Feb 172014


I am very excited to welcome Kaitlin Saunders, author of a brand new modern adaptation of Sense and Sensibility titled, A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility, to Austenesque Reviews today! Kaitlin has graciously agreed to answer my grilling questions about Jane Austen, her writing, and her new release, A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility!  How about we begin by talking about you!  For those readers who do not know you and your works, can you share a little about yourself – your first encounter with Jane Austen, what prompted you to start writing Austenesque fiction?

First of all, thank you so much for featuring my novel on your lovely website! As for a publicity_stillbit about me – I am a stay-at-home mom/busybody who loves to write in my free time, which hasn’t been often with two little ones to love and care for! I love my job! Jane Austen and I were introduced at a very young age. My mother is an Austen fan and would watch her favorite film adaptations with me as a child. When I was in my teens I discovered the novels and soon began imagining what Jane’s stories would look like in this present age. I wrote these ideas first as screenplays until my mother encouraged me to convert them to books. It’s all because of her that I am a published author! 

That’s so wonderful that your mom gave you such great encouragement! (We are very thankful!)  Let’s talk about your new release a little.  With period issues like inheritances and secret engagements, I would think that Sense and Sensibility is one of the most challenging of Jane Austen’s novels to translate to modern day. And before A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility, you published a modern rewrite of Persuasion – another novel that has period-specific conflicts. What were some of the most challenging aspects with updating these beloved novels?

A Modern Day PersuasionWith Persuasion, the most challenging conflicts were explaining why Anne hadn’t run away with Rick despite her family’s objections and also why she seemed stuck/was still living at home despite the common practice these days of moving out before/after college. Sense and Sensibility, in my opinion, was far more difficult to adapt. First, why on earth would Edward remain engaged to someone he doesn’t love? And of course – the Dashwood ladies being unable to inherit their house and husband’s/father’s fortune is completely unbelievable nowadays. Then there’s what Ellie and Marianne occupy themselves with while waiting for their men to enter the picture, as well as Willoughby’s motivation for deserting Marianne and having to quickly marry someone rich instead of becoming a self-made man. These are just some of the conflicts I had to overcome when writing my novel, and hopefully I did so successfully!

There definitely are some differences between Jane Austen’s world and our own! One thing that hasn’t changed are sibling relationships, there a lot of people who can relate to having a Marianne or Elinor in their lives.  Just like Jane Austen’s Dashwood sisters, your Ellie and Marianne are polar opposites in how they handle their emotions and experiences in love. Which sister do you feel you understand and relate to more? Are you more practical and introverted like Ellie, or are you more on the dramatic and extroverted side of the spectrum?

My mother and I often joke that we are Ellie and Marianne – and you’d probably be surprised to find that I A Modern Day Sense and Sensibilityam ‘Ellie’ in our relationship! While my mother is very emotional and can chat away with complete strangers, I keep my emotions bottled up and can be very shy! I definitely relate more with Ellie.

Ah! That’s funny!  You and your mom sound like you are really close, how lovely! Speaking of close relationships, I love how you highlighted the Dashwoods as a family unit, my favorite scenes are those where they are overcoming their grief, heartache, and troubles and finding happiness together. What is your opinion of the Dashwoods? Is Mrs. Dashwood a good mother? What was important to you in your portrayal of this family?

It was important to me to portray them as a family who sticks together and supports one another – even if they don’t agree with each other’s actions. And yes, I do believe Mrs. Dashwood is a good mother. Although she does empathize with Marianne’s emotions more than is beneficial at times, her top priority is her children.

Absolutely, she feels their pain, celebrates their joys, and cares for their happiness and well-being. I know you are busy nowadays being a mommy yourself, but what is next for you in the literary world, Kaitlin? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

Although I have plans for updating another Jane Austen novel, I’m currently working on an original plot which focuses on the relationship between a match-making mother and her single, middle-aged daughter. However, seeing as I just had a baby and have an almost two-year-old, it’s going to be a slow process! 

So happy to hear about your future projects, but yes, definitely make time to enjoy your little ones!  How about we switch it up with some Quickfire Questions:

  • What is one of your favorite scenes in Sense and Sensibility?

Willoughby’s confession to Elinor – it makes me tear up every time!

  • What is one of your favorite scenes from one of your own novel?

Wow – so many!! But if I had to chose, then I’d chose the scene where Ellie and Edward have their first real interaction – on the porch after Edward stumbles upon Ellie crying.

  • Who is the greater evil: Fanny Dashwood or Lucy Steele?

Lucy Steele. Fanny, or “Francil” as I call her in my adaptation, can send a dirty look or sometimes intimidate Ellie by her behavior, but ultimately it’s Lucy Steele who could have ruined everything for Ellie.

  • Who do you prefer: Edward Ferrars or Colonel Brandon?

This is a tough one … I like the stronger presence of Colonel Brandon, but he’s older and well, type-cast as a little boring, so I’d chose my Edward.

