Today I’m thrilled to welcome back Christy English. I had Christy on here when I first began this blog. She was one of the first authors I “met” through the magic of the internet (of course) and she’s one of the loveliest people I have the pleasure of knowing. Even if I’ve never met her face to face! But she promised, the next time she comes to New York, we are going out for pizza!—Or High Tea!
Christy has two wonderful books out , based on her Shakespeare In Love series, so let’s find out what’s been happening with some of our favorite characters.
Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for hosting me I love being on your blog.
* Are you inspired by the Shakespearean plays, and work the story around them, or do you have the story in mind and then discover the play which most accurately interprets your story?
What a great question. With the first novel, HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, the characters told me their story, and about the third draft I realized that I was writing a version of The Taming of the Shrew. With the next two books, I decided what play I meant to focus on, then I drifted off into the characters’ world, and only to bring myself back to the spirit of the play in the end. That’s why I worked so many dreams and dream imagery into LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT. Though there are no literal fairies cavorting through my book, and no magic, I still wanted to capture the essence of the play. And actually, if true love isn’t magic, I don’t know what is.
* Who is the one character in your book who has been speaking the loudest to you, as in “Write My Story.”
Angelique was very patient with me, but the whole time I was writing books one and two, I could hear her delicate foot tapping as she waited for her turn. And she got it. MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK, coming out in February, finally gives her a man who can handle her strength without running away.
* Tell us a few facts about Pembroke and Arabella that we may not know, but give us some insight into their characters.
Pembroke is a man who lost everything: his country, the love of his life, his family, all at the age of 18, when Arabella left him. He went abroad to fight Napoleon, only to discover that he simply could not manage to get killed. Anthony always saved his life, and then he saved Anthony’s, and once that bond was forged, it was unbreakable. Whether as a friend or a lover, Pembroke is a man who loves deeply, passionately, and forever.
Arabella is the kind of woman who has a quiet strength. She survived her childhood in her father’s dark and violent house, only to be married against her will at the age of 17 to a 60 year old man. She endured that marriage, but once her husband died, she decided that she did not want to simply endure her life any longer. She wanted to live with joy. Even if she hadn’t rekindled her love with Pembroke, she would have found a way to live with joy.
* Can we have a sneak peek into MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK?
The third book was the most fun to write, I think because it was such a joy to see Angelique finally meet her match. She is a cynical woman who secretly hides a soft heart, and when she finds a man who can love her for who she is, her strengths and weaknesses both, it is a wonderful thing to see.
The other reason I enjoyed writing MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK is the fun byplay between Angelique and her sea captain. Like Beatrice and Benedict in the play Much Ado About Nothing, these two verbally spar as part of their love play, and it was a lot of fun to listen in.
* I sensed that Angelique still had unresolved feelings for Anthony, is that something that is dealt with in “Much Ado?”
It’s funny. When I started book three, I knew that Angelique did indeed have unresolved feelings for Anthony. I was shocked to find out as I wrote the third book that he also has unresolved feelings for her. It’s interesting to watch Anthony react to Angelique’s new man, as he does in MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK. But Angelique’s man can hold his ground, and then some, even with Anthony. And that’s saying something.
Speaking of sneak peaks, I want to offer you the first real showing of the cover for MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK…this is the first time I’ve revealed it on a blog, even my own, and I am so happy it can be here on your site.
Thank you so much for this treat!
Um Hello…Wow! That is one fabulous cover, Christy! I’ve always loved the beautiful gowns, but I wonder what is it that draws my eyes to Jack’s book. Hmmm. Let’s just stare at it for a while and maybe I can come up with an idea!!
Thanks so much for being here and sharing these little tidbits with us.