Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Spotlight: A Jane Austen Daydream by Scott D. Southard


Now with a new foreword and an updated cover showcasing Jane's own handwriting, this re-imagining of Jane's life continues to charm and delight readers of literary fiction worldwide.

All her heroines find love in the end–but is there love waiting for Jane?

Jane Austen spends her days writing and matchmaking in the small countryside village of Steventon, until a ball at Godmersham Park propels her into a new world where she yearns for a romance of her own. But whether her heart will settle on a young lawyer, a clever Reverend, a wealthy childhood friend, or a mysterious stranger is anyone’s guess.

Written in the style of Jane herself, this novel ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years–did she ever find love? Weaving fact with fiction, it re-imagines her life, using her own stories to fill in the gaps left by history and showing that all of us–to a greater or lesser degree–are head over heels for Jane.

Scott’s thoughts on Jane Austen’s Father:

George Austen was born in 1731. He met his wife Cassandra at Oxford. They would go on to have six sons and two daughters; the youngest, they named Jane.

If A Jane Austen Daydream was a typical historical fiction, I would point to research and letters to find Jane Austen’s father. I would paint his characters with his sermons, lessons, and what he wrote to his children, basically anything that I could find… but A Jane Austen Daydream is not a normal historical fiction.

For in A Jane Austen Daydream, like with the other characters in my novel, I created George in the spirt of the fathers we see in her works. He is as loving and supportive as Mr. Bennet (enjoying Jane’s spirit and intelligence), and he is as whimsical as Mr. Woodhouse in Emma (even though the Austens never had the wealth of Emma’s family).

We do know that Jane’s father did encourage her education and her reading. We also know, thanks to the sometime questionable autobiography by Austen’s nephew (James Edward Austen-Leigh), that George tried to help Austen get her novel Pride and Prejudice published.

Jane did love her father and mourned him in letters after his passing. She also was, in many ways, mourning a life she had known in his household. For life would change for Jane with his passing; making her, her mother, and sister more of a financial burden on the sons of the household.

Sadly, when one researches Jane’s life it can be depressing. That was one of the inspirations behind A Jane Austen Daydream. I wanted to “retell” her life as one of her novels, filed with characters and situations one might imagine in her books. And then there are the new (and very surprising) twists as well, making it in many ways very different from a historical fiction. I would consider it something between an experimental literary fiction and regency fiction. And I am excited to see new readers discover it in this new fifth year anniversary edition.

Fictional (and in reality), it’s nice to know that Jane’s father recognized the gift to the world that was his daughter. I hope you enjoy A Jane Austen Daydream.

About the Author: 

Scott D. Southard, the author of A Jane Austen Daydream, swears he is not obsessed with Jane Austen. He is also the author of the novels: My Problem with Doors, Megan, Permanent Spring Showers, Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare, and 3 Days in Rome. With his eclectic writing he has found his way into radio, being the creator of the radio comedy series The Dante Experience. The production was honored with the Golden Headset Award for Best MultiCast Audio and the Silver Ogle Award for Best Fantasy Audio Production. Scott received his Master's in writing from the University of Southern California. Scott can be found on the internet via his writing blog "The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard" where he writes on far-ranging topics like writing, art, books, TV, writing, parenting, life, movies, and writing. He even shares original fiction on the site. Currently, Scott resides in Michigan with his very understanding wife, his two patient children, and a very opinionated dog named Bronte. 

Author Links: Amazon US   Audible   Author Website

Highlighted Reviews:

"For those of you who are exhausted by the innumerable retellings of Austen's novels, this is a style entirely new.... be rewarded by a quick paced novel unlike any you can ever have read, which injects new ideas and possibilities into the world of Jane Austen." -Laura Boyle, The Jane Austen Centre

"Mix one-part biography and one-part historical re-imagining...add witty characters and some surprises and you have A Jane Austen Daydream. This was a delightful read." - Amelia Rodriguez, Jane Austen Society of North America 

"...Lovely, thought-provoking novel. Fans of Austen will adore this book." - Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

"Southard has taken the facts about the great author and woven them into a credible, touching, and also entertaining portrait of a life." -Historical Novel Society

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 23rd
Book Spotlight-The Writing Desk

April 24th
Book Review – Kate Braithwaite
Book Spotlight – before the second sleep

April 25th

Book Spotlight – Let Them Read Books
Book Spotlight – Just One More Chapter
April 26th

Book Spotlight – Locks, Hooks and Books
Book Review – Pursuing Stacie  

April 27th
Author Interview -Layered Pages

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