Grab yourself a cup of coffee (or tea, if you prefer), sit back in a comfy chair, and let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a young woman, a senior in high school who dreamt of one day becoming an author. She was super stoked to have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement English class where she would read and learn from over a dozen classic novels, everything from Dante to Dumas to, of course, Shakespeare.
Excitedly (and perhaps naively), she dove into her first classic novel, relishing every moment…until she got a C on her exam.
Wait…what? She’s spent a lot of time studying and formulating her thoughts. Her opinions were intelligent…weren’t they?
It took reading all the way through the next two novels and receiving fair-to-middling exam grades to recognize what was happening. The teacher wanted to see HER thoughts on those exams.
So what was the point? Discouraged, the young lady stopped reading the classics, one of which was King Lear, and instead brushed over the plots in Cliff Notes (remember those?). Then she’d regurgitate the teacher’s thoughts on the exams, and suddenly she was back to receiving A’s again.
She didn’t even know what she was missing. What a shame.
Nearly forty years later, now a Publishers Weekly Bestselling Author with over a million books in print and a Granny, she was finally, truly and wonderfully exposed to Shakespeare in the form of favorite actor Paul Gross in a live rendering of King Lear.
Did you know there are a lot of laugh-out-loud funny lines in King Lear’s tragedy? Of course, there are many tearful moments, as well. One Howl, much less three, gripped the Granny’s throat and nearly strangled her as tears poured down her cheeks. Under Paul’s deft hand, three hours passed in the blink of an eye as King Lear went from a narcissist to stark raving mad to a sad and broken old man. And then everybody dies.
Because it’s Shakespeare, don’t you know.
The short version:
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the young woman/Granny in question was/is me. And as King Lear wound down and the actors came out for their curtain call, I could only think about what a grave disservice my high school teacher had done me. Every classic novel I missed back then would have eventually made me that much better of an inspirational romance novelist today. And yes, I now intend to make up the gap in my education by studying the classics. I had no idea what I was missing!
And because I’m a romance author who loves happy endings to my stories, I want to share the rest of this particular story. You see, I’d gone to SEE my favorite actor Paul Gross in King Lear. I hadn’t expected to have the amazing opportunity to MEET him, but as I was walking toward the coat check to return my hearing device, I was thinking about how nice it would be to be able to thank Paul in person for making Shakespeare so very alive and accessible and how much it had moved my heart. I turned the corner, and then…
Blink. Blink. Blink. Hello, Paul Gross.
Let’s just say I got to offer him my genuine, “Thank you.” Totally a God thing.
Deb’s next Harlequin Love Inspired romance, Bonding with the Babies, is now available for preorder.