Tuesday, June 23, 2009

NRT: Baily Macdonald + Contest

Wicked Will
By Bailey Macdonald
Simon and Schuster/Aladdin Books

Three years ago, I attended a convention for writers of young adult and children's books. I wasn't one, but I wanted to be. And at that convention, we wanna-be writers were able to talk to real book editors and agents!

So I sat down with a very nice book agent and she said, "What are you working on?"
"I'm writing a mystery novel," I told her. "And it has a great detective: William Shakespeare!"

She gave me a pitying look. "Hon," she said, "historical mysteries set in Shakespeare's Globe have just been done to death."

"Mine's not set there," I told her. "Because my book takes place before the Globe was even built. Anyway, why limit the setting to the Globe? All the world's a stage for someone like Shakespeare!"

She winced a little but asked, "Okay, is yours set after Shakespeare retired from the stage?"

"No," I said. "It takes place the year he was twelve years old."

"Oh . . ." she said, blinking. "Okay, what crime does he solve?"

"The biggest one there is," I told her.

She smiled. "What, is it murder?"

"Right!" I laid out the plot for her: A group of strolling actors comes to Stratford-on-Avon to perform in June of 1576; a local crank, a belligerent and unpleasant man is killed; and it looks as if the leader of the actors did the deed. But the accused man has a nephew who is an actor, and he has to try to solve the crime to free his uncle, and a talkative boy named Will Shakespeare helps. . . ."

"Write it!" the agent told me. "But don't treat it like a joke."

"I'll write it straight," I promised her. "The matter's in my heart and in my head."

Funny how things work out. Eventually an agent took on the book, which came to be titled Wicked Will. It took three years for the book to be published—but then haste makes waste, they say. Anyway, a different agent loved the book, sent it to Simon and Schuster, and a wonderful editor there loved it, too!

And today my first mystery novel, Wicked Will, is in the bookstores. I continue to write—my next book will be about a young Ben Franklin—and I continue to work in the theater. In fact, recently I was in a Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet. The world's a theater, the earth a stage, which God and nature do with actors fill! And being a writer and an actor—well, that's a thrill!

Oh—hidden away in this page are three quotations from Will Shakespeare himself. Are you detective enough to find them? If you can identify the three quotations, and tell which plays they are from, you might win one of my books. I'll give a free, autographed copy of Wicked Will to the first three literary sleuths who email me at bzmac@yahoo.com with the correct answers.

Good detecting!

--Bailey Macdonald


Emily said...

What a fun contest! I think I found them all and entered...

Kristen said...

Hope I found the right ones! Just sent off an email.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

All posted at Win a Book for you. Thanks for the e-mail!

Pam said...

Took me a while to figure out the third...Sent you an e-mail; hopefully I made it in time!

melacan at hotmail dot com