Meet The Authors: McKelle George, Author of Speak Easy, Speak Love - Interview + Giveaway

Hii Everyone! I apologize for not posting for the last two days - It was my BIRTHDAY and I was out for the better part of those two days and well, I'm finally home and in front of my laptop.

I have with me today another debut author whose book I JUST finished reading and fell in love with - Speak Easy, Speak Love. The amazing McKelle George wrote a GOREGOUS retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, set in the 1920's, during the Prohibition and is centered around six teenagers who are a part of running an illegal speakeasy.

Speak Easy, Speak Love is AMAZING and I'm so excited that I had the opportunity to have McKelle on the blog with me! Please do enter her absolutely amazing giveaway as well!
1) Which one of your main six characters from Speak Easy, Speak Love, can you best relate to / are most like?
I like to think I put a little of myself in all of the characters, but I'm most evenly split between Beatrice and Benedick. Benedick got all of my writerly woes and ambitions and creative insecurity, and Beatrice got my complete lack of interest in social niceties.  

2) Speak Easy, Speak Love takes place during the Prohibition, where alcohol was illegal. What, in your opinion, is the worst food (dessert/ drink/ main course) that could possibly be made illegal?
I just did a tally of the past week, thinking of what I consume most often, and I have to say, if they ever put a ban on chocolate, my basement will be the first Sweeteasy because that's not a livable abstinence. 

3) What were your thoughts the minute you saw the final cover of your book? Do you have older or other versions you can share with us? 
There are no older versions, surprisingly! The only thing we changed was to make the 'c' in my name lowercase so people would pronounce it correctly. I had no say on my cover. One day my editor emailed me and said she had final mock-ups, and I was so nervous I wouldn't like it, but I instantly loved it. Chellie Carrol, who did the cover illustration, is an amazing artist. And it's very gratifying to see posts from people saying the first thing that drew them to the book was the cover. 
Image result for Speak easy, speak love
Pre-Order Prize for Speak Easy, Speak Love (IT'S STILL OPEN)

And now, moving onto your masterpiece: 

4) Could you describe your six main characters in a word or sentence each? 
Oh, geez. This was a hard one. It was tricky to narrow to one word! Hero: Determined; Prince: Loyal; John: Uncompromising; Maggie: Ambitious; Beatrice: Tenacious; Benedick: Compassionate

5) Hey Nonny Nonny is the name of the speakeasy in Speak Easy Speak Love. How did you come up with such an out of the box name? 
It's from the play! Balthasar sings a song called Sigh No More, and it's from this line (which Maggie sings as the blessing toast before they open every night): "Then sigh not so, but let them go,

And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey, nonny nonny." 

6) Has the 1920's always been a subject of interest to you or was there a lot of research involved as you started working on the book? 
Oh yes. It's such a fascinating decade. In an ideal world, I would do a prequel or companion novel with Maggie and John as the stars so I could do more with the bootlegging gangs and night clubs (two things often intermingled and so incredibly interesting, but I barely got to touch on them). I've always liked the decade, and some of my favorite classics come from this time period: but I fell doubly in love researching for this book. 

7) Can you give us any hints on what we might see from you next?
 (: (: I'm working on a magical realism Tempest retelling right now, and also a dieslpunk remimagining of the Arthurian legend--so we shall see! 
McKelle George
McKelle George is a reader, writer of clumsy rebels, perpetual doodler, and associate librarian at the best library in the world. She mentors with Salt Lake Teen Writes and plays judge for the Poetry Out Loud teen competitions (but has no poetic talent herself). Her debut young adult novel Speak Easy, Speak Love comes out from Greenwillow/ HarperCollins in 2017, and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with an enormous white german shepherd and way, way too many books.
Title: Speak Easy, Speak Love
Author: McKelle George
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books // Harper Collins
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Edelweiss (Thank you McKelle George)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || The Book Depository || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.
Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

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