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Books and Authors Discussions > New novel about the young Shakespeare.

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message 1: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) Hi, my name is Pauline Montagna and my novel, Not Wisely but Too Well, is about the young Shakespeare. It was released on November 14, and there is currently a Goodreads Giveaway which ends on November 29. Quite a few Goodreads members seem to have taken advantage of the free ebook launch offer, so there are a couple of reviews up already.

I plan to hold a Q&A after the Giveaway, but we can have our own Q&A right here. So if you have any
questions or comments, please feel free. Not Wisely but Too Well (The Stuff of Dreams #1) by Pauline Montagna


message 2: by Hazel (new)

Hazel West | 816 comments Mod
Hi Pauline, thanks for posting a thread =) What made you choose to write about a young Shakespeare and what kind of research did this book entail?


message 3: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) It's a long story I go into in detail on my website. http://paulinemontagna.net/not-wisely...
Basically it all began when I found a book about the Authorship Debate which got me thinking about Shakespeare. The doco Much Ado About Something got me thinking about Shakespeare and Marlowe and what the relationship between them might have been. It took lots of research because I was determined that while the main thread of my story was fictional, it had to be authentic and fit with the known facts. I spent long hours in our state library. In fact I spent one whole summer there and it was the happiest summer I've ever had. I've recorded all of my research in my blog The Stuff of Dreams http://stuffofdreamsseries.blogspot.c... which is designed as a companion piece to the book.


message 4: by C.P. (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) | 339 comments I have this one on my to-read list, not least because Bryn Hammond, a Goodreads author/reader for whom I have developed great respect, gave it a good review. So I can recommend it by proxy!


message 5: by Hazel (new)

Hazel West | 816 comments Mod
I'll have to take a look at your blog Pauline and I'm adding your book to-read. :)


message 6: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) Great to hear it. I hope you enjoy it. It's currently available from Lulu at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mountai... and hopefully soon from all major online bookstores as both POD and ebook.


message 7: by David (new)

David Krae (DavidKrae) This sounds like an interesting read, especially bringing Shakespeare together with Christopher Marlowe, another very colorful personage in Elizabethan dramatic circles, as well as the political world.


message 8: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments Okay, I have a question for the author.
Do you keep yourself up-to-date on other Shakespeare fiction - or do you avoid it like the plague?

I ask because I saw yesterday a fic, namely The Secret Life of William Shakespeare, the take in which annoyed me, by descriptions. Now... I too write about an historical figure, and portraits that aren't your own can be terribly annoying. Or do you try to take them on board, even with fiction? One always has to consider non-fiction on the subject, but fiction - that's more of an open question. What do you do?


message 9: by Pauline (last edited Nov 29, 2012 01:34PM) (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) Bryn wrote: "Okay, I have a question for the author.
Do you keep yourself up-to-date on other Shakespeare fiction - or do you avoid it like the plague?


Hi Bryn. I avoid it like the plague! Before committing to this project I attempted to read a novel about Marlowe and it was so horrible I couldn't finish it. Since then I've decided to avoid all fiction and speculative 'non-fiction' mainly so as not to leave myself open to any accusation of plagiarism, and also because I have enough reading to do. (And I hate to admit this, with my delicate writer's ego, I'm afraid it might be better than mine and cause me to despair!) I stick to non-fiction, but gosh, with so little known about my boys there's more fiction in some of their biographies than in my book!

I saw The Secret Life of WS in my local library, and with my heart in my mouth leafed through it long enough to see that it had taken a different tack to my book, so breathed a sigh of relief!


message 10: by Bryn (last edited Nov 29, 2012 01:47PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments Great answer. And my answer too!
Run, run away!

I do have a morbid curiosity and 'have to look', but it's a disturbing experience, for the several reasons you mention.


message 11: by Bryn (last edited Nov 30, 2012 01:06PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments I've also wanted to ask a question about your earlier book, The Slave. The cover of which I love, too. Can't help but notice your slave from Asia has a Mongol name, Batu. Does he have a Mongol background, or did you just fancy the name?

