Friday, May 18, 2018

0 Molly Booth, author of NOTHING HAPPENED, on the moment when everything else sort of melts away

We're excited to have Molly Booth stop by to chat about her latest novel, NOTHING HAPPENED.

Molly, what was your inspiration for writing NOTHING HAPPENED?

I wrote NOTHING HAPPENED out of the pure love in my heart for its source material, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, the original romantic comedy by Shakespeare. I loved the whole story, but I really adored Beatrice and her fierce protectiveness of her cousin, Hero. I wanted to write a version of MUCH ADO where that was showcased as a primary relationship. I also wanted to write a MUCH ADO that felt modern and inclusive.

In terms of the setting, I grew up going to and working at summer camp! For SAVING HAMLET, I’d drawn on my theatre nerd knowledge, and for NOTHING HAPPENED, I drew on my summer camp dorkiness. I have such fond and DRAMATIC memories of summer camp, and I felt like this would be a perfect setting to explore a retelling of a play with so many feelings.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There are so many scenes I loved in NOTHING HAPPENED, it was a truly a blast to write, but one that came fast and organically is the flashback scene when Ben’s describing a fight that happened in his house, and how he took his sisters, put them in the car, and drove to Camp Dogberry in the middle of the night. I won’t spoil the rest of it, but that scene unlocked Ben for me as a character. My sibling Nellie calls him, “The Best Mom.”

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I would definitely recommend NOTHING HAPPENED for fans of Stephanie Kate Strohm’s TAMING OF THE DREW! That’s one of my favorite Shakespeare-y YA books ever and a great, hilarious summer read with so much heart.

What do you hope readers will take away from NOTHING HAPPENED?

I hope readers will have had a super fun time hanging out with these characters for 300+ pages. I hope Shakespeare/MUCH ADO nerds will enjoy seeing how I’ve translated the play into a book, and I hope those not into Shakespeare will still love the book AND maybe go look up the original plot. I hope educators will be able to use this book to help teach MUCH ADO. I hope everyone will engage with the ideas in the book about toxic masculinity and queerness. And I hope everyone swoons!

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I think the only moment I could describe as “aha!” was realizing how much I loved the process of such a long and harrowing project xD. I was writing my first book, SAVING HAMLET, and between the second and third drafts, suddenly everything else sort of melted away. I wanted to spend all my time writing this book. It was difficult, and it made me cry, and I frequently felt lost. But I realized I would still rather be working on it than doing nearly anything else. So I think for me, the key is that writing books is the thing I love the most.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Nothing Happened
by Molly Booth
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 5/15/2018

This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing takes place at the idyllic Camp Dogberry, where sisters Bee and Hana Leonato have lived their whole lives. Their parents own the place, and every summer they look forward to leading little campers in crafts, swimming in the lake, playing capture the flag and Sproutball, and of course, throwing legendary counselor parties.

This year, the camp drama isn't just on the improv stage. Bee and longtime counselor Ben have a will-they-or-won't-they romance that's complicated by events that happened-or didn't happen-last summer. Meanwhile, Hana is falling hard for the kind but insecure Claudia, putting them both in the crosshairs of resident troublemaker John, who spreads a vicious rumor that could tear them apart.

As the counselors juggle their camp responsibilities with simmering drama that comes to a head at the Fourth of July sparkler party, they'll have to swallow their pride and find the courage to untangle the truth, whether it leads to heartbreak or happily ever after.

Purchase Nothing Happened at Amazon
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View Nothing Happened on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Molly Booth writes books about Shakespeare and feelings. She's the author of Young Adult novels SAVING HAMLET (2016) and NOTHING HAPPENED (5.15. 2018), both published by Disney Hyperion. In high school, she was a stage manager for three different community theatres, which almost killed her. She graduated from Marlboro College and went onto study more Shakespeare (twist!) at University of Massachusetts Boston. Molly is a freelance writer and editor and has been published on TheMarySue.com, McSweeneys.net, HelloGiggles.com, and various other websites. She co-hosts a Bardcentric podcast, Party Bard, and directs a lovely, hilarious, and fierce group of homeschooling teen Shakespearean actors. She also speaks and teaches workshops at schools, colleges, bookstores, book fairs, camps, and libraries. Molly lives in Massachusetts, where she spends a lot of time with family and friends, and the rest attending to her queenly cat and loaf-of-bread-shaped dog. You can visit her (please do!) on her website, mollybooth.com.
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Have you had a chance to read NOTHING HAPPENED yet? Have any of your stories been inspired by Shakespeare? Is writing books the thing you love the most? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Charlotte, Anisaa, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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