OK. I’m going to do a thing today.
Oh, hey! It’s C! Welcome to Boozy Books, our weekly trip into both drinking and reading! Which is absolutely the safest and most legal pairing of drinking and anything I’ve ever heard of.
So. I’m going to try something new today: I’m going to pair our as-yet-unpublished book, Killing Mercutio. Why? Because I want to. And because it’s getting to the point that we need to get people interested in the thing for eventual publication.
And and because I’ve spent so much time world building and doing last-minute pre-Beta Reader edits that I actually got almost no reading done this week. I’m 100 pages into Dancer’s Lament (all about my favorite Assassin of High House Shadow), 200 pages into my re-read of The Rook (which is, if I’m being perfectly honest, the last book by a new author that completely knocked my socks off), and halfway through How To Be a Tudor. Which counts as a slow week vis a vis reading in my world. And obviously means I’m not prepared to pair anything.
The one thing I *have* read over and over again this week is my own novel because, even though I’m meant to NOT be reading it while A does her edits, some of the people I’ve sent it out to for editing have had things to say that necessitated change. And, truthfully, I’m too obsessive to let go. I really am. It takes everything I have in me not to go back and see what A has changed, not because I don’t trust her (I trust her more than anyone when it comes to this novel), but because I am, again, obsessive.
Killing Mercutio is a Shakespearean thriller. Did we make up that category? Yeah we did. Actually, my amazing friend over on Twitter helped me come up with it one day while I was panicking over how the hell I was going to market the thing, and I will forever love her for it. But yeah, Shakespearean thriller. It’s a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet (wow, what a shocker there, right?) to take out all the crap romance parts and add cool bits like spies, conspiracies, and historical context. Even though we keep the story in the context of Shakespeare’s Verona, we expand the world to add details like the Devotion (Verona’s vassaldom to Venice) that inform the entire story, and the play informs the plot without dictating to it. (At least we hope so.)
I’m crap with summaries. But I’m pretty good at those really short hook-y things, so I think I’ll share that: An ancient grudge, civil blood, unclean hands. Fair Verona is bloody. Mercutio must die.
It’s good. I swear. So… keep it in mind in the upcoming months.
What am I recommending for the eventual read? Something made with Corvina grapes, which hail from the Veneto region of Italy (and the western portion in particular, i.e. Verona). Wines using Corvina tend to have a somewhat tart flavor with notes of bitter almonds, which is actually a surprisingly good description of the novel. We’ve got Romeo and Juliet for the tart, tragedy for the bitter (and the poison that has to show up somewhere), and crimson for the inevitable bloodshed. Mercutio is bright, Benvolio is light, and Tybalt… well, Tybalt is also bitter. But for a good reason.
So, that gives me an idea: writers and authors of the internet, what would you pair with your own novel? What beverage has the right flavors, notes, and undertones to be the right complement to your plot, characters, and world? If you want, let me know in the comments. If you don’t want, I’ll pretend not to be sad. (But I will be sad. I thought we were friends, guys.)
That’s it for me today! We’ll be back tomorrow with Shakespeare Saturday!
(I’ll do an actual novel next time. The sequel to The Rook finally comes out next week and I am so excited, I’ve had a visit to the bookstore scheduled for release day for at least six months now. I let A do the pairing last time, but, this time, it’s all me! Eeeeeeee!!!!!)