Notes from a Drama Queen

What's in a Name?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Shakespeare. You gotta love him. At least, I certainly do. When I was young I memorized the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet (that's where the quote from above comes from). I collected Hamlets (Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, many others), and worked my way through the teeny tiny print of a one-volume collected works of Shakespeare in my early teens.

I grew up in Princeton, and our class trips were to the local theater, which luckily happened to be the world-famous McCarter Theater, run by Arthur Lithgow, John's father. John was head of the drama club in high school, and served as spear-carrier in McCarter's version of Julius Caesar, and I discovered listening to Shakespeare was like going to a country where you knew the language but had never spoken it. It would take about five minutes of incomprehensible poetry being spouted on stage and then suddenly it all began to make sense.

Anyone remember the gorgeous version of Much Ado About Nothing with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson? Filmed is Tuscany, it's full of life and color and gorgeous white clothes. And it contains one of the great couples in literature, the squabbling, furious, funny and passionate Beatrice and Benedick.

Yup, you got it. Benedick. When Adrian and Charlotte of RECKLESS had children she got to name two of them, he got the other two. He had never been crazy about being called Adrian, so he chose Charles and Brandon for the two he got to name, solid, normal names. Charlotte went for Shakespeare -- Benedick from Much Ado and Miranda from The Tempest. Shakespeare ran through BREATHLESS - The Scorpion kept insisting he was Richard the Third, compleat villain, while Miranda thought he was Caliban, her own particular monster.

So ... that, in a nutshell, is why the hero of SHAMELESS is Benedick, not Benedict. I guess some find it distracting, which is a real drag, because if I'd known I probably would have changed it. I firmly believe nothing should get in the way of being immersed in Story, not even something that's technically correct or brilliant writing (not that anyone's ever accused me of either ).

But I was so used to Benedick that I didn't realize it would seem odd to others. Sorry 'bout that. But hey, the first book had a hero named Francis, fer heaven's sake! Don't ask me why -- they name themselves.

But I'm hoping, apart from that little flaw, that you'll find SHAMELESS as fun to read as I enjoyed writing it. It should start popping up in bookstores any day, though I gather the e-versions don't come out until July 1st. It's fun, it's fast, and it's sexy (of course).



Blogger Melissa said...

can't wait to read Shameless. I'm reading Demon now. I would like to know when the next ICE book will be out? You mentioned that it may be an e-book (or something to that effect)... I am really looking forward to it and hope there will be glimpses if not parts for old ICE characters! Go Anne!

1:50 AM  
Blogger Carla Swafford said...

It won't be a problem with me. I'm so looking forward to it!

Thank you for writing another one so quick. YEAH!

6:48 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Reading this blog reminds me of the Chinese proverb, “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names”. He is your creation. His name is Benedick. At least I can pronounce it and it doesn’t sound like you “lifted” his name came from an afternoon of watching soaps.

2:25 PM  
Blogger L. H. Thorn said...

I love that version on Much Ado About Nothing! When I was twelve and ranting about how boring my lessons about classic stories were, she dragged me to the television and put Much Ado in. I watched it twice. I bought the DVD. It's great. I also like the name Benedick, Benedict always makes me think of eggs, but Benedick is a name I'll always associate with Shakespeare.

1:00 AM  
Blogger inkgrrl said...

Funny coincidence - I just watched that version of Much Ado About Nothing yesterday! Excellent choice for a hero's name. Can't wait to read it!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Geets said...

Now I'm thoroughly confuseded. Wasn't Charles also Adrian's brother's name? So we get Charles, the first born child of Francis...he would be Adrian's older brother, right? I swear it's just keeping up with whose child is whose, that gets my brain all messed up!

Looking forward to Shameless! I will get at midnight tonight,as I, after much thought and convincing, have joined the future, and invested in a Kindle!

But I'm sure I'll love it, as I've loved ALL of your books!

1:37 PM  
Blogger JenWyatt said...

Shameless is utterly delicious! I didn't want it to end. Do tell us that Brandon's story is next, pretty please!

10:53 PM  
Blogger robinlouise said...

i've so enjoyed the Rohan series! Hope you will give us Brandon's story next.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

What happened to Brandon and Emma???????????????????????????

6:22 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I can see that I am not the only one clammoring for Brandon and Emma's story. Pretty please write the story. Soon. :)

Loved Shameless. I only put it down with great reluctance and could not wait to get back to it. Thank you.


11:22 PM  
Blogger jrobin said...

I only wanted to add my $0.02 that if Brandon and Emma's story was available for pre-order on Amazon I already would have bought it.

1:13 AM  

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