Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guest Post with Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

What’s in a Name?

Hi, and thanks, Cricket, for letting us drop by for a guest blog post! The novels in our Twisted Lit series, Tempestuous and Exposure, are modern-day spins on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Macbeth,” respectively. We wanted to pay homage to his works while still creating YA novels that could stand alone on their own merit. So while you may pick up on the subtle Shakespearean nods and references in our books, you’ll also appreciate the fact that our books have been called “compulsively readable” — whether you like The Bard or not!

Today, we thought we’d explain the titles of our books. The name Tempestuous is obviously derived from the play it’s based on, though we like to think both the heroine of our novel, Miranda — and her would-be love interest, Caleb — have the sort of feisty, temperamental personalities the title indicates. When they’re stuck overnight together in a shopping mall during the worst blizzard of the decade, their “stormy” dispositions become even more apparent!

Exposure was a trickier title to come up with, since the name of the play it’s based on, “Macbeth,” didn’t give us much to work with. The novel has a three-fold connection to the title we chose. Our main character, Skye, is a budding photographer, hence there’s the meaning of the word “exposure” as it relates to photography. “Exposure” is also the cause of death attributed to one of Skye’s fellow students who has befallen a tragic fate in the wilds of Alaska, an accident (or is it?) around which the plot of our novel revolves. Finally, “exposure” also signifies the psychological journey Skye travels in the book as she transforms from wallflower to someone who is not afraid to put herself out on the line — and out of her comfort zone. 

If any of this intrigues you, we invite you to check out our books and see for yourselves what they’re all about!

Kim and Amy

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of Tempestuous (pub. Dec. 18/Merit Press) and Exposure (pub. Jan. 18/Merit Press). For more information about their Shakespeare-inspired Twisted Lit series, check out

About Tempestuous
Recently banished, unfairly, by the school's popular crowd, former it girl," Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at theHot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb whoworks at the mall's nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare's"The Tempest."

About Exposure
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 secretsand 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 MacKenzie: the man who would be Prom King.Can Skye save the boy she loves ‹ and herself ‹ before they get caught inthe crosshairs?


  1. What a great way to get teens interested in Shakespeare. I have to admit if my teachers would have made us read Exposure and Tempestuous I think I would have retained more knowledge about Shakespeare. Great idea, ladies!

  2. Thanks, Misty, and thanks again, Cricket, for letting us drop by!

  3. Awesome guest blog, Amy and Kim! I'm a huge Shakespeare fan, so I can't wait to read these. Congrats on the upcoming Dec 18th release!

    Fellow Merit Press Author, Steven Parlato


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