My author guest today is the very talent Lisa Klein, the author of the wonderful book Ophelia. When Lisa responded to my request for an interview, she said she'd be happy to do one provided I asked good questions. So the pressure is totally on! I hope you enjoy our chat, with my questions in bold.
You have a new book coming out in October, Lady Macbeth's Daughter. Anything you want your readers to know about this new book?
That it's set in Celtic Scotland, at a time when belief in the ancient religion was still alive, so it has a mystical air, a bit of faery magic about the main character, Albia, who has the Second Sight. That was fun to include in a tale that is otherwise concerned with murder and mayhem (following Shakespeare's play). There's also the perennial theme of family conflict, especially troublesome when your mother turns out not to be who you think she is and your real parents are murderers. This sends my protagonist on a quest in which the future of Scotland is at stake. And of course, there's romance to lighten things up!
Sounds like a perfect combination! Can't wait to read it after it comes out next month. You describe your change from being a literature professor to being writer as a “blessing in disguise.” Do you miss teaching? Do you think you’ll try to do it again someday?
I miss teaching the really committed students who loved Shakespeare. How many of those ARE there? I don't miss grading papers! I am still teaching a bit--creative writing classes and workshops and the occasional school visit.
Not to brown-nose or anything, but I was one of those students. And I agree with you about the grading papers thing. I have to ask, since two of your books are based on Shakespeare, do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?
My current favorite is Much Ado About Nothing, because I think Beatrice and Benedict are two of the funniest characters in all of Shakespeare. I wish I write with a fraction of that wit. I've also gained a much deeper appreciation of Hamlet and Macbeth as I studied them to write my own books.
Much Ado is definitely a good choice. Any future projects you’re allowed to tell us about?
I'm working on a novel about the lost colony of Roanoke, one of history's great unsolved mysteries. My story follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Lady Cate, a maid of honor to Queen Elizabeth who is banished to Virginia. Two heroes compete for her affections, one the hunky Sir Walter Raleigh, and the other one I'm keeping under wraps for now. But in the story, if anything can go wrong, it probably will. And yet the ending will not be a despairing one.
That sounds fantastic! I've been fascinated with Roanoke since I took US history. Looking forward to it. Thanks for stopping by Lisa!
Lisa Klein is the author of Ophelia, Two Girls of Gettysburg, and the upcoming Lady Macbeth's Daughter. You can learn more about her on her website, including an inside look at the photo shoot for the Ophelia cover.