Book Nerd Interview
Rebecca Serle is a full-time writer, which means she gets to wear pajamas to work. She went to the University of Southern California, then got her MFA from the New School in NYC. (She likes New York much more than LA, but don’t tell anyone that.) Rebecca loves shiny hair, coffee, yoga, and pretending to be British. She, too, experienced heartbreak once. It worked out okay, though, because she turned the experience into this book. When You Were Mine is her first novel.
What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?
I sort of fell in love with the children's world of publishing about four years ago, and began reading YA at the recommendation of a friend. I loved the focus on narrative in YA--- and the freedom just to tell a really good tale. The truth is writing YA is FUN. I go by that. I found I loved doing it, so I kept on.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Compassionate, impatient and inquisitive.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Be a princess. And, well, write.
How long have you been writing?
Since I learned how to put words together. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true.
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; When You Were Mine, how would you introduce it?
It's a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Rosaline--- the girl Romeo was supposed to love. It's about first love and first heartbreak and the difference between choice, and destiny.
Did you learn anything from writing Rose and what was it?
Yes, I learned a lot from writing Rose. I began the book in a kind of dark place. I was broken hearted, and wasn't sure what direction my life was moving in. Rose showed me that we create our own destiny--- just look what happened! She has a lot of me in her. We grew together.
If you could introduce Rob to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
What a great question! I think maybe I'd introduce him to Peeta from The Hunger Games. I think Rob could use a little more courage.
Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I can tell you it's another YA novel--- but that's about it, sorry!
List 5 of your all time favorite books?
This is such a tough question. Okay...
1) The Catcher In The Rye
2) Harry Potter
3) Wuthering Heights
5) Slouching Towards Bethlehem
What’s the worst job you’ve had?
I worked for a famous designer one summer. I was in charge of making sure the clothes returned from photo shoots were put away clean and wrinkle-free. All summer long I sat in a back closet with a steamer. It was pretty awful.
Who was your first boyfriend?
How far back are we talking? I'll embarrass myself by putting his name down in writing, but I had a major crush on this guy in the seventh grade. He asked me to a winter dance and I basically convinced myself he was my boyfriend. He wasn't. I think he started dating a friend of mine a week later.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Oh, come on, I can't say! Then you'll be onto me!
What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
When I went to college for the first time. I would never have made it through if I didn't have the most incredible roommates. I was terrified. I just wanted to go back home.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
Probably Emma Watson. That would accomplish so many of my dreams: being British, being Hermione, meeting JK Rowling....
Where is your favorite place to read/write?
Edinburgh, Scotland. But if I can't be there then I guess a warm, cozy coffee shop will do.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
My ipod, my cell phone, a credit card and sunglasses. I wish it was a notebook--- maybe that's number 5.
Where can readers stalk you?
Come visit me at www.rebeccaserle.com
This was fun!
In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale.
What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything.
Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy...and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance.
Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends….
The intoxicating tale within When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle tells the story of two long time best friends, Rosaline and Rob. When Rob finally kisses her, everything seemed to be going great for the two until Rosaline’s cousin, Juliet, returns to town. Juliet immediately takes Rob leaving Rosaline confused as to why her fanatical cousin wants payback for something she is oblivious of.
While investigating to the reasons for her cousin’s antics, she discovers a deep hidden family secret that ultimately goes out of proportion and totally consumes her, Rob, and Juliet. The plot that Rebecca demised will convey a huge pouring of emotional responses from readers. The Romeo and Juliet tangential plot is nothing close as being a formula but added a modern upgrade for this retelling of a classic tale.
Rebecca builds her characters with such care and thought that readers will feel emotionally attached to Rosaline and Rob’s relationship. Then she cleverly sneaks up behind and drops a bombshell. All of a sudden, the characters readers have been learning about are the complete opposite. The inner turmoil told from Rosaline’s point of view is truly heart-wrenching. Rebecca presents a different side of the R&J story that is totally refreshing from the other retellings. A must read!
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