with Kindred Spirits
For a change, this is going to be a serious blog post. Those who know me at Austen Authors may doubt my sincerity (and perhaps my sanity); but, you’ll see.
I’ve been taking a fond look back at my own labour of love and doing so with both joy and sorrow. The story that became Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge was, in a way, a catharsis. The process of writing the silly story and having it published helped me cope with the loss of a most beloved sister, my only sibling. The book’s dedication is in her memory and in that of Jane Austen. (See. I can do serious, although I think neither my sister nor Jane Austen would object to a posthumous humorous post.)
My introduction to Austen came in a roundabout way, but it does not lessen my appreciation for her tremendous talent. It began with the film Bridget Jones’s Diary, in which Mark Darcy was handsome enough to tempt me. Consequently I became excessively attentive to the 1995 BBC version of P&P, followed by reading, and then extensive re-reading, of Austen’s novels. But I was left wanting more - especially more Darcy and Elizabeth and more Wentworth and Anne.
There are numerous Annes in my book - Anne de Bourgh, Lady Anne Darcy, Miss Anna Darcy, Ann Cillary, et al. It is a truth universally acknowledged that an Austenesque author in want of a quotation would typically choose one by Austen. As some of you may know, I am not your typical writer. I’ve chosen a passage by Lucy Maud Montgomery instead. Earlier this month, I visited Prince Edward Island and was reminded of a quote by another Anne - the one in Anne of Green Gables. I believe Anne Shirley’s opinion is also apt for the Austenesque community.
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.
It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
Indeed. In want of more Darcy and Elizabeth, I hit the motherlode when I discovered published what-ifs, re-imaginings, prequels, sequels, and adaptations. Then I found on-line JAFF (Jane Austen Fan-fiction). Those kindred spirits were kind and generous, and I am so very glad I found my way there. Many writers featured in Meredith’s month-long Extravaganza began by posting stories at JAFF sites, as did I.
So, I thank all my kindred spirits - those who cannot get enough of Austen’s characters - writers and readers alike. I especially appreciate those who have graciously put up with my jokes and wordplay. Groan-worthy puns are not everyone’s cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot). As a formerly obsessed Trekker, I believe in the Vulcan IDIC philosophy (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations). Within the pages of Austenesque authors’ novels, there’s a JA-inspired story to suit everyone’s taste - from zombies and vampires to wild and wanton romance - from the Regency era to modern times. Why, there are even stories inspired by the handsome actors who portrayed Mr. Darcy in various film adaptations … which finally brings us to my contest.
Within a chapter of Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge, there are names of films in which a certain British actor appeared. (Hint: He portrayed Darcy in 1995's Pride and Prejudice.) The excerpt found here has been edited and updated especially for today’s Austenesque Extravaganza. (Really, it's obvious I'm just trying to get into Meredith’s Austenesque Reviews' good books.)
Count all the actor’s works you can detect, and email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those with the correct number will have their names entered in a draw.
The prize is this Jane Austen canvas tote bag,
E-mailed entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) August 25/11. One winner will be randomly drawn from all entries with correct answers. If no one arrives at the right number, I might have to Colin Firther entries. (No. If that happens, the draw will be made from entries with the closest guess.) On August 26 I’ll email the winner and announce their name (and the correct answer) here on this blog. At that time I’ll also indicate the titles in red throughout the excerpt in case anyone's interested.
But, wait! That’s not all. Although you have to email me to enter my contest, please remember to also complete Meredith’s Amazing Austenesque Giveaway form. There are other exemplary prizes to be had, and the only way to win those is by leaving a comment.
I hope comments are not so scarce as I used to think.
It would be splendid to find out there are so many of them left by kindred spirits in the Austenesque world.