You won't often hear of a Jane Austen fan whose adoration began months before she turned 50, with Northanger Abbey! But saucy opinions like "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has no pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid." won Suzan Lauder, who thought, "I have to read more by this woman who writes with suc.... more
You won't often hear of a Jane Austen fan whose adoration began months before she turned 50, with Northanger Abbey! But saucy opinions like "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has no pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid." won Suzan Lauder, who thought, "I have to read more by this woman who writes with such snarky humour!"
So after reading the dog-eared paperback she had on her bookshelf, by an author she was "pretty sure my literary friends liked," she gobbled up the rest of Austen's novels. Dismayed to discover only six completed, Suzan persevered and read all the remaining Austen she could find: the Juvenilia, the unfinished works, the letters, and a biography by her friend and mentor, Austen scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning author, the late Dr. Carol Shields.
Then she re-read Pride and Prejudice. Again and again. And Zombies, too! A few variations were available in her public library, some excellent, some awful. She wondered and worried about the challenges Darcy and Elizabeth faced at any given moment, just as did Austen, who discussed them with her family as if they were alive and well.
Suzan's curiosity grew to imagine new possibilities for dramatic explorations between the lines of Pride and Prejudice, which led her to start writing her own Variations. Along the way, she discovered a love for research, to ensure the historical fiction in her writing, Regency or otherwise, was not only correct, but included fun period facts to support complications, as in "Alias Thomas Bennet" or her unpublished works.
Each new story explores situations and times in which to take the enigmatic Mr. Darcy and endearing Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Unpublished works include Performing to Strangers, a light and pleasing time-travel novella; Studio 54, a P&P New Adult Romance novel set in hedonistic 1978-79; plus nine short stories in a varitey of genres, all available to read for free on Meryton Literary Society's "A Happy Assembly." www.meryton.com/aha Her latest novel, Letter from Ramsgate, will be posted on AHA in 2015 and published in 2016.
Most recently, the annotated letters and history by Austen scholar Dierdre LeFaye are her side reading items, while she enjoys reading mostly unpublished Austen-inspired variations, including beta editing for other popular authors in the genre.
Suzan Lauder's Projects
Alias Thomas Bennet
. . . of most interest to Bennet was Mr. Darcy of Pemberley.