The Austen Bubble

The Austen Bubble

 

 

business failure

I’ve recently heard that apparently some in the Austen-related industry believe we are currently seeing a renewed interest in all things Austen due to the 200 year anniversaries of her six major novels, beginning in 2011. The fear, I suppose they would call it, is that Austen is just a passing fancy and not only are readers not in it for the long haul but that writers are quickly jumping on board to make a quick buck.

I have to admit, I scratch my head at this concern. 1995 saw Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, the now-iconic BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice, a feature film of Persuasion and Clueless- a modern adaptation of Emma. 1996 saw TWO adaptations of Emma. 1998 gave us a feature film on Mansfield Park. 2001 brought Pride and Prejudice to the modern setting with Bridget Jones’ Diary, and its sequel in 2004. P&P even mixed in Bollywood in 2004 with Bride & Prejudice! 2005 brought P&P to the box office with a much Award-nominated film. 2007 blew the limit with TV movies of Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and feature films of The Jane Austen Book Club and Becoming Jane. 2008 mixed more fan stories with originals with a TV movie of Sense and Sensibility and Miss Austen Regrets and a mini-series of Lost in Austen. Emma became a BBC mini-series in 2009. The ultra-modern vlog Lizzie Bennet Diaries arrived in 2012 followed by Emma Approved in 2013. Austenland and Death Comes to Pemberley also aired in 2013. So far for 2016, we have had Unleashing Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (releasing nationwide in the US tomorrow, 2-5-16) and Love and Friendship based on Lady Susan is to release in May.

And that’s only some of the film adaptations.

Now, let’s talk books. This is not remotely comprehensive. Off the top of my head, Linda Berdoll published her first variation in 1999. Elizabeth Aston (may she rest in peace) was recommended to me by my favorite English professor as I craved P&P sequels and was readily available in bookstores circa 2005 (earliest publication date I found was 2003, but I’m going from memory of my conversation with the professor). A quick scan of Amazon reveals well-loved authors that still publish often began in 2007 and 2008- but from what I understand, they wrote for years before then.

So, when exactly since 1995 has Austen not been “in fashion?” I don’t see it. I do see an increase in writers–specifically independent publishers– even since I began writing in 2013. But that’s a GOOD thing. Every JAFF fan I’ve talked to has the same story: they liked Austen well enough, maybe even loved her. They were hesitant to try fan fiction. Then they got hooked and went on a shopping spree and inhaled every single book they could get their hands on.

Then what?

Are all the readers who first picked up Linda Berdoll’s first book in 1999 and enjoyed it still JAFF fans? Probably not. Becuase they didn’t have something to sustain their interest.

I found JAFF in February of 2013. I had terrible insomnia and couldn’t sleep. Between then and when my daughter was born at the end of May I read almost 200 books. That’s with two toddlers running around (I had one and babysat one). As soon as I finished one I was buying another. I would see several that interested me, and I’d buy them all. If I read one by an author and liked them well enough, I’d buy all the rest. Having the baby didn’t really slow down my reading (her learning to crawl slowed it down).

Then, something happened. I ran out of things to read.

I even read the 99 cent stories that you can see in the sample are poorly edited with glaring grammatical errors but seemed to have intriguing story lines that were more adventurous than their more well-loved brethren. If it had Darcy and Elizabeth involved and wasn’t kinky, I read it. But still, one day, I ran out of options. And that was after there was six years worth of several authors producing a book or two a year, AND after I found the free forums. That’s when I listened to the Darcy and Elizabeth in my head and decided to try my hand at writing.

Not everyone cares to write, though. I had toyed with writing several times in college. It was always kind of on the outside of career options for me. Some are readers through and through, and writing a JAFF tale isn’t an option. Do I want that reader to venture off into another genre? No! Who knows when they will come back to try another JAFF!

So, I open my arms to all the new writers. To all the ones that publish quickly. To the ones that don’t sit on their stories for a year, convinced they’re writing something as renowned as Austen herself because I’ve got news for you: the fans have to read something tomorrow too. I love the writers who “cop out” and write novellas and short stories, because I do want to read something in one sitting still, but these days I don’t have a full day for reading like I did when my kids were mostly immobile.

