Laurel Ann Nattress, author of the popular blog Austenprose, is behind the latest Austen-inspired anthology. Nattress began Austenprose over two years ago as a tribute to all things Austen, and finds it "a pleasure to write about my favorite author, her novels and the many modern interpretations of her works that she has inspired in movies, books and pop culture." So it can come as no surprise that such a passion for Austen has found not only a fan-following but friends in the publishing world.
The blogger had helped Random House author Michael Thomas Ford with the Austen-particulars for his January 2010 release, Jane Bites Back. When she mentioned her despite to create an Austen-anthology to his agent, Mitchell Waters, says Nattress, "he immediately loved the idea, agreed to be my agent and had a deal with Random House within a week. It was my whirlwind romance with the publishing world so-to-speak!"
Nattress reached out to some of her favorite authors to make her dream come true. "Having read many of the recent Austenesque novels and followed Austen in the media pretty intensely for the past few years, it took me about five minutes to make a list of my favorites. The day I sent out the prospecting e-mails was such a thrill. The response was astounding." Among the authors already slated to contribute are Lauren Willig, Adriana Trigiani and Alexandra Potter.
This collection of contemporary and historical short stories will debut next year. "The anthology will consist of approximately twenty short stories inspired by Jane Austen, her characters or her philosophies on life and love." The timing is particularly fitting as 2011 also marks the 200th aniversary of Austen's beloved Sense and Sensibility.