Robin Maxwell - Tor/Forge Blog

Me Jane

Me Jane

Jane by Robin Maxwell

Written by Robin Maxwell

When Tor’s art department presented me with Mark Summers’s amazing cover art, I was a bit thrown. All earlier concepts had included Tarzan, and here he was nowhere to be found except in the subtitle. Yet my gut reaction to the image was overwhelmingly positive. “Yes!” I thought, this was the Jane I’d written—at least as she’d evolved during the course of the book, from a dignified, if tomboyish, Edwardian young lady into a woman who could survive in an African jungle, hunting, fighting, and brachiating through the liana. In short, a “fit mate” for Tarzan.

Here, staring out at me from my book cover, was a powerful, feline female who looked as though if anyone messed with her ape man she would snatch him bald. I liked that. In the next months, when things got hairy, as they always do in the run-up to publishing a book, I’d find myself gazing at the cover, and it would always cheer me up. I was proud that this was the image that would introduce the world to my novel. I started taking strenth from this rendition of Jane Porter. I was slowly being moved by her fierceness and fearlessness.

And it was a good thing, too, because 2012 is Tarzan’s 100th anniversary year, and through my close association with the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, I was invited to be a panelist at San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been a public speaker for fifteen years, but nothing I’d experienced could prepare me for what I knew this convention would be.

In prepping for it, I was suddenly using the cover image in myriad ways—postcards, book plates, and a large poster—to support my panel and a book signing at the Tor Books booth. Everywhere I looked, there was Jane staring back at me, compelling me to “woman-up” and face the mobs and strange creatures of the high-tech jungle in San Diego.

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The sight of her everywhere buoyed me, excited me, made me consider crazy things. On a shopping expedition for my Comic-Con wardrobe I found myself eying a little tee-shirt dress in a quite beautiful leopard pattern. With Jane whispering in my ear, I grabbed it off the rack and took it home. My husband, Max, watched that night as I took the scissors to it, cutting out one arm and giving it a jagged, pelt-like hem. When I put it on with black pants and a stone necklace it looked kind of cool. But all my friends warned me – “Do not wear that thing to Comic-Con. You’ll look like an idiot!” They drowned out Jane’s voice…and I chickened out. However, I packed it up and brought it with me anyway.

I spent my first morning at SDCC2012 handing out postcards and signing book plates. A pretty young woman who’d taken a card from me strongly evoked the spirit of Jane and with a sudden burst of courage, I blurted out, “Would you put on a Jane outfit and help me promote my book?!”

My jungle instincts had proven true. Heidi Hilliker was not in costume when we met, but on Saturday she was going to transform herself into her favorite heroine, Wonder Woman. She was game to be Jane for an hour. In the ladies’ room, I whipped out the dress. She looked sensational in it! At the book signing she held up my poster proudly, attracting many admiring stares. I cursed myself for not being brave enough to wear the tog myself.

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Once Comic-Con was behind us, the Fates provided me with one more chance to prove my strength and daring. Steve Brown, the publisher of a wonderful Southern California arts and entertainment magazine, The Sun Runner, was intrigued by Jane and the story of how—with the help of Max, a 35-year veteran yoga teacher, and much-beloved figure in our community—I had come to write it. Steve, a pretty out-there guy himself, suggested we pose as Tarzan and Jane for the cover of the “Desert Writers Issue” of his magazine.

Again, friends cautioned us against it. But this time the spirits of Jane and the ape man punched through and cried, “Go for it!” I fashioned Max a nifty little loincloth for his still incredible seventy-year-old body, and put on my outfit. At the 29 Palm Inn oasis, hiding the unfortunate parts of my anatomy with a giant palm frond, we took deep breaths and went native. Here’s the result.


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More from the September Tor/Forge newsletter:

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan Sweepstakes

Tor/Forge Blog

Poster Placeholder of - 71Win an advance copy of Robin Maxwell’s upcoming novel Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan!

This year is the 100th anniversary of Tarzan of the Apes, the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs character, and what better way is there to celebrate than by giving away copies of Robin Maxwell’s novel Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan? Comment below to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins August 13, 2012 at 10 a.m. ET. and ends August 17, 2012, 12:00 p.m. ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules go here. Sponsor: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

Starred Review: Jane by Robin Maxwell

Tor/Forge Blog

Poster Placeholder of - 16“With riveting action and suspense, earthy humor, a piquant look at the debate over evolution, and the love between heroic, resourceful, and tender Tarzan and smart, strong, and passionate Jane, this is lush and satisfying entertainment.”

Robin Maxwell’s Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan gets a starred review in Booklist!

Here’s the full review, which is in today’s issue:

img class=”alignnone wp-image-9928″ style=”border: 0px;” title=”starred-review” alt=”placeholder-img” src=”” width=”17″ height=”17″ /> Best-selling historical-fiction writer Maxwell (To the Tower Born, 2005) is the first woman writer authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate to create a Tarzan tale, a breakthrough that marks the centenary of Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs’ first novel featuring the aristocratic ape man and Jane, the intrepid young woman he rescues. Maxwell’s new and improved Jane, a budding scientist undaunted by rampant misogyny, accompanies her professor father to West Africa on a 1905 expedition organized by charming explorer Ral Conrath. But Conrath turns out to be a vicious outlaw, who abandons Jane to die a brutal death. Tarzan, of course, swoops in and rescues her, then, as their unlikely love deepens, she saves him. Maxwell improvises brilliantly on Burroughs’ indelible novel (recently handsomely reissued by the Library of America). In her eventful, keenly imagined, and thrilling tale of African life, colonial crimes, an opulent lost city, and “living missing links” (the primates who raised Tarzan, the orphaned Lord Greystoke), Maxwell also orchestrates glorious sexual awakenings in an Edenic jungle. With riveting action and suspense, earthy humor, a piquant look at the debate over evolution, and the love between heroic, resourceful, and tender Tarzan and smart, strong, and passionate Jane, this is lush and satisfying entertainment.

Jane will be published on September 18th.

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Image Placeholder of - 58 Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi and Steve Englehart as Comic-Con Special Guests!

This year at Tor’s Booth (#2707), we continue our popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal. This year we’re pleased to include the legendary


author of New York Times Bestselling Ender’s Game, soon to be a major motion picture from Summit Entertainment!

Thursday, July 12th

  • 3pm – 4pm Tor Booth (#2707) New York Times bestselling author and Comic-Con Special Guest, BRANDON SANDERSON, will sign copies of The Way of Kings.
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm Panel: The Dark Knight Rises: Is Batman Broken? Room 26AB
    Strong, smart, and heroic, he’s the Dark Knight we want on our side. But is Batman also out of his mind? Comic-con Special Guest, STEVE ENGLEHART joins Catwoman herself, Lee Meriwether, to discuss Bruce Wayne’s relationships, strengths and weaknesses. Does the Dark Knight have bats in his belfry?
  • 4:45pm – 5:45pm Panel: The Fiction of Halo 4, Room 6BCF
    Halo 4 heralds the return of one of gaming’s most iconic heroes, the Master Chief, in a new, epic sci-fi saga. Expanding and enriching the narrative, 343 Industries, panelists share how the development of stories across the GREG BEAR Forerunner saga, the KAREN TRAVISS Kilo-Five trilogy, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Halo 4 Campaign and Halo Infinity Multiplayer have become connective tissue for Halo 4.
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) Bestselling, award-winning futurist DAVID BRIN, will sign copies of his new high concept novel Existence, his first major work in over a decade.

Friday, July 13th

  • 10am – 11am Panel: Art of the Thrill Kill, Room 24AB
    From psycho killers and sociopaths to the vast unknowable emptiness of deep space, these authors know that it takes more than just blood and gore to keep their readers awake at night. DAN WELLS joins other top horror and thriller novelists to discuss how they balance ratcheting suspense with perfectly paced creepiness to create stories that are both psychologically and atmospherically disturbing.
  • 12pm – 1pm Signing in the autographing area, AA09
  • 12pm – 1pm Tor Booth (#2707) Legendary science fiction author ORSON SCOTT CARD & co-author AARON JOHNSTON sign Invasive Procedures a taut science fiction medical thriller. Five lucky people will get a chance to receive a signed copy of Earth Unaware: The First Formic War set in the popular Ender’s series, on-sale July 17th!
  • 12pm – 1pm Spotlight on BRANDON SANDERSON, Room 25ABC
    Author, educator, and Comic-Con Special Guest BRANDON SANDERSON talks about his growth from a nonreader in his youth to become one of the most popular fantasy writers working today. Sanderson’s books include his own Mistborn trilogy and his continuation of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Timeseries, which wraps up in January 2013.
  • 2:30pm Duo Paul & Storm join us in the Tor Booth (#2707) to serenade fans as they wait in line to meet New York Times bestselling author and Comic-Con Special Guest JOHN SCALZI! Then at 3pm, John signs copies of Old Man’s War, the book that launched his career!
  • 3:30pm– 4:30pm Panel: Epic Fantasy War, Room 6A
    Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings), joins the top names in fantasy fiction to discuss how the key to writing a real epic fantasy novel lies in the word epic-which doesn’t just mean ambitious in scale, scope, and size.
    5:00pm – 6:00pm Signing in the autographing area, AA09
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) DAN WELLS will sign copies of his the book that started it all, I Am Not A Serial Killer.