I love the flavor and variety that has come to the JAFF world in the last few years as well. Here’s a list of independent authors that debuted post-2013 that I can think of off the top of my head.

In the mood for a hunky fireman? Cat T. Gardiner’s done it!

Do you want a story where Darcy truly saves Lydia from Wickham’s perfidy? Check out Sketching Character by Pamela Lynne.

Imagine Lizzy as a little girl acquainted with the Fitzwilliam family and outsmarting a viscount. That’s Oxford Cottage by Leenie Brown.

What if Georgiana came to Netherfield and became best friends with Elizabeth? See The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams.

What if Mr. Gardiner was good friends with Mr. Darcy senior and a younger Elizabeth is in need of protection and a husband? Go read I Promise Too by Zoe Burton and be sure to follow up with the novel-length sequel: Promises Kept.

Can you imagine Darcy married to someone other than Elizabeth, but against his will? Or Elizabeth married but reported dead? Do you need more drama in your life? Thank you, Brenda Webb.

What would happen if Elizabeth never heard Darcy’s insult, as Diana J. Oaks imagines in One Thread Pulled?

Can a forced marriage without love gradually lead to it? That’s what Jeanna Ellsworth considers in Mr. Darcy’s Promise.

What happens if Georgiana marries Wickham? Race for Elizabeth Ann West’s Moralities of Marriage series.

Do you need a contemporary mystery? Penelope Swan might interest you.

Or how about contemporary comedy? Barbara Silkstone brings the laughs.

Interested in a paranormal twist? See April Floyd, Jemma Thorne, Jane Grix and Isobel Quinn (shameless plug).

In short, as any book lover knows, more books are always a great thing.

So, my job as a writer is to not only keep writing as fast as I can for you but it’s to support the many others who write in this awesome, if addicting, genre.

But there’s something you can do for us so we can serve you. Leave a review so we’re encouraged to continue, lest us insecure writers get the impression we’re not here for long.

And leave your thoughts on this so-called Austen bubble. I’ve been an Austen fan since my first exposure to her, and I think more and more people are coming to Austen that way as she is now a mainstay in American secondary schools and seems to be gaining recognition globally as well.

37 Responses to The Austen Bubble

  1. Rose, I totally agree with you. I’d argue that the 200th anniversaries and the adaptations had little influence on the publication of Austenesque novels.

    Now, when I first started to write this comment, I was going to give my gut instinct regarding any chance that this so-called “bubble” would burst any time soon—and that’s still the final paragraph. But when I checked to find out the date of the first JAFF, I noticed how many novels came out immediately following the 1995 adaptation, and to use your word, was gobsmacked! You know how I like to go down the rabbit hole!

    The oldest JAFF on Meredith’s list at Austenesque is from 1914. It’s fairly well documented that P&P ’95 was a big influence on the proliferation of unpublished JAFF. Several web sites started for that purpose, and at one time, there were a good dozen multiple-author forum sites. But it wasn’t easy to get it published back then.

    Between 1995 and 2005, the total number of JAFF books published was less than in a month today, which according to Meredith is around 30. That’s in 10 years! They were mostly paper, as the attitude towards e-books was “Why pay when you can read on your computer for free?” Vanity publishers like Lulu charged around $60-$100 to convert and host your e-book. E-readers hit the market in 2007, but didn’t become popular immediately.

    In each of 2008 and 2009, the number of books published was similar to that published in a month today. Smashwords published a few JAFF novels each year, and starting in 2009, so did Meryton Press. The odd book was published by various other publishers, just as they are today. The number published slowly increased so in 2012, 62 books were published.

