Hello there Earthlings! Today I have a guest post to share with you guys (and gals). But before the guest post, as always, INFO!
*coughs* now back to our regularly scheduled program…Romeo & What's Her Name by Shani Petroff
Published by Swoon Reads on February 7, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Understudies never get to perform
. . . which is why being Juliet's understudy in the school's yearly "Evening with Shakespeare" is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meant to learn her lines, really, it's just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the "real" Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there's no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?
How the idea for Romeo & What’s Her Name came to be…
Romeo & What’s Her Name centers around an unprepared understudy who has to the take the stage with her secret crush. The story itself was sparked from an incredibly embarrassing experience I had in high school where I was taking part in a French poetry recitation contest—and didn’t memorize the lines. I wound up making up fake French words, and pretending I was a foreign language prodigy. It was humiliating to say the least. I go into that whole embarrassing story in detail [on Swoon Reads].
However, I never intended to write about that experience—or to use it as inspiration for a book!
So how did it come to be?
Well, way back when my first book, Bedeviled: Daddy’s Little Angel, was being published, I was in a group with several other debut authors. Someone suggested that we do an anthology of short stories, and I jumped at the chance. The topic was first times: first kiss, first date, first job, first love, etc., etc., etc. I always loved the theater and thought the first time on stage could be fun to write about. I wanted it to be a comedic piece, so I started thinking about what would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen to someone on stage. I had an instant flashback to standing in front of a large group of people, blanking on the poem, and starting to talk gibberish with a French accent. It made me laugh, and I decided to make that the basis for my story.
Only instead of French, I went with Shakespeare (although there is a line where my main character gets so flustered she actually throws in some French). The story (which was also titled Romeo & What’s Her Name) always made me smile, and I wanted to do more with it.
I had been thinking about turning it into a full-length book for ages, and when I saw that the deadline to submit to Swoon Reads was approaching, I got to work! Before I knew it, I was done and uploading my book. Now a little over a year later, my story is being published—and it makes the embarrassment I experienced in high school more than worth it!