Tiffany Schmidt is the author of the Bookish Boyfriends series–a YA series that I adore! I’ve read the first and second books in the series and especially loved The Boy Next Story, the second book. The first one A Date with Darcy is also sweet, but I related less to the main character.
I was curious about how Tiffany conceived the idea of the series–rewriting classic literature for young adults–so I decided to interview her! We spoke about why she wrote the series, her favorite characters in the book, and what to expect next from her.
Hi Tiffany, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview! I LOVE the Bookish Boyfriends series. Why did you decide to create a series like this one—with the focus on classic literature, romance, family? How do you pick which classic books to focus on?
As a bookish, romantic, lost-in-my-head teenager, these are the books I would’ve loved to have read in high school. I loved and devoured the romance in novels, but had no idea how to talk to the boys I had crushes on in real life. Didn’t they know they were supposed to make fancy declarations of their feelings or write me love letters? And that when I was acting shy and terrified and never spoke with them, it meant that I was hopelessly devoted? The classics I’ve picked to focus on in this series were my own favorite books—my own favorite heroes. It’s the closest I can come to meeting Mr. Darcy or Gilbert Blythe or Theodore Laurence in real life.
In A DATE WITH DARCY, we meet Rory, but we really get to know her in the forthcoming second book, THE BOY NEXT STORY. I have to admit: I loved Rory more than I did Merrilee. Do you have any favorite characters in this series, and why do you love them?
Ah, you’re asking me to pick between my bookish children! There’s a piece of myself in each of these characters, so that makes this doubly hard. I admire Merrilee’s exuberance. Her willingness to wear her enthusiasm so openly and to love so unreservedly. It’s a quality that life tends to suck out of us as we age. Writing her character is always a good reminder to not shy away from my own enthusiasm—even though sharing the things we deeply care about makes us vulnerable.
With Rory, I so relate to her on a younger sister level. My own sister is one of my heroes, but man, did she make everything seem effortless. It was only with age and maturity that I gained the perspective to realize she also worked hard—sometimes harder—for things I thought came so naturally to her. And did I ever have an (unrequited) crush on the boy next door? Absolutely!
I’m dying to get my hands on the next one! Any idea how many more books in the Bookish Boyfriends series we’ll be getting? I’m guessing the next one will be focused on Eliza? Please share whatever you can about your forthcoming work.
You’re right! Talk Nerdy to Me, aka Bookish Boyfriends 3, is Eliza’s story and I’m so excited for people to see her journey. All I’ll say for now is that Eliza reads both Frankenstein and Anne of Green Gables during her story and that I was shocked at how easily these books blended and overlapped. Also, there are fun nicknames and cupcakes.
The last Bookish Boyfriends novel I currently have under contract is the fourth. This is tentatively titled Get a Clue and will be Huck’s story. Eagle-eyed readers might’ve noticed Huck in book 1, but you don’t get to know him until Boy Next Story. This is the book I’m drafting right now and Huck is both a delight and a challenge. I can’t wait for readers to read the story of him and his bookish boyfriend.
Thanks so much for doing this interview, Tiffany!
Tiffany Schmidt is a former teacher living and creating mischief in Doylestown, PA. Married to St. Matt, mother of impish boys, and chaser of mischievous puggles, she’s unrepentantly addicted to writing & reading YA.
She is the author of two contemporary YA novels: SEND ME A SIGN and BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE. She’s also written a contemporary thriller series ONCE UPON A CRIME FAMILY, which begins with HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH and continues in BREAK ME LIKE A PROMISE. Her most recent work is the BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS series.