I’m on the blog tour for Juliet And Romeo by David Hewson today and have a great Q&A with the author to share with you.
Juliet And Romeo is available to buy in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase a copy here.
Before I share my Q&A, here is a little about the book.
Two young people meet: Romeo, desperate for love before being sent away to study, and Juliet facing a forced marriage to a nobleman she doesn’t know. Fate and circumstance bring them together in a desperate attempt to thwart their parents with a secret marriage. But in a single fateful week, their intricate scheming falls terribly apart. Shakespeare’s most well-known and well-loved play has been turned in to a gripping romantic thriller with a modern twist. Rich with the sights and sounds of medieval Italy, peopled with a vibrant cast of characters who spring from the page, this is Shakespeare as you’ve never read it before.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I left school at 17 and became a journalist on a local paper. After that I worked for The Times, Independent and Sunday Times before turning to fiction later.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Travel, mess about in the garden and mooch.
Do you have a day job as well?
No – writing is my full-time career.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I tried writing for years and years but it wasn’t until 1994 that I finally finished something that was good enough for a publisher. That book was set in Spain and called Semana Santa (and later turned into a not very good movie).
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’m not a fan of labels. Sometimes I get tagged as crime, sometimes as thriller. Juliet & Romeo is a historical novel I guess. I just write the books and let other people try to categorise them.
Where do you get your ideas?
Out in the world – it’s full of them.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Not really. Sometimes I puzzle over the direction a story is going to take but I always have a destination in mind.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Well with Juliet & Romeo I kind of had an outline already from Shakespeare. For my original novels I tend to sketch out an outline and let the characters shape the story was we embark on the journey.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Big fan of Robert Graves for I, Claudius, brilliant technically and in its ambition too – the fake diary of a Roman emperor. Much copied since.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Took me ages to get anyone to read it because there was an assumption no one wanted to read books set in Spain. The first agent who did snapped it up and within three months I had a three-book publishing contract and a movie deal not long after.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
It’s based on the myth of Romeo and Juliet, as told in Shakespeare and some Italian authors he stole from.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I didn’t find any of them particularly hard to be honest. Once you have your characters right they should drive the story.
How did you come up with the title?
It’s told from Juliet’s point of view so it seemed obvious to me.
What project are you working on now?
I have a new crime novel, The Savage Shore, out in July. This brings back an Italian detective Nic Costa – I wrote nine Costa books before sending him on holiday a few years back. This one is set in Calabria in the toe of Italy and sees him having to pretend to be a gangsters inside the local mob.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Well like any author you get told you just can’t write from time to time. But if you have a thin skin you shouldn’t be in this business. Later this month I’m going to New York where I’ve been nominated for the audio equivalent of an Oscar, an Audie, for the audio version of this book. That’s quite a compliment whether I win or not.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Just thanks – and there’s lots more round the corner – much of it different.
About The Author:
David Hewson is the author of fourteen novels and several dramatisations for Audible.com. A dramatic reading of Juliet and Romeo read by Richard Armitage was released in November 2017 to great acclaim. David is a regular columnist and reviewer for newspapers and appears regularly at book festivals around the UK.