Friday 18 January 2013

Guest Post & Promo - Exposure
A modern retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth
Publication date: January 18

Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high school
royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally-charged twist on Shakespeare's
Macbeth, a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a
treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic
twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs;
one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie
named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy
she loves ‹ and herself ‹ before they get caught in the crosshairs?

Guest post #2

Hi everyone!
Translating Shakespeare’s dark and horrific “Macbeth” into a 21st century YA novel meant coming up with comparisons that would be realistic, yet still in keeping with the Bard’s original intent. Here are a few of the ways we retold the story without relying on anything too literal.

The Setting: In reading (and seeing) the play, we’ve always picture the Scottish setting and the castle of Dunsinane to be bleak, remote and foreboding--existing on the precipice of some craggy cliff far from civilization. For that reason, we set our novel, Exposure, in Alaska, which exudes a similar “otherworldly” aura. There’s something wild, uncivilized, dark, and (literally) chilling about that vast swath of land near the Arctic Circle, and the surreal environment helped us capture the spirit of the play throughout the book.

The Battlefield: Instead of being a warrior, our “Macbeth”--a drop-dead gorgeous high school senior named Craig MacKenzie--is suited up in the armor of the high school hockey team. It’s a fittingly brutal and bloody sport that allowed us to pull in the imagery of barbarians in the heat of battle. Craig is a young man with good intentions, but when the reader is first introduced to him, he’s in the penalty box. How’s that for foreshadowing?

The Supernatural: Three witches...Uggh. How were we going to pull off that analogy without looking ridiculous? By setting the story in Alaska, we found our answer in the native Inuit culture. Our heroine, Skye Kingston (basically a female Banquo, if you’re familiar with the play), has three friends who are of native Alaskan ancestry. They see the world with a distinct spiritual insight that we were able to play off of to incorporate the play’s pivotal “predictions.”

If you’re curious to know how we reworked other facets of “Macbeth” for a modern audience, we entreat you to check out Exposure, on-sale January 18. It’s been called “compulsively readable,” but we’ll let you decide for yourself!

Amy and Kim the Authors
Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of the Shakespeare-inspired YA series Twisted Lit. Tempestuous will be available on December 18, 2012 and Exposure will be available January 18, 2013 from Merit Press. Kim and Amy been writing together since 2004, when they launched Romancing the Tome, a blog dedicated to their obsession with book-to-film adaptations. For more information on their books, visit

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