Guest Post/Giveaway with Author Jessica Verdi [MY LIFE AFTER NOW]

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I've been really excited about today's guest post, bookworms! I ADORE musical theatre. In MY LIFE AFTER NOW, so does Lucy! Every chapter is named after a Broadway song, and I kept hearing music in my head as I read. It made me relate to Lucy even more. Musical theatre is her world. I can't wait to share today's guest post with you!

Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing showtunes at the top of her lungs (much to her husband’s chagrin), watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome non-leather shoes in a size 5. She’s still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use.

Check out Jessica's website and find her on Twitter and Facebook!

Theater is a huge part of Lucy's world and saturates the book in every way (the chapter titles are song titles from musicals). Jessica discusses how she believes the musical theme ties the chapters together, and her own love affair with musical theater!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest post for your blog! I’m super psyched to get to talk a little bit about my new book MY LIFE AFTER NOW. 

To say I love musical theater is an understatement. I blast show tunes at all hours of the day and night, singing along at the top of my lungs—my neighbors must hate me. The bulk of my pre-writing years were spent on stage (and in NYC audition rooms). I’d always been into music (I sang and danced and played the violin from a pretty young age), but the moment I joined my high school drama club, I don’t know, something just clicked for me. Musical theater isn't just about singing and dancing. It’s about emotion. It’s about telling a story that’s so big, so real, that words alone can’t contain it. No matter if it’s a drama or a comedy, the songs, belted out by a thirty-person chorus or a single actor under a spotlight, bring it all to another level. 

When I set out to write MY LIFE AFTER NOW  I knew I didn't want my main character, Lucy, to be just a walking statistic. Like, she has HIV so that’s all we need to know about her. No, she needed to be a real person, with a very full life. And I also wanted to make sure I balanced out the darker moments of the story with lightness and joy. What better way to do that than to submerge Lucy in the world of theater? Throughout the book, Lucy is on stage, at auditions, studying her script, listening to show tunes, quoting plays, and so much more. The chapter titles are all titles of songs from musicals (“What I Did for Love, “It’s a Hard-Knock Life,” and so on) because I felt like if Lucy were describing the chapters in her life, well, that’s how she would do it. 

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoy Lucy’s story!

Jessica, thank you so much.  I've been really excited about today's guest post, and I loved hearing some of the backstory behind your reasoning.  The additional layer really solidifies Lucy as a character and humanizes her.  It's a wonderful element that I loved about MY LIFE AFTER NOW.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Jessica Verdi
Release Date: Out April 2, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Received: For Review

Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it's all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of. 

And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family? 

Now her life is completely different...every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.


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by Jessica Verdi!
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  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity to write a guest post for your blog, Bonnie Lynn -- and for your awesome review! :)

    1. Thank you for such a great post that talks about musical theatre! I had so much fun reading about your inspiration!

  2. I don't think I've read any YA books that included musical theatre - definitely a unique part of the book that makes me even more anxious to read it. :) Thank you for the guest post & giveaway!

    1. I know, right? It made me want this so much more when I knew! I'm such a musical theatre nerd!

  3. I'm also a huge musical theater fan. I'm lucky in that my husband is o.k. with me dragging him to shows, but he barely tolerates them. I do have a tendency to love YA books that have a theater element in them. I have been wanting to read this book for MONTHS it looks so wonderful.

    1. I like to take the train to NYC once or twice a year to see shows, though I haven't in while. Your poor husband! At least he puts up with it!

      The theatre element made me want this even more, too!

  4. We used to go to musicals when I was younger with my parents whenever they came to town and I loved them. I can't tell you even one name of what we saw. Possibly The Sound of Music, I don't know for sure but it was such a treat. I've always loved musicals and often wished in real life people would just break out into song. I'd do it, but I'm afraid dogs would howl at my singing:)!
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  5. Never have a chance to read any books about musical theater so this one will be the first for me. And I am even more excited that Jessica Verdi named every chapter after a Broadway song which means I will have a chance to broaden my knowledge while enjoying the book =)

  6. Fantastic guest post! I've been so excited to read this book and now I'm even more excited. I like how she says she used the musical aspect to balance the heavy and light parts - I don't like when books are ALL serious because you can get so bogged down and depressed. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the giveaway! :-)

  7. Oh wow, what an awesome way to bring some fun and light to what could have easily been a very sad story. I'm a total drama/musical nerd so I am definitely excited to dive into this one! Thank you for the chance! :)


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