Thursday, 19 May 2011


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, Kaitlin began her literary career writing her first screenplay, titled, “Caroline,” later bringing this period piece to life. Directing and producing this film, it gained popularity after being aired on local television. She was recently married and enjoys cuddling up with her husband to watch BBC.
She has just published A Modern Day Persuasion. She is my guest today to talk about her book and her love for Jane Austen and her world. Leaving a comment and your e-mail address you can have the chance to win a signed copy of Kaitlin's novel. The giveaway is open worldwide and ends on May 25th. Enjoy our chat and good luck! 

Hello and welcome on My Jane Austen Book Club, Kaitlin. It’s a great pleasure for me to have the possibility to ask you these questions about your “A Modern Day Persuasion”, especially because Jane Austen’s Persuasion is one of my best favourites of all time. First of all introduce yourself briefly to our readers
I am a twenty-something Austen fan who was born out of time—I certainly belong in one of Jane's novels!  Starting my career as a film maker, I directed and produced a period piece which gained popularity after being aired on local television.  I then took to writing and the rest is history!

What brought you to write a Jane Austen modernization?
Although many of my friends and family are fans of Jane Austen, almost all of them have never taken the time to read the novels.  They love the film adaptations and watch them over and over again, yet don't have the patience to tackle the Napoleonic-Era verbiage.  I wrote A Modern Day Persuasion in order to introduce them to the magic of Jane's pen in a language a modern day woman can relate to.     

I agree with your choice since it is my favourite among Austen's  major six but … Why Persuasion?
Persuasion is a story about second chances and sheds a positive light on life, which is to always believe that circumstances happen for a reason.  This particular novel has earned its place as my personal favorite because I can relate to Anne's heartbreak, as can many other women.  At one point or another, all of us have felt forgotten and overlooked.  All we really want is a happy ending, and that's exactly what Anne gets in the end.  Anne is an inspiring heroine because she never acts cruelly towards another character or tries to set about things in her favor.  It's like God honors her kindness and repays her with her heart's desires.  

What makes Captain Wentworth such a fascinating hero? And what of the original Austen character is left in your Rick?
Captain Wentworth is a model of a man because he's a true blue kind-of-fellow.  Who wouldn't want a faithful man who, despite a long separation, has never thought of anyone but you and has kept himself for you only?  And his fascination doesn't just end there either.  Rick is the only one who has ever truly seen Anne, and although after their re-introduction his injured pride gets the better of him for a short while, he finally rescues her from her present life of indifference.  Talk about a knight-in-shining-armor! 

The Rick Wentworth in my novel is the same Captain Frederick Wentworth from the original Austen storyline, minus the Naval rank.  Although Rick in A Modern Day Persuasion has a history in the Navy, circumstances had to be updated in order to explain his currently large bank account.  When I updated Persuasion to a modern day format, one of my goals was to remain as close to the original characterizations as possible.  I've seen and read too many Austen adaptations which, in order to reflect an update, change or add unnecessary factors which make it so unlike the original I almost wish they would name it differently—I didn't want to make that same mistake.  A Modern Day Persuasion IS exactly what it claims to be.  Readers will notice a handful of respectful changes to make the plot more believable in this day and age, but nothing too drastic. 

Anne Elliot is less brilliant than Elizabeth Bennet or Emma but, anyway, she succeeds in getting what she wants and dreams of  in the end. Is she different from the Anne in your novel in any way?
Akin to Rick and others in my adaptation, Anne is still the same beloved Anne Elliot.  While writing my novel, it was essential to keep all the original personalizations attached to our heroine Anne which have made her beloved tale stand the test of time as one of the major six.  Although my adaptation gives the modern Anne a profession and every day liberties, it also grants more access into the hidden thoughts of Persuasion's original heroine as she continues to be the same the sweet-tempered, quiet, thoughtful, and caring young woman who only wants to be loved.

 Is there a touching love letter in your finale, too?
A Modern Day Persuasion wouldn't be an accurate adaptation without the fantastic love note.  Of course updated to modern language, Rick's letter will almost certainly bring readers to tears.

 What was the most difficult aspect while re-writing such a beloved story?
The most tedious aspect was remaining as true to the original plot as possible while also updating it to reflect this modern age.  One thing particularly important to de-emphasize was the fact that Anne's new suitor, Mr. Elliot, is also her cousin.
What was instead the most pleasant part of your adventure toward publication?
For me, the most pleasant part was the freedom to be creative—to prove myself a bona fide writer as the book began to come alive and feel like an actual novel!  It's a been a long process from beginning to the final product in hand, but all the hard work was definitely worth it.  I love nothing better than to make people smile. 