    The biggest boost to published JAFF came when Kindle changed its input format for self-publishing. In 2011, Rafe Carlson had to program “An Unpleasant Walk” into MOBI to publish as an e-book on Amazon in September. By the same time in 2012, I could put my MS Word document of “Alias Thomas Bennet,” complete with interactive TOC, directly into Kindle and have it pop out an e-book. In 2013, the number of JAFF books published nearly tripled from the previous year. When I scan Amazon, it appears like most JAFF novels are self-published.

    Now for my original point—is this about to end any time soon? From reading blogs of romance authors talking about how to set their price points, I discovered that a JAFF novel is a cash cow. An unknown JAFF author can sell more copies of their first JAFF novel in the first month, with no marketing, than most self-published romance writers sell in a year. JAFF novel sales are no longer the best-kept secret held by a handful of authors, but by no means will the market be saturated any time soon!

    Thanks for the most interesting post, and all the research that you put into the lists of adaptations, the selection of example novels, and everything else!

  2. I am one of those readers through and through. I have no desire to write, once I finish school I hope to never write anything longer than a letter ever again. LOL I agree with a lot of your points. I love them all. Long ones, shorts ones, fluffy ones, painful ones, new ones, old ones…I’m an equal opportunity reader. 😉 It’s all Sharon’s fault too. I fell in love with Austen when I was about 12 so a lonnnggg time ago and just reread her writings ever so often, not knowing that “fan fiction” (much less JANE AUSTEN fan fiction) even existed until I came across the first of the Darcy Saga smiling at me from a Borders book shelf.

    I will buy just about any JAFF I come across, with the exception of those that have, as you so adroitly put it, kinky avenues I do not wish to traverse. I remember picking up a book in Borders and reading the first page and being so completely mortified. Right off the bat it went places I refuse to take Darcy thank you very much. LOL I think in my years of JAFF, I’ve only stopped reading or completely trashed a couple of books and those were because they either made me angry or were so far out there I couldn’t finish it. The poorly written ones don’t bother me. English is not everyone’s first language and not everyone has as editor (or a beta). I just love Jane’s characters and if all of the JAFF became passe tomorrow, I’d have a few hundred books to reread regularly and keep me going.

    So thank you, every single one of you lovelies that write stories. The novellas and short stories keep me going between assignments and those long, involved, get me lost for hours books are a delicacy I crave. Keep writing all of you and I’ll keep snapping them up. Jane’s been going strong for 200 years, I don’t see her stopping anytime soon!

    • Yes, it’s all Sharon’s fault for me too! We all have different tastes and that’s great. My tastes are ever evolving and changing, even if I do resist trying certain things. Although, I confess I have some favorites that I’m just likely to revisit as I am to buy something new. Thanks for supporting us authors!

  3. Thanks for a great post Rose. I am a late comer. I first discovered the wonderful world of JAFF in 2014 when I found a Sharon Lathan book in my book club magazine. I loved it and at the back was an advert for Linda Berdoll so I went on Amazon and it snowballed from there. I have a large number of books then I got a kindle so the numbers are growing. I have a huge wish list waiting for that lottery win. As fast as I manage to buy one I add another 2 or 3 (or more!) I don’t think I will ever tire of reading about Darcy and Elizabeth so to you and all the other JAFF authors I say please keep up the excellent work and thank you ??

  4. Rose, thanks for sharing these authors and novels with our readers! There are so many worthy writers of JAFF out there, and many books available within the genre. The shear volume of novels, long or short or anything in between, is truly staggering. Frankly I can’t fathom ever reading ALL of them to the point of having nothing new to read! But if that happens and if seriously at a loss for something new, do as I do with my favorite books: start re-reading! Simple mathematics and biology of brain cell recall means some of the several hundred JAFF stories will be forgotten, thus as if a new read. LOL!

    As for the rest of your enlightening blog post, there are a few interesting aspects I would like to address—-

    Point 1) There is nothing “new” or “renewed” about the Austen interest. Sure, a new theatrical release will bring Austen to the forefront of attention (which is a good thing) and inspire a surge. But none of these movies would BE made if not for the already high-popularity of Austen.

