Janet Mullany's second book about Jane Austen and vampires has just been released: Jane Austen, Blood Persuasion. Do you want to discover more about Janet’s fondness for vampires? Read my 5 vampire questions and, especially, her answers to them. Finally, try to win a signed copy of her new novel, a new perfect Austen Halloween gift for you!
1. Welcome back to My Jane Austen Book Club, Janet. Here's my first question for you. It seems the world has gone vampire crazy! (Meyer’s Twilight Saga and related films, TV series like True Blood and Vampire Diaries, best – selling authors attempting their own vampire story) Have you got your own interpretation of this phenomenon? Why is our world so attracted by this kind of supernatural characters?
I think people love the idea of vampires because they are powerful, sexual, beautiful and unpredictable. They also have immortality, which makes them fascinating—how much have they seen and done, and do they ever tire of the thought of infinite life?
2. It seems nobody can resist a handsome vampire. Have you got a favourite one in books or on screen?
I’m quite partial to my Luke and I enjoy Charlaine Harris’s vampires, especially Eric; I love the idea of vampires being out in society and recognizable. I must admit that I found the last series of True Blood pretty ludicrous. The books are far better.
3. Is there anything you don’t like, instead, in this vampire vogue?
I’ve read books where the vampires are so generic and the writer has borrowed so many tropes from popular culture that they’re undead in entirely the wrong way! I was very careful, when I invented the Damned to use only what I needed from vampire lore and make them work in Georgian England.
4. Now, let’s focus on mash-ups of vampires and Jane Austen characters/stories . This is actually strange. How could that happen? Jane’s world is so down-to-earth, all sense and balance…
You’re right (although it was also the world that brought about Frankenstein by Mary Shelley!), so the answer was to change Jane’s world. In my vision of Georgian England, the Damned are out in society, feared and lusted after, the darlings of the ton and favorites of the Prince of Wales (later the Prince Regent) and polite society longs to take part in their very impolite activities! In an age governed by etiquette and polite behavior, the Damned have their own set of manners and behavior. I even created an etiquette guide for those invited to dine with the Damned: http://riskyregencies.blogspot.com/2010/10/etiquette-guide.html
5. Could you, please, tell us something more about your new novel: Jane Austen, Blood Persuasion?
This book is set in 1810, when Jane is in Chawton and settling down to some serious writing. She’s resigned to spinsterhood and respectability but she’s still haunted by the memories of the French invasion of 1797 and her time among the Damned (Jane and the Damned). She’s also haunted by the recurrence of symptoms of the Damned, despite taking the Cure in Bath, a dangerous and uncertain remedy. Then she discovers her new neighbors are a group of the Damned, who have fallen out of favor with the Prince of Wales, and who have decided to live simply in the country, a fairly ludicrous choice for such creatures of such urban, sophisticated tastes! Their proximity threatens to make Jane a vampire again, and to her horror she finds her best friend and her niece flirting dangerously with the Damned, and she becomes involved in a vampire civil war. It plays hell with her writing plans!
Thank you so much, Janet, for being my guest and answering my questions. Have you got any other project on the go?
Thanks so much for inviting me! I have a short story in the anthology JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT which came out this month—mine’s a bit of a departure for me, about Beatlemania and Sense & Sensibility. It’s a great anthology with something for everyone. I’m also working on a rewrite of my first book, DEDICATION, which will be released by Loose-Id in 2012 and some other secret projects in the works.
The Book & The Giveway Contest
Jane Austen : Blood Persuasion
It’s 1810 and Jane Austen settles down to some serious writing in the peaceful village of Chawton. But it’s not so peaceful when the Damned introduce themselves as her new neighbors. Jane has to deal with the threat of a vampire civil war, her best friend borrowing her precious silk stockings for assignations with the Damned, and a former lover determined to hold a grudge for eternity.
To win a signed copy of Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion leave your comment to this post and add your e-mail address. The giveaway is open worldwide and ends on November 2nd when the name of the winner is announced .
Janet Mullany was born in England but now lives near Washington, DC. She’s worked as an archaeologist, performing arts administrator, waitress, bookseller, and as an editor/proofreader for a small press. Her debut book was Dedication, the only Signet Regency to have two bondage scenes, followed by The Rules of Gentility (HarperCollins 2007), which was acquired by Little Black Dress (UK) for whom she wrote three more Regency chicklits. Her career as a writer who does terrible things to Jane Austen began in 2010 with the publication of Jane and the Damned (HarperCollins), a book about Jane as a vampire, and a modern retelling of Emma, Little to Hex Her, in the anthology Bespelling Jane Austen headlined by Mary Balogh.