Maria E. Andreu wanted her book to delve into questions about identity and how we decide to live our lives, so she wrote "Julieta and the Romeos".
What was your inspiration behind your most recent book?
I thought it would be fun to have a character feel like she was getting close to someone without really meeting them… and use that as a mirror through which she starts to figure out what she wants her life to look like.
What does Reading Rainbow mean to you?
First and foremost, Reading Rainbow means making sure we’re expanding our bookshelves to include all the excellent LGBTQ+ literature that’s being produced currently.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?
Our world is full of so many different kinds of people. For too long, books represented a narrow view of the world. When more people have a voice, we get a richer, more nuanced worldview, which makes for more empathetic, informed readers. And for a more fun reading experience, as well! Who wants to keep reading the same kind of character over and over again? Not me.
Tell us a little more about the book and why you decided to write it.
It’s being billed as You’ve Got Mail meets a YA Beach Read with a bookish mystery at its heart. Julieta isn’t looking for her Romeo — but she is writing about love. When her summer writing teacher encourages the class to publish their work online, the last thing she’s expecting is to get a notification that her rom-com has a mysterious new contributor. Who could it be? There are three potential “Romeos,” a challenging family dynamic, and some insight into the immigrant experience, as well.
What can fans expect from your book?
I hope that it’s the kind of book you can slip into your beach bag and have fun reading in the sun. It’s light and joyful, but it also delves into questions about identity and how we decide on the life we want for ourselves.
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
I’m working on a fun YA with some sewing, fashion shows, and a little bit of fabulism. It’s a lot of fun so far. And it definitely taps into my own pride in the women in my family, who are all great seamstresses and who have known the power of crafting beautiful art for people to wear. Stay tuned for news on that one!