Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jane Austen + Vampires = ?!

A friend who works for a book publisher spotted a curious item in Publishers Weekly recently about an author who just got a deal for a book about Jane Austen, as a vampire, in modern times. A quick search yielded this item from the New Yorker's Book Bench blog
Because lately the only thing that seems to sell better than books about vampires is books about Jane Austen, Publishers Weekly reports that the writer Michael Thomas Ford has sold his novel about “an undead Jane Austen, frustrated by nearly 200 years of writer’s block and 116 rejections of an unpublished novel she finished just before turning into a vampire.” I have nothing to add to the brilliance of this idea.—Andrea Walker
Nor do I.

Now, a quick search for the author turned up these facts: Michael Thomas Ford is the author of a series of gay romance novels that look like the gay man's equivalent to chick lit and a handful of essay collections like That's Mr. Faggot to You: Further Trials from My Queer Life. Could it be the same Michael Thomas Ford? Hmm. He also wrote a book categorized as "spirituality" called The Path Of The Green Man: Gay Men, Wicca and Living a Magical Life; it's possible. Wait, wait ... he also contributed to a couple of Midnight Thirsts gay vampire short story anthologies. But this Michael Thomas Ford has never written any Jane Austen fan fiction. Must not be him.

Not so fast. I've found his blog, in which he says:
And finally, something I've been waiting for the past month to tell you. I had to wait until it was official, which it was on Tuesday, when Publishers Weekly's "Hot Deals" column broke the news. I've signed a 3-book deal with Random House's Ballantine imprint for a series of novels featuring Jane Austen as a vampire. I know, right? Big Fun. I'm so pleased about this. And already the books are getting attention. Yesterday they were written about in The New Yorker's "The Book Bench" column. Again, Big Fun. The first book is due out in late 2009, and you'll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months.
Case closed.

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