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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

From Dinosaurs to Jane Austen Inspired Author: Marsha Altman

 From Dinosaurs to Jane Austen Inspired Author: 
Marsha Altman

I’m Marsha Altman, author of The Darcys and the Bingleys series of ten books that follow the events of Pride and Prejudice (Book 7 out late Spring!) in increasingly abstract, self-referential, or tangential ways. For years, I’ve said that I was inspired to reread Pride and Prejudice and start writing fan fiction after seeing the 2005 movie in theater, but now that the legal settlement’s gone through, the truth can finally be told!

I remember it started the night Jane and I were fighting crime on velociraptors. Normally we don’t use them because they’re hard on turns and keep eating bystanders, but the Austenmobile was in the shop. It started out as this clicking noise in the dashboard and then they had to rewire the battery or some nonsense and then I don’t even know what happened in that shop but we would up paying like $400. I’m just saying we’re not going back there. We only patronized the shop because the mechanic said he liked Persuasion and Jane says nobody admits to liking Persuasion before her other books, but now I think he was just a really savvy salesman.

So there we were near the entrance to the George Washington bridge and hanging a mugger over it with a cable to try to get information about the Japanese crime syndicate selling mutant power-enhancing PCP, and Jane was saying how she’d gotten really into Lord of the Rings slash but was still kind of embarrassed about it, it’s just that when you’ve read literally everything in the world already you’re going to end up in some weird corners of Fanfiction.net. I told her it was fine and totally mainstream, and maybe someone would had probably already written tons of Pride and Prejudice slash. She didn’t believe me, so after we got the info to take down the Red Claw Yakuza branch and left the mugger hanging from a street sign, we hoped on the internet, which took some time because it was 2005 and we didn’t have smart phones so we had to go to a Starbucks first. Turns out, no one had written any slash except some Darcy/Wickham stuff buried in some other site with all kinds of adult warnings. I said I would do a proper job.

“No one’s going to like it,” she said. “You’re not going to get a lot of good reviews.”

“Oh no, the fanfic world’s way more liberal than you think it is,” I told Jane. “Come one, twincest is like, a thing now. And that’s too far, even for me.”

“My readers are more conservative,” she said.

Long story short, she was totally right, and after that disaster I decided to write another story that didn’t contain any outright mentions of homosexuality despite it being a time period where men and women were heavily segregated in social outlets and men wore skin tight satin Capri pants. Ten books and one publishing contract later I was on to a frustratingly miniature level of stifled Austen fanfic stardom. I probably should have put more sex in the books. As for the Red Claw Yakuza Gang, they won’t be back here, mostly because of Japan’s extradition policy. Damn them!

Post your thoughts on my exciting adventures and win a copy of one of my books! I’m giving away one copy of The Darcys and the Bingleys (book 1) in paperback and two copies of Georgiana and the Wolf (book 6) in e-format. Leave your email in the comment or it will not count toward the drawing.


  1. I am still giggling. This was too funny. I've already had the privilege to read Marsha's first three books and I love the series.

    Thanks for the fun post!

  2. From dinosaurs, Yakuza crime gang to JAFF, what a story. I don't know whether to lol or feel it is silly and nonsensical. But I would love to win Georgiana and the Wolf.


  3. I love the series. the characters match the ones from the movie so well. they make me laugh, smile, and cry!

  4. LOL! It is kind of funny when you remember that the swoony Austen heroes did indeed wear tight satin capri pants! I'd love to win book 1 since I've not yet had the pleasure of reading the series. Thanks!

    monicaperry00 at gmail dot com

  5. I'm glad fashion for men has changed quite a bit since the satin capri pants! I would love to win book 1, since I don't have an e-reader.

    arjanne.boneschanscher (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. LOtR slash? No Jane, I agree with Marsha, nothing to be embarassed about. I've yet to read book 6, I have the other 5, thanks for the chance... and good luck with further adventures!

    colleenday [at] hotmail [dot] com

  7. You can be hilarious Marsha. Even though the slash version didnt work out I'm so glad you persevered.


  8. What a tale you have spun! Lol. I like seeing men dressed in Regency clothes in the movies, tight satin Capri pants and all! :)

    I would love to win Georgina and the Wolf as I already have Book 1. Enjoyed it.


  9. I like dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park movies are among my favorites. A mugger hanging from a sign? Sounds like something I saw in a Spider-Man movie (also among my favorites). You're hilarious.

    I already have the first book in paperback. Too bad you're not giving another paperback book away.

    1. You should check out my site's review policy, which is that you only have to agree to write an honest review of a book and I will send you a free copy for review. I don't do it all the time, but I'm more than happy to do it for people who are already invested in the series and therefore not likely to let it gather dust somewhere. It's just that I pay for the books and shipping myself, which is why e-copies are the preferred way. Just email me at marshaaltman at yahoo.