Wednesday, 15 January 2014


A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility

Take a fresh look at the romantic Jane Austen classic in Kaitlin Saunders’s heartwarming new novel, A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility. After A Modern Day Persuasion proved a hit, this latest installment in Saunders’s successful series of Austen retellings will have readers swooning at the comical misunderstandings and classic romances that are newly envisioned for modern times.

After their father’s untimely death, Ellie and Marianne Dashwood must suffer the loss of both their beloved parent and their fortune when, together with their mother and younger sister, they find themselves at the mercy of their half brother and his greedy wife, Francil. Ellie temporarily finds solace in a new friendship with Francil’s brother, Edward. But as their connection deepens and Edward fails to make the next move, Ellie becomes increasingly confused. Eventually Francil’s manipulations become unbearable and the Dashwood ladies are forced to relocate to a dingy apartment building in Portland, Oregon, owned by their quirky cousin and his busybody mother-in-law, Mrs. Jennings. Slowly, the women begin adapting to their newfound meager lifestyle. While cutting coupons and watching their budget, the Dashwoods welcome the chance to make new acquaintances in their new town. One such acquaintance is Mrs. Jennings’s friend Brandon, a wealthy thirty-something hotel entrepreneur who is immediately infatuated with Marianne. Turned off by their relatively large age gap, Marianne turns her attention to the suspiciously perfect Jim Willoughby. But just as things start heating up between them, she learns that the situation may not be exactly as it seems.
As the sisters struggle through secrets, illness, and broken promises, Ellie and Marianne must find the answer: Does love really conquer all? Find out in Saunders’s romantic rendition of a beloved classic.


Q: After retelling JA's Persuasion in a modern context, Kaitlin,  you decided to do the same with Sense & Sensibility. Are they your best favourites among Austen's major six? If not, what are the reasons of choosing them?
A: Yes, they are some of my favorites! After I read both novels, I couldn't help but wonder what they would look like if they were set in present day, or how it would be if I were Anne or Marianne or Elinor -- hence my modern day adaptations! My imagination penned for other woman to read!

Q: Why did you feel the need to modernize these classic, evergreen stories?
A: Many of my friends love watching Jane Austen movies or other Austen-inspired material, but have never taken the time to read the books because they can't understand some of the verbiage nor relate to the customs and manners of the day. Even I had trouble recently when re-reading Sense & Sensibility -- I had to sometimes re-read a passage several times to understand what was being said. So when my ideas for modernizing these novels started coming together, I didn't just push aside the task and add it to my 'someday to-do list' -- I got to work! I want my friends to enjoy Austen's tales as much as I do.

Q: Did you change the original plot in any 'surprising way' or did you  follow it thoroughly?
A: I feel like I did have to make more changes this time than with Persuasion, simply because there were more circumstances that wouldn't translate well in this present day. For instance: why on earth would Edward feel obligated to continue his relationship with Lucy when a man's word isn't as binding now as back then? And the Dashwood ladies being unable to inherit the estate? Things like that just wouldn't make sense if I tried sticking to every detail of the original plot.

Q: Thinking about the main characters in your new book, how different are they from their Regency counterparts?
A: I'd like to think they are still the same characters, only with a modern twist. They still encompass the same morals and standards, but now Marianne, for instance, can be more expressive with her jewelry and color palette.

Q: Talking about the heroes in S & S, Brandon, Edward or Willoughby. Choose your favourite and tell us why.
A: I know this will shock some people, but Willoughby is my favorite, especially Jane Austen's version of this hero. He's so perfect and his undoing seems so unnecessary that it breaks one's heart!

Q: Well Kaitlin, many Janeites will think us crazy but I totally agree with you. I find he is the male character Jane Austen depicts better among the three. Willoughby is a complex character,  not just a type (many pages are focused on his defence toward the end of the novel).
A: That's one of the things I noticed when re-reading S&S while researching for my novel -- the defense. I feel like she put more effort into Willoughby as a character than any other hero. And although she makes him fall, Austen writes his redemption at the end of the book with her defense for his poor choices. I think secretly she loved someone very much like Willoughby.

Q: Focusing now on the protagonists, which one of the two sisters do you resemble the most? Elinor or Marianne?
A: Hands down Elinor, or “Ellie” as I call her in my adaptation. Although I wish I could be more expressive like Marianne and hold nothing back and live with no regrets, I'm much too guarded and concerned about what others think, like Ellie.

Q: If you could live one of their adventures and misadventures for one day, which moment would choose to live?
A: I think I would want to live Marianne's first encounter with Willoughby. Although my interpretation of their meeting makes me blush and want to duck under a blanket, I wouldn't mind a Knight-In-Shining armor coming to my rescue!

