It was a heady time. Wondrous Austen adaptations burst onto our movie and television screens: Pride and Prejudice (1995), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Persuasion (1995).
Lovers of Jane Austen emerged from the woodwork. We swarmed on websites and message boards … and soon there was fan fiction. Many of these were re-tellings, with changes of scene or time or point of view. (Or featuring modern morals, but I won’t address that issue now.)
Susan Kaye and I posed a simple, provocative question: Why read fan fiction if you already know the ending? And also, what is real love all about?
Boldly, we removed a simple plot device of Jane’s in Persuasion and began to write. And write and write. The rest is history. If you were hanging out at DWG or Republic of Pemberley’s Bits of Ivory, you might remember seeing our posts.
Our But-What-If classic, Love Suffers Long and is Kind, is anything but the usual Anne and Frederick fare. It’s absorbing and entertaining and addictive. And best of all, readers have no idea how it will end. Isn’t that what you want with fan fiction? The series ran in weekly posts for almost two years. Pictures are of my printed hard copy.On Friday, July 4, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of its launch by posting Love Suffers Long on Beyond Austen (BeyondAusten.com) in weekly installments. Membership is free. Bring your kleenex. You can also follow along with LSLAIK on Blogspot.
We’ve promised one another only light “Do No Harm” edits to the text. Even so, I smile to read my beginner’s prose. Those were the days.
And when we figure out how to share the copyright without incorporating—a spendy process—Love Suffers Long and is Kind will be released as a series of ebooks. Until then, you may enjoy it as so many others have—online, in all its unabridged glory.