    Point 2) “Passing fancies” or “fads” don’t last as long as the interest in Austen has. Will they still be making movies or writing JAFF 100 years from now? Or even in 50? Who knows! And we will all probably be dead by then, so who cares? LOL! For the present Austen is hot, has been hot for a long while now, and those of us who love her are enjoying the ride. ‘Nuff said!

    Point 3) Is there an actual increase in JAFF writers or just that they now have a way to be published (thanks independent publishing!), and thus are more visible? I don’t honestly know. In the “old days” when posting on forums was the only way to share JAFF, the entries were plentiful. More than I could keep up with, and I devoured all of it before starting to write my saga. Some were fortunate to find a traditional publisher, or take the early forays into self-publishing. But the vast majority were content to stay on the forums. Many still post on forums, others lost interest in writing JAFF or moved on to other genres. Whatever the numbers then compared to now, none can deny there are new authors coming into the genre, adding to the overall total, meaning it is a HUGE number of JAFF writers! Proof right there against this being a passing fad.

    Point 4) Readers come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak. Thankfully books also come in all shapes and sizes. How a writer approaches his/her craft should never be criticized. Some write swiftly, some write slowly. Some prefer to write dense, long, detailed stories, some are skilled at the rapid paced, tight plotted novella, and some can do both. Some stay within the Regency Era, some like the challenge of modernizing. Etc., etc. All shapes and sizes. As has been said multiple times, if all books were written following the same rules and formats there would be maybe 10 books in the world.

    Point 5) Writing a short story or serial is not now and never has been “copping out.” Tell that to Charles Dickens or JRR Tolkien, just to name two! However, on the flip side of that coin, neither is writing a long novel over a length of time an attempt to be the next Tolstoy or Austen, or to win a Pulitzer. Sometimes it is simply real life that dictates how long it takes to finish a book. Other times it is the subject matter. Usually it is a conscious choice on the author’s part. Personally, I love huge tomes! None of my favorite novels are less than 400 pages long. Does that mean I think my big books are as good as Gone With the Wind or Shogun or The Stand? Good heavens no! But those are the books I like to read best, so that is what I like to write, and that takes time. Period. Bottomline, IMO, is stop the comparisons or moronic debates over one storytelling format over any other.

    Thanks again, Rose, for an interesting topic. And to all those who write JAFF: Carry on!

    “If you write it…. They will come.” 😉

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! My usual point about novellas and short stories is “I didn’t invent them, they’re a legitimate style of story telling.” Growing up Little Women was my favorite book and I read the whole series. A Christmas Carol is another favorite and something I think quite profound even as a novella. Some confuse the desire for wanting more with the author leaving things undone and that’s not true. I think the biggest trick to writing novels is to not make it feel as long as it is. I’ve read yours several times and was surprised to see you say they were over 400 pages! I never would have guessed. Thanks for writing books that I want to fall inside of and never come out!

  5. Passing fad GAH!!!! I found Austen when the first 5 hour mini series came out and have been devouring and re reading everyone since including her families writings and her letters. I then discovered JAFF in 2012 I purchase a few books every month and am friends with some of the authors on facebook. I crave these stories and read constantly. A fad I don’t think so 🙂

  6. Thanks for the shout out! And I agree, Austen is not a passing fad. I mean come on, people are still reading and talking about Dickens. There are plays and shows done pretty much every year and even winter FESTIVALS where everyone dresses up in that era’s clothing. If Charles Dickens can stick around, so can Austen. 🙂

  7. My story is similar — I saw the 1995 P&P version on PBS in early 2008. Immediately bought the book, bought the movie, bought the rest of JA. My first purchase in this genre was also “An Assembly Such as This”. I read and re-read P&P before I finally moved to JAFF sequels in 2011. I, too, swore I would not buy an eReader. I LOVE the smell and feel of a book. But, I finally broke down in March 2013 and bought a Kindle. I don’t think I have read anything but JAFF what-ifs for the last two years. And I swore I wouldn’t do THAT either. I had a “what-if” scene stuck in my head for about six months. A few weeks ago I finally sat down and wrote it. The scene flowed freely for two days and I ended with about 25 pages. Then the weekend ended and so did my muse. I would like to keep going, but not sure where the story is headed at this point. (Or if it is any good)

    Regarding the “bubble” – I doubt that the love of Jane Austen will ever go away, but there may be waves where we are inundated with books and movies, then it backs off a bit, then another surge, etc. People may forget they enjoyed Austen until reminded by a new movie, then they will return to the fold, at least for a while.

