Monday, August 6, 2012

New JAFF Forum: Beyond Austen

It is rare in this world to have the opportunity to be a part of something truly special at the ground floor.  I remember when I was growing up, there was a recreational center built in the area I lived in and my parents purchased a family membership early.  That gave us the bragging rights of being "Charter Members", and I recall the pride I felt in knowing that we were.  I don't recall if there were any true perks to being charter members, but the pool at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center was my playground for many years.

I have only been aware of the JAFF world for a few years.  JAFF, or "Jane Austen Fan Fiction" is a thriving literary community that explores the themes, characters and life lessons that Jane herself wrote about. Once I discovered it, it didn't take me long to get hooked.  We don't just TALK about her stories, endlessly dissecting our interpretation of Jane's novels, but do so through stories centered in one or more aspects of that world. Some are period pieces while others are contemporary, paranormal, science fiction etc.  The book I'm preparing to launch this month, One Thread Pulled is an example of the Regency period JAFF genre. 

The Internet is host to quite a few websites dedicated to Jane Austen and her works, with a subset of these devoted to JAFF.  I have spent many pleasurable hours on several of these sites, notably and but other than directing people to my own story, One Thread Pulled, I have hesitated to recommend these sites wholesale since there are often stories posted on them that I wouldn't be comfortable having my mother see.  Yes.  That is the ultimate standard.

I am now thrilled to be not only a Charter Member of, but also a Forum Moderator on a new JAFF website, Beyond Austen

The initial launch of this site occurred one week ago, and the response has been fantastic.  The content includes stories, poetry, blogs, games etc., and we are just getting started.  The best part is that I can confidently recommend this site not only to my mother, but to people from church, to my young nieces and other youth as well.  The writers agree to the keep what they post within the G to PG-13 rating and the founders of the site, Stephanie Hamm, Gayle Mills and Robin Helm are committed to maintaining that ideal.   

Since stories post a chapter at a time, they are fun to follow as they unfold.  I'm an anticipation-aholic, so I love digesting a chapter of a story at a time, thinking about it, discussing it, and jumping to read when the next chapter comes up.  Anticipation nirvana!

It isn't too late for you to be a Charter Member too!  I have found my new playground and I'm splashing around in the pool! Join us today!  Find out more, and stay abreast of new postings and events on the Beyond Austen Facebook Page.  Be a part of something special on the ground floor.  Opportunities like this don't come along every day!