Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Guest Post: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Today I have left my blog in the capable hands of not one, but two authors, Kim Askew and Amy Helmes, who have a guest post.  Their books Tempestuous and Exposure are released 18th December and 18th January.  I have been lucky enough to have read both of these books so keep an eye open for my reviews coming soon.

Hello, and thanks, Michelle, for letting us hijack a blog post today! Tempestuous and Exposure — the first two books in our Twisted Lit series — are modern-day spins on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Macbeth,” respectively. Rather than a paint-by-numbers retelling of the Bard’s plays (same story + different setting = YAWN), it was important to us that our books have their own unique twist, if you will. In that sense, Shakespeare is the springboard through which our own characters and story arcs take shape.

As such, we wanted to make sure that strong female characters factored heavily into the equation. The Elizabethan playwright was undoubtedly ahead of his time in his depiction of women, but in our estimation, he still, on occasion, got the girls all wrong. (Yes, we said it.) Sure, his Lady Macbeth is powerful and take-charge, but she’s also quite one-dimensionally evil. “Othello’s” Desdemona and “Hamlet’s” Ophelia are spineless victims, while the heroines in “Cymbeline” and “A Winter’s Tale” (to name a few) happily forgive the men in their lives for behavior that is nothing short of appalling. Let’s face it: The fact that men in dresses originally played Shakespeare’s female characters on-stage says a lot.

Certainly, the female protagonists of our two novels are not without fault. Their failings are many, in fact. But what both Exposure’s Skye and Tempestuous’s Miranda possess is an authenticity of spirit. Though even they don’t recognize it at times, each has an inner fortitude and an almost-grudging sense of resolve that allows them to ultimately prevail in the face of disappointment, danger, humiliation, or heartache. They aren’t the sort of chicks who’d plunge a dagger in their heart over a boy, nor are they apt to believe in “all’s well that ends well” happy endings. They’re just real girls with real problems, whom we suspect you’ll wholeheartedly identify with, regardless of whether or not you like Shakespeare.

Intrigued? Then we invite you to check out our books and see for yourself what they’re all about!

Kim and Amy

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of Tempestuous (pub. Dec. 18/Merit Press) and Exposure (pub. Jan. 18/Merit Press). For more information about their Shakespeare-inspired Twisted Lit series, check out twistedlitbooks.com.

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