I was so tickled to be involved with Total-E-Bound’s Clandestine Classics program!
Since then, I’ve been asked if maybe I thought the classics were sacrosanct and perhaps they should have been left in their original state.
I can tell you that I took the project seriously. I’ve chatted with other authors and found a similar sentiment. No one seemed to approach it with anything less than total respect.
Before penning a single word or compiling my thoughts, I did tons of research. I immersed myself in the book and in reviews, in blogs, in scholarly writings. I also read bios of the author.
I knew that Jane Eyre was a cherished book, and I tried to imagine what might have happened if Charlotte Bronte had lived in a different time and era, if she hadn’t felt constrained to originally publish the book under a male pseudonym.
Everything old is new again! From Abraham Lincoln fighting zombies to the remakes of films, from Jane Austen novels being made into mysteries, the modern writer gains energy from the telling of tales and from combining two different ideas or genres. In my case, I experienced a creative surge of energy when I combined a BDSM element with a classic. The story was already rich with tension and fraught with scandal. (If Mr. Rochester contemplating the idea of making Jane his mistress and committing adultery wasn’t shocking enough…!)
Not everyone will agree that adding sex to the classics is a good idea. I respect their opinions. But there are those of us who are tantalized by the question of, “What happened when…?” When Rhett carried Scarlett up those stairs? When Jane and Mr. Rochester were alone at night, their rooms just down the hall from one another?
Who’s to say what the author conceived when she wrote the book? Who knows which pages ended up in the garbage bin? Who knows what revisions she made to suit an 1800s Victorian publisher? Who’s to say, really, what kind of story Ms. Bronte would have penned herself?
My ideas are only one of many. Maybe someone will conceive of Jane as vampire slayer….