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03 December 2009 @ 01:35 am
Why yes, said the publisher, this is the PERFECT BOOK!  
Our scene is set in a neatly appointed though by no means luxurious publishing house [*Googles*] in Illinois. Billed as The Leading Publisher of Jane Austen-Related Fiction [I am not making that up], it is filled with hard-working bibliophiles committed to nothing less than upholding the legacy of our beloved Ms Austen and warming the breasts of would-be Regency heroines the world over.

Enter our Hero, Jake, a young publisher who, though as enamoured of a good satiric romance set in Bath as the next right-thinking gentle, is worried that times are a-changing. With him is Bert, who has been in this trade many a long year.

Jake: So the Trials of the Honourable F Darcy*, it's doing well. The contemporary San Francisco setting seems to appeal to readers.

Bert: Jake, son, they're there for the soft porn.

Well, that, too.

Bert: It's like I always tell you, there's a straight-line correlation between dollar and Darcy donger.

Jake: You're right Bert. Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy* is nothing more than a shagfest, and it's walking off the shelves. Same with Loving Mr Darcy. And yet, I feel there's an untapped market ...

Bert: Literary lesbians? It's all right, Caroline and Kitty** is due out next month. Can Kitty grow up enough to captivate the superior Miss Bingley? Will Caroline's nose descend from its post in the air to a more comfortable spot between Kitty's thighs? And how can two girls hide their budding attraction when muslins without panniers leave no room to cover up an ardent lover and table skirts haven't yet been invented?

Jake: No, although that was a great idea of yours, it's ... well, it shames me to admit it, but I want nothing more than a slice of the Twilight action.

Bert: Oh son, don't we all? Sparkle equals squillions in this day and age.

[Enter Alice, an intern]

Alice: Sir? Your ten o'clock meeting is here. Amanda Grange.

Bert: Thanks, Alice. Say, Jake, why don't you sit in on this one with me? You'll like Amanda, she's a good little writer.

Jake: Sure, thanks.

[The two men move to a meeting room, introductions are made. Amanda pulls a large manuscript from her bag.]

Amanda: Thanks so much for meeting with me today, I just wanted to float my latest idea past you.

Bert: Sure Amanda, we'd love to hear it. Your Mr Darcy's Diary* is still doing well for us, whoever would have imagined that Lord Byron could have smoothed the path between Darcy and Elizabeth? Genius!

Amanda: [blushes] You're too kind. Look, I want you to know that this one's a bit different. You might not like it. It's a bit … experimental …

Run it by us, we were just saying it might be fun to go in a bit of a new direction!

Amanda: OK, well don't say I didn't warn you. [Opens manuscript folder] I call it Mr Darcy, Vampyre.

[Jake and Bert exchange looks.]

Amanda: OK, yeah, you're right, it's just silly. It was really more of a fanfiction idea that grew out of control … I should leave …

Bert: NO! No, er, no, that is to say, I'd be happy to take a look at this for you.

Jake: [Stares at Amanda]

[Stares some more]

Amanda: Are you all right?

I think I love you!

In all seriousness, it's amusing and neatly written and I made it the whole way through without wanting to strangle anyone involved in its production. The anachronism level is low and the entertainment level quite high enough. As a writer, Amanda Grange is quite thoroughly decent, but as a marketer, she is a GENIUS.

* I have not made any of these up. Clearly, all any of us need to do is out-live Jo Rowling by 75 years and we need never work again! Though that would mean I would be at least 160 by the time I could cark it, given Ms Rowling's rough life expectancy, and I do not think there is enough moisturiser in all the world to make that look good.
** OK, this one I did make up. And have an appalling urge to write.
Loyaulte Me Lie: sparkleshocolate on December 2nd, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Jane Austen-Related Fiction

*blinks audibly*

Now Lizzy and Darcy must travel across the Continent to the Pyrenees to find a way to break the curse. But Lady Catherine won t give up her undead without a fight...

