Hardcopy Release, Kindle Countdown Deals, and an Amazon Gift Card

I’m a little late writing this, but better late than never right?!

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This is our Vintage Jane Austen blog week. What does that mean? Well, the title of the post kind of says it all, but to clarify:

  1. The Vintage Jane Austen collection is now available in paperback. This is my first print edition in about 10 years, so I’m pretty excited.
  2. The Kindle editions of the Vintage Jane Austen novels are on sale all this week. So, if you are a committed Kindle user, this is your week!
  3. A lot of bloggers out there have joined in with the celebrating and through their sites we will be giving out a $25 Amazon gift card. See below for a list of the bloggers you can visit this week for reviews, interviews, and chances to enter.

November 5
Review of Emmeline – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Bellevere House – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – A Real Writer’s Life
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – Resting Life
Series Spotlight – Kelsey’s Notebook

November 6
Interview with Sarah Holman – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Emmeline – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Mini-Reviews and interview with Sarah Scheele – Deborah O’Carroll
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Livy Lynn Blog
Review Suit and Suitability – Resting Life

November 7
Interview with Kelsey Bryant – J. Grace Pennington
Review of Perception – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review and Interview of Perception – Purely by Faith Reviews
Review of Second Impressions – The Page Dreamer
Series Spotlight – Finding the True Fairytale

November 8
Interview and Review Suit and Suitability – Once Upon the Ordinary
Review of Suit and Suitability – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – A Brighter Destiny

November 9
Series Spotlight – God’s Peculiar Treasure
Review of Second Impressions and Suit and Suitability – Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Father
Interview with Rebekah Jones – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Series Spotlight – Christian Bookshelf Reviews

November 10
Review of Suit and Suitability – With a Joyful Noise
Series Spotlight – Liv K. Fisher
Review of Second Impressions- Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Review of Perception – She Hearts Fiction
Interview with Sarah Holman – Rebekah Ashleigh

November 11
Series Spotlight – Reveries Reviews
Review of Suit and Suitability – Faith Blum
Interview with Sarah Holman – Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes
Interview with Hannah Scheele – Peculiar on Purpose
Review of Bellevere House – Seasons of Humility

New here and not sure what the Vintage Jane Austen Series is?

What would it be like to see Elizabeth Bennet in 1930’s clothes? What if Emma Woodhouse was the daughter of a car dealership owner? What if Marianne Dashwood was seeking to become a movie star in the golden age of film? The Vintage Jane Austen series explores the world of Jane Austen, set in 1930’s America. Five authors took on Jane Austen’s five most popular novels and retold them set in the depression era, remaining faithful to the original plots. As an extra bonus to the series, there is a collection of short stories that were inspired by Jane Austen. Which of these books do you most want to read?

Emmeline by Sarah Holman (Emma): The talk of stock market crashes and depression isn’t going to keep Emmeline Wellington down. Born to wealth and privilege, Emmeline wants nothing more than to help her new friend, Catarina, find a husband. Emmeline sets her sights on one of the town’s most eligible bachelors, but nothing seems to go right. Even her friend and neighbor Fredrick Knight seems to question her at every turn.

Suit and Suitability by Kelsey Bryant (Sense and Sensibility): Canton, Ohio, 1935. Ellen and Marion Dashiell’s world crumbles when their father is sent to prison. Forced to relocate to a small town, what is left of their family faces a new reality where survival overshadows dreams. Sensible Ellen, struggling to hold the family together, is parted from the man she’s just learning to love, while headstrong Marion fears she will never be the actress she aspires to be. When a dashing hero enters the scene, things only grow more complicated. But could a third man hold the key to the restoration and happiness of the Dashiell family?

Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele (Mansfield Park): It’s March, 1937 and Faye Powell couldn’t be happier. After moving to live with her uncle, a wealthy banker, she’s fallen into the swing of life with his exuberant children–including Ed. The one she’ll never admit she’s in love with. But she hadn’t reckoned on the swanky Carters getting mixed up in that vow. Ed seems to be falling for charming, sweet Helene Carter. And when Faye’s cousin BeBe trusts her with a secret about Horace Carter, Faye is in over her head. Will she betray the confidence BeBe’s given her? Will she lose Ed to Helene? The days at Bellevere House are crowded with surprises and only time will tell how God plans to unravel Faye and Ed’s hearts.

Perception by Emily Benedict (Persuasion): Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of America’s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that weren’t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune – and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too late…

Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones (Pride and Prejudice): Coming soon…A retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice… set in 1930s Arizona.

Second Impressions: Jane Austen’s stories have inspired writers for generations…in this collection they inspire fiction across the genres! From the English Regency to the American 1950s, in Houston or a space freighter, fairytale land or a retirement center…Austen’s timeless characters come to life again.

