Today, City Owl Press is proud to introduce, Maryanne Fantalis, historical romance author and Shakespeare guru! Her retelling of the classic Taming of the Shrew, entitled FINDING KATE, hits shelves this spring!
1. Tell our readers a little about yourself and your work.
For me, it all started the day I proudly “read” a book to my mom, even though I’m pretty sure I had just memorized what she read to me (I can still recite some of it for you, if you want). Those childhood stories led me to drawing and scribbling stories of my own, and it just never stopped. I encountered Shakespeare at a young age as well, seeing “Macbeth” performed by the fifth grade class across the hall, and boy, did that make an impression. Witches! Murder! Walking trees! I was hooked.
I live near Boulder, Colorado, with my husband and two kids, where I teach writing at the University of Colorado. Though I grew up near the Atlantic Ocean, I’ve always preferred the cool forests and racing streams of mountains, so it’s a dream come true to live within a few short miles of the majestic Rockies. This series of novels I’m working on with City Owl Press combines two of my life-long passions: medieval England and Shakespeare’s plays.
2. What genres do you write or want to write in the future?
Two things I really enjoy writing about are relationships and history, and historical romance is a perfect marriage of the two. For me, a couple falling in love in spite of themselves is as much fun to write as it is to read. Plus, I’m intimately familiar with the period of English history we call the Wars of the Roses (1450s-1480s), and I am head-over-heels in love with Shakespeare (a fact my husband has come to accept). I kind of have no choice…
I also love to write fantasy novels, inspired by great authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay, Robin McKinley, and George R.R. Martin. In my head, there’s a whole other world full of people and about a thousand years of stories just waiting to be told.
3. What attracted you to City Owl Press?
City Owl Press is always looking for character-driven romance novels, which describes my work perfectly. I enjoy crafting characters who are appealing and relatable, but who also have flaws; in short, they are human. City Owl has been easy to work with and I believe it is the perfect home for Kate, an incredibly strong yet damaged young woman.
4. What has your experience been like working with City Owl Press?
Everyone at City Owl, from editors to authors, has been so helpful and supportive. I love the pro-author atmosphere and the way everyone works together to accomplish a shared vision for the work.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I want to continue to bring a fresh perspective to Shakespeare’s plays and share his stories with new audiences while respecting his legacy through my work. Upcoming books in the series are planned based on plays including “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Twelfth Night,” and “Measure for Measure.” I’ll continue to teach writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I am determined to see as many plays at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival as I can (it’s totally research).
6. Tell our readers why they should pick up your book.
This is such a hard question to answer, so I’ll just say this: if you love a strong, sassy heroine who fights to overcome her past and a swoon-worthy leading man who helps her get there, this one is for you. If you love Shakespeare’s plays and enjoy a new twist on an old tale, this one is for you. If you love historicals and can’t wait to be plunged into a different time and place, this one is for you. And, if you do pick up my book, thank you! I am always honored when anyone wants to read my work.