Marilyn Brant has been told she writes with honesty, liveliness and wit (descriptors she’s grown terribly fond of) about complex, intelligent women — like her friends — and their significant personal relationships. Although her favorite pursuits undoubtedly involve books, she proves she’s not just a literary snob by confessing her lifelong fascination (read: obsession) with popular music, especially from the ’70s & ’80s, most flavors of ice cream and a variety of sensuous body lotions/oils.
As a former teacher, library staff member, freelance magazine writer and national book reviewer, Marilyn has spent much of her life lost in literature. She’s been told — and not always with the intent to flatter — that she’s “insatiably curious” and “a travel addict.” She admits to combining these two passions by taking classes in foreign countries whenever possible and, consequently, she’s been able to learn lots of fascinating things in Australia, in England, in Italy and in universities across the United States. She received her M.A. in educational psychology from Loyola University Chicago, dabbled in both fiction and art at Northwestern University, studied the works of Austen at Oxford University and is an active member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Her debut novel featuring “Jane” won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award.
Marilyn has traveled to 46 states and over 30 countries (so far — she’s not done yet!), but she now lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family. When she isn’t rereading Jane’s books or enjoying the latest releases by her writer friends, she’s working on her next novel, eating chocolate indiscriminately and hiding from the laundry.
Marilyn’s Novels ~
According to Jane
In Marilyn Brant’s smart, wildly inventive debut, one woman in search of herself receives advice from the ultimate expert in matters of the heart…
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett’s teacher is assigning Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. From nowhere comes a quiet “tsk” of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who’s teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author’s ghost has taken up residence in Ellie’s mind, and seems determined to stay there.
Jane’s wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the trauma of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go, but Jane’s counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham.
Still, everyone has something to learn about love–perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie’s head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond all she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending…