November 12, 2012

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall

“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”
— William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

This is the quote I use to begin The Ghost Runner.

I saw Measure for Measure two years ago at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and I couldn't get that play out of my head.

Actually, I have trouble getting any Shakespeare play out of my head.

In each book, well, in each of my first two books, I focus on one Shakespeare play in particular.

In Out of Breath it was Hamlet. I saw a lot of Hamlet in my character Roman, and that's one reason I wanted to work this play into the book. So I had Roman actually play the role of Hamlet for his job at the theater, letting readers connect these two troubled souls. They're troubled for very different reasons, of course, but in my mind they were very similar.

And in The Ghost Runner, it's Kat herself who finds herself in a spot like Shakespeare's Isabella -- caught between her own beliefs and a family situation that may cause her to give up what she believes in the very most. Again, they're in totally different situations, but I definitely saw the parallels. This is probably why I can never get Shakespeare out of my head -- all his characters deal with the same things we still do every day: love, loyalty, family, duty, and on and on. I'm adding animal rights to the mix, but I think even Shakespeare might have touched on that. I discovered this quote, from Twelfth Night:

Sir Andrew: "I am a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit."
Sir Toby: "No question."

(William Shakespeare,Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene III)

Just one more reason to love Shakespeare.

Now, I have to decide which play to work into Book Three.