    • Great to hear from someone who saw an adaptation first. Clearly it worked just as it was supposed to and sent you off to find the book! My first writings in JAFF were like that too. I still have them. One day I’ll work out a plot for them and do something with them. I HATE wasting words. When I cut scenes I keep them in a folder in case I can use them for something else. Han on to your scene, you never know what will happen.

      I definitely think you’re right about the waves of Austen love. It exactly proves my point about the more authors the better.

  8. Great article, Rose. I would take exception to one line though: “To the ones that don’t sit on their stories for a year, convinced they’re writing something as renowned as Austen herself.” I believe you may have inadvertently lumped all of us who sit on their stories for a year in one pot “thinking we are writing something as renowned as Jane Austen” when that is not the case in the least.

    My books take a long time to write because that is the kind of story I love — long novels and I intricate stories. That is also what my fans have come to expect from me. I have always said that I am not writing a NYT best seller, I am writing JAFF fanfiction and I am proud to be doing that. 🙂 To each his own. There are stories of all lengths to go around.

    • This post is mostly in response to a podcast recently produced by JAFF authors that as well as stating there was an Austen bubble, put down writers that are “new,” publish frequently and write novellas. Did they leave it at it just not being their taste? No, they did not. They said the the final product was inferior to anything they’ve done.

      Brenda, you do not have a completed story that you shared with others then decide to edit for years at a time before publication because you believe one should suffer and need 14 rewrites before publishing. We all write and plot at different paces. I have released a lot, but it’s not that I wrote it all last year. And I have sat on a finished story for a year or so before I was ready to really make edits but it’s not because I think a work will be shoddy if done faster- as I have been flat out told by other writers. I was just terrified of dealing with it because I was told I should hate and fear the process. I was told I didn’t really love my books if I was willing to edit. I was told that you couldn’t edit when the story was too fresh in your mind. In my case, I didn’t feel those things when I went to edit. I wasn’t afflicted with extreme self-loathing or fighting to the death about things. It made me afraid that I was doing it all wrong.

      It was fear for me. It was built upon the fears of others and nothing else and people should be honest about that. They fear the process and are jealous when others do not. They then hide behind condescension and superiority when really they feel insecure and tell everyone they should feel like them because they’re so great. And they have to tell others that because if they say it enough and get others to believe it enough they hope they’ll one day actually believe it themselves.

      Does everyone like my books? No. Do some readers only like some of them? Yes. Are there some that have loved them all? Yes! Am I one of them? YES! Did I need 14 rewrites? No. And I’m really kind of tired of apologizing for that so others (not you) can climb a mountain made out of downtrodden fellow authors–who should be colleagues and deserve respect–that they’ve decided are lesser beings. It’s bullying and it needs to stop.

      • As an author who wrote for a traditional publisher since early 2009, I don’t always have control of how quickly my books are released. As to editing and pacing, I think we as a genre need to be more aware of these two important pieces. I am currently reading a contemporary inspirational romance for a contest. It is well edited, but SLOW. If I were not reading it for a contest, I would abandon it. I’ve read LOTS of comments lately on Goodreads, Amazon, etc., where readers are complaining about a story line being dragged on and on. I don’t think this is beneficial for any of us who write JAFF. We are vulnerable to those who think we “steal” from Austen and try to make money from her greatness. I welcome new writers to the genre, but I am concerned when many rush in and not really understand their responsibility to JAFF, as a whole, to create a compelling story. I have met criticism from mainstream readers who will not provide me a true evaluation of one of my Austen mysteries because they think I took the easy way out to create the story line. They do not understand that my job is twice as hard for I must bestow Darcy and Elizabeth with the same faults and admired characteristics as did Austen and then place those beloved characters into a well-developed mystery. I am happy when another JAFF writer knows success and I cringe when he knows defeat for his success means we have, as a group, crossed another hurdle, while his loss means we have another obstacle to overcome. We are all a part of a “community.”

