When I first was introduced to Jane Austen through ‘Sense and Sensibility’, I quite liked the story, but over time, the story and the novelist became all the more dear to me. From Emma Thompson’s screenplay version made into that wonderful movie, to Jane Austen’s original story itself, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ became my top favorite fictional work. When my life took some turns that echoed in spirit some of the elements and characters of the ‘Sense’ story, it became as if my own lifeline parable in a way. Even after I read everything else that Jane Austen ever wrote (that I could find and get my hands and eyes on), ‘Sense’ continued to remain in a top spot for me.
My inspiration for ‘Sensing Jane Austen’ stemmed from what ‘Sense and Sensibility’ has mainly meant to me over many years. I came at the story from a more serious angle. Yes, I appreciated the sarcastic humor more and more over time, but throughout certain severe times in my life that brought me back to that story, it was the more dramatic portion of the story tapestry that I clung to. I thought to write a novel about a young lady who felt about ‘Sense’ a little like I have, and appreciated Austen from the depths of the heart. The main character is named in honor of Austen’s beloved sister Cassandra, and the story itself is an ode to Jane Austen and her special ‘Sense’ for creating a story that would mean so very much to me personally.
My daughters Brina and Anna collaborated to do this cover for me, a little inspired by some of my suggestions alongside descriptions of the character, how she feels and the things that she goes through. She almost clutches her copy of Austen’s ‘Sense’ while she lives in a sad situation, though still clinging to hopes for a better future. There is light in the darkness. Her heart is often heavy, but ‘Sense’ is good medicine to her.