May 282018
 

Hello readers! Today I’m so excited to welcome two contributing authors of the recently published Austenistan anthology to Austenesque Reviews!!! For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Austenistan is a collection of short stories written by various members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan (JASP) and edited by Laaleen Sukhera! The collection consists of seven stories inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan. I don’t know about you, friends, but I think this sounds terrific and wonderfully unique! 🙂 I’m so thrilled to have contributing writer and editor, Laaleen Sukhera, and contributing writer, Saniyya Gauhar, stop by for a little tête-à-tête.

Welcome, ladies! How about we begin by talking about Jane Austen! When and where did you first discover Jane Austen? Did you fall in love with her novels right away?

Laaleen: I did, yes. I grew up surrounded by books and had an early affinity for classics. My English aunt gave me my first set of Austens on my twelfth birthday and the very first one I read was Pride and Prejudice. I remember being fixated by the banter between Lizzie, Darcy and Caroline Bingley at that scene at Netherfield—I didn’t actually find Darcy crush-worthy until Colin Firth later portrayed him. Other first impressions of her novels: getting amused by Sir Walter Elliot keenly reading Debrett’s Peerage, relating to Catherine Morland, finding Anne Elliot a little sad, comparing Fanny Price to Jane Eyre, and preferring Willoughby’s glamour to Colonel Brandon’s decency. But of course, I was a child myself then.

Saniyya: I first discovered Jane Austen when I was twelve years old – Pride & Prejudice was required reading for our class and I started reading it very reluctantly because I never enjoyed books that school made us read! However, I found myself reading beyond the chapters that the teacher set and I still remember how Darcy’s first proposal took me by complete surprise- I really wasn’t expecting it and my reaction was to put the book down, smile and go “Wow!” Continue reading »

May 182018
 

Hi friends! I’m so excited to welcome back author Sara Marks to Austenesque Reviews!  Last year, Sara was here celebrating her first release, A Modern Persuasion, which we greatly enjoyed! We are so glad Sara has a new book releasing this month – Phi Alpha Pi!  Which is a modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice set in the world of sororities and fraternities!  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

While writing Phi Alpha Pi, I got to chapters that needed to happen off campus.  If Lizbeth was to interact with Wil in his world and comfort zone, I needed to explore their biological families.  His family was easy.  The original Georgiana had a greater role to play in their relationship and Ginny easily fell into that role.  I wanted to show readers that Wil might feel he’s responsible for taking care of Ginny, she also thinks she needs to take care of him. Then there was the question about the people in Lizbeth’s family. Her parents, Layla and Jack, can be considered updates of Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner.  They are grounded and easy going compared to the other more experienced adults around Lizbeth and Wil. I had no original characters to transition into Lizbeth’s siblings.  It allowed me to have fun with Josh, who is similar and also very different from his father and grandfather and Becca, who imagines herself to be preparing for world domination.

Continue reading »

Apr 272018
 

Hello dear readers, today Austenesque Reviews is paid a visit from a lovely new author, Leigh Dreyer, who just published (today!) her debut novel, The Best Laid Flight Plans – a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice! I’m so excited for this story as it combines Jane Austen with the US Air Force. 😉   Leigh has thoughtfully prepared a little Q&A to share with you today, which I hope you enjoy reading!  I hope you enjoy learning more about Leigh, her writing, and her debut release, The Best Laid Flight Plans!

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I work as a speech pathologist, currently in the Las Vegas area. I work both in person and doing teletherapy (which I absolutely love) from my home. I write while my kids take naps and during teletherapy breaks. I also have just been the lead in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. I have an incredible husband who is a pilot in the Air Force and two amazing kids. My son is three and my daughter is eighteen months. Both my husband and I are Air Force brats, both children of pilots which makes for fun family get togethers.

2. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Elizabeth Bennet and “Fitz” William Darcy are well known to any regular JAFF readers, but in my novel it was fun to see them in the military, a culture with which I’m so familiar. When I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, I’ve often wondered what amazing things Elizabeth would do in a time where women could go and do anything a man could, and I loved seeing her go out and reach for her dreams. Continue reading »