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CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT won a Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award and was nominated for a Regency World Award for Best New Fiction.
RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Mainstream Fiction.
Peeking Between the Pages named RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT one of its 10 Favorite Books of 2009 AND the author as one of its five favorite authors.
Historical-Fiction.com named RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT as the "MOST ENTERTAINING" book of 2009.
Austenprose named RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT its #1 Austenesque book of 2009.
Living Read Girl named RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT as one of the best books of 2009.
Here are selected reviews of RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, and the web series inspired by the novels, SEX AND THE AUSTEN GIRL. (For more reviews, click on the title of the book on the menu bar above).
Tubefilter (Sex and the Austen Girl review)
‘Sex and the Austen Girl’ Finds Original Twist, and Babelgum
by Marc Hustvedt on May 17th, 2010
There’s a long standing debate over the presence of originality in derivative works—or, how much creative value does say, a spoof of an already über-popular Beyoncé-Lady Gaga video really have? The subsidiary version clearly borrows from the original, milking the internet zeitgeist for attention (and dollars) while never eclipsing its master. The flipside is of course the derivative that transcends the original, breaking both itself and the original into a new orbit of relevance—see: Numa Numa.
Somewhere in between those two poles lies a whole sea of creative output that could go either way. In web series, the title is usually the first giveaway. Sex and the Austen Girl launched today on Babelgum, a twenty-episode web series based on the best-selling Penguin novels, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, by Laurie Viera Rigler. Thankfully its name is misleading enough not to box this one into the humdrum glut of Sex and the City copycats.
Instead, it’s Jane Austen—not Candance Bushnell—that seeds the derivative nature of Rigler’s novels and now web series. Throw in a little time traveling body swap, with a sassy modern day Los Angeles 30-something Courtney Stone (Arabella Field) trading places with similar aged 19-century English lady Jane Mansfield (Fay Masterson), and you have a comedy to unfold. While shot economically on green screen, rather than opting for the pricey period film route, each episode is a fairly terse dialogue on love, dating and romance. The only thing these women seem to share is an unhealthy obsession with Jane Austen novels.
These are the same two characters from the novels, brought to life by the two capable actresses for an entertaining banter. To pull it off, the author teamed up her husband Thomas Rigler, who together with his producing partner Brian Gerber at Gerber Rigler, developed the series and as way to drive new audiences into the books. They got the backing from publishers Penguin Group and Bloomsbury Publishing for what marks the publishers’ first web series adaptation of one of their titles.
Babelgum picked up the series for an exclusive window of 45 days on each episode, with new ones bowing online every Monday for twenty weeks. Babelgum’s Comedy Channel publisher Amber J. Lawson commented on the deal, “As Babelgum Comedy continues to move forward with creating professionally-produced, brand-friendly and celebrity-driven content, it made complete sense to tap into the publishing world and provide a new business model for books that creates a completely new and different immersive experience.”
While Sex and the Austen Girl is also Babelgum’s first novel-turned web series, there have been a handful of such releases in the online video world to mixed success. Private seemed to hit a chord with its core teen audience for Alloy Entertainment, while Robin Cook’s Foreign Body series may have spent a bit much for its efforts