Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright + Interview

YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright
Srsly Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Courtney Carbone
"Imagine: What if those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

Two families at war.
A boy and a girl in love.
A secret marriage gone oh-so-wrong.

<3 and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;) tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, checking in at certain locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens. A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read."- summary from Amazon These were such quick, fun reads and both authors were very clever in rewriting Shakespeare for the modern age and incorporating current slang, emojis, and various smartphone apps/lingo (checking in to places, using the Notepad for soliloquies, etc.) to convey each play. The books are still broken up into 5 acts (and then scenes within each act), just like the real plays so it's easy to follow along. I'm really excited to read the next books in the series and I hope they do well and go through the whole Shakespeare canon. And I also hope that this leads a lot of today's teens to see Shakespeare in a new light and bring them closer to his works. and here's an interview with Brett!:

1) How cool is it to have your name next to William Shakespeare's on a book? Was it hard to re-write the play into the more 21st-century friendly format?

I keep joking, "Take that, high school teachers and college professors!" when I see my name in a byline with William Shakespeare. In all seriousness, I love Shakespeare and it's a ridiculous honor to see my name next to his. I like to think he'd find the humor in this adaptation, and that he'd be excited to see language evolving as writers continue to find new and innovative ways to communicate -- yes, even through emojis! The hardest part of rewriting the play was creatively figuring out how to convey certain actions and emotions that didn't make sense in a text message. Otherwise, it was a blast to imagine these beloved characters with smartphones.

2) You're writing a second book in the OMG Shakespeare series based on A Midsummer's Night Dream (which is my favorite Shakespeare play, so yay to that!). How is that coming along? And do you have any original books that you're writing?

I absolutely LOVED writing A MIDSUMMER NIGHT #NOFILTER even though the play-within-a-play structure made it ten times harder to execute than YOLO JULIET. There were so many characters, settings, and mixed-up scenarios to juggle, but from that mayhem springs the humor at the heart of the play. I work full-time as a children's books editor, so although I'm not currently writing anything wholly original, I feel extremely lucky to be surrounded by words and books all the time.

3) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, your favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

Blueberry and Buttered Popcorn . . . together! I also find Peach and Lemon Lime irresistible. Actually, just give me the whole bag, sans Licorice. As a special reward, I'll treat myself to a little Ben & Jerry's "Half Baked." And by "a little," I mean a whole pint.

4) You have a day job as an editor. How did you get into publishing, and what is your favorite part of the job? Does being an editor help your writing at all?

My main focus in undergrad was creative writing, but my college also offered publishing courses, so I enrolled in classes like copyediting, desktop publishing, book overview (where I worked on a children's book the entire semester), and before long I was interning in New York after graduation. Some very generous people took a chance on me and I've been working in publishing ever since. The best thing about being an editor is reading something new and connecting with it on a level you didn't even realize existed. Editors read so much that after a while, it can all blend together. Nothing beats being able to help develop and nurture an exciting new voice you can't wait to share with the world. It certainly doesn't hurt having an editorial background when it comes to writing, but it doesn't give me a magical advantage. I understand how important an editor is to the process from taking a good book to a great book, and I wouldn't have been able to do this without that invaluable support.

5) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start? Any upcoming books you're excited about?

It's been months but I'm still thinking about Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN with its beautiful, poetic language. I'm currently between reading I. W. Gregorio's NONE OF THE ABOVE and Becky Albertalli's SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. One day I'll find time to get to the rest of my list, which includes Adam Silvera's MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, Tommy Wallach's WE ALL LOOKED UP, and Katie Cotugno's 99 DAYS.

FTC: Received hardcovers from publisher. Links above are Amazon Associate links; any profits go toward funding contests.

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