Yesterday I posted the photo that inspired ETERNAL EMBRACE. But if I'm honest, it wasn't just the photo. It was the story behind it.
I mentioned that this grave had been found in Italy. But not just anywhere in Italy. It was found in Mantua, Italy.
If you know your Shakespeare, you might be freaking out a little bit right now. I did.
In high school, I had the fortune of playing a small part in a community theatre production of Romeo and Juliet at the exact same time we studied the play in our English class. (Somewhat funny story: the movie SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE also came out then. It was a Very Romeo And Juliet Year for me). I had the whole thing practically memorized by the end of the unit, between the theatre production and the skits and live readings we did as a class and the interpretations we did for my speech team and the seventeen times I went to see SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Romeo and Juliet holds a very special place in my heart.
So when I read about this couple, found locked together forever in the SAME ITALIAN CITY where Romeo is exiled in the play, it just felt right that I should . . . write about them. They were buried, miles from Verona (where the play takes place), together. They had to have died at or near the same time, like the lovers in Shakespeare's play. They were young. They were so inseparable that no one would divide them even in death.
That-- that is the kind of love that makes my heart skip a beat.