Author Casey McQuiston makes her literary debut this summer with the charming romance everyone is talking about: Red, White & Royal Blue. Embarking on her first book tour, sharing her writing with the world and keeping up a strong Instagram game, Casey is a busy woman with an incredible future ahead of her. Learn more about Casey McQuiston now in this exclusive She Reads interview.
What was the inspiration behind Red, White & Royal Blue?
I mention in my acknowledgments that I came up with the idea for the book while obsessively following the presidential election in early 2016, but that’s only part of it. That spring, I was also watching a new season of Veep and alternating between reading a dense Hillary Clinton biography by Carl Bernstein and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I was so intrigued by these incredibly high profile worlds that are still very exclusive – everyone sees everything you do, but there’s a whole other story happening behind closed doors. So I knew I wanted to do a first family story or a royal family story. And then I realized – if I had a member of the first family fall in love with a member of the royal family, I didn’t have to pick just one!
What message do you hope readers take away from your new release?
Wow, there are so many. I hope people come away with this book feeling energized and excited about doing work to make our world better. I hope they remember the line from a certain speech I won’t spoil: love is indomitable. And on a meta level, I hope people can look at this book and see that queer romcoms for adults can work and find an audience.
If you had to choose three to five of your favorite books of all time, what would they be and why?
Oh, this is so hard! Let’s see… The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, because I think reading it as a teen hardwired my brain to write banter. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, because it explores that kind of high profile secret world that I love and includes such a powerful, heartwrenching queer love story. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because it’s my favorite installment of the series that totally shaped my adolescence. Can I say a screenplay? Because I would pick one of Nora Ephron’s.
What’s the one thing you always take with you on book tour?
This is going to be my first ever book tour, so I’m still picking it up as I go! But I’m not sure I’d survive this tour without packing cubes to keep all my stuff neat and compact. I’m doing multiple weeks of travel for the first two legs so it makes a huge difference in what I can fit in my suitcase! Also, Haribo bears. Never leave home without them.
Which 2019 book release are you most looking forward to?
There are so, so very many incredible books coming out this year, but one that’s very close to my heart is Mason Deaver’s I Wish You All The Best. It’s a YA about a non-binary teen who finds love and a new home after their parents kick them out, and it’s just so sweet and kind. It means so much to me on a personal level – and not just because we share a release date!
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