I absolutely love Shakespeare and am always pleased when his work is taken as a starting point for other fiction. So this week and next I’m delighted to be hosting th authors who contributed stories to A Summer’s Day, an anthology of Shakespearean stories with a bit of a twist. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, all the profits from sales of this book will go to the It Gets Better project!
I’ll be taking the authors in the order in which their stories appear in the book so today I’m pleased to welcome Rory Ni Coileain who penned “Deeper Than Did Ever Plummet Sound”
Good morning, Rory. Can you tell me what led you to pick your source material for your story?
I have always loved The Tempest. Apart from being a fascinating glimpse into a magickal mythos created entirely by Shakespeare (as opposed to, say, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which borrows a number of characters), it’s an incredibly malleable story. I’m in love with a two-novel set by Dan Simmons (one of the most literate authors out there), Ilium and Olympos; the main story is based on the Iliad and the Odyssey, but there’s a major subplot based on The Tempest. And I’ve never tried a May/December romance, but Prospero and Ariel were a natural combination!
Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?
I lifted my favorite tirade and gave it to Clarence in “Deeper” – it’s from King Lear. And Clarence is based on Sir Ian McKellen, and oh, can I ever hear it in his voice: “Thou’rt a knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.”
What are you working on now?
UNDERTOW, number seven in my SoulShares series, just came out on July 19th, so I’m still doing publicity for that, and working on STONE COLD, number eight in the series. The SoulShares are urban fantasy – or paranormal, depending on your definition, I suppose – the world of the Fae split off from the human world more than 2,300 years ago, but every once in a while a Fae leaves the Realm voluntarily (rare) or involuntarily (much more common). And his soul is split in half, with half going through the Pattern and out into the human world, scattered at random through space and time to be reborn in a human. So if the Fae ever wants to be whole again, he has to find his SoulShare and join with him. Trouble is, Fae don’t believe in love… oh, and there’s a world-killing monster that was exiled from the Realm when the worlds split, and it’s ever so eager to get back and finish what it started…
Could we please have an excerpt?
Here’s a bit of a conversation between Clarence and his old school chum Jeremy, the director of the story’s production of The Tempest, the subject of which conversation is Troy, an actor who is doing his best to ruin the production out of sheer jealousy:
“Clarence.” Jeremy set down his bottle and extended his hands, palms down, patting the air as if he were trying to calm a possibly-but-maybe-not-harmless lunatic. “Are you saying you’re… not happy? With the production?”
Clarence snorted. He couldn’t help it. “Jeremy. My dear. Old. Friend.” He shook his head, setting the glass down and pushing it aside, hoping the bartender would notice and send over a replacement. “I cannot recall the last time I was happy with any production. I would be delighted to simply be not unhappy.”
“Would you give me a hint, at least?”
“Oh, for God’s sake. Troy sodding Miller.” That sounded marginally better than admitting he was pining after Jaymes.
Jeremy made a sound that reminded Clarence of a wet bladder being stepped on. “You would have to notice, damn it. My hands are tied.”
Clarence rested his chin on the heel of his hand with a sigh. “Let me guess. He’s connected.”
“How did you know?”
“There were three possibilities, dear boy. One was that he was outrageously talented and you simply couldn’t mount the production without him. Having been in a position to observe him over the last several weeks, I was able to rule out that option the moment you opened your mouth.”
Jeremy’s eyeroll was highly enjoyable. Clarence picked up his glass and shook it gently, setting the ice cubes clattering. Unfortunately, the bartender appeared to be preoccupied.
“The second possibility was that he was sleeping with the director.”
Perhaps it had been wicked of him to wait to deliver option number two until Jeremy had started to drain the last of his Guinness. However, wickedness was one of the perquisites of age he quite enjoyed.
Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major, so she had to design it herself, at a university which boasted one professor willing to teach creative writing, he being a British surrealist who went nuts over students writing dancing bananas in the snow but did not take well to the sort of high fantasy she wanted to write. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, sent off her first short story to an anthology being assembled by an author she idolized, received one of those rejection letters that puts therapists’ kids through college (Ivy League), and found other things to do, such as going to law school, ballet dancing (at more or less the same time), and nightclub singing, for the next thirty years or so, until her stories started whispering to her. Now she’s a lawyer and a legal editor, and the proud mother of an about-to-graduate filmmaker, and is busily wedding her love of myth and legend to her passion for m/m romance.
Release Date: 12th of August
Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art
Genre: MM Mixed*
We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.
There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.
We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.
There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.
Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.