My guest today is old friend, colleague on the UK Meet committee and fantastic mystery writer, Charlie Cochrane.
Welcome Charlie, and thanks so much for answering my questions!
What led you to pick your source material for your story?
I love Twelfth Night. Blooming love it. We’ve seen it live twice, once in the wonderful surroundings of Netley Abbey and once at Chichester where my beloved Patrick Stewart was one of the funniest Malvolios I’ve ever seen. That production really brought out the peculiar fluidity of the sexual politics within the play – and it contains one of the two plainly gay characters in the Bard’s works (both called Antonio, interestingly enough).
Of course, it’s easy to read things into the text which aren’t there (and vice versa) because naturally old Will had boy and men actors playing girls and women, “some squeaking Cleopatra boying my greatness” as the queen of Egypt almost said. We need to remember that when we see the plays because otherwise we miss the jokes – the epilogue to As You Like It simply isn’t funny unless a bloke plays Rosalind – and also misinterpret what’s really going on.
Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?
“If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say ‘This poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne’er touched earthly faces.”
Wonderful lines from Sonnet 17 (to a bloke, to boot!) I couldn’t compose a sonnet to save my life – I even had to get my pal Alex Broughton to create Jonty’s poems for All Lessons Learned – so I guess I wish I could have written some of them.
What are you working on now?
The third of the Lindenshaw Mysteries, which has been on hold since we’ve been on holiday. I’m itching to get the document open and see what my characters have been up to in my absence.
I’m also awaiting (with trepidation) the edits for my two Porthkennack stories. Riptide always give a robust edit – hence the trepidation – but the process always gets the silk purse from the sow’s ear.
Could we please have an excerpt?
The call came the next evening.
“Is that Rick?”
“Is that Jonny?” Rick tried to sound cool, even if his insides were suddenly churning and he had no idea why.
“How the devil are you?” Jonny’s voice boomed down the phone, as chipper and confident as ever.
“Not so bad. Even if I think I’m mad getting into am-dram again.”
“I have to say, I was surprised to be given your name. I didn’t let on I already had your number.” Jonny chuckled. “I’m still worked off my feet, and still loving it.” From anybody else that might have sounded false, but Jonny was exactly the sort of bloke to relish a pile of work to do. That had been one of the problems.
“Are you too busy to take on something else?”
“Not for this project. For a start, I bloody love ‘Twelfth Night’. Seem to remember you had a soft spot for it, too. In fact,” Jonny added, with a sly chuckle, “I seem to remember you had lots of soft spots. Really nice ones.”
“Stop it.” It had been enough of a leap getting back on stage. Flirting was a step too far. “We’ll need to get a move on, though.”
“I’ll get on the case.” Jonny’s enthusiasm shone in his voice. Rick had forgotten how evangelical he could become about something he’d taken a fancy to. “You around at the weekend?”
“My diary’s as empty as a nun’s,” Rick confided. “Why?”
“I thought we could do lunch. Easier to talk things over face to face than down the line, and if you e-mail me with an outline of your and Eddie’s ideas, I’ll come up with something we can look at.”
“Sounds good. Let me know where and when.” Trust Jonny to be quick off the mark. One of nature’s movers and shakers, like like Eddie is.
“Okay. I look forward to hearing from you. Ciao.”
Before Rick could say “see you” or even “goodbye” in return, the call ended, leaving him feeling oddly bereft. It would be good to see Jonny again.
“You never knew him,” he told Coldstream. “He could charm the pants off a monk. Don’t look at me like that; I have no idea if monks wear pants.”
Coldstream gave his owner a cool, collected glance before getting back to his usual business of cleaning his already immaculate tail.
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.
She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, Lethe, MLR, and Riptide. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames and is on the organising team for UK Meet.
To sign up for her newsletter, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or catch her at:
Blogs: http://charliecochrane.livejournal.com and https://charliecochrane.wordpress.com/
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™.