Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's In a Name?

Would a rose by any other name really smell as sweet? I'm not sure, but right now no other name sells as well as Jane Austen.

I had a well known Regency author tell me today that she bought a book because it was called "What Would Jane Austen Do?". An author invoked my name and presto she sells books. Do I have anything to do with the book? Well apparently I am a character in it and a woman from today's times goes back to Regency England and meets me. I'm not quite sure where she meets me. At a house party I believe.

I realize that my alter ego, a librarian who is now working as an event coordinator (trust her, in her master plan it all works) is really writing this and other than being a big fan of mine does not actually have a connection to me. But I'm a little miffed or perhaps she is. People are using my name to sell books and some of the plots are plausible and when they are extensions of my stories sometimes the characters change. I think with a name as famous as mine and characters as well loved as mine people need to be careful where they tread.

I do fear that a hatred will start to arise with all the Jane Austen stuff coming out into print. A hatred for me when the books really have very little to do with me. I think I need to repackage my original books and try marketing them to a new audience. An audience that will see Jane Austen is not a time-traveling, Australia tripping, lust craved lunatic vampire battling zombies.

It's fun to see my work so loved and yet also see it so bastardized for lack of a better term.

Let's go back to the original. The classic. The one and only Jane, who by any other name is really just a knock-off.

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