Hello, and welcome!
Maybe you’re checking out my blog because you’ve heard about my books and you want to investigate before you spend the money. I get that.
Maybe you’re worried because it’s Shakespeare. Maybe you’ve never read Shakespeare before. Or maybe you were forced to read Shakespeare in school and you didn’t like it. Or you didn’t get it.
You don’t have to know The Taming of the Shrew to read and enjoy Finding Kate. I’ve changed things from the play quite a bit, including the setting (from Renaissance Italy to late medieval England) and the characters’ names (I made all the Italian names English, so Katherina becomes Kathryn, and Petruchio in the play becomes Sir William in my book). I also made up lots of new scenes, I added a comic version of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and I completely changed one of The Taming of the Shrew‘s big comedy moments — the wedding (but I won’t spoil that for you. You’ll have to read the book to find out what I did).
My book is not a redo of the play as written. I’m reimagining it. This is my version of the story. If you know Shakespeare’s play, you’ll have fun with this book. If you don’t know the play, you’ll still have fun with this book. It’s a win-win.
Okay, that’s taken care of. But maybe you’re thinking, I can’t stand Shakespeare because it’s like a foreign language.
If you and I went back in time to Shakespeare’s day, even though the language they spoke was early modern English, we’d have a hard time understanding what people were saying. Their vowels sounded different, their accents would seem odd to us, and some words had entirely different meanings at that time. We’d struggle.
Here’s a short video about Shakespeare’s “OP” (original pronunciation).
Don’t worry about understanding the language in my novel.
I chose to use words that have an old feel but aren’t strictly Shakespearean. In Shakespeare’s time, people were moving from “aye” to “yes” so I used both words just as he did, as well as “nay” and “no.” Instead of “perhaps” or “maybe,” they said “mayhap,” and instead of “what happened?” they asked, “what’s toward?” You can understand these words, right? I also strove to use words that were in use at the time and not synonyms that developed later (so I would choose “collect,” “obtain,” or “garner” over “grab” or “get hold of”). I want you to feel like you’re hearing people talk authentically for the time, but not so authentically that you don’t understand them. Bottom line, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the words. At least, I hope you don’t.
If you have questions about the language, the plays, or anything else, send me an email at shaxpeare(at)live(dot)com so we can talk about it.