Juliet and BROmeo

Enter Chorus.

Two genres, both alike in dignity,
In fair Bloggona, where we lay our scene,
From pen and page break to new narrativity,
Where artistic choice makes artistic expression be seen.
From forth the fertile loins of these two beaus,
A pair of star-cross’d lovers, we praise their life;
Those mutu’lly praiseful joyous bros
Doth with their love bury their fans’ strife.
The awesome passage of their praise-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their weekly wage,
Which, due to their fan’s love, nought could remove,
Is now the two minutes’ traffic of our page;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

In case the Shakespearean iambic pentameter doesn’t do it for you, I’ll say it in plain English: I am currently having a great time observing the renewed bromance between David Hewson and Richard Armitage. On the occasion of Hewson’s Juliet and Romeo being published, the publisher Dome Press has organised a “Blog Tour”, i.e. a two-week blogging initiative where 15 different book bloggers are publishing their reviews of the book, combined with a contribution by the author in the shape of a specially written piece or an interview. This particular format of book marketing was new to me, and I tuned in. Disclosure: I have neither listened to the Romeo and Juliet audiobook, nor have I read Juliet and Romeo (yet – I have bought the Kindle edition, but it is earmarked for my upcoming holiday). But I have read several of Hewson’s Nic Costa thrillers, and I like his accessible, encouraging and positive advice on writing. I guess I don’t have to disclose that I am also smitten with Armitage. See rest of this blog.  So I was curious to see what this blog tour would throw up. Lots of love compliments for Armitage, culminating on an entire post on the fertile artistic relationship between actor and writer as posted today (see Exhibit D below).

Leaving all cynicism about marketing and playing to the audience out of this, I have to say that I appreciate the effort put by Hewson into the marketing of his book through this channel. (Influencer marketing is all the rage at the moment – and for a reason. It has obviously worked on me.) He’s not just regurgitating the same sentences for every blog interview, but answers the interview questions by the book bloggers in-depth and with variation. And to vary the format, he is contributing short pieces for publishing on some blogs.

Exhibit B: Hair Past A Freckle

Exhibit C: Books and Winegums

Finally, Exhibit D: Ronnie Turner

There’s more where this came from. In fact, it is not just a one-sentence reference but a whole blog contribution dedicated to Richard a discussion how actors can influence writers. I recommend you read the post on the blog yourself as a screenshot of the whole thing would be unfair.

It’s mutual, of course.

Seriously, get a room, guys 😂. OTP? Do I need to design a shrine?

Joking aside – creative collaboration is something that I personally love and admire. I remember from my own creative practice as a photographer, that I loved the process of creating something *together* with someone else – because it *always* and invariably meant that a) the work was exposed to more influences, b) interdisciplinary collaboration widened the individual artistic horizon, c) it was interpersonally fun (even if sometimes laced with conflict), and d) the result was simply better because it was the fruit of careful deliberation and variety of influence. I can well see how the collaboration between an actor (who is tasked with bringing a piece of writing to life) and a writer (who is delivering the narrative) is mutually beneficial. There is a reason why some playwrights/screenwriters write with a particular actor in mind. May this particular collaboration continue to blossom. (PS: I’d love to read a piece by Armitage on his take on the collaboration with a writer.)

Anyway, congratulations to Dome Press and David Hewson. The marketing ploy works. I am really enjoying the blog tour. And I am looking forward to the further bromance collaboration between actor and writer in the future.

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21 thoughts on “Juliet and BROmeo

  1. I’m glad it works for them. I think it very rarely works in academic writing (although people keep trying it), and I’d never consider doing it myself. But they seem “happy together,” which is the main thing.

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    • Not sure how well a collaborative approach works in a non-creative setting. I can see two academic experts getting into a tiff over details very easily.

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      • I don’t think it’s that great in other areas, either. To me, it chiefly seems to be a source of bad tv and film. Writers rooms where a vision is created by compromise. So often the main thing that’s wrong with a film is the script and then you see six people are credited with having written it. Give me the single vision any day (part of why theater is often so much better than either tv or film). That said, I’m not sure collaboration entirely describes whatever Armitage and Hewson are doing. Hewson retains creative control.

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        • I don’t think that collaboration with more than 3 people is a good idea, so I agree with you re. writers’ rooms etc. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
          Re. semantics – maybe cooperation is a better word?

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  2. Having read Romeo and Juliet in school. I totally forgot it..I have the audio book with Richard. Love it. Right now,I’m listening to Clarrisa.many years ago Mom bought the complete works of Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. Filled up my bookshelves !!!. I have all Richards audiobooks, favorite, Lords of the North.least favorite, Wanderlust. Just was notified by Amazon, UK, The Tatooist is no longer available anywhere..That I was looking forward to hearing, because it was real and not fiction..oh well, Lost Daughters in June.

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    • It’s basically always a complimentary review, but every single of the reviewers so far have made some sort of reference to RA… He’s getting great mileage out of this – even though the novel has got nothing to do with him 😁

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