Thanks for stopping by!

Author Rebekah Jones – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

Author Rebekah Jones has been a bit of a hero to the Vintage Jane Austen project. Rebekah-Author-Picture-2017-200x300Another author originally signed up to pen a new spin on Pride and Prejudice, but bowed out several months later. We couldn’t have a Jane Austen series without Pride and Prejudice! Thankfully, Rebekah, who already has five books to her name, graciously stepped in and took on the project, even though she was several months behind. We are all very excited about the forthcoming Presumption and Partiality and I’m so glad she could join us here today!

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

Sarah Holman wrote me, asking if I would be interested in rewriting Pride and Prejudice in the 1930’s for the Vintage Jane Austen Collection. I wasn’t sure at first – in a lot of ways, it would be a new challenge in writing for me – but the idea struck me as being a fascinating experience and a lot of fun, so I said that I would.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

Moderate? I own all of her books and I’ve seen multiple versions of most of the novels put to film. (Even Lawrence Olivier and Greer Garson doing their Victorian Era version of Pride and Prejudice and Bollywood making the same story an Indian style musical!) I don’t obsess over Jane Austen in any way, although I’m determined to have a Regency wardrobe one of these days. I admire her literary skill, enjoy her characters (Fanny Price has always been my favorite), and enjoy pulling Biblical principles from her stories.

RebekahIs there a reason you choose Pride and Prejudice to translate into the 1930s?

Actually, I didn’t choose it. Pride and Prejudice was the only novel left in the collection that wasn’t already being written. When Sarah asked me to join the group, she specifically asked if I would write Pride and Prejudice. Honestly, it was the most perfect one for me to write! Despite Mansfield Park being my favorite, I know Pride and Prejudice backwards, forwards, and topsy-turvy, since it’s the one I’ve seen and read the most.

How well do you think Pride and Prejudice translates to the Great Depression?

Oh, it depends. Some parts translate so perfectly, that it’s fascinating. Others have to be changed and I need to get creative. The underlying characters and the motivation for their actions are, for the most part, so timeless that sometimes all I have to do is come up with a different outplay of those motives. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Jane Austen’s Regency England was affluent and even the poor shown are fairly well off, whereas my Great Depression Arizona is already suffering the ravages of poverty and suffering. 

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Lots and lots of books. I read up on Arizona in the entire decade of the 1930’s for weeks. Then, when I decided on writing in the years 1932-1933, I started looking for materials that were more specific to those years. I did some on the ground research exploring, since I chose to use real towns, instead of fictional ones. Then, I read some more, looked up as many pictures as I could find of Gilbert, Phoenix, and Scottsdale in the 1930’s, and read even more. I also read a few fiction books, trying to get a feel for dialogue, as well as pulling out some old movies. Possibly one of the more fun resources I found were the records of the Weather Bureau for the area that I was focusing on, in my exact years. Those proved fascinating and very helpful.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I think, at its core, Presumption and Partiality has remained close to the source material, but I certainly found scenes to add, as well as a surprise twist or two. The poverty of the Great Depression has influenced some of those changes, since as I said earlier, it made a huge impact on my research. Further, as my general writing motto is “Bible Centered, Modern Literature” I wanted to be able to show the Biblical motivations or answers to some of the circumstances and people in the book, which has made this an interesting journey.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Honestly? Writing the actual words has been the most challenging part of this project. Especially, writing while trying not to compare myself to Jane Austen. Writing this book has been a major challenge. A good one, but still a major challenge.

What other books do you have on the market?

I have five other books on the market. My novels: Grandmother’s Letters a treasure hunt mystery, Journeys of Four a tale of mystery and redemption, and 24 Days Before Christmas a Christmas murder mystery with each chapter being written as a day in December leading up to Christmas Day. I also have two children’s books, A Year with the Potters a collection of short stories about a homeschooling family and A Tale of the Say’s Phoebe a story of a mother bird telling her young how she learned to fly.

Thanks again, Rebekah, for joining this project and joining us today!
Please check out Rebekah’s books and blog at rebekahsquill.com.

Meet An Indie Author Cover Designer

When I went 100% independent author, I decided to design my own covers. I have Hannah_BioPhotoPhotoshop and a creative background, so it didn’t seem too daunting…albeit very time consuming. But when I got involved with the Vintage Jane Austen Project, we all agreed we needed to have an outside source handle the covers. All five books needed to feel cohesive. This series might have been authored by five different writers, but that didn’t mean we wanted five different cover styles!

