My Journey to JAFF: Welcome Guest Author, Georgina Young-Ellis

My Journey to JAFF: Welcome Guest Author, Georgina Young-Ellis

My Journey to JAFF

By Georgina Young-Ellis

imgresWe all have our own moment, the one in which we said to ourselves, “I’m hooked.” Like many other Jane Austen fans, I can safely say it was the moment I read the first sentence of Pride and Prejudice. For others, it may have been a different instance altogether, or it might have taken longer for the journey. There are plenty of people, however, who look at me oddly when I profess to being a Jane Austen fanatic, responding with: “I read Pride and Prejudice in school but I don’t remember it.” I often just stare blankly back at these people until I remember to say something polite in return, because, what I’m really thinking is: Don’t remember it? How could you not remember something that has such an impact on so many? And why did it not have an impact on you? What is wrong with you? I feel sorry for these people because mayhap they simply had a bad English teacher that caused such a masterpiece to fade to the back of their memories.

The fact is, I started reading Austen in my early twenties, which was, I hate to admit, quite a long time ago, when, in America at least, it seemed Austen fanatics were a clandestine group who stumbled upon each other by accident, joyously sharing their insights on Austen’s work, and then creeping back into the shadows again. We possessed only very dated movie versions of Jane’s books, and no internet with which to share our rabid love.

When the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice miniseries was released, everything seemed to change. It was followed in quick succession by Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, Roger Michell’s Persuasion, Clueless—a darling retelling of Emma; Emma itself with Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the TV miniseries of Emma with Kate Beckinsale, and Mansfield Park with Francis O’Conner. I think those who didn’t consider themselves Jane Austen fans before had their heads turned with these great film portrayals and, perhaps, the films made people go back and read the books. Then Bridget Jones’ Diary stormed the scene and suddenly, women were fangirl-ing their heads off about Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t even know fan fiction existed before Bridget Jones, but now I realize that book was my first foray into it. And I liked it, but I was still unaware that there was an underground movement of JAFF authors growing already.

Now that I am ensconced in the reading and writing of JAFF, I actually have something to confess. I kind of miss the time when it was a rare surprise to come across a kindred spirit with whom I could hungrily discuss Jane Austen: the merits of Persuasion as opposed to Mansfield Park for example, or Northanger Abbey versus Sense and Sensibility. These discussions were about more than which hero was hotter: Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, or Captain Wentworth or which villain was more dastardly: Wickham or Willoughby. They were serious conversations of the plots, the characters, and the prose. I’ll never forget when I told a staunch Jane scholar my favorite of Austen’s novels was Northanger Abbey, and her telling me how “immature” a choice that was. Though I disagreed with her, it made me go back and read, and reread again, all the novels, eventually admitting that Pride and Prejudice was probably the most well composed, though I still maintain that Northanger Abbey is the most amusing. My favorite now though is Persuasion, which, to me, is the most heart-wrenching, while also so satisfyingly romantic.

Do I wish the Austen fervor would die down? Of course not. It’s thrilling to see how many readers around the world have embraced “my” Jane. And certainly, she has been one of the most revered, if not always as popular, writers in the English language for a couple of centuries now. So, no, I don’t begrudge the world its love of Austen, I just miss the days when I could consider her, more or less, my own. Anyway, read on, JAFF lovers! I’ve willingly joined your ranks! Just remember to go back to her sometimes, and revel in those original words, written by the mistress herself, that started the whole thing.

31wo7zkaeyl-_ux250_Interested in Knowing More of Georgina…

Author Bio: Georgina Young-Ellis lives in Portland, Oregon, a magical place full of inspiration for a writer. She has a rock star son, and a wonderful husband who is her own personal cheering section. Georgina writes romantic, time travel fiction, and has four books available in my Time Mistress Series: The Time Baroness, which takes place in Regency England; The Time Heiress, a journey to pre-Civil War New York City; The Time Contessa, set in Renaissance Italy; and The Time Duchess, an adventure to Elizabethan England. She also has the Elizabeth, Darcy and Me Series, which includes Elizabeth, Darcy & Me and the upcoming Elizabeth, Darcy & Me: The Quarrel. 

