Saturday, October 12, 2013

Romancing the Bard by Christy English

When I began writing my first romance HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, I had no idea I was re-telling a play by Shakespeare. I dreamed of a woman and a man meeting in her bedroom, when he knew that they were engaged and she did not. The first chapters of the novel were born from that dream. I got up that morning, went to my writers group for tea and scones, and sat down and wrote the beginning of the book straight from the dream.

Image courtesy of Pixomar/

Of course, that was in 2007, and I spent many nights revising the novel since then. And as I was revising this book, which for years I called THE TAMING, I began to see that I was delving into my obsession with Shakespeare as well as into my obsession with romance.

Needless to say, unlike Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, my heroine Caroline is not tamed. Indeed, she does her best to tame her gorgeous, stubborn husband, Anthony. Their battle of wills often ends up in bed, but as the novel goes on, they learn to talk to each other, and begin to fall in love. My favorite part of any story. In HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, if anyone ends up tamed, it's probably Anthony.

With my second novel in the trilogy, LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT, I delved into the realm of romantic love in earnest. Separated for ten years, Pembroke and his lady love Arabella Hawthorne have no contact while she struggles to survive her loveless marriage and while Pembroke desperately tries to kill himself fighting Bonaparte on the Continent.

In the end, Pembroke and Arabella come together again. Like Shakespeare’s comedies, the novel ends with a wedding, and joy. Because Shakespeare, the Bard himself, was a sucker for love, too

Sourcebooks has a fabulous interactive way to experience his plays via eReaders called The Shakesperience. If the Bard thrills you as much as he thrills me, of if you simply need to get to know him better, say for a class or just for your life, come and check it out.


  1. Don't you just love it when dreams produce something wonderful like a story idea? Love the covers and the premises...move over Shakespeare, old man, there's a new lady on the block!

  2. I wish I would dream more story ideas! That's a very cool Shakespeare tool. Thanks!

  3. Ideas pop into a writer's head when least expected (smile!).

  4. Oh I'm a sucker for Shakespeare inspired stories. 10 Things I Hate About you is one of my faves.

  5. I do love it when my stories come from dreams...the best ones seem to come from there :) Thanks Carolyn and Shana

    Angela, it's true. I get some ideas when I'm washing the dishes :)

    Brooklyn Ann, I love Shakespeare too...I'm addicted :)