      • Amazon does not allow a review of a fellow author’s books (people within your personal circle), and now they are considering banning those that say they are a “honest” review of a book received from a giveaway.

      • Diana Gabaldon refuses to read comments and has advised her son, who is also an author, the same. So be confident in yourself and only seek advice from those you know are true friends and who really know what they are talking about. But, then I am not an author so what do I know.

      • No idea what this “podcast” was or who created it (nor do I want to know), but any author who makes such a sweeping claim as to their own superiority has motives that are questionable, to state it kindly. Consider the source, I say, and toss it out with the other refuse. Not worth wasting a second of your time.

      • You’re not alone, Rose. I totally get that fear, and I’ve heard respected long-time authors say the same. It can be irrational, but sometimes you can’t move ahead. Sometimes I get a beta comment and know in my head what I plan to do, but I freeze up and can’t write it for months.

        Some writers are afraid because they compare themselves to extrovert authors who are reader darlings and feel they’d never aspire to that level. There are groups of authors who ridicule certain aspects of the industry or preferences of individual authors, and it’s scary to those who don’t want to follow the latest whims of the “in” crowd. Some writers say they read or heard something that made them feel like they must write a certain way. For example, Sharon made a really good point (5) about variation in types of works. These days, there are abundant examples of exceptions to the cookie-cutter approach. Trends come and go, and sometimes one wants to be different. Being different doesn’t absolve the author of responsibility to the reader or ethical marketing practises, and there’s a chance an unconventional product will not be well-received.

        If an author provides the reader with a quality product within their niche market, they should be proud, right? Yet one confident author told me she had writer’s block because someone wrote that authors must be prolific to be taken seriously, and she couldn’t put out assembly-line books. Some thrive on word counts and competition, others hear them and get intimidated. It’s easy to say that no one should take another’s comments too seriously, but we writers are often sensitive people who care too much.

        I’m ill, so my novels all take a long time to write. I’m not so proud to believe I write the same way as you, requiring few edits from a first draft. (You are gifted!) My early drafts are not that great, and it’s hard work to improve them, yet I go through the necessary iterations so my readers get what they deserve. Some writers are that proud, however, and deny that their writing needs work. We all get painted with the same brush when that 10% is published with a ton of errors. I have old unpublished works that that are better than some published works of that minority (I’ve learned a few things over the years!). Yet, instead of getting it done, I freeze up and procrastinate from fears similar to those listed above. My latest work took over 4 years to complete, yet the actual writing and editing probably took less than 4 months.

        The message I’d give is that every author has their own style and pace. Recently, a list of famous authors and daily word counts was circulating. They went from under 500 to over 10,000. It didn’t make any one of those authors better than the other, in my opinion. They’re all great writers.

        It’s nice to read articles and be aware of trends and best practises, and every author should try to improve, but in the end, it’s you who gets to pick what to implement. You’re the one writing your novel in your style, and that’s good. Ignore nay-sayers and don’t allow yourself to feel lumped in with complaints about lazy divas who put out poor-quality novels when you know your work is good.

        I know it’s easy to say, because as you can see, I haven’t mastered the mindset yet myself!

    • Gad, I’m ancient! I’ve been writing JAFF since 1997 when everyone was wringing their hands about not publishing online, or having using a pen name in case you ever wanted to “really” publish. Putting a story on DWG or Pemberley.com’s Bit of Ivory was giving away your first rights and no serious publisher would ever allow you in the door. I published in ’08 with a small, small, small press. And then Pamela Aidan published with Simon and Shuster and the floodgates broke. Then came the self-pub revolution.

      As I said, I’m ancient.