  • What Jane Austen character would you want to trade place with?

Elizabeth Bennet, of course! Who wouldn’t want to end up with a dashingly handsome and very wealthy hero-of-a-man! Haha I also love how she speaks her mind!

  • What do you love most about Jane Austen’s novels?

I love how relatable her characters are, and how the heroines get what they want/need in the end – so satisfying!

Wonderful answers! Thank you so much for visiting Austenesque Reviews, Kaitlin!  Wishing you much success with your new release!  




Today, Kaitlin Saunders brings with her ONE PAPERBACK copy of  her newly released novel, A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility for me to giveaway to ONE lucky winner!

A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility

To enter this giveaway, leave a question, a comment, or some love for Kaitlin below!

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Kaitlin!
  • This giveaway ends February 24th!


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  24 Responses to “Interview + Giveaway with Author Kaitlin Saunders!!!”


    Fantastic but I would choose Colonel Brandon every time – after Darcy of course!


    I have always been fascinated by how cruel and controlling Mrs Ferrars is and how everyone bends to her rule including her son in law! Even Lady Catherine doesnt have everyone following all her commands!
    I am loking forward to reading this! Thank you.


    I would choose Colonel Brandon. Edward should not have engaged fellings in Elinor when he could not return them.


    Your book sounds wonderfully intriguing! I am forever hooked on this genre!

    Personally, Fanny in one of my most disliked Jane Austen characters; first she talks her husband out of showing kindness, then she pushes into the home of the grieving Dashwoods, then she tries to control Edward…oh my goodness, she is such a heartless snob! I even wish Fanny from Mansfield Park had a different name so that there is no confusion over who is evil and who is not!


    Fanny is horrible. No compassion at all.
    I would love to read this one, I don’t know many modern versions of S&S! Thanks for the giveaway!


    Kudo to you, Kaitlyn, for writing as you are a stay at home mom. I have never liked Fanny as she is truly a mean girl who tries to manipulate and manage everyone in a honey sweet way. Your modern adaptation sounds great and thank you for the giveaway.


    I loved reading about the challenges you faced in adapting these novels to be set in modern times. I can’t wait to read how you accomplished it!


    The book sounds so good – and since I live in Portland – I really have to read it!
    Thanks for this giveaway.


    I’m fascinated when a story is made into a modern retelling. I’ve always thought Jane Austen’s themes were universal and make for good stories no matter what the age. Enjoyable interview! Thanks!


    Will definitely have to check these out


    I couldn’t really choose between Edward and Colonel Brandon – they are both honorable men. Can we pick a composite of the two?? 🙂 Eddon? Bra-ward? Um, no, that doesn’t sound good lol


    Very curious about this new S&S adaptation. I have till now only read one (by Cathleen Schine).


    I like spin offs and adaptations. Thank you for making this giveaway open to all. Much appreciated.


    Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion are my favourites, too, after Pride and Prejudice, sure. The adaptations are not easy do and more if they are from modern times. I always am wishing to read a good adaptation, and I think that these books can be pleasant. I will be glad read it.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

    All good luck with the release, Kaitlin


    It hadn’t occurred to me before, but Sense and Sensibility must be challenging to update, as so many of the obstacles wouldn’t be obstacles these days. I am hoping to reread it this year, to see if I can overcome my feelings towards Edward. I loved Elinor, and hoped to see her with the Colonel instead! I hope your modern Edward is more worthy!


    Oh, wow! This sounds SO AWESOME! Ahhhh! So excited!


    I always love to read a modernisation of Jane Austen’s novels and I read Kaitlin’s previous work before. I would love to read this new novel and compared it to Joanna Trollope’s version to see how it’s similar and different. Thanks for the giveaway.


    I ‘ve read “A modern Day Persuasion” and I like it very much, so I want to read this one too. Thank you for the intereview and the giveaway. I want to ask if she is planning other adaptation of the novels of Jane Austen??


    This sounds great. I love modern-day love stories!


    Sounds interesting to have it as a modern update and I’d like to read it. I like both Edward and Colonel Brandon. Col. Brandon seems mature and is a steady influence for Marianne.


    Great interview. I love finding new twists to our favourite novels. Thank you for the giveaway.


    Years ago when I saw Emma Thompson’s film version of “Sense and Sensibility”, I was really turned off by the idea of Brandon ending up with a woman as young as Marianne. But years later as I’ve come to be more familiar with this story, I get it now. And he would definitely be my choice, between himself and Edward.

    Congrats to Kaitlin on her latest!


    I really liked reading the adaption of Persuasion and found it cleverly done. Am really looking forward to finding out about modern Sense&Sensibility. 🙂 Thanks for the chance of wining a copy!


    I want to say thank you to everyone who left a comment – your interest in my adaptation and well wishes are much appreciated! Congrats to Chelsea b on winning a copy of my novel!

    Happy reading!
    Kaitlin Saunders

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