Meet Our Main Characters: Kim Askew & Amy Helmes’ EXPOSURE and TEMPESTUOUS

3925972By Kim Askew and Amy HelmesThe heroines of our first two Twisted Lit novels, Exposure: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Tempestuous: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s The Tempest couldn’t be more different.Exposure’s Skye Kingston is a wallflower who prefers hiding behind her camera lens to interacting with her classmates, whileTempestuous’ Miranda Prospero is the opposite of demure–even a bit bossy and manipulative, though she (mostly) means well. Given their striking polarity, we can’t help but wonder how they might interact if they ever crossed paths. To that end, we asked them to interview each other for this post. Miranda volunteered to go first, naturally.Miranda: So, Skye, even though I’ve had some (undeservedly IMHO) rough times, your high school experience seems a bit, well, darker than mine. I know you’re essentially a private person, and I can respect that, but without giving away too much, can you tell us anything about what reallyhappened your senior year?

Skye: Sure. I guess you could say my life was pretty mundane until one fateful night when, trying as usual to avoid an uncomfortable social experience, I accidentally overheard my secret crush, Craig, and his bitchy girlfriend, Beth, arguing about a terrible secret. As an aside, they also happened to be the most popular couple at school, which you’d know something about, right, Miranda?

7109938Miranda: (Don’t think I didn’t notice that you just diverted the attention back to me — and I will gladly bask in it!) My own story is a bit of a reverse Cinderella, wherein I fell from the heights of popularity to a lowly job in the local mall food court after my former boyfriend and best friends made me both a scapegoat and a pariah (for something that wasn’t even my fault!). Luckily–thanks to an epic blizzard–we all got trapped in the mall for one memorable night, which finally gave me the opportunity to set things right. Admittedly, things didn’t turn out exactly as I planned… 

Skye: Nothing ever does, I’ve found. But it’s the unexpected that really pushes you to grow as a person, don’t you think? I learned so much about myself over the course of that harrowing year, including how to connect with people on a deeper level. I digress…. Let’s get back to your story, which I’ve heard is a take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Is that so?
Miranda: I’ve heard that rumor, and can definitely see how people would connect the two. I was cruelly (and unfairly!) banished, just like Prospero and his daughter, Miranda. Beyond our shared name and the fact that Miranda and I were both raised by our fathers, I don’t see much of a similarity there, but I do tend to be a charmer like Prospero. (Get it? He’s a magician.)  On the other hand, he’s also a manipulative narcissist. Come to think of it, my new bff, Ariel, has accused me of being a bit controlling and self-involved… Maybe I’m just too close to it to see all the similarities.Skye: I hear you. It’s really difficult to get the right perspective when you’re so involved. My story, as you probably know, is a twist on Macbeth. Craig would obviously be Macbeth, and though I know exactly who represents the evil Lady Macbeth, I’m not going to name any names. She’s suffered enough. Since I was with Craig when he received his prophecy, I guess that makes me a female Banquo–which is a pretty cool twist on the original tale, if you think about it! Now, since talking about myself makes me more than a little uncomfortable, I think this is the perfect time to wrap things up.

MIranda: But not before I get the last word in. And, okay, I just did.

Kim Askew and Amy Helmes are the authors of Tempestuous: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Exposure: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Find out more about their series at

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