Monday 30 April 2012

Delightful Debutantes #31 - Rebecca Serle & When You Were Mine.

Please welcome Rebecca Serle to the blog for this Delightful Debutantes Q&A! Our latest debutante is the author of When You Were Mine a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet through the eyes of Romeo's jilted first love Rosaline.

photo credit: George Billard
 What inspired you to re-imagine the story of Romeo and Juliet through Rosaline’s eyes?

The idea came to me one cold winter night in January at my best friend's apartment. I was heartbroken and we were discussing love, and love stories, and Romeo and Juliet came up. Suddenly it was like "whatever happened to Rosaline?" I knew I had to tell her story--- I understood it. I felt like the girl who had gotten left behind. 

Romeo and Juliet is labeled ‘the greatest love story ever told’ but it’s also a good lesson in what not to do when you’re in a relationship. What do you think the star-crossed lovers could have done differently to make things work?

Well, that's an interesting question, because I believe in fate and destiny and I think this was theirs. But I also believe in choice and I think, unfortunately, Romeo and Juliet were pretty helpless to fate...they didn't do a lot of choosing. Rosaline starts out this way, at the mercy of the powers that be, but I think (hope) that she discovers life is a dialogue...we co-create the reality we want for ourselves. What could they have done differently? I don't know. A lot, probably, but then maybe Rosaline wouldn't have had her ending...

UK Cover
What is your personal favourite ‘greatest love story ever told’? 

When Harry Met Sally. Or The Notebook. I really adore love stories that withstand the test of time. 

If you were to re-imagine any other literary work through the eyes of a secondary character, what book and character would you choose? 

Hmmm....maybe Harry Potter from Ron's POV. That's something I've always wanted to read, anyway! 

When You Were Mine contains a couple characters I loved to hate (namely Rob and Juliet-what a piece of work!) but there are also characters in the book that I grew to love (Charlie). Besides Rose, who was your favourite character to write, and why?

I'm so glad you grew to love Charlie because she's tough, she really is, and I know some people will be put off by her at first. Charlie has her own journey in this book--- she's far from perfect, but she is an extraordinary friend. That being said I think Len was probably my favorite to write. I find him to be deceptively charming. I have a little crush on him. 

US Cover
I was really excited to hear that the movie rights to When You Were Mine have been snapped up with Lily Collins and Deborah Ann Woll linked to roles. Just for fun, what actors would you include in your dream cast list for the movie? 

Honestly, I really never thought about it. Rosaline just felt like me! Could I play her? Hey movie execs, are you listening? :) 

When You Were Mine is a favourite of mine – I loved it! Can you recommend any other books I might also love since I loved yours? 

Well thank you very much! I can tell you what I love to read: Anything by Deb Caletti, Meg Cabot or Ally Carter. 

What are you working on next? 

I have a few projects in the works but what you'll probably see first is another YA novel. It's a bit darker than When You Were Mine, but still very romantic. 

 Find out more:


  1. cass_wordsonpaper30 April 2012 at 09:21

    Awesome interview! I really like books that take a well-known story/book and write it in another character's POV. I've read some mixed reviews for this book, but I just can't resist giving it a go. And now that there's a possible film in years to come, that's just further motivating me to read it. :)

  2. What fantastic questions Leanna! Love the POV one, and I would die to read Harry Potter from Ron's POV - can you imagine? He would be hilarious:) I've been seeing this book around a lot lately, and it just keeps looking better and better every time I see it. Can't wait to read!

  3. Love the interview! I always thought "whatever happened to Rosaline?" as well. To be honest, I never liked Romeo. Always thought he was fickle :P. That's why I'm so intrigued by When You Were Mine! I can't wait to read it. And Harry Potter from Ron's POV would be so funny, I'm smiling just thinking about it. Thanks for the great post :).

  4. No way!! When You Were Mine is being made into a movie? The best news. Loved the book so much. Your interview is great. And wouldn't a Harry Potter from Ron's POV be fun?

  5. What an awesome interview! I need to read this! I love hearing how she got her idea for the novel---something good, the novel, coming from something bad, her break-up. I taught R&J for a few years and always wondered about Rosaline too. Thanks for sharing this with us, Leanna!

  6. Loved this book to pieces. A Movie SQUEEEE
    I think I have a little crush on Len too ;D 


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