Inspired by Austen

I can admit it:  I’m a huge Jane Austen fangirl.

Because of that, I was so pleased to learn that The Jane Austen Society of North America-Greater Chicago Region included Just the Sexiest Man Alive in their Winter 2009 newsletter.  Here’s what they had to say:

“Chicago author Julie James’ first novel was reviewed in the Chicago Sun-Times. In Just the Sexiest Man Alive a female employment lawyer crosses paths with a big-time movie star. “Their relationship turns unto a tug-of war of will-they-or-won’t-they get together. . . Witty banter and amazing chemistry. . .bring this delightful story to life.” James’ next novel Practice Makes Perfect is due for a spring release. Austen is her favorite author, and “she admits her first two books have a few Pride and Prejudice themes.”

I wasn’t familiar with the JASNA-GRC prior to seeing the newsletter, but I’m tickled pink just to be mentioned by an organization whose “readers [] enjoy Jane Austen’s fiction.”  Pride and Prejudice is at the top of my list of favorite books– if not my actual favorite– and is the one book I re-read every year.  And of course I own both the six-hour BBC mini-series (pause for a dreamy sigh for Colin Firth) and the 2005 film version that strangely seems to find its way into my DVD player every time my husband goes out of town…


As I mentioned in the interview with the Sun-Times, in many ways Austen’s novels inspire my own writing.  Just the Sexiest Man Alive was written as a modern, romantic comedy homage to P&P:   the story of a smart, witty heroine who vows to resist the affection of an arrogant, sought-after man who, in turn, learns to become a better person in order to win her over.  And in Practice Makes Perfect, I kick the Austen-love up another notch.  The book opens with a quote from Pride and Prejudice, and Austen’s novel is mentioned at several points, including a discussion by one of the characters about “The Darcy Complex”– modern-day woman’s fascination with Austen’s unforgettable hero.

Speaking of books influenced by Jane Austen… I recently read Shannon Hale’s Austenland, a novel I enjoyed quite a bit, and I just picked up Sharon Lathan’s Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, (along with Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect, which was recommended to me by a couple people via this blog).  

So if you know of a great Austen-like read, or just a great read in general (you know, that book you tell everyone you know that they simply must read), drop me a line– I’m always looking for new suggestions!

3 thoughts on “Inspired by Austen

  1. Sharon Lathan says:

    Julie, You are just the sweetest! Thank you so much for mentioning my novel! I truly am touched speechless. I do hope you enjoy it. Keep me posted, and thank you, a million times thank you, for the notation.

    Good luck, and God bless, Sharon

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