Read the entire interview.St. Martin’s Press: The Master of Verona, ten words or less.David Blixt: Shakespeare’s characters meet Dante’s in early Renaissance Italy. Problems ensue.SMP: Where did your ideas come from for The Master of Verona?DB: The original idea came from a line of Shakespeare’s text at the end of Romeo & Juliet. From there on it was a blending of historical fact, Dante’s poetry, and Shakespeare’s people and events.SMP: How did you come to combine so many famous artists' work -- you reference Dante and Giotto and Petrarch... and, of course, you have so many characters from Shakespeare -- in The Master of Verona?DB: When I was doing research on Verona, I discovered that the three men generally credited with starting the Renaissance – Dante, Giotto, and Petrarch – were all in Verona at nearly the same time. Dante and Giotto were friends, and Petrarch went to university with Dante’s son. So, in combining characters from Shakespeare with these real historical figures, I was able to craft a novel as much about art as warfare, romance, and destiny.
The Page 69 Test: The Master of Verona.