51yuqgfvjl-_uy250_Social Media Links:

Website, featuring the Time Mistress Series and the Elizabeth, Darcy & Me Series 

Blog: Nerd Girl Romantics

Facebook           Amazon Author Page         Twitter

19 Responses to My Journey to JAFF: Welcome Guest Author, Georgina Young-Ellis

  1. What a wonderful post. I must admit, I still get strange looks when I am in group and they are discussing the latest and greatest, #1 NY Best, most recent print edition and they turn and ask what I am reading. When I respond, that I am having my annual read of P&P or any of the other JA books, I get THE look. It is that look that conveys the question ‘what is wrong with you?’

    I then happened upon the AuAu website and thought I had died and gone to Heaven. There were people who actually related to my obsession to read P&P every year, applauded and even cheered my efforts. I found authors who love Austen and write JAFF that continues my quest for more…yeah, life is good.

  2. Lovely post. I can relate on the shift from Jane Austen lovers seeming to be a rare encounter to the current state of “Everybody loves Jane.” I have found in my own personal interactions that many of those who profess to be on the Austen bandwagon are superficial fans. That’s okay, but when I sit down to have an Austen conversation with them, they don’t “get” me, and I, likewise, don’t “get” them. On the other hand, when I meet up with a person who has delved into Austen, reveled in Austen and pondered and digested her writings, I discover in them a “kindred spirit” (borrowing a phrase from Anne Shirley). Janeites are “my people.” I am a lover of lovers of Jane.

    • I hear you, Diana. I guess I just want everyone to really appreciate Jane’s work for all it is. Fortunately, it seems that the authors here are true Janeites, and really know their stuff. I’m kind of in awe of them 🙂

  3. I just changed my user name on word press to Georgina Young-Ellis. The other one was possibly confusing, but just in case there was any doubt, Kapstudent is me!

  4. Georgina, I am tickled to welcome you to Austen Authors. JAFF is the perfect place for you to share your many talents. I have been a big fan of your Romantic Time Travel books and love Elizabeth, Darcy, & Me. I look forward to many more Jane Austen variations with your special attention to detail.

    • Thank you, Barbara! I could well ditto your praise of my writing with words about your own. It’s very gratifying to be amongst authors I admire so much, such as yourself 🙂

  5. Howdy Georgina! So lovely to welcome you to Austen Authors as our Spotlight Guest JAFF Author!!

    Indeed there are many of us Austen fanatics now, and we come in so many shapes and sizes, as it were. I am one of those who never read Austen in high school. No fault of my literature teacher but rather that my focus was on sciences and mathematics, and that as a reader I preferred Sci-Fi and Fantasy genres. My love for Austen came about much much later, and as a result of the 2005 P&P movie. I can’t relate to a time when discussion of Austen didn’t heavily involve the cinematic adaptations, and I’m sure it was a very different world. Of course, on the flip side, we lovers of Austen are no longer in the shadows or met with blank stares. LOL!

    Thanks for a wonderfully thought-provoking post, Georgina. And thank you for joining us here on Austen Authors. I have a sneaking suspicious we will be seeing a LOT more of you on these pages in the future. 🙂

  6. Welcome to JAFF! It’s really a special community of people. I absolutely agree about going back to Austen’s own words. Every time I do, I am amazed at her talents, intelligence and courage.

    Thanks for sharing your post with us!

  7. I’ve read your novel The Time Baroness and loved it. Didn’t realise you had more. Oh joy!!! Something new for me. I LOVE history and time travel combined.

    • HI Teresa, so thrilled to hear you are a fan of time travel too! Yes, The Time Baroness was born of my need to express my love of Jane and my desire to actually live, albeit for a limited time, in that world. Once I started that series, I just couldn’t stop sending Cassandra to different times and places 🙂 I’m having fun with the JAFF now too. There are so many possibilities!

Your thoughts are precious!