The Slave by Pauline Montagna


message 12: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) Bryn wrote: "I've also wanted to ask a question about your earlier book, The Slave. The cover of which I love, too. Can't help but notice your slave from Asia has a Mongol name, Batu. Does he have a Mongol back..."

Hi Bryn. After seeing what your books were about I thought I might tell you about Batu some day. Yes, he is a captured Mongol warrior who ends up in Italy. Actually when I first conceived the story, I called the character Fet, but when I did some research into the Mongolians I found that there was no F in their language. This necessitated not only changing his name, but the names of most of the other characters as well. Fun and games! You can read more about the genesis of the novel on my website at http://paulinemontagna.net/the-slave/


message 13: by Bryn (last edited Nov 30, 2012 01:59PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments Oh joy. Give me a Mongol, I'm in. The painting on the cover had me anyway.
I like the simplicity of title.


message 14: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments It's not that I judge a book by its cover -- I thought I ignored covers. I'm just fond of old paintings, often. Also, with indie, you know the author has chosen it; so you think, she liked this image, maybe I'll like the book.


message 15: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) I put as much thought into the cover as the content, so I do hope that readers take the cover into consideration when they choose the book. The painting is called Girl on a Balcony by Gerard Dou. I first saw it in the Prague National Gallery and brought home a postcard of it. The girl fitted my image of my heroine to a T. You might have thought I'd commissioned it if it hadn't been painted 400 years ago!

The title clung to the project from the very beginning. I thought about changing it, but couldn't think of anything better, especially when I realised that on different levels it applied to all of the main characters.


message 16: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments It's expressive, it has a mood. I saw it a couple of weeks ago and merely glanced; it's hung about in my mind, I've had several close-up looks since and been more and more drawn in. Glad to hear it's that integral to the work.


message 17: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) That Q and A has been set up at http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/8... It will be held between December 15 and 20 (Australian time.) I look forward to meeting everyone there.


message 18: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) In another thread, Bryn wrote: I shiver at the word 'romance' -- even though people put books I love on shelves they call 'historical romance'. Which to me misrepresents them. I had to determine Pauline's The Slave isn't a conventional romance, before I'd bite, and that's hard to do, when it's classified so. I've wanted to ask Pauline about that - where she feels herself to be in the romance area and whether she has had trouble with the conventions. I ought to ask in her own thread. So I thought I would bring it over and answer it here.

I hope this doesn't disappoint you, Bryn, but The Slave is a romance in that it is about passionate relationships. However I wouldn't say it is a conventional romance. There are characters and situations in it that Avon would never countenance, while it avoids the Avon 'mores' which I abhor. Let's just say it could also go into the GBLT Fiction category, although the 'politics' might not be welcomed!

Would you like a review copy, so you can bite without having to swallow? ;-D


message 19: by Bryn (last edited Dec 12, 2012 09:25PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments Thanks for the answer Pauline.
I put my foot in my mouth when I say I hate romance, because [insert explanation here]. I've nothing against a love story. I have a central love story and can't operate as a writer without one. They have to be unconventional.
You have intrigued me utterly with these additional... details...
It's generous of you to offer a review copy. I don't know whether I can say no. Who can say no?


message 20: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 275 comments PS. I see what you mean about 'the company it keeps on Amazon.' People who viewed this also viewed... I won't quote the titles, lest I defame them, but you can imagine, if you imagine luridly.

What can you do? It's a great title.


message 21: by Pauline (new)

Pauline Montagna (pauline_montagna) Bryn wrote: "PS. I see what you mean about 'the company it keeps on Amazon.' People who viewed this also viewed... I won't quote the titles, lest I defame them, but you can imagine, if you imagine luridly.

I know. Sometimes I despair. What is the world coming to?


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