Interview with Connor Kerns

What were the beginnings of your interest in Shakespeare and film?
My parents took us to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival when I was growing up in the Pacific Northwest in the 1970's. That was very important to my becoming a playwright, a theatre director, and now a novelist.
What makes Measure for Measure relevant?
The moral and ethical questions raised in Shakespeare's play apply to any city, really, at any time. What's to be done about the sex trade? How should we punish people who lie? What do we do when our friends get sucked into a life of gambling or any kind of addiction? Can people really be redeemed? And can love work out when it is based on control or obsession? When you see a play or film of Shakespeare that's well done, you realize that he has explored very deeply these large questions, and that they are still ones to deal with, especially if you live in an urban setting.
What are the problems with mixing comic moments and serious ones in a novel?
I've always liked writing that is a blend of levels or styles. It was interesting to create two worlds: the serious world of Harris the filmmaker and the bohemian world of Perdita the starving artist/detective. It's not so difficult when the characters are separate--you find their point of view and follow it. The difficulty, and the fun, is when the characters are together. I felt that for it to work Harris had to have a sense of humor, which he does (though it's dark). I don't think Shakespeare's counterpart, Angelo, has any sense of humor whatsoever.
What do you like most in a novel besides 'good writing'?
I like imagination. I want to go somewhere else, travel some place I haven't been--into another country or world or another person's heart and soul. Without the imaginative element, though--the dreams of the characters, if you will--I get bored. As a writer, I ask what would it be like if I were that person who is very different? What are their dreams like? What is their perspective? I also like a bit of adventure, a bit of mystery, a bit of fun.
Published 2016-12-03.
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Books by This Author

Measure Her
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 53,100. Language: English. Published: December 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Urban
Harris is obsessed: with Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure; and with the woman playing Isabella in his film version of it. Perdita, doing makeup for Harris' film, is convinced that a friend's death was not suicide. Portland, Oregon stands in for Shakespeare's seedy Vienna as Harris seeks redemption from a bad marriage through art and love, and Perdita plays novice detective.