Q: What are the easiest and the most difficult tasks in transferring an Austen-esque tale to contemporary settings? Is there much which goes inevitably lost?
A: I don't think much gets lost, at least in my versions. I try to keep every significant event, which is why some readers complain that my books are too much like the originals -- but that's why I call them “Modern Day” adaptations. I want them to be the same stories, only modernized. And yes, it is a difficult task transferring it to contemporary settings. For instance, Austen's women didn't work, but then, what did they do all day? What type of occupations could I give them or day to day employments that would be realistic? The easiest task for me was updating their personas and how they might look in this day and age. It's probably my favorite part of modernizing.

Q: What is it that you learnt reading and re-writing S & S? Any special lesson/message?
A: People are the same today as they were back then, honestly. Sure, we dress differently and the customs and manners of the day are different, but human nature is still human nature! There will always be Edwards, Brandons, and Willoughbys -- and we woman just have to be equipped to tell the difference between them!

Q: Have you planned to re-write other Austen novels? What are you working on now?
A: Although I'm tinkering with an idea for another Austen adaptation, currently I'm working on a more original work revolving around a mother-daughter relationship. However, with my second child due February 2014, I'm not expecting to finish this anytime soon! :D

Kaitlin Saunders is proficient on the works of Jane Austen and finds that literature written by Austen serves to give her inspiration.  At age sixteen, Saunders began her literary career writing her first screenplay, titled "Caroline," later bringing this period piece to life.  She directed and produced this film, which gained popularity after being aired on local television.  Her first novel, A Modern Day Persuasion, was published in 2011.  Saunders and her husband enjoy cuddling up with their daughter and watching BBC as a family.

Books Available @Amazon, B&, & Smashwords

Win a paperback copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


WarmisunquAusten said...

I am interesting in this story, I hope that this book be a good adaptation.

Thank you for opportunity to win a copy.

All good Luck, Kaitlin with her release!!

paperdollmom said...

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Austen book, this looks like a great read!

Lúthien84 said...

I read A Modern Day Persuasion a few years back and I would like to continue and read her modernisation of Sense and Sensibility. I recently finished reading Joanna Trollope's version and would like to compare how it is different from Kaitlin's retelling. Thanks for the giveaway.

Arjanne said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I always like to read modern adaptations, they are often so creative!

Unknown said...

I won A Modern Day Persuasion two years ago and I liked her way of writing. I'd love to win this one now!

Miette said...

Iwould really like to read Kaitlin Sander's new book , I love Sense & Sensibility & Elinor!!:)Thank's for this giveaway :)

Judy H said...

I'd love to win a copy, too! :)

Vesper said...

always curious how the mores and customs of Jane Austen day are adapted into the modern era

Monica said...

Curious about this new version of S&S. Let's read about this Jim Willoughby!

Valerie said...

I love Jane Austen's works, and I think it's especially fun to see these modern-day twists. Looking forward to reading this story! Thank you for the giveaway :)

Mystica said...

Any spin off from a Jane Austen story would be welcome.
Thanks for sharing.

Kelli H. said...

I really enjoyed a Modern Day Persuasion and I am so excited to read this new modern take on S&S. Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite JA novels. I just love the relationship that Elinor and Marianne share. Thanks for the giveaway and congratulations on your new book!!=)

Anubha said...

I love reading books by Austen and by book which is an extension, a retelling, etc. of her tales automatically becomes interesting for me :)

Birdhouse Books said...

Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen book, so this novel sounds particularly intriguing to me. I would love to read it!

junewilliams7 said...

Willoughby as hero?? but... but... but... what about his poor treatment of orphaned 15-y-o Eliza, leaving her pregnant and penniless, without medical attention??

As for your next adaptation, might I beg you to consider Lady Susan? Nobody ever tackles that story, which is impossible for me to read because of its epistolary format. It's a mother-daughter story that needs updating.

Congratulations on your new baby!

Unknown said...

I'm curious about the changes to characterizations of each character's personality needed, if any were made, to switch to a contemporary era! Thank you for the giveaway!

divavixenqueen said...

It's great seeing how an
idea could be incorporated into a
modern setting. Plus who knows
what would have happen if Willoughby
wasn't written as a cad.
Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Maria said...

I'm always curious about new adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. I think I can define myself addicted to anything Austen! Thanks for the chance!

Kaitlin Saunders said...

Thanks everybody for your interest in my book and your well wishes for my upcoming child! :D

Happy Reading!

Natasha Hayes said...

How To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage?(Dr.Brave).

Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly email this wonderful man {},i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{}, Thanks..