by Julian Keys
Now this is one of my oddest stories. It came about when a fan of mine asked me to write another Romeo and Juliet tale, this time with full-on, “warring houses.” I had no objection to the idea, but most of the cultural/religious differences that would create such a forbidden romance were of no interest to me. What else was there?
I brooded on this for a while, and then it occurred to me that warring tribes, when not created by differences in culture or religion, were usually the result of economics. Rich and poor are always good Romeo and Juliet material, but there had to be more to this story than that. Okay. How about opposing philosophies on the distribution of wealth and other such socio-political issues?
Hmmmm. Now there was crazy idea. An erotic romance centered around economic theory. What a daft idea! Even with research how could I make that work? I couldn’t. No way, no how, no….And then it hit me. A single image, a scene, an enticing situation…Ohmygod! It could be done. (Stunned silence here.) Economics. Yes. There was a way to make it interesting. Opposite philosophies, different types of wealth and poverty, families at budgetary poles driving at least one side to….
Whoa. This might be fun.
It wasn’t, of course, that easy. First, I had to bone up on economics both history and theory (ack!). And then it turned out that the scene that had gotten this ball rolling, which I thought would start the story wasn’t working out, not until I realized it had to be the (sic) balcony scene for my Romeo and Juliet. And when the story finally came together it still remained in limbo while I spent days digging through Karl Marx in hopes of finding a title (kids, don’t try this at home! It takes years of training to know how to search for creative inspiration in the writings of a revolutionary socialist).
It all paid off in the end, but it was hard going.
Done at last, I began to doubt myself. Was anyone going to even want to read this romance outside of economic/poly-sci students?
To my utter amazement, those who read it loved it. In fact, they were downright enthusiastic. Even so, I was still floored when I learned that someone wanted to publish it. The story where Romeo and Juliet fall for each other while discussing economics? But fans have been peppering me with messages, wanting to know when they can get it from ForbiddenFiction.
Sometimes the wildest, weirdest ideas pay off. This one, among the strangest I’ve ever had, has proved to be of inestimable value.
Anthologies which include this story: