Meet the author of ROMEO AND WHAT'S HER NAME, Shani Petroff!

We could not be more excited for all of you to meet the three authors who are joining the Swoon Reads family for Season 6! 

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It's Shani Petroff, author of the hilarious comedy of errors (based on a true story), Romeo and What's Her Name! We fell in love with the Bridget Jones-style wit and laugh-out-loud epic fails. And what's not to love about drama club drama? 

What inspired you to write Romeo and What's Her Name

It started off as a short story, and when I learned about Swoon Reads, I decided to turn it into a full book. The initial idea was sparked by an incredibly embarrassing moment I experienced in high school where I had to recite a poem in French, but never memorized the words, and wound up speaking in gibberish!

What is your favorite moment in the book?  

My favorite moments are any of the ones where Emily and Wes perform Shakespeare together. Thinking about poor Wes stuck on stage when Emily runs off, just humming and trying to keep the scene moving, makes me laugh!

Did you ever do drama in high school? 

I loved drama, I always planned on being an actress (and still think maybe, one day, I will do it again!). I loved performing and speaking in front of crowds. It's how I wound up in that French poetry recitation contest. I won for my school (where we were allowed to read the poem off of a piece of paper), but when I moved up to the next level, I was supposed to have the whole thing memorized. I was so busy, that I kept putting it off. Then the night before the contest, I fell asleep while studying. I thought I could learn it on the bus on the way to the competition, but boy was I wrong!

Who would play your characters in a movie?

Emily: Our lead, the unprepared understudy. Good-hearted, a little klutzy (a little Bridget Jones-ish) — Odeya Rush (although I picture Emily's hair a lighter brown or brown with light highlights). Or Mackenzie Foy.

Wes: Lead male (good-hearted, kind, handsome, smart) — a younger Brenton Thwaites. Or Leo Howard.

Amanda: Was supposed to be Juliet. Popular, wants to be a star, gives Emily major problems — Chanel Iman (when she was a teen).

Cody: Popular, star of the football team, self-absorbed — a younger Kendrick Sampson.

Kayla: One of Emily's best friends, designed the Juliet dress — Victoria Justice.

Jill: Emily's other best friend, directed the Romeo and Juliet scene — Sabrina Carpenter.

Dhonielle: Emily's co-worker (and friend) at the grocery store, a theater person — China Anne McClain.

Jace: Kayla's boyfriend and Wes' friend — Lucas Till (but younger).

What makes you swoon?

I'll admit it, I totally swoon over romantic gestures—big or small! In real life, in movies, or even in commercials (like the gum ad where the guy draws on the wrappers), they totally melt my heart (and often leave me wiping away tears).

Author spotlight

Swoon Reads Staff

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