My guest today, for the twelfth and final Summer’s Day interview, is Rebecca Cohen, author of fantasy and historical novels, some of which have huge relevance to this anthology. Also she’s fun and I’ll be able to fangirl her a bit at the UK Meet in a couple of weeks!
Welcome Rebecca and thanks for answering my questions.
What led you to pick your source material for your story?
I love Shakespeare, especially the comedies. This is probably not news to anyone who has read my historical novels. For the anthology I wanted to do something a little different so instead of choosing a particular play (and to be honest I would have trouble picking just one!) I decided to set the story amongst the actors of the time, specifically the King’s Men which was Shakespeare’s acting company. This basically gave be an excuse to have lots of Shakespearean-esque bickering and insults.
Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?
I love Much Ado About Nothing and my favourite bits are when Benedict and Beatrice are squabbling – this is one of my favourite exchanges:
A dear happiness to women: they would else have
been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God
and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I
had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man
swear he loves me.
God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some
gentleman or other shall ‘scape a predestinate
Scratching could not make it worse, an ’twere such
a face as yours were.
Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and
so good a continuer. But keep your way, i’ God’s
name; I have done.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the fourth Crofton Chronicle (https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-crofton-chronicles-universe-7098-s). Green Eyed and Black Tempered was a book I never intended to write, but when faced with terrible writer’s block I turned to two of my favourite characters to help.
Could we please have an excerpt?
“Wouldn’t it be glorious to play Lady Macbeth?” Jacob reached out, holding his hand aloft, as if to beseech his audience. “But screw your courage to the sticking place. And we’ll not fail.”
“You’d be better as one of the old crones,” David sneered. “You’ve already got newt eyes.”
Jacob scowled. “What do you mean by that?”
“Beady little eyes, reptilian in nature.” It wasn’t true, Jacob had quite lovely, pale blue eyes, but David wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to twist the dagger.
“You foul, miscreant lout-mouth,” Jacob snarled, sounding far more hurt than David had expected. “I am not surprised you would spew such false words, for you would not dare hope to own a mirror lest you crack the glass with your turnip-shaped head.”
“Turnip-shaped head!” Really, Jacob was too much. Flying off the handle at a little not-so-friendly banter. “Thou art a tiresome, beef-witted barnacle. Better suited to the stews than the stage.”
Jacob sprang to his feet. “No man in their sound mind would pay for your performance, be it on the stage or the stews. You are loathsome and even those who could not see would turn their heads from you.”
David almost knocked his chair over in his haste to stand. “You have gone too far, I will not stand for such a slight against me. I will teach you more with my clenched fist than you are capable of learning with your deafened ears.”
Gwilliam grabbed him before his could throw a punch, and Carl pulled Jacob away. In a foul mood, David threw off his so-called friend, and slunk out of the tavern.
REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
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™.