between two characters known for “clashing.” It was out of those daydreams that The Darcy's Hope Saga was born.

If you are a fan of Jane Austen and/or Downton Abbey, I urge you to give Darcy's Hope a try! Not only have reviewers found it a riveting romance, but it is an entertaining way to learn a little about the era of our great-grandfathers and WWI, which is the event that ushered us into the modern world as we know it.


“...a stellar example of fine Austenesque literature. Ms. Monette has crafted an exceptionally moving story complete with a compelling plot, danger, mystery, action, introspection, vivid detail, and an emotionally wrought romance. Even if you are not one to enjoy war stories, I entreat you to give this one a try!” [emphasis mine] ~Austenesque Reviews 

Downton Abbey Meets Pride & Prejudice!

Escape to the era of Downton Abbey and experience all the drama of World War 1 alongside Jane Austen's iconic Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy in this two-volume saga.

In Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes, you'll watch the couple's tender love unfold as they learn to work together and reconcile their differences at a field hospital only miles from the Front. 

In Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, Darcy is crushed when espionage separates him from Elizabeth and injury leaves him in a dark and silent world. But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that could change everything….

-Buy link:

-Do you love Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, or period drama? Join me on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author
-I’d love to hear from you!

Ginger currently writes riveting romances inspired by Donwton Abbey and Jane Austen. Her use of compelling plot, vivid historical detail, and deep point of view has earned her stellar reviews for her Darcy's Hope saga and a grand prize for flash fiction. Living in Charlotte, NC, Ginger enjoys Pilates, period and Turkish dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon. 


-If you love Period Drama or Jane Austen, join Ginger on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author.


Ginger Monette said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Ava!

Jane Austen Fan Fiction is so popular that a whopping 52 new variations of Pride & Prejudice hit Amazon in November--and The Darcy's Hope Saga was one of them.

Ava said...

Great having you! I'm a huge fan of the era and was so sad when Downton Abbey ended.

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