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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

What's a Blog Hop? Well, in this case, it's a way for you to discover authors in all phases of their careers and find out some very cool information about them. I was tagged by author Nancy Viau, so that means I have to answer the following questions and tag back to Nancy so you can hop over to her post and read her answers. (Read Nancy's post about what she's working on at her blog. At the end of my post, I'll let you know whom I've tagged, and I really hope you check out her Next Big Thing!

My most recent books are last year's At the Boardwalk, my first-ever picture book with fabulous illustrations by Mónica Armiño. I also have poems in two spectacular anthologies: my poem, "Sea Jelly" is included in National Geographic's Book of Animal Poetry, edited by J. Patrick Lewis, and my poem "A Place to Share", which is about the creators/founders of YouTube is in Dare to Dream . . . Change the World, edited by Jill Corcoran.

1: What is the working title of your book? The working title of my current manuscript is The Lady Doth Protest, although for the longest time I just called it "Shakespeare Poems", as you can see from the swanky folder I made for it. The very cool label on the front of the folder is a bookplate I got from Immortal Longings. I've also scored bookmarks, artwork, a calendar, and a journal there. Such great stuff - and great quality and service, too!

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I'd been reading some Shakespeare plays, and got to wondering more about the women in his plays. Often they're given short shrift, including some of the most famous of his women, including Ophelia and women such as Rosalind and Viola who are basically the main characters in the plays As You Like It and Twelfth Night. And I got to wondering what the ladies might have to say for themselves . . . and it turned out to be quite a lot!

3: What genre does your book come under? Poetry collection

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? A poetry collection turned into a movie would be a rather interesting sort of concept, but I can't really picture it working as a film. Maybe, though, it could work as separate readings, like Daisy Goodwin's Essential Poems (To Fall In Love With) DVD project, which is sadly still unavailable in U.S. DVD format. (Here's a link to Matthew Macfadyen performing Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 ("When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes"). You're welcome.) I'd love to see Helen Mirren read Lady Macbeth, perhaps, or Emma Stone as Viola from Twelfth Night.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The Lady Doth Protest is a collection of first person poems from the perspective of Shakespeare's female characters offering insight into their feelings and motivations.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? I wish. This book is currently in manuscript form only, and therefore none of the above.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About 10 months total, although it wasn't written all at one go.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmm. That's a tough question. In a way, I suppose it's similar to J. Patrick Lewis's When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders, in that it offers something between profiles and thoughts, but it differs in that each poem is written using a different poetic form (no free verse) and every poem is told in first person, sometimes offering insight into the play, sometimes into the character's feelings or motivations or actions.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? I suppose it was a combination of my interest in (and love for) Shakespeare's plays, as evidenced by my series of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" posts, my feminist tendencies, and questions I got from my kids and blog readers about some of the characters.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? If it were, in fact, a realio trulio book and not just a manuscript hoping to find a home, I'd be better able to answer this. I do think that it would make a terrific addition to middle school and high school classes when the various plays are discussed or during discussions of poetry (and, in particular, poetic forms). It could also easily be used as a jumping-off point for class projects.

UP NEXT on The Next Big Thing Blog Hop is the ever fabulous and wonderfully talented Tiffany Trent. On March 27th, please HOP OVER TO TIFFANY'S BLOG to see what she's been up to!

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 20th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear Tiffany, both for your kind words here and for picking up the mantle on this here blog hop thing for next Wednesday!
Mar. 20th, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
Kelly, I had NO idea this is what you were working on. I WANT THIS BOOK! I struggle with this short-shrift thing, wanting so very much not to actually blame Will for anything, or hint/imply/accuse that he might have done it on purpose or even with willful (pun accepted, but not intended) negligence. But Gertrude? WTH?!

When this book DOES get accepted and published, and it will, I am interviewing you at my blog. We're going to let loose and just rant, okay? Or, you know...not. Your choice. :)
Mar. 20th, 2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you, dear Becky, for your enthusiasm and encouragement. I confess to not having written a poem from Gertrude's perspective. I really had to think hard for some of the characters, such as Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, what with the swooning and her father wanting to kill her and all, and then she just shrugs it all off, I guess? And Ophelia is always portrayed or discussed as if she's completely crazy, when that's never been my take on her. Particularly if one understands "the language of flowers", and knows what the songs are that she's referencing, which I mentioned in this post.
Mar. 20th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
Any time you want to hash out (or trash out!) Gertrude, send me a note. I just don't get her, but I always think there has to be SOMETHING more there.
Mar. 21st, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
This sounds amazing, Kelly. Fingers crossed it will find a wonderful home. PS I just started a Favorite Rhyming Picture Books board on Pinterest and of course At the Boardwalk is one of the first batch I added! Laura

Laura Purdie Salas
Mar. 21st, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
You are such a sweetheart - thanks, Laura!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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