It is with great pleasure that we welcome back Vera Nazarian with another selection from her Supernatural Jane Austen Series, Mansfield Park and Mummies. Who knew a mummy could add so much romance? Be sure to enter for a chance to win a special autographed copies of Mansfield Park and Mummies graciously provided by Ms. Nazarian.
Thanks so much to everyone at the Dark Jane Austen Book Club for having me here to share a bit of my story….
When I first started writing Mansfield Park and Mummies, the first book of my Supernatural Jane Austen Series, I had no idea that there would be a third romantic interest for Fanny Price in my version of Austen’s classic. And I had even less notion that it would be an Ancient Egyptian Mummy!
You see, the sexy enigmatic Lord Eastwind—who is really Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Xethesamen, and whose name means “East Wind” (my creation completely, not a historical figure)—came about because I’ve always thought that both Edmund Bertram and Henry Crawford were not quite good enough for Fanny. Edmund spent most of the book being blind to her in the romantic sense, while Henry, despite his brilliance and attractiveness, was too shallow and did not know how to love anyone well enough to be her match, not even once he tried really, really hard.
And so, somewhat in the vein of The Phantom of the Opera, the tragic and romantic figure of the perfect immortal lover took shape… out of the romance of timeless Egypt itself.
I have always loved the stories of Egyptian mummies, because they are the only monsters that can be scary, romantic, tragic, and funny all at the same time.
Just think about it—vampires (even the non-sparkly kind) are all about terror or terrible elegant beauty. Zombies are either scary or kind of funny and gross. There are no elegant zombies, and usually no funny vampires (though vampire are sometimes included in funny stories, they themselves are not the source of the humor, for the most part).
But take mummies—they are so versatile! They shuffle around and flap old linen bandages one moment, terrify the next, turn into handsome ancient lovers yet the next, and usually they are extremely noble and sympathetic in their human form, a victim of some ancient crime. Mummies are suspended in a very unusual complex afterlife, and they come with a historical bounty of story riches of ages past… What’s not to love?
When my mummies invaded Mansfield Park, I gave them a very good reason for being there. And Lord Eastwind took a very interesting place in the story.
The dialogues between him and Fanny sizzle, and the sparks start to fly!
He is the other potential love interest that complements Fanny Price unlike either Edmund or Harry. And he, in my opinion, rounds out the story.
When introducing mummies into the story, I wasn’t planning for high romance, only high laughs, but things somehow got out of my hands, and I suppose in the long run, love trumps all…
But—I don’t want to give any more of it away. I invite you to read the story and see for yourself.