We floated the idea of “Jane Austen in the 1930s” to several cover designers and asked them to give us an idea of how they would translate the concept visually. Enter, Hannah Scheele, who was head and shoulders above the other samples we received. Below are the five covers she came up with for us, which I think are perfect both for the series and the Historical Romance market. So, I decided to do a little interview with Hannah to talk about the process.

Final Jane 1930 CoverHow did you get into book cover design?

I started out designing covers for my sister’s books. Those projects were big learning experiences and I loved every minute of working on them. It was then I discovered how fun and challenging graphic design can be, and also how rewarding.

What does the process of collaborating with an author look like?

It really depends on the author. Some authors are very particular and some are more flexible. Every time, though, I find the author has a specific vision of what the cover should be like and I need to figure out how to take what they’re describing and translate it to myself so I come up with something that works. I think of it as like being a hair stylist— your job is to make everything pretty, and you have to communicate with each person as an individual. What works for one will not necessarily work for another.

Was there an inspiration behind the Vintage Jane Austen covers?Sarah S.

Not really a specific one. I just wanted to create a look that would appeal to the growing number of people who get excited about the Vintage era— romantic, but not too escapist.

Do you keep an eye on book covers currently on the market, or do you just go with what you think will suit the book best?

Every story is different, but I am influenced by book covers on the market. I feel I’m going to produce a better result if I’m open to other people’s good ideas. Never limit yourself to just your own ideas or you will stop learning and improving!

Rebekah Are you currently accepting new authors who might need a cover designer? And if so, how can the get in touch with you?

Anyone who is interested in reaching out to me can contact me at my email HannahScheele(at)gmail.com.

Thanks for hanging out with us today, Hannah!!

Kelsey  EmmalineCover_Final

 

Author Sarah Scheele – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

If you have read my blog for any length of time, this is not the first time you’ve met sscheele2-216x300author Sarah Scheele. Although we have never met in person, Sarah and I have been long time friends, with a particularly strong writing bond. She is actually the one who invited me to the Vintage Jane Austen project. A Texas native, Sarah has been a writer since childhood and has several books available. Her unique twist on Mansfield Part, now titled Bellevere House, will definitely delight Austen Fans.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

My sister Hannah created the project along with Sarah Holman, who I knew on Facebook. At that time Hannah was massively involved and when Sarah extended an invitation to me, I felt it was right to accept because this project was a big deal in our house. So, a family thing.

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

Well, my mother was probably the biggest Janeite on the planet. She didn’t dress up in Regency gowns, but otherwise it was total saturation—movies, characters, everything. I’ve been around it a long time and in a sense I hope that doesn’t show because there’s a freshness that comes with being a spontaneous fan. But in another way it goes pretty deep. When a relative asked what to get me for Christmas in my teens, my mom was quick to jump in and suggest Jane Austen, of course. So I had lots of book copies as well, and I read them—more or less.

Sarah S.Is there a reason you choose Mansfield Park to translate into the 1930s?

Three books were already assigned when I was invited to join. Besides Mansfield Park, the remaining books were Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t feel equal to Persuasion and I’ve never been interested in Pride and Prejudice. So Mansfield Park was the obvious only remaining option and I took it.

How well do you think Mansfield Park translates to the Great Depression?

Remarkably well, actually. Mansfield Park has the most dramatic separation between the haves and have-nots of any Austen novel and the Great Depression made it easy to find parallels. So the money dynamic translated really well and of course the characters are universal.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

At first I had an angle with the developing war in Europe, but after I removed that it was just a matter of double-checking the details: verifying long-distance telephone connections, researching train travel, finding the names of old glassware. I did some googling on the history of New York, which was absolutely fascinating. And I was lucky there is one kind of orange that makes in the summer, because I was able to keep the Florida orange-grove set. I was happy about that because it’s a good set, I feel, and just fun.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I did attempt a bit of cosmetic work because it’s a difficult book. Not that I’d say I really improved on a classic. I’m not that inordinate. But given the opportunity, I did change things around here and there. The long childhood areas with Fanny got cut, Mr. Rushworth got a new twist, and I will admit I threw Edmund out the window in favor of something snarkier and more modern. With appalling results, I’m sure.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Fitting into a concept created by someone else. I’m a fantasy author, so the whole idea was pretty much—I wouldn’t say out of my comfort zone. More out of my dimension altogether. It was a challenge conforming to all the little regulations of the project and getting interested in the 1930s. Communication was irregular over the years, too, and it was hard to give input because, like I said, it wasn’t my concept. But I hoped my familiarity with Jane Austen would balance all of that and I believe it did, in the end.

What other books do you have on the market?

