I’ve got a very special guest on the blog today, one who fits in perfectly with the recent 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice. She’s Alyssa Goodnight, and she writes delicious and quirky contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen. Her first book got great reviews, including this one from Publishers Weekly:
“Jane Austen meets Austin, Tex., in this fast-paced, quirky novel about the unpredictability of love. … Goodnight’s breezy style with a believable heroine, lively conflicts and lots of best-friend confidences elevates this above the usual chick lit fare.”
Alyssa has a new book just out. Let’s ask her about it, shall we?
Jane Austen meets Austin, Texas, is how Publisher’s Weekly described your previous book, Austentatious. Austensibly Ordinary also plays off Jane’s beloved canon of books. How did you come up with such a great idea?
Honestly, it was quite by accident. I had just started writing the manuscript that would become Austentatious and was trying to incorporate a magical journal into the story. Meanwhile, I was loving all the Jane Austen fan fiction options, and suddenly it hit me: What if the magic in the journal was coming from Jane Austen, match-maker extraordinaire?? I thought it was a super fun idea, and just what the story needed. And honestly, I had such fun writing it and imagining the possibilities if it were actually true… Austensibly Ordinary was just as fun, and and now I’m feeling like I might need to write a few more stories that feature the Jane Austen Journal.
What’s Austensibly Ordinary about?
Austensibly Ordinary is about two best friends, Cate and Ethan, both high school teachers. Cate feels like she’s in a rut and needs a little adventure–maybe even an alter ego… She also suspects that Ethan is keeping something from her–something big–and she’s determined to ferret it out. When Cate stumbles across the journal, intending to use it to chronicle her newly exciting life, she doesn’t realize that its magical messages are about to wreak some serious havoc in her life and relationships. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, it’s light and fun women’s fiction.
Your first book was a Regency historical romance. Why the switch to contemporary fiction?
For the simple reason that there was a shift in my reading preferences. For years, I read a TON of Regency romances, so when I decided I wanted to try writing a book, my natural inclination was to write a Regency. My Regency novel is Unladylike Pursuits. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I adore the Regency period, but my tastes started to run to chick-lit, and then Jane Austen fan fiction. From there, it just seemed a natural slide into my own Jane Austen-inspired homage.
What’s up next for you?
I’m currently working on the first book in a series of contemporary romance novels set in the Texas Hill Country, tied together with a hint of magic.
There you have it, readers. For those lovers of contemporary romance, chick lit, and/or Jane Austen, Alyssa’s books are just perfect for you! For my readers today, Alyssa is giving away a copy of her first book, Austentatious. For a chance to win, simply tell us which is your favorite Jane Austen novel, or an Austen-inspired movie or TV show. One person who comments will win Alyssa’s fabulous book!
And don’t forget to visit Alyssa’s website for all her book info.