Monday, June 11, 2012

SHAKESPEARE'S LADY - Alexa Schnee - One Free Book

Welcome, Alexa. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I try to write the character’s story more than my own, but I think it’s inevitable that a lot myself will be there. I think every character I’ve written has a little bit of me in them—for good or for bad I’m not quite sure.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
“Quirky” has been used to describe me a lot. It’s hard to say what the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is, but I dressed up as Annie Hall for Halloween and play the ukulele on a regular basis. I can also quote The Princess Bride from beginning to end, but that might be more nerdy than quirky.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
For me, I think it’s kind of always been an innate thing. I’ve loved books ever since I was a kid and I used to write “stories” with squiggles before I could write words, so I think it’s always just been a part of who I am. I think I was in middle school when I really knew that was what I wanted to do.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I try to read almost everything I can get my hands on. Right now I’m reading Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron, which is totally out of my genre. I’m loving it, though, and I think it’s important for writers to read things they normally wouldn’t. I’ve recently been reading some poetry along with some 18th century novels for school, as well.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
It’s difficult. I’m going to school fulltime and it’s hard to do that and write sometimes. I journal a lot and make sure I read for fun and not just for school. I’ve also watched way too many episodes of Doctor Who. It’s a balance between work and pleasure, for sure.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
So far, I’ve been writing historical fiction based on real people and they come with a name so I don’t have to choose. When I’m writing short fiction for class or for fun, I might try out names until I find one that fits. It’s always a work in progress.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The first thing that pops into my head is that I moved far away from where I had grown up my whole life. I recently packed my bags and moved from my small town in Montana to a school just outside New York City. I’m proud of my writing, but I feel it can always be improved—compared to doing something a bit unexpected and slightly crazy.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to say something ferocious and awesome, but I’m probably your typical housecat. I love curling up with a good book, making a cup of Earl Grey, and I can be a bit antisocial at times,

What is your favorite food?
Oh, man. I love breakfast. My mom makes these fabulous pumpkin waffles. I think I ate about twenty of them over Christmas break. That and a cappuccino and I’m in heaven.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Patience is something I just don’t have. I’ve been working really hard on it, but sometimes waiting for things to happen just about kills me. It was really a challenge publishing a book, because it is a slow process and it takes time to polish everything and make it something worth reading. I’ve learned to work on other projects while I’m waiting and keep busy. That has helped a lot.

Tell us about the featured book.
Shakespeare’s Lady is about the “Dark Lady” of William Shakespeare’s sonnets. He dedicated a number of these works to a mysterious woman. No one really knows who she is, but I found a woman living during that time that would have been acquainted Shakespeare, Emilia Bassano Lanier. From there, the story kind of wrote itself.

The book is about their relationship, the societal values at the time, and history during Elizabeth I’s reign.  

Please give us the first page of the book.

            Any writer will tell you that brilliance does not come from the head. It comes from the heart.

I learned this from the greatest writer the world has ever known. He whispered it in my ear as I lay in his arms. He told me as he looked over my crossed-out lines and empty pages. I see its truth in the little book he gave me. But I never understood what he really meant until it was too late and he was already gone.

Yes, I loved William Shakespeare. Yes, he loved me. No, it did not end well. William and I would never grow old together. We would never build a life together. Love doesn’t always guarantee happiness.

He was so handsome. An actor. A writer. So passionate about his work that sometimes it seemed to be the only thing he could ever love. His words were my rival, and sometimes I felt I could never compete. But I loved William Shakespeare more than I loved anyone on this earth. I loved him more than Henry Carey, more than Alfonso, more than myself, even. He was my salvation from the life that had been chosen for me. He encouraged me to become more than what I had been destined to be.

Our love went against everything I believed in. A lifetime of doing what I believed was right was wiped away the moment he and I became lovers. I sinned against my queen, and I sinned against my God.

He wrote about me. He hadn’t even done that for his wife. He wrote incandescent words about a woman who was captivating, beautiful, and mysterious—all things he told me I was. No one knew the identity of the woman in his sonnets, but I knew. When I read them, I knew he loved me, even all those lonely years later.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is,
or you can email me at .
You can also find me on Twitter at  
and on facebook at .

Thank you, Alexa, for spending this time with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Shakespeare's Lady - paperback
Shakespeare's Lady - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


lovedandamazed said...

I'm currently reading another book about Queen Elizabeth's court and this looks fascinating!

I live in Missouri.

karenk said...

would love to read this story...thanks for the chance ;)

~karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Liz R said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Liz R in AL

Amy C said...

Sounds like another great one!
Amy Campbell
Southwest VA

Mary Preston said...

How fascinating. A glimpse into the world of Shakespeare & the times.

Mary P


Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great Interview.
Please add me to your contest, would love to win your Book, I really never read one about Shakespear's life,very interesting.

I live in S.Illinois


Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting! Enter me.
Blanch, N.C.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Krista said...

Sounds interesting. Please enter me.

Krista in Oregon

SHIRLEY T. said...

Hoping to win this book...Shirley T./Illinois

Melanie said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for the giveaway! Hope to win. :)

Kristie said...

I have never read any historical fiction about Shakespeare. Your book sounds intriguing. What are you going to school for? Might I suggest library and information science? Can you tell I love my job? *LOL* I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.