Today it’s my turn to introduce the character who will feature in my part of the Ocelot blog hop. Dear readers, meet Fra’ Lorenzo, whom some of you may already know as Friar Lawrence.
Over the years I’ve seen many different performances of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, on film and on the stage, and on each occasion I’ve been increasingly fascinated by the character of the Friar. His actions are, to say the least of it, unorthodox. Not only does he devise an elaborate and ingenious deception to help save a desperate young woman from an unwanted arranged marriage, he also helps a convicted killer to escape justice.
Why would a man of God, who has taken vows of poverty, chastity and (particularly) obedience, behave in such a way?
Clearly there is much more to this man than first meets the eye. Where did he come from originally? Why did he become a Friar? What happened to him before he took holy orders? And (perhaps most intriguing) how did he know about the sleeping potion, and why did he conveniently have a supply of it to hand when it was needed?
By giving the Friar what I hope is an interesting and thought-provoking backstory, I’ve tried to offer some possible answers. His story is told in my novel The Ghostly Father, which is set mostly in late 15th/early 16th-century Venice and Verona.
Fra’ Lorenzo will be interviewed here on the Ocelot blog on Tuesday 5 November. In the meantime, here is a portrait of him tending his herbs, drawn by my dear friend Kay Sluterbeck.
We can’t believe it’s already 18 months since Ocelot Press went live. Over the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating with a series of blog posts and character interviews and there’ll be a chance to buy some of our e-books for discounted prices. So definitely watch this space.
For starters, this coming week, each of us will take over the Ocelot blog for a day to bring you information on the background, setting and salient facts of one of our books. You’ll get an insider’s view of the story behind the book – and each of them makes fascinating reading.
Congratulations to Ocelot Press author Sue Barnard, whose wonderful novel, The Ghostly Father, will soon be produced as an audiobook by Spectrum Audiobooks. The Ghostly Father is an alternative version of Shakespeare’s well-loved classic, Romeo and Juliet. We’ll provide more details of the audiobook in due course.
Think you know the world’s most famous love story? Think again. What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?
This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.
If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.
And if you can’t wait for the audiobook, you can read The Ghostly Father in ebook or paperback formats. Available from Amazon.