I have a children’s science fiction novel, a historical story set in 1700s Spain, and a number of fantasy stories floating around somewhere on Amazon. They don’t have any connection to this project.

A big thanks to Sarah for joining me today, and for inviting me to this project in the first place. Visit Sarah’s website to read her blog and keep up on her work: sarahscheele.com
And don’t forget to visit VintageJaneAusten.com to learn more about all the books available in this series.

 

Author Kelsey Bryant – The Vintage Jane Austen Project

Today we have author Kelsey Bryant who took on Sense and Sensibility for the Vintage kelsey1Jane Austen Series and gave us the delightful Suite and Suitability. It’s been great getting to know Kelsey, who is probably Eleanor Dashwood’s biggest fan. In addition to the Vintage Jane Austen Project, she has written for several magazines, blogs, and has two contemporary novels on the market.

How did you get involved in the Vintage Jane Austen Project?

One day, Hannah Scheele and Sarah Holman were talking and somehow formed the scheme for the Vintage Jane Austen Project. Knowing me well, they asked if I wanted to write one of the books. I have hardly ever felt more excited to say yes!

How big of a Jane Austen fan are you?

A very big one, but not the sort who eats, sleeps, and breathes her. I haven’t made a fan website, nor can I quote from her novels very accurately. She is one of my two favorite authors, however, so although I know she’s not a perfect writer, I still feel a little defensive every time she’s criticized. I think I’ve read everything she’s written that’s been published. I own a fair collection of Austen memorabilia and I traveled on an England tour three years ago that was themed around Regency costumes. I sewed my own dress (a first) for it and participated in the Jane Austen Festival Promenade in Bath, England, and it was one of the best days of my life . . . so, yes, I suppose I am a pretty thick Janeite, aren’t I?

KelseyIs there a reason you chose Sense and Sensibility to translate into the 1930s?

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen novel, and one of my favorite novels in general. I adored the idea of writing my own version of it because I’m extremely fond of all the characters and their dynamics, especially Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and Edward Ferrars. Elinor is my favorite fictional character in all of literature.

How well do you think Sense and Sensibility translates to the Great Depression?

Very well indeed. I had no problems with it. Elinor became Ellen Dashiell, a precise, hard-working secretary; Marianne became Marion Dashiell, an aspiring singer/actress; all the other characters translated fluently as well. The Dashwoods’ money troubles fit into the Great Depression, as did the issues of class and suitable marriage partners. I was surprised and delighted with how seamlessly it could be adapted.

What kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Because I wanted a Midwestern industrial town, I settled on Canton, Ohio, and researched its status in the 1930s. My favorite book on the subject is The Secret Gift by Ted Gup, a fascinating, nostalgic true story that anyone might enjoy reading, not just those who are researching the time period. I visited Canton to do onsite research and look for answers to questions I couldn’t find from afar. I also read books about the decade in general. Then I pursued the other special areas of interest that my story possessed – Broadway, Hollywood, New York, industry, et cetera – as I began to write. Watching period movies and reading fiction of the era was certainly a fun way to get a feel for it.

Did you stick pretty closely to the source material, or did you find ways to deviate and/or add new scenes?

I deviated while keeping true to the spirit and skeleton of the original. My brain needed the stimulation of creating slight differences in the story, not just remaking the original with new hair and clothes. I left out some characters and introduced new ones that better served my version. I changed the family relationships of some of the characters: for example, Sir John Middleton and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings, became the married couple Melvin and Jennie Maddox, who were relatives of Mr. Dashiell’s in my version, not Mrs. Dashwood’s, as in the original. I also added a few twists to further change it up and make it more fun for me to write and more unexpected for readers. The biggest, perhaps, was keeping Mr. Dashiell alive but in prison instead of killing him off like Mr. Dashwood.

What did you find most challenging about this project?

Well, besides the normal frustrations of tying up all the threads and actually weaving Suit and Suitability into a cohesive, satisfying novel, I would say Marion’s character was the most challenging. Which is quite appropriate, as she is the most challenging person that her family knows, too. I wanted her to be liked by at least some readers, but I also didn’t want to diminish her personality. Writing her was a tricky balancing act. Also, some of her interests, such as the way Broadway worked in the 1930s, were rather difficult to ferret out details for accurate portrayal. But she and I made it through okay, and I love her as much as I love Ellen, even if I still don’t relate to her as well.

What other books do you have on the market? Currently, two novels targeted for homeschool girls – Family Reunion and England Adventure, books one and two of the Six Cousins series.

Thanks, Kelsey, for joining us today! Check out Kelsey’s website kelseybryanauthor.weebly.com to learn more about her writing! And for more information on the complete Vintage Jane Austen Series, visit vintagejaneausten.com.