This week we revisit our interview with Casey McQuiston from May 2019. It’s the perfect way to get ready for the Red, White & Royal Blue movie adaptation that hits Amazon Prime Video on August 11. Casey shares the inspiration for the book, how it changed during the 2016 election cycle, and some of the tropes and pop culture influences that are in the book. They also talk about the movie, which had been optioned just a few days before the interview.
Look for the next episode of Big Gay Fiction Podcast on Monday, August 14.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find many more outstanding podcasts at frolic.media/podcasts!
Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. These links are current at the time the episode premieres, however links are subject to change.
- Episode 420 – Alice Oseman Discusses “Solitaire” and “Heartstopper” on Big Gay Fiction Podcast
- Casey McQuiston Interview
- Casey McQuiston: website | Instagram
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
- The Royal We by Heather Morgan and Jessica Cocks
- A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein
- Chasing Liberty on Amazon Prime Video
- My Date with the President’s Daughter on IMBD
- Love, Simon on Amazon Prime Video
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix
- “Gratuitous Karaoke Moment” from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