Friday, May 25, 2018

Why Shakespeare? by Carole Price

Our guest blogger is mystery author Carole Price. She is going to discuss what inspired her series.

Why Shakespeare? I asked myself when looking for a theme for my first book. When my daughter moved to Ashland, Oregon, home of the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I attended several plays, including Tongue of a Bird. It was held in the smaller Black Swan Theater, and involved a search for an abducted girl. This play takes one to metaphysical, spiritual, and psychological worlds. The characters live in varying aspects of each. In a complex way, everything is going on inside the main character’s head.

I found the play to be very poetic in its use of language. It managed to just tell the story and then let it be without theatricality getting in the way. The smaller theater was good for hearing the language and getting inside the heads of the characters. The play was an internal journey where you enter the play through your head and leave through your heart, and this is why I decided Tongue of a Bird would be one of my first plays in my first book Twisted Vines. Thus, it became one of the first to be performed at the smaller Blackfriars theater, one of two Shakespearean theaters my main character, Caitlyn Pepper, inherited from an unknown aunt. I signed up for behind the scene tours of the Ashland theaters and later met with a stage operations supervisor who sees that all components of a play come together. Talking with him and his willingness to share opened up more avenues that I would include in my book and those that followed.

I always thought of myself as a casual observer of repertory theater, but once inside the Festival it was obvious how music enhanced and nurtured the story. I was full of ideas for my own theaters by bringing Shakespeare to Livermore, California, where I live. Years earlier I had taken a class in Shakespeare at Livermore’s Las Positas College. Little did I know then how important that class would become when I retired from my job and started writing mysteries.

I fell in love with the Bard and attended many more plays. Twisted Vines became the first book in my Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series, followed by Sour Grapes and Vineyard Prey. Each book includes a play at both of the theaters simultaneously. One never knows what will spark an idea for the next book.

Carole Price is a Buckeye. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, she attended The Ohio State University. She worked for a national laboratory in northern California before turning to writing mysteries. Carole fell in love with the Bard after attending plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. She graduated from the Citizens Police Academy and is an active police volunteer for the Livermore Police Department, a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She actively promotes her books at conferences, literary groups, and many other venues. Carole and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area in the middle of wine country.

*Your thoughts and comments welcome!


Loretta said...

First, let me say I love the cover...I've always been drawn to the Old English style houses. So, your cover did the trick of drawing me in :) Then, a vineyard, with prey? Who doesn't want to see where that's going to lead? lol

Great morning read with my coffee. And now, of course I'm drifting to Amazon! :)

Susan Coryell said...

I, too, love Shakespeare. In fact, in my new release A MURDER OF PRINCIPLE, my protag, a jaded English department chair, quotes the Bard over and over. What a lark I had writing that one! Best wishes in a worthy pursuit.

Carole Price said...

Loretta, it goes to show how powerful a book cover can be. Thanks for commenting.

Susan, I will check out your book. Maybe we'll get more readers hooked on Shakespeare. Thanks.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Shakespeare wil never get old, and we'll never tire of reading about him in different ways. Sounds like a great series, and it's now on my TBR list.

Mary Fremont Schoenecker said...

Congratulations ,Carol, on another successful book with the bard.

Carole Price said...

Thank you Susan and Mary. I learned so much while writing each book in my Shakespeare series.

Saralyn said...

Thinking of how many millions of people have been affected by Shakespeare, and how you, Carole, are inspiring others with your imagination and talent. Congratulations on your writing adventures.

Carole Price said...

Thanks Saralyn. I'm still surprised how far a class in Shakespeare has taken me and how much he's affected our lives.