Writing

Coming next May… Juliet and Romeo: the book

A few weeks ago I was pleased to announce something readers have been demanding for quite some time… the return of Nic Costa. Now here’s news of another reader-led project. Yes, after a lot of work and thought, there will be a book and ebook version of my audio adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with Richard Armitage — the draft cover is on the right.

Please note that word ‘version’. The original was a script written for performance, which Richard did, of course, so well. Much as people asked for it, a copy of that masquerading as a book wasn’t quite what I wanted. You can’t just move the same thing from one medium to another. Books require a different approach to audio.

Just as important a story never ceases to be alive. After Richard had recorded it and we’d discussed the project post-recording I was filled with ideas I wished I’d incorporated in the original. Then I was asked to turn the tale back into drama for Audible Germany, another learning exercise which opened up fresh possibilities.

When it came to reworking everything into a book I didn’t want to be bound by what went before. So it’s a fresh look at the original adaptation, with new scenes, new insights, new takes on the story.

The book will be out next May from The Dome Press, the new imprint established by David Headley, the chap behind that highly successful London book emporium Goldsboro. David’s been a long-time supporter of both independent book stores and independent-minded authors so it was a delight to find Juliet and Romeo a good home with the very first publisher to read the manuscript.

There’ll be a few more things to say about this project as we get nearer the launch date, and hopefully some events to share with you too. With the new Costa, The Savage Shore, now Juliet and Romeo and one more project that’s yet to be announced 2018 is going to be a busy year.

Here’s the press release…

The Dome Press is delighted to announce the acquisition of David Hewson’s groundbreaking Shakespearean novelisation Juliet and Romeo from Alice Lutyens at Curtis Brown.

David is widely known in crime-writing circles and has written several adaptations of Shakespeare for Audible, including Romeo and Juliet which was read by Richard Armitage to great acclaim, and was the spur for this novel.

Rebecca Lloyd, Publisher at The Dome Press, said, ‘Juliet and Romeo tells an old story in an entirely new way, bringing it to a whole new audience. Funny as well as tragic, and with a Juliet at the centre with whom modern women can relate, and a real twist in the tail, I loved it and am very excited to be the publisher.’

David Hewson commented, ‘Since Richard Armitage’s stunning audio version for Audible I’ve been inundated with people asking when there would be a book of my reimagining of Shakespeare’s classic. I’m delighted to be joining Dome Press, a young, vibrant and independent publisher, for Juliet and Romeo, the novel. This is Richard’s version and more — rewritten as a historical tragedy set in the real Verona of 1499 with twists Shakespeare may have hinted at but never wrote. I can’t wait.’

Juliet and Romeo will be published in May 2018.