With: Jennifer Kloester
Thank you so much for having me on your gorgeous website and I hope your readers will enjoy this original and rather unusual take on a contemporary romance novel.
I love romance and have long been a romance reader. Katie Fforde is a favourite along with Jennifer Crusie and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have a thing for smart, sassy women and love joining them on their romantic adventures as they navigate the modern world. I also love historical fiction with a particular penchant for the novels of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – again, books about strong, independently-minded women with brilliant, memorable plots. Writing my first adult novel, Jane Austen’s Ghost, was definitely an act of pure wish-fulfilment! So often when I read a Jane Austen novel or watch a movie or TV series based on one of her books, I wonder what she would make of our world. So much has changed in the two hundred years since her death, so what would she think of cars and the internet and mobile phones? What would she make of our language? Though it’s still English, it’s often very different from the English she knew. How would she react to the modern landscape? To bitumen and concrete and steel? What would she think of modern women and our often crazy relationships?
Jane Austen was herself a smart independent woman. Unusually for the time, she never married; even more unusually, that was by choice – for she once accepted a marriage proposal, only to change her mind the next day. That has always intrigued me, as has much of her life story. She lived mainly in small villages and some people have thought she lived a sheltered life, while others have suggested she saw a much wider world than she’s been given credit for. Whichever it was, she definitely became a keen and insightful observer of those around her and this is one of the things that sets her books apart. She only wrote six novels but they have become six of the most popular and admired novels in history. I’ve always wondered what she would think if she knew of her enormous popularity and how she’d cope if she were somehow transported to our time.
And so I wrote Jane Austen’s Ghost. It’s a contemporary romance set in Winchester, England, in 2019 and its main protagonist is 27-year-old Cassandra. She’s just had her heart broken (again) and she’s retreated to Winchester to find refuge with her eccentric Great-Aunt Butters. But nothing goes to plan. Overnight, Cassie’s life completely changes when one of history’s most famous figures finds herself in stranded in the modern world and it’s up to Cassie to figure out how to free her.
I had such a wonderful time writing this novel. Writing a contemporary romance with Jane Austen at its heart was so satisfying. Though our world is vastly different from the world of the world of early nineteenth-century England that she inhabited, there is one thing that never changes and that is human nature. Jane Austen was a brilliant observer of human nature and bringing her into the twenty-first century meant that she could cast her keen eye over modern life. I loved that! Of course, at times it was a challenge and the book needed a lot of research to get Jane’s voice right and to ensure it was a real contrast to the modern voices of the contemporary characters. I also undertook several visits to Winchester and to Chawton and other places in England where the novel is set and it was fascinating to see what had changed in two hundred years and what had not. In some ways, writing contemporary romance is much easier than writing historical romance because the modern world is so much more familiar, but it was great fun incorporating Regency elements into Jane Austen’s Ghost because it let me highlight so many of the differences between the contemporary world and the historical. I hope your readers enjoy reading Jane Austen’s Ghost as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thank you so much for having me at Just Contemporary Romance!
JANE AUSTEN'S GHOST
A masterpiece of wit, ingenuity and impeccable style, Regency maven Jennifer Kloester brings the great Jane Austen into the modern world in this enchanting, exhilarating adventure of love, literature and life everlasting...
With her life a mess, Cassandra Austin seeks refuge in Winchester with her eccentric great-aunt – but Aunty B has problems of her own. Ghost problems.
Cassie doesn’t believe in ghosts but she’ll do anything to help the only person who’s ever loved her. Besides, a simple spell in the cathedral crypt couldn’t do any harm, could it? Well, except for the two-hundred-year-old curse on Jane Austen, that is.
Overnight, life is suddenly a whole lot weirder and it’s up to Cassie to save the day with the help of a dour Bishop, two literary geniuses, a couple of wise-cracking geriatrics and the enigmatic Oliver Carling.
Magic and mystery abound in this genre-bending contemporary-historical paranormal romance with a Regency twist.
Jennifer Kloester first read Georgette Heyer’s novels while living in the jungle in Papua New Guinea and re-read them while living in the desert in Bahrain. In 2004, she completed a Doctorate on Georgette Heyer and her Regency Novels. Since then she has written extensively about Heyer and the Regency and has given writing workshops and public presentations in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. She is the author of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World and Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller. Jennifer also writes fiction; her novel Jane Austen’s Ghost is out October 29, 2019.
“Jane Austen's Ghost is a fabulous, fun read full of fantastical twists - mind-candy for anyone who has heard of Jane Austen. Meticulously researched, this work is nevertheless a tour de force of the imagination. Although steeped in all things Austen, due to its imaginative presentation, this work will appeal to readers everywhere – from Austen scholars to the man in the street. This is a work that transcends genres, incorporating a contemporary-historical paranormal adventure, a sweet romance, and a female protagonist in a coming-of-age arc. A truly not-to-be-missed read destined to become a classic.”
-- STEPHANIE LAURENS
“Jennifer Kloester’s meticulous research frameworks an intriguing, complex fantasy, as well as a gorgeously intimate insight into a concept of the Jane Austen we’d love to have at our dinner table. The characters are marvelous, the friendships warm and deep, and the plot holds us spellbound until the end. A truly fabulous read.”
-- MARION LENNOX
“Jane Austen meets Bridget Jones meets Harry Potter in this fast-paced romp from Georgette Heyer expert Jennifer Kloester. There are laugh out loud moments but genuinely scary moments, too, in this diverting tale. Supernatural elements mix with Regency manners as Jane Austen finds herself grappling with the twenty-first century in Jane Austen’s Ghost.”
-- AMANDA GRANGE
And here’s Jen’s social media info: