Interview with Christy English + Giveaway

Filed in Christy English , featured , Giveaways , Interview , The Latin Lover Posted on November 26, 2012 @ 7:00 am 46 comments

Today you are treated to a very unique express interview I conducted with Christy English, author of the lovely How to Tame a Willful Wife, a Regency retelling of Shakespeare’s classic (and much beloved) Taming of the Shrew. This interview is a 20 seconds, elevator ride interview, so read on to get a first glimpse of the story, the inspiration behind it as well as Christy’s take on Shakespeare retellings and their appeal.

Stella: Hi Christy, welcome to Book Lovers Inc! Congratulations on the release of How to Tame a Willful Wife, the 1st book in your new Shakespeare in Love historical romance series published by Sourcebooks!

Christy: Thank you so much for hosting me. I am excited to talk about my novel in relation to my favorite playwright.

Stella: How to Tame a Willful Wife is described as a Regency retelling of the famous and beloved The Taming of the Shrew. Why did you decide to retell this piece?

Christy: I did not know I was re-telling Shakespeare until I made it through the first three drafts. The first two chapters of the novel came to me in a dream, and I started writing about Caroline and Anthony as soon as they showed up. I was not sure who these people were, but I knew they were interesting, so I followed down the road they led. I watched as the book unfolded, and it occurred to me finally that this story was The Taming of the Shrew, but that it was about the husband being tamed.

Stella: What was the appeal, what inspired the idea for the story?

Christy: I have always loved Kate’s strength in the play. I really should call her Katherine…it’s Petrucchio who renames her in an effort to take her down a peg…or ten. Katherine is strong-willed to the point of being foul-tempered, but I have always thought of her as an animal in a trap, fighting for her life. When foxes are cornered, they bite.

I found a more palatable way for my Petrucchio to claim his wife, by making my Katherine loyal to her father and her family. Caroline marries Anthony to save her father’s estates from debt, and it is a good choice, even if their marriage had not turned out as well as it did. Like Katherine in the play, Caroline is a brave woman who faces reality. In the end, however, Caroline shapes it to her own liking, instead of being starved into submission.

Stella: Why do you think The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, having been adapted many times from period pieces to more modern (10 Things I Hate About You) films and TV series?

Christy: I think modern audiences overlook the darkness inherent in The Taming of the Shrew, and focus on the witty banter. And there is a lot of wit there. I think it is through modern adaptation that this play really comes alive. Through the modern eye, we can soften the problems of the play while drawing out the strengths. For the play to work, in the end, Petrucchio and Katherine have to find a middle ground they both can live with. In most productions I’ve seen, this comes from Katherine winking at the audience as she gives her final speech about obedience in an ironic tone. Equality is an ideal we are still striving for, and not just in fiction.

Stella: In what way is How to Tame a Willful Wife similar/different to The Taming of the Shrew?

Christy: In How To Tame A Willful Wife, there is no younger sister who serves as a foil who needs to be married off. The suitors in my novel are disbursed after chapter three, and we are left alone with just Caroline and Anthony as they deal with their fiery attraction for each other. Their passion in bed sometimes serves as much as a hindrance as a blessing, but it keeps them dealing with each other and allows for their affection to grow until they can finally learn to see each other as real human beings. It gives them the time they need to fall in love.

How To Tame A Willful Wife by Christy English

Book #1 in the Shakespeare in Love series

How To Tame A Willful Wife:

1. Forbid her from riding astride
2. Hide her dueling sword
3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers
4. Frisk her for hidden daggers
5. Don’t get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers…

Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempered by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.

Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and…ridiculously gorgeous.

It’s a duel of wit and wills in this charming retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. But the question is…who’s taming whom?

Read an excerpt here

Buy at Amazon – Kindle – Book Despository

After years of acting in Shakespeare’s plays, Christy English is excited to bring the Bard to Regency England in the re-telling of The Taming of the Shrew, How To Tame A Willful Wife. When she isn’t acting, roller skating, or chasing the Muse, Christy writes historical novels (The Queen’s Pawn and To Be Queen) from her home in North Carolina. Please visit her at


Sourcebooks has generously offered a paperback copy to a US/CAN resident and since we here at BLI are so excited about this book we would like to offer a copy of How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English to a lucky international commenter as well!

All you have to do is tell us: what is your favourite Shakespeare retelling? Or your favourite Shakespeare play? 

(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).

This giveaway is open to all!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, 8 December 2012; we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Stella, thank you so much for hosting me! I had such a great time talking about my obsession with Shakespeare and romance 🙂

    • Stella November 26, 2012 at 9:01 am

      You’re welcome Christy, it was my pleasure. I also LOVE Shakespeare retelling so I’m very excited about your new release! 😀

      • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

        Yay Stella…these books are so much fun to write! I know Shakespeare stole some of his plots, too, so I don’t feel so bad. LOL

  • Joy F November 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Much Ado About Nothing with Keanu Reeves,

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Good one Joy! He is hot as the bad guy 🙂

  • Lily B November 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I don’t know about retelling. But I always loved loved A Midsummers Night Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and I will always love Romeo and Juliette even thought it’s an obvious one for some.

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the next book in the series… I am super excited about that one too.

  • Gayle Pace November 26, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I wish you so much luck on your new book. I love as Lily B. said, “the obvious one”, Romeo and Juliette. Two young lovers doomed before their lives start.

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks so much Gayle. I’m having a fabulous time talking about this novel. It is such a hoot 🙂

  • Izz November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Of course Romeo and Juliet with Leo & Claire Daines 😀

    I enjoyed the excerpt & looking forward to read the book ;D

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      That was a great Romeo and Juliet…I love the poetry in that play…

  • Maria D. November 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    My favorite Shakespeare retelling is definitely The Taming of the Shrew – I like the different ways it’s been done both in film (with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) – as a Broadway Musical (Kiss Me Kate) and as a contemporary. I’d like to see some new adaptations of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and of “The Merchant of Venice”. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Yay Maria…I hope you like my version when you get your hands on it 🙂

  • erinf1 November 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Thanks for such a great post and congrats to Christy on the new release! It sounds fantastic! My Fav Shakespeare retelling/adaptation would be Much Ado About Nothing w/ Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh 🙂

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      That Much Ado About Nothing was so much fun…thanks for the sweet words erin 🙂

  • Michele H November 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

    I love A Midsumer Night’s Dream as it was the first Shakespeare I read in junior high. I think my favorite adaptation would also be Romeo and Juliette with Leo and Claire. Thanks for the giveaway and best of luck on your new release!

    • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Thank you Michele 🙂 I met Shakespeare for the first time in the 7th grade…what an amazing revelation! It didn’t seem like English at first LOL

  • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you all so much for commenting and for tossing your names in the hat for the give away. I wish you all could win!

  • aurian November 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I absolutely love this cover. And I have to admit, I have never read anything by Shakespeare, although of course I know of his Romeo and Juliet (loved the movie), and A Midsummer Night’s dream. One day I will go see that one, so I will choose A Midsummer Nights Dream.

    • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

      I’m so happy you like the cover! When they showed it to me last summer, I was thrilled 🙂 Thanks for joining us, Aurian

  • Liene November 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I agree with Izz, my favorite retelling is the Romeo and Juliet with Leo and Claire Danes. Thanks for the chance, and good luck with your new release!

  • Lobo November 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I love Shakespeare’s comedies and one of my favorite is also The Taming of the Shrew and I also adored both the Taylor-Burton film version and the 10 Things I hate about you. But I like Much ado about Nothing (always wanted to be Beatrice) and Twelfth Night (because of the cross dressing).
    One of the great retellings of Machbet is Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters which is hilarious.

  • Christy English November 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Thank you Liene! Lobo I need to see that version of Macbeth…the Scottish play is my favorite 🙂

  • Jeanne Miro November 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Christie!

    My favorite Shakespeare play Was The Tamkng of the Shrew when I was in High School in the 1960’s. I loved it but maybe it was because of the times at the same time I was offended that Petruchio wanted to turn Katherina into a compliant and obedient bride! A few years later after I graduated I also saw Kiss Me Kate staring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and you know how their real marriage turned out!

    After being married for 42 years I’ve found that men may say they want an “obedient” wife but they respect one who stand up for herself!

    I laughed reading Anthony’s rules! I have the distinct feelig that Caroline will pay as much attention to them as I have with my husband’s!

    Note to Caro – When Anthony gets into one of his “moods” just nod your head and then do whatever you want! It’s worked for me!

    • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Hi Jeanne! LOL It’s true! That’s exactly what Caroline does. she goes to bed with him, enjoys herself, and then gets up and does just as she pleases 🙂

      • Jeanne Miro November 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        I love a heroine who thinks like me! I can’t wait to read How to Tame a Willfull Wife and obviously should pick up a copy for my daughter-in-law as well since my son takes after my husband!

  • Victoria Zumbrum November 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I love the retelling of Romeo and Juliet. I also love Westside Story.

    • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

      West Side Story is so good! and so sad…thank you for joining us, Victoria 🙂

  • Diane Sallans November 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I’ve always loved Shakespeare from the first time I saw a stage production of Hamlet at a local college, saw the movie of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey (I still have the LP), but for fun I’d go for the adaptation of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ into the musical ‘Kiss Me Kate’.

    • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

      I love Kiss Me Kate 🙂 You can never go wrong with Cole Porter in my book 🙂

  • Mary Preston November 27, 2012 at 2:28 am

    It has to be THE TAMING OF THE SHREW with Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton. I actually saw it on television about a year ago. Got to love repeats.

    • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

      I love it when they re run the old ones and the good ones 🙂 Thanks for joining us, Mary

  • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    LOL Jeanne! I have to admit, Caroline thinks like me too 🙂 I don’t throw knives though…I hope you & your daughter-in-law love the book 🙂

  • Norah Leighton November 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    oooh shakespeare. my favorite. to go outside the box i would say that my favorite shakespeare play is hamlet and the kenneth branagh version was so well done, & on the same note my favorite “retelling” is a young adult novel by lisa klein “ophelia.” i thought it was amazing, her story needed to be told and given the respect it deserves. i would very much like to win your book because i love shakespeare so much and any retelling of it. your heroine caroline sounds awesome and i hope she tames the earl. thanks norah leighton

  • Christy English November 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Nora, Thank you so much! That version of Ophelia’s life from her POV sounds like a must read…thank you for passing that on. I hope you enjoy the way Caroline tames her Anthony 🙂

  • Chelsea B. November 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Love’s Labour’s Lost was hilarious! It’s gotta be my favorite.

    • Christy English November 28, 2012 at 4:29 am

      That one is a lot of fun…I wonder if a good movie’s been made of that one…

  • Janie McGaugh November 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I love 10 Things I Hate about You. I enjoy all of Shakespeare’s comedies, cope (barely) with the histories, and refuse to watch or read the tragedies. Hey, I like happy endings!

    • Christy English November 28, 2012 at 4:30 am

      I agree with you Janie…Macbeth is m favorite, but I do love is happy endings 🙂

  • sienny November 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Hi Christy! congrats for the book release, and the blurbs is so much fun-looking, i find myself putting it on my wishlist.

    i’m not familiar with shakespeare’s work, so i can say which one i like best in retelling (mostly cause i have no idea if it’s a shakepeare retelling or not).

  • Jen B. November 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I loved the movie Scrooged. And, it’s seasonally appropriate! Added bonus, I love the original story as well.

  • Christy English November 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I didn’t see that one Jen B but I love the original 🙂 Sienny, thank you! I hope you get your hands on it & enjoy it 🙂 Thank you both for putting your names in the hat 🙂

  • bn100 December 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I like Romeo and Juliet.

    • Christy English December 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

      That’s a good one…lots of romantic poetry in that one

  • Maureen December 3, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I like Much Ado About You by Eloisa James.

    • Christy English December 3, 2012 at 7:39 am

      I need to get my hands on that one…I love Eloisa James

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