I am so excited host one of my favorite narrators, now debut author, here on the blog today. Please welcome Karen Grey who is celebrating the upcoming release of What I’m Looking For…
From the Author:
WHY WRITE A ROMANTIC COMEDY SERIES WITH A SHAKESPEARE THEME?
First off, it’s my belief that romance readers are more literary than the general public gives us credit for. Shakespeare himself wrote iconic romances. I do admit that he was a bit stingy with his HEAs and they’re often laced with a good dose of self-aware irony. I wonder if he thought that his lovers didn’t really deserve a happy ending—though they may deserve each other—but he’d called it a comedy so that’s how it should end.
Perhaps we forgive these ironies because his words express ardor so eloquently. That was something I enjoyed playing with. Will, my male hero, finds himself so undone by his female counterpart that Shakespeare’s words are the only ones he can come up with. Here’s an example from Will’s POV on their first real date:
I take her other hand, too, tugging slightly. “I don’t know how to say this so you’ll get it. I mean, you’re not like some of the girls I work with.”
She forces a smile. “I know I’m nothing special to look at. You don’t have to try and convince me otherwise.”
My thumbs brush back and forth over her knuckles. “It’s not that.” All I can think of at the moment are descriptions of characters from a play I’m reading. “I mean the fantasy descriptions of beauty. ‘Tall, willowy, long golden locks.’ Or ‘petite but curvy with flashing dark hair and eyes.’”
She gestures up and down her body. “Clearly there’s none of that going on here.” When I open my mouth to protest, her hand makes a stop sign. “Listen, you don’t have to—”
Clasping that hand, I step closer. “I’m not saying this right.” The only words I can find are Shakespeare’s. “‘Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, having some business, do entreat her eyes to twinkle in their spheres till they return. What if her eyes were there, they in her head? The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars as daylight doth a lamp.’”
She rolls her eyes but won’t meet mine. “Translation, please?”
I draw a line from her eye, down her cheek, and across her lower lip. “This face. I can’t stop thinking about it, even though you’re a damn capitalist.”
I had a great deal of fun dropping breadcrumbs in the book for readers who are also Shakespeare fans. The main one is that all the main characters in the series are named after characters in the bard’s plays but their personalities and actions are often quite different from those of their namesake. Will, perhaps obviously, comes from the playwright himself, since he quotes the Bard so often and effortlessly. (I promise this Will won’t run off to the big city to write plays leaving his family in the lurch like his namesake did.) Kate may be considered a shrew that needs taming by the men she works with, but her strong will is something that her partner cherishes.
Finally, like me, my actor characters are passionate about the value of live theater. Our need as humans to gather as a community to be taken on an emotional journey has never been so clear as it is now. I hope that theater companies survive the current health crisis so that we’ll all be able to share that again soon. Meanwhile, I’m hoping this story will be a good escape as well as a reminder of its value.
Although Jacques “All the world’s a stage” speech is far more famous, I think the Duke’s line that prompts it is perhaps more applicable to our current status:
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy: This wide and universal theatre Presents more woeful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in.
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
About the Book:
Recipe for a Boston Classic Cocktail: one part finance geek, one part starving actor, two shots of stubborn and a healthy squeeze of passion. Shake well and serve in a vintage glass.
When Kate Bishop walks into Boston’s famous Bull and Finch pub, all she’s looking for is one guy from her investment firm that she can trust to have her back—a tall order. With a salesman at her side, maybe stage fright won’t paralyze her completely when she presents her meticulously prepared research to clients. And maybe she can save her job.
Romance is the last thing on her to-do list, but a meet-cute with a Shakespeare-quoting bartender has her speculating on the value of diversifying her life portfolio.
Will Talbot is not a fan of the slick financiers who cram into his bar after each day’s closing bell. With their calls for Harvey Wallbangers and their Hermès ties, they’re all the same.
Except for a certain beautiful, buttoned-up brunette with fire in her eyes and a storm in her heart. They’re totally wrong for each other. He should be focusing on his upcoming audition, not coaching Kate on how to act like she’s a bona fide member of the Gordon Gekko club.
Problem is, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The course of true love never did run smooth, but in this 1980’s sweet-and-sexy rom-com, returns on love can’t be measured on the S&P 500.
About the Author:
KAREN GREY is the pen name for award-winning narrator Karen White. A stage, screen and radio drama actor in Boston, New York and Los Angeles in the late 20th century, she started recording books in 1999. Now back in her home state of North Carolina, she shares a home with her family and (probably) too many pets, where she continues to narrate audiobooks as well as make up stories.
Newsletter signup: https://bit.ly/KarenGreynews
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/karengrey
Print purchase links:
Signed Paperback https://karenwhiteaudiobooks.com/shop/
The Ripped Bodice https://www.therippedbodicela.com/book/9781734833003
Or order it from your local bookstore.