Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest: Janet Mullany

Please welcome Janet Mullany!  Her latest, JANE AND THE DAMNED is in bookstores now, and pairs Jane Austen with the Damned.  It's a great read, and I highly recommend it!  Janet is giving away a copy of JANE AND THE DAMNED to one lucky commenter, so show her some love in the comments, and answer the question she poses below.  [Winner announced Wednesday.]  Also, you should all stop back in on Wednesday for more from Janet when she's tells us about her latest anthology project, BESPELLING JANE AUSTEN.

Thanks, Michele, for the great review of Jane and the Damned.

This book came about because my HarperCollins editor asked me to write something paranormal and funny about Jane Austen. After some thought, I realized that Jane Austen knew quite a lot about vampires. Her books are peopled with beautiful, seductive, manipulative characters—Willoughby, Wickham, Henry and Mary Crawford, Frank Churchill—and the only conclusion I could come to was that Jane herself had first-hand knowledge of the Damned, the vampires of Georgian England.

The Damned, in 1797 when the book is set, are the darlings of the ton and the intimates of the Prince of Wales (later the Prince Regent). Later they fall out of favor, but at the time the gossip papers are full of their exploits and it is considered a high honor, not to mention very pleasurable, to be invited to their parties where mortals would be dinner.

I found I had to be very selective about vampire lore. The Damned can go out in daylight but since they’re up partying all night, they don’t want to. They employ gourmet chefs, so they wouldn’t care about garlic. You can’t see their reflections in mirrors, however, but that’s only because I use that in the plot a few times.

One of the really fun things for me was inventing vampire terms that sounded appropriate to the time. Vampires are created, not turned, and the Creator is generally, but not always, the Bearleader or mentor to the Fledgling (young vampire).  The term Bearleader was in use to describe the tutors who led young gentlemen on the grand tour of Europe and tried to keep them out of trouble. These elegant and sophisticated vamps do not feed; they dine. I also needed a term to describe fangs, since that wasn’t a word in use at the time, and came up with some pseudo-French: en sanglant, appropriate for a time when the sophisticated peppered their conversation with French phrases or words.

What are your favorite vampire characteristics? Or what do you think are just silly?

There’s an excerpt, a contest, and more on my site



Kwana said...

Janet's books sounds like just too much fun!

Crystal said...

Oh, I've been dying to read this book!

What are your favorite vampire characteristics?
Immortality and blood drinking, because that's just what a vamp does!

Or what do you think are just silly?
I'm not sure, usually if it's something different there is a reason given for it. I can't think of any. Maybe not being able to cross over moving water?


SandyG265 said...

I think sparkly vampires are silly.

Janet Mullany said...

Hi, Kwana, Crystal and Sandy--I absolutely agree about the sparkly vampires. It makes them sound like My Little Ponies. I want them to be sexy and dangerous!

I dumped the crossing over moving water thing because my vampires move around all over Europe, although I can see it could be useful if a vampire is pursuing you and you don't want to get caught.

Crystal said...

Yes, I agree. Sparkly vamps are silly. Totally forgot about Twilight, LoL. Don't ask me how that happened!

binabug said...

I thought sparkly vampires to be totally wacked and even my daughter who has read the series says its as lame as the Harry Potter endings

throuthehaze said...

My fave vampire characteristic is their immortality. I also agree with some of the previous comments about sparkly vampires...kinda silly.

Janet Mullany said...

I found the whole immortality issue very interesting--is it worth giving up your friends and family, even for immortal love? And for Jane it means giving up writing, because that's a human occupation vamps just can't do. So a large part of the book centers on this debate.

Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris J. said...

Hi Janet,
Your book sounds really cool and funny. :)
I love the immortality of a vampires life, all the things you can see and do. That would be awesome. An that fact that you would never get sick.
Sillies, I don't know. Hhmm I like the Twilight movies so sparkly is fine. Every author has their own littl take on how it is supposed to be and you just get used to it I guess.