I... two of my least favourite literary phenomena should cancel each other out, surely???
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
It's oddly hilarious, while being written with such enormous sincerity that it doesn't veer into the snide. While boggling the whole way through, I respected the author, if that makes any sense.
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on December 2nd, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I am tempted... I did enjoy Pride and prejudice and Zombies more than the original...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 2nd, 2009 02:54 pm (UTC)
I found this better written than P&P&Z, though my bitterness at not thinking of P&P&Z first may colour that opinion ...
This Girlthisgirl_is on December 2nd, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Have you come across Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen? If not, I thoroughly recommend acquiring a copy.

I would also like to encourage you to have a go at Caroline and Kitty. (So to speak.)
northern_rainnorthern_rain on December 2nd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Have been checking out the books mentioned here and was very amused to discover that everyone reviewing P&P: TLSS seems to be under the impression that we were meant to believe Jane Austen wrote it. Feel the need to read it though!
This Girlthisgirl_is on December 2nd, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
It's written as though someone actually found a box of papers containing scenes that Jane had written, which were edited out. It's clearly not true, but it's a fun conceit.
the source of all heresiesms_worplesdon on December 2nd, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
I had no idea this was even a thing! I'll have to check that out! And yes, you should write the lesbian one. Please.
being_herebeing_here on December 2nd, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I didn't enjoy the Vampyre book so much, but Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter rocked!
Shivshiv5468 on December 2nd, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
You are joking about that aren't you?
being_herebeing_here on December 2nd, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Which bit? I didn't think Mr D Vampyre was as good as her Mr Darcy's Diary. I'm not sure why, but it felt forced to me.

However, the Queen Victoria book was excellent.

(Also, icon love. Oh Lucius. What I wouldn't do for him and his snake headed cane)
Shivshiv5468 on December 2nd, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
That there actually a QV Demon hunter book... good lord

He is very pretty, but you shouldn't say things like that in front of him or he;ll draw up a list of things you should do.
being_herebeing_here on December 2nd, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)

It is a brilliant read! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I do wonder if his list would correlate with mine? Hum. ;)
Shivshiv5468 on December 2nd, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
No sex before you hand over the details of your bank accounts

So possibly not
being_herebeing_here on December 2nd, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Damn. The man is truly fiendish.
Bubba: Drag 2absynthedrinker on December 2nd, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
Just the thought of more "vampire" fiction has given me cramps.

marcelmoonstone on December 2nd, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
You're making this up.

I can tell right off the bat when you said.....'luxurious publishing house in.....(wait for it)....Illinois!'

There's nothing luxurious in Illinois.
Heather: S&S - Lonelyfaynia on December 2nd, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
Why doesn't 'Caroline and Kitty' exist yet? We're clearly being stiffed a good read here!
Shivshiv5468 on December 2nd, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
I liked PP&Z better because it was more imaginative use of two worlds clashing. This was just... slightly dull.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 7th, 2009 03:47 pm (UTC)
P&P&Z had so many anachronisms, and fell apart far more towards the end. This never reached the heights of jeu that P&P&Z managed, but was more satisfying as a novel, to my mind.
shadowclubshadowclub on December 2nd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
... I am tempted. This might have to do on my to read list though I do so dislike Twilight!
she had the face of an angel & the body of a devil: [twilight] sick of twilightnuclearsugars on December 3rd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
HEE, I saw that at my university's bookstore the other day and I had to resist its siren song. I couldn't justify spending that much $$ on Jane Austen fanfiction. That's why there are libraries! :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 7th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, and if you ask, your local library will find it hilarious enough to order it in for you, so everyone benefits!
( ̄ー ̄)☆☆ ジュンジュワ!: face smashunder_an_oak on December 7th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
....this....this is real?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 7th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
YES IT IS! Well, Mr Darcy, Vampyre is at any rate ;-) Caroline and Kitty is still a figment of my fevered imagination.
( ̄ー ̄)☆☆ ジュンジュワ!under_an_oak on December 7th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
I thought we were safe, once the whole Twilight...thing, was over and done with. Sobs.

Are you still in the UK? Make sure to visit Avebury~since Stonehenge has been fenced, it's the next best thing :D I remember being very fascinated with the sheep...(no, we don't have sheep here, alas)