Have you ever tried to rationalize and explain to yourself the huge love, the enthusiastic revival for anything Austen-related? What’s the appeal to her world for the 21st century reader?
Honestly I think women are fed up with what's called “love” these days.  We desire the romance—we want to be swept off our feet by a gentleman who won't desert us when they get bored or another “better” prospect comes along.  We want to be feminine and to be pursued—that's why women everywhere are turning to Austen.  We find escape in Jane's novels.  Her heroines Elizabeth, Anne, Emma, Marianne & Elinor, Catherine, and Fanny all get happy endings—and what woman doesn't want a happy ending?      

Since I love period drama and adaptations of the classics, I must ask you: Which is your favourite Persuasion version on screen?
That is a great question and interestingly enough, I just posted on my website reviews of all Austen film adaptations, finishing with Persuasion.  My favorite version of Persuasion would have to be the 1995 release starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.  You can read my full review on my website:

What’s next in your writing schedule?
I have two more novels currently in the works, one of them being another modern day Austen adaptation.  Aside from that, I have dozens of other stories floating around in my imagination which I'd like to pen to paper someday in the near future.  

Thanks a lot Kaitlin and fingers crossed for the success of your "A Modern Day Persuasion" ! 

And now the word to our readers. Good luck to them for the giveaway!


Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

Persuasion has been my least favorite of Austen's novels to read so far, but I *love* the adaptations of it I've read - especially the modern ones (I'm weird, I know, haha). So I am definitely intrigued about this one! :o)

Great interview too! I love getting to see into author's heads :o)


maribea said...

Persuasion was not a strking love when I first read it, but as time passes by I like it for being so modern. After all life is full of mistakes and second chance is what we all hope for.
So I'd enjoy reading a modern version, too.

Linda said...

I love the original Persuasion, and this modern adaption sounds intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

I like the 1995 version better, too. The book sounds great. thanks for the giveaway.

Margay Leah Justice said...

I love Austen and Austen adaptations! Looks like I have another one to look forward to!


Sharli said...

I love Jane Austen and I'm always excited to find new adaptations. This sounds really good, I'd love to read it :)

entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

Kate Dana said...

I have yet to read an adaptation of Persuasion, but this book sounds great. I love the cover too.

adiaathena at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Maria, great interview!

Persuasion is my favourite JA's novel. I'd love to read this sequel. Thanks for the giveaway.


Meredith said...

This sounds wonderful! I look forward to reading this knowing that the characters are true to the originals. And I'm delighted to learn that there is a "love note" at the end!

Thank you for the lovely opportunity!
Austenesque Reviews

Mystica said...

Thank you for this opportunity of winning. Would like to be counted in.


Petali rossi said...

The writer is so young and this makes me feel more corious about her work! I'd like to win one of the copies!

Anne said...

I have always loved Persuasion. Captain Wentworth is such an honorable man. I would love to read A Modern Day Persuaion.

Kelly said...

Very interesting interview. This modern adaptation sounds good, I'd really like to read it.

maniezkelly at gmail dot com

Adriana Sales Zardini said...

Persuasion is my favorite novel!

Adriana Zardini

Ps. lovely layout! :)

Jo's Daughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buddyt said...

I have enjoyed all the spin offs of Jane Austen books that have been appearing lately and this sounds like a good one so please enter me in the giveaway.

Thank you.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Claudia said...

Capt. Wentworth is my favourite Austen hero, the emblem of everlasting love. I'd like to read about your Rick, he sounds so intriguing :) Thanks for the giveaway,

Literary Chanteuse said...

Persuasion is my least favorite fo her books but this book sounds as though I may enjoy it! Thanks for the giveaway!


Lúthien84 said...

About 10 years ago when I first read Persuasion, I didn't like the first chapter so I stopped reading it. Several years ago before watching 2007's Persuasion adaptation, I decided to give it another chance and I fell in with the story and characters. But I have never read any modern retelling of Persuasion before so I hope I will win this lovely novel.


Kirsten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This modern adaptation sounds wonderful! I have always held Persuasion close to my heart, so I am excited to start visualizing it in today's society. Thanks for another giveaway! the new look!

Jen Miller said...

Fantastic interview! Persuasion is my very favorite of Jane's novels. Would love a chance to win! :) Thank you!

_snitchbitch said...

It has been YEARS since I've re-read Persuasion, and I'll admit to never having read a modern re-telling of any Jane Austen novel. I think I'll be adding this one to my to-read list! Fingers crossed on a win!

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Persuasion by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

Anonymous said...

Persuasion is my most adored novel among Jane Austen. The enduring affection and patience is hard to fathom amid to people separated by nacissitic curcimstances.