Today, I’m delighted to welcome the next author to be featured in the A Summer’s Day anthology – Nephy Heart who is not only a fantastic writer but also a lovely person.
Welcome, Nephy, and thanks for answering my questions.
What led you to pick your source material for your story?
I chose to write about The Taming of the Shrew. Why? Because I have a bee in my bonnet about the way Petruchio treats Katherine. When this anthology was suggested, I first thought about my three favourites – Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, but I kept coming back to Taming of the Shrew and wondering how Petruchio’s actions would translate to today’s society. At first I was intending to make Petruchio (Pete) the bad guy by exploring his actions in a modern context but the more I wrote, the more the story and characters took over and the story went in a different direction. This often happens to me as my stories are character led and they lead me in all kinds of unexpected directions. The title comes from the 1950’s Hollywood version of the story (With Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson) Kiss me Kate
Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?
I have a particular liking for Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. I love his banter and how rude he is. Of course, we’ve lost a lot of meaning now of some of his lewd comments because we don’t recognize them in the language. This is one of my favourites when he and Benvolio are looking for Romeo when he’s gone lusting after Juliet. Mercutio is not impressed with Romeo’s posturing over his love for Rosaline and teases him mercilessly. He is even less impressed with the speed Romeo switches from Rosaline to Juliet.
I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes,
By her high forehead and her scarlet lip,
By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh
And the demesnes that there adjacent lie,
That in thy likeness thou appear to us!
Sticking with Mercutio, the bit I wish I had written was his Queen Mab speech which is so imaginative and rich in language, and also innuendo 😀
What are you working on now?
This year I have two books out with Wayward Ink (at least I hope so as the second one is only tentatively accepted). I am also trying to promote my back catalogue. I am terrible at promotion which is reflected in sales figures I’m afraid. Still, my publishers seem to be putting up with me 😀
My writing is extremely diverse and is suffering, I think, because it isn’t romance. Although there are romantic pairings in my stories there is very little (or no) sex and they are pretty much all YA/NA. My latest, “Lab Rat”, is about a young man who, at fourteen, was forcibly experimented on in a government experiment to release latent psychic talent. The experiment was a failure and Gabriel finds himself let loose without ceremony (dumped on his parents’ doorstep)
Angry and bitter, with bad memories, disastrous and deadly relationships behind him and increasing intrusive voices in his head Gabriel really doesn’t want a relationship. When he meets a sexy stranger in a bar Laurie has other ideas and relentlessly pursues Gabriel until he relents.
When he becomes aware the government are trying to track him down he first tries to run from Laurie then runs with Laurie but he can’t escape what’s inside his head.
When the scientist catch him what ensues is dangerous and deadly but with Laurie and Elena, one of the scientists) at his side he struggles the come to terms with what has been unlocked inside his head also his growing feelings for Laurie which prevent him from doing what he really wants to do – walk into the lake and let the water close over his head.
When he’s taken again he finds out the true extent of what the scientists are trying to achieve and blows the whole thing apart with shattering consequences.
That’s quite a lengthy summary but it’s quite a complex book. It’s also angsty, inspirational and tugs at the heartstrings.
Ohe two books coming out this year
One is about a rent boy with heart troubles on the run from a murderer being protected by a cop with an attitude who seems to hate him.
The other is about the coming together of two boys, one from an ultra conservative background, one from a very unconventional one (four children with four fathers all of whom share each other and the mother in a curious relationship that transcends the norm) and what happens when a third is added to the mix, against a background of rock stardom, mental health issues and a madman who will stop at nothing to protect his political career
Could we please have an excerpt?
From Kiss me Kade, my Summer’s Day story
Before he could say a word, Pete had sunk into the chair next to him and started eating his chips.
“Hey. Those are mine.”
Pete grinned. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist. You can share mine when they get here.”
“I don’t want to share yours,” Kade growled.
Pete shrugged and helped himself to another handful of chips. “Suit yourself. Go hungry if you want.”
A yell tore Kade’s eyes away from Pete, and his thieving hands. His heart fell when he spotted the rest of the crowd from the play. Bea was already surrounded by boys. Kade was torn. Should he get up and go to her? Should they leave? But she seemed so happy, practically glowing under all the attention.
“Chill,” Pete said, around a mouthful of Kade’s burger. “It’s not as if they’re going to get up to anything here.”
“What the hell are you doing?” Kade snatched the burger from Pete, and drew the remainder of the chips protectively close to his body.
“I’m doing you a favour. I’m stopping you getting fat.”
“I’m not going to get fat. I’m hungry. Why are you here? Go away and leave me alone.”
“News flash! I don’t spend my time following you around. Some lunatic stopped the rehearsal early so the boys decided to grab a Maccy D. Nothing to do with me.”
Kade’s cheeks warmed, and he turned his face away, leaving Pete an opening to snatch more chips.
“Stop it,” Kade snapped, slapping Pete’s hand. Half his meal had gone already and that in itself was enough to bring tears to his eyes.
Nephy Hart was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.
Nephy has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.
Later in life, Nephy became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.
It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.
In present times, Nephy lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, bearded dragon (called Smaug of course) and three cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art
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™.