Social networking for romance readers
Hello everyone. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a bloke. But Kate Allan said you wouldn’t mind if I dropped in here. So you know who to blame if it all goes horribly wrong.
The next thing I should say is that I’m not really a writer of romantic fiction, or indeed (generally speaking) a reader of same. At this point, then, you may quite legitimately be wondering what on earth I’m doing here. Let me tell you.
I’m here because I want to tell you about a book I’ve written called “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens”. Yes, it’s a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” with added aliens. Now this is the point at which, given that as a member of the Festival of Romance you are almost certainly a paid up Jane Austen fan, you may be looking around for something to throw at me. Probably something with at least one sharp edge, in fact. But stay your hand for just one moment, though…
My book is an honest attempt to provide you with a sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” that remains true to the spirit of the classic source whilst offering an entirely original yet credible development trajectory for Miss Austen’s much-loved characters. Yes, Charlotte Collins is now a laudanum addict, but frankly who can blame the poor girl? George Wickham is finally revealed in his true colours as a heroic undercover alien-hunting agent for the Department for Unusual Affairs. And we haven’t mentioned Lady Catherine de Bourgh at all.
I have also taken the opportunity to introduce a much-needed dose of the real world into Miss Austen’s core mythos. Lord Byron makes a long-overdue appearance, as does Sir Humphry Davy (an early proponent of steampunk, by the way) and indeed Miss Austen herself. I would not be surprised if her biographers are sent scurrying back to their desks after this in a race to produce the new definitive version of her life.
There are also aliens. And ghosts. And lots of tentacles. And Colin the pigeon.
In case this is all too much for you, let me reassure you that there are many readers out there who have perused the book already and found it to be not unamusing. Indeed, Miss Allan herself is one of them, so that’s another thing you can blame her for.
If the above has whetted your appetite, there’s a website all about it here. I’d especially advise you to take a look at the Wickhampedia, although you may find some of the contents more than a little alarming. The book itself is currently on promotion in WHSmith in the UK, as well as most branches of Waterstone’s. It’s also available in all the usual online places, including the Jane Austen Centre Online Giftshop, where you can purchase copies signed with my trademark Tentacle Signature™. Go on, you know you want to.
Oh, and before I go, here's a trailer:
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