What if it was Mr. Rochester chained up in the attic?

It’s Tuesday, but I’m not Amanda! We’ve swapped days this week so I can celebrate the release date of my novella Reader, I Married Him, published by Loose-Id today. AND I’m offering a download as a prize to one lucky person who makes a comment or asks a question.

First off, big thanks to editor Treva Harte at Loose-Id for making me an offer on this novella five (gulp) years ago and making me another offer last year, and to fabulous cover artist Christine M. Griffin who obligingly made Rochester look a bit more grubby at my suggestion. And although the flying critters may be bats elsewhere, they’re crows, I’m telling you. Crows. This is Bronte country.

This novella has been in the works a long, long time. I blogged about it here in a post on Jane Eyre in 2005, which was around the same time a NY editor sent me a wounded rejection that included the phrase I don’t want Jane to be a slut. I still think that’s one of the most fabulous rejections I have ever received. It’s also interesting how things have changed in five years. Re-reading the novella in preparation for editing and sending in to Loose-Id, I was struck at how tame most of the dirty stuff is. All fairly ho-hum (oh, go wash your mouth out with soap) vanilla stuff.

So why did I take that great icon of romance, Jane Eyre, and subvert her? I guess I’m just a troublemaker. Also, Jane isn’t the heroine, although she does behave, er, sluttishly (but no more and no less than anyone else in the book). I wrote it because Jane Eyre fascinates and impresses me and lures me in to read it again and again; and also because I admire Bronte’s marvelous, spare, sinewy prose. I wanted to include quotes within the novella, and I’ll be really interested to see if readers recognize them–some, the title for instance, are obvious. I’m particularly proud of the way the last line falls into place. You’ll see why.

It’s a bit of a departure for me but I’m writing under my own name; I have no innocence or innocents to protect. And I’m very proud of this novella.

I’d love everyone to rush off and buy it and I will be picking a winner here on Wednesday at noon EST. But–WARNING–do not buy this e-novella if you have strong feelings about Jane Eyre as the iconic great grandmother of romance.

So, let’s talk about Jane Eyre. Why is the novel important to YOU?