Author Alana Quintana Albertson discusses how she reimagined Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending in her new romantic comedy novel, Ramón and Julieta.

Alana Quintana Albertson has written 30 romance novels, rescued 500 death-row shelter dogs, and danced 1,000 rumbas. She lives with her husband in sunny San Diego with her two sons and too many pets. Most days, she can be found writing her next heart book in a beachfront café while sipping an oat-milk Mexican mocha or gardening with her children in their backyard orchard and snacking on a juicy blood orange. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Alana Quintana Albertson

© Berkley Jove (TR) 2021

In this post, Alana discusses how she reimagined Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending in her new romantic comedy novel, Ramón and Julieta, going from being an indie author to traditional publishing, and more!

Name: Alana Quintana Albertson
Literary agent: Jill Marsal
Book title: Ramón and Julieta
Publisher: Berkley
Release date: February 1, 2022
Genre/category: Romantic Comedy
Previous titles: Love Watlzes In; Snow Queen; Invincible; Waltz on the Wild Side; Conceit; Badass; Chronic; Crazed; BEAST; Carnal; Crave; Invaluable; Consume; Covet; TRITON; The Picture of Dulce Garcia; Blue Sky; Smug; The Temptation of Snow; Doggy Style; Blue Moon; The Seduction of Snow; Slack; Desiring Dorothy; Storm; Seduce; Solicit; Father Figure; The Princess & The SEAL.
Elevator pitch for the book: Latinx Crazy Rich Asians meets You’ve Got Mail in which two star-crossed lovers meet on Day of the Dead and realize that they are the children of bitter rivals when a wealthy businessman shows up to take over a star chef’s award-winning sea-to-table taquería.

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What prompted you to write this book?

I wanted to write a book celebrating Latinx joy filled with holidays and food. I’ve always loved Shakespeare and wanted to do a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

Pretty fast. I wrote the first 50 pages in a few days, sent to my agent, and we had offers almost immediately. This is my 30th book, but my first traditionally published book.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

So many! As an indie author, I was used to doing everything myself. But it was so incredible to work for such an amazing team. I loved everyone—my editor, my cover designers, my publicists, and marketing team. It’s such a collaborative process.

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

I always outline heavily but then let the characters lead me. I drafted this book in two weeks and really spent the time developing it in edits.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope to make them hungry! And to show a glimpse into parts of my culture.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Live your life. Get your heartbroken. Take a risk. And allow yourself to feel emotions.

Do you yearn to write a romantic story? If so, you need to know what sets romance writing apart from other types of fiction. This course explores why romance is the same, yet different. Some essential components of romance are unique to the genre, while some romance requirements are identical to those of any good fiction story. Neither Stephen King nor Tom Clancy could sit down and write a romance unless he first familiarized himself with the specific factors that create a successful romance.

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