Saturday, July 14th

  • 10am – 11am That 70s Panel, Room 23ABC.
    STEVE ENGLEHART makes a Comic-con Special Guest Spotlight appearance on this panel. Get out your pet rocks!
  • 12pm – 1pm Comics Arts Conference Focus on STEVE ENGLEHART , Room 26AB
    Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) moderates a discussion of Englehart’s stellar career writing the adventures of Captain America, Silver Surfer, Doctor Strange, Coyote, Night Man, the Justice League, and dozens of other characters.
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm Panel: The Naked Truth About Tarzan and Jane: The First 100 Years of Spectacular Tarzan Imagery, and One of Literature’s Best-Loved Couples as They Enter Their Second Century, Room 25ABC
    Bestselling novelist Robin Maxwell (Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan) and author Scott Tracy Griffin (Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration) gather with illustrator Joe Jusko (The Art of Joe Jusko) to discuss these iconic literary characters. Join them for a presentation and Q&A session hosted by Jim Sullos, president of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Incorporated, the official licensing entity for Tarzan and John Carter of Mars.
    Room 25ABC
  • 2pm – 3pm Tor Booth (#2707) Iconic science fiction author GREG BEAR signs copies of Halo: Primordium, Book Two of the Forerunner Saga.
  • 12pm – 1pm Tor Booth (#2707) Father/daughter duo ORSON SCOTT CARD & EMILY SCOTT CARD sign copies of their first writing collaboration, Laddertop, Volume 1.
  • 3pm – 4pm Panel: A Wrinkle in Time, Room 23ABC
    From the far-flung reaches of the Milky Way to the mind-bending possibilities of time travel, let the authors of speculative fiction tell you what they see when they venture to other dimensions. With DAVID BRIN & ORSON SCOTT CARD.
    4:30pm – 5:30pm Signing in the Autographing area, AA09
  • 5pm – 6pm Tor Booth (#2707) STEVE ENGLEHART will sign copies of The Long Man.
  • 5:30pm – 6:30pm Spotlight Panel with JOHN SCALZI, Room 7AB
    Comic-Con special guest JOHN SCALZI (Redshirts) talks about his latest work, his upcoming novel, video game, and film projects, takes questions and generally tries to amuse the hell out of you for an hour. With him as moderator/interviewer/conspirator: Wil Wheaton (Tabletop). It’ll be the most fun you can have while respirating.
    3:30pm – 4:30pm Solo Autographing, AA18

Sunday, July 15th

  • 10pm – 11am Panel: Stunted Fools and Scary-Ass Clowns: Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy Room 25ABC
    Join in for an irreverent hour celebrating sly wit and unholy humor with some of the most devilish quipsters, wisecrackers, and satirists writing today. JOHN SCALZI (Redshirts) plays ringmaster to some of the best SFF humor writers in the field.
    11:30am – 12:30pm Signing in the autographing area, AA04
  • 2:45pm – 3:45pm Panel: Heroes for the Middle Grade Reader: Books That Will Rock Your Socks Off, Room 5AB
    EMILY JANICE CARD (yes, daughter of THAT Card) teamed up with her famous father to write a science fiction manga, Laddertop, Volume 1 aimed at middle grade readers, and will join a panel discussing adventurers and unexpected champions that we can all cheer for.
    4pm – 5pm Signing in the Autographing area, AA09
  • 12pm Tor Booth (#2707) giveaway, The Omen Machine by New York Times bestselling author, Terry Goodkind.
  • 2pm – 3pm Tor Booth (#2707) giveaway, Dark Companion the YA debut of Marta Acosta.

Make sure to follow @Torbooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events!

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

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