Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interview with Janet Mullany Author of Blood Persuasion

Please welcome Janet Mullany to Fang-tastic Books today- she's here to talk about her Jane AUsten Vampire Novel- Blood Persuasion.

So Janet let's get started- Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

Thanks so much for having me visit today!

I’m originally from England and can quite safely say that reading has ruined my life—making me late for things, distracted, and otherwise easily bored. I now live in Maryland and started writing about ten years ago, just to see if I could do it, having written a lot for various jobs.

My first book, DEDICATION, the only trad Regency with two bondage scenes, was published in 2005 and will be reissued, rewritten, by LooseId next year. JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION came about because the editor of my first Regency chicklit, THE RULES OF GENTILITY (HarperCollins 2005) asked me if I’d write something about Austen and vampires and JANE AND THE DAMNED (HarperCollins 2010), the first in a two-book contract, was the result.

Please tell us about your latest release.

JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION is set in Chawton, the village where Jane spent the last eight years of her life. She’s finally in a place, emotionally and physically, where she can bring out the manuscripts she’s been working on erratically for the last thirteen years or so and write seriously. But she finds a group of the Damned, the fashionable and seductive vampires of Georgian England, out of favor with the Prince of Wales (later the Prince Regent) has leased a house in the village. They include both the vampire who created (turned) her and Luke, her former lover. There’s trouble in both the world of the Damned and within Jane’s family, as her best friend and beloved niece discover the charms and dangers of associating with the Damned. Jane tries to protect them but association with the Damned means a return of her vampire characteristics, the one thing she desperately wants to avoid.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

Oh my gosh, yes. Trying to write about Jane Austen and taking liberties with her life was incredibly daunting. There is so much scholarship and research done on her life and I’m not an Austen scholar; I’m writing fiction. And I can’t help but feel that the more I discover about Austen the more elusive she becomes. You have to remember that the image of “dear Aunt Jane” was pretty much created decades after her death by her family, but it remains with us to this day. So to the cries of “But Miss Austen would never have done that!” I can only respond, no, she wouldn’t have—but my fictional, passionate, fierce vampire Jane Austen does.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
Lovely hot Luke, Jane’s vampire lover. Yum. And he’s snarky, too.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

I love this passage, about Jane as a vampire. (By the way, Chawton Great House is in fine shape; very far from being a deserted ruin, it’s now a library for women’s literature of the early modern period:

Jane walked on, enjoying the pulsing life of the world around her, the energy of plants and of tiny creeping things. This is what she had now, this perception and capacity for amazement. She would like to write about …

She stopped. She would like to write about this? But what was she thinking? She was one of the Damned. She could not write anymore.

She bent to pluck a rosebud, running it through her fingers, and laughed as it pricked her. Her blood welled crimson and powerful. She breathed on the tiny wound to close it and the rose unfolded its petals, miraculous, displaying its fragile golden heart with a gust of sweet scent, a taste of the summer to come. Of many summers to come, too many to count. Jane would live to see this rosebush withered to dust and the Great House a deserted ruin.

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

I wanted to create vampires that fit in with (some) historical facts and with Jane Austen’s life. So I created an alternate England where the vampires, the Damned, are the darlings of the ton, intensely fashionable and sophisticated. They can reveal their true nature if they wish and some people just know a vamp when they see one! They don’t feed, they dine. Vampires are created, not turned. Extended fangs are known as being en sanglant, a pseudo-French term I invented. I rejected a lot of traditional vampire lore except where it forwarded my plot—a lack of reflection in a mirror, for instance. JANE AUSTEN: BLOOD PERSUASION includes an afterword about the history of the Damned and a glossary of terms.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

I hope they can be read as stand alones! I’m aware that the first couple of the chapters of JABP are rather dense in texture, as they introduce a whole slew of Jane’s family and recapitulate what happened in JATD.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes. I’ve written Regency historicals, what I call Regency chicklit (first person alternating between hero and heroine and in present tense), historical erotica and contemporary erotica. You can find out more at my website,

Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?

No, I think I write the same sort of stuff all the time. I always find it very funny when readers say my Regency chicklits “don’t have sex.” They absolutely do! I think they’re some of the sexiest things I’ve written, but they’re not explicit and there’s this tendency to confuse explicitness with the erotic. It’s certainly one of the techniques of erotic writing but not the only one. Is JABP sexy? I think so. But you’re seeing it mostly through the eyes of Jane Austen, a gentlewoman in early 19c England.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I’m a history geek. I volunteer as a docent at Riversdale House Museum, a wonderful Federal-era house in suburban Maryland, and occasionally I get dressed up in my Regency outfit for it. I also love classical music and my part time dayjob is with a baroque music ensemble (as an administrator, not a musician!) and I’m passionate about getting people interested in this art form. I have an out of control garden I work on before mosquitoes, humidity, and vines drive me back inside.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

I read on my kindle on my commute on the Washington Metro. I love having a dayjob for that reason! And I have to read before I can go to sleep.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m a contributor to another book coming out this month, a collection of short stories edited by Laurel Ann Nattress of, JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT. That book, mine, and Carrie Bebris’s latest will have a fabulous launch party in Fort Worth, TX, on Friday, October 14. You can find out more about the book and the launch party at It’s in Fort Worth because we’re all attending the JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) Conference taking place there, but the book launch party is open to everyone!

Where can readers find you on the web? where there’s a contest, an excerpt from JABP and lots of info about my books.

Twitter @Janet_Mullany

It’s 1810 and Jane Austen settles down to some serious writing in the peaceful village of Chawton. But it’s not so peaceful when the Damned introduce themselves as her new neighbors. Jane has to deal with the threat of a vampire civil war, her best friend borrowing her precious silk stockings for assignations with the Damned, and a former lover determined to hold a grudge for eternity.


Alexia said...

Oh I loved your comment about how you dealt with writing Jane Austen in your world and the challenges. very true. Great interview!

Kendal Corbitt said...

Thanks for visiting, it was a great interview and I love your cover!

Tamara Morgan said...

I share your vision of Jane Austen as so much more than Aunt my mind, she has always been a very impassioned woman and a force to be reckoned with.

Terrie Brookins said...

Can't wait to read it!

Janet Mullany said...

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting. I was glad to do my bit to clean up the "dear Aunt Jane" myth. That was invented by her family a few decades after her death when they realized that people might want to find out more about her and they wrote their reminiscences of her. In so doing they cleaned up her act a bit, and of course Cassandra had censored the letters too, although now and again you come across a delicious bit of snark or an admission that she has a hangover!

Kristen Koster (Kaige) said...

Sounds interesting, Janet! It'll be interesting to see how this differs from your traditional regencies.

Kimberly said...

Since the series with Jane is over, will The Damned or any of its members continue on in other books?

I enjoyed the interview.

Susan Saxx said...

Hi Janet!

What an interesting concept! Jane as one of the damned...Fabulous. Loved your excerpt too.

Thank you!

Janet Mullany said...

Kimberly, I love writing about the Damned and if this book sells well enough (hint hint) I'm going to write a proposal. On the other hand I don't really consider myself a paranormal writer. The Damned were the cherry on the Austen cake for me.

I also have to say that the cover is even more splendid in real life! It has a very subtle and clever use of varnish (shiny ink) to make Jane pop.

CowboyandVampire said...

Sounds very compelling. Other than Jane A., who do you think would be the "next" most compelling author to pluck from history and honor with a paranormal treatment...?