      • Great to hear from you! I am very fuzzy on the details of the early forums (I still read on DWG and sometimes post) and who was the first to publish during that time. So I just lumped you all in together! So glad you and many others took the first step!

    • Wonderful post Rose! Thanks for including me!
      JAFF is such a playground for me and I enjoy sharing my version of all the characters. I too began with Sharon Lathan and have loved P&P for years. Jane’s life is an interesting story in and of itself and I believe she would be pleased to know her books still enthrall us all today.
      As for there being a bubble? No way!
      As to the podcasts and opinions, I can only say that all JAFF authors love ODC and wish to share their “what ifs” with readers. As we have all experienced, more JAFF titles means more variety for readers. That’s what matters.

    • Brenda, no matter how long you take, for me it is well worth the wait. My only problem is my memory in that if I am reading 5 stories on line/on a forum I may have to stop and think about what has happened in the previous chapters. That is a danger of old age, I guess. I do like to re-read those books in their entirety before posting a review so I don’t mix up story lines. Yes, that also means I buy the books so that I have the final edited edition. There are other authors for whom i am waiting for the next chapter and I have never complained. Life gets in the way, I realize.

  9. Great article, Rose! My story is similar to yours in that I found Jane Austen first, though for me it was via the ’05 P&P movie. I bought the book and devoured it multiple times, along with that movie. I then found JAFF. Sharon Lathan, Abigail Reynolds, and Linda Berdoll were my first and they were paperbacks. JAFF is the reason I bought my first ereader…and I had sworn I’d never buy one! Then I found the forums. I went around telling people of the free stories on websites. I was totally amazed! And then it happened….after a couple of years, I ran out of stories that appealed to me and with the encouragement of a friend, began to write. I can say that I can’t see me ever tiring of reading or writing JAFF. Addictive doesn’t begin to cover it! 😉 Thanks for another thought-provoking post!! 🙂

    • I’m so glad you took the plunge and started to write! How pitiful is my story? I just read P&P for years and years until I was given an ereader and then I downloaded Austen’s other works. I had read S&S and part of Emma before and then fell in love with them again on a Nook. It was a few more years before I found fan fiction but the rest is history. And now I can’t exist without a kindle or nook app with me at all times!

  10. Rose, loved the lineup you shared and yes, I have read almost every one of them. I’m all for comments and reviews. I agree, it keeps the writers going and it is a wonderful way to show appreciation in addition to buying a book. Would that more readers had a clue as to how much work goes into writing a story. If that was the case, I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to leave their two cents. Best Wishes for your 2016 writing! Jen

    • : I’m so guilty of not leaving enough reviews when I was a reader. Then I had to take them down when I published. I wish I had a clue how much effort it takes even with a short story. I juggle probably 10 stories in my head at one time. They do a lot of fermenting before I start the writing. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing. I dream of it. It consumes me. And I know I’m not unique there, it’s very true for most writers. Even if I never have to spend a second researching something for that particular story or write the entire thing in two weeks, I spent a lot of time on it and a lot of thought went into it. I’ve learned to not hold my breath for reviews but I hear from my author friends that they always wish for more.

  11. My first purchase in this genre was on 2/18/06 An Assembly Such as This (F D, Gentleman: 1) $13.95 from Amazon. I have bought about 300 books in JAFF, some on kindle but a goodly amount in paperback. And, Yes, I have 3 of Linda Berdoll’s. I have not yet become jaded in my love of variations. I also think I own every DVD made except Clueless and its sequel. That one didn’t appeal to me. I go to see P&P and Zombies tomorrow.

    • I’m glad that you’re still a JAFF reader! I’m seeing PPZ on Saturday. I’ve seen far less of the adaptations but have enjoyed every one I’ve watched. We’ll see what happens when Jane meets Zombies. 🙂

      • I will be very interested to hear your reactions. Claudine and I were watching at the same time but in different states. We texted back and forth at the beginning and the end. For a while it looked like we were going to be alone in our theaters. Watch for the pond and the wet shirt scene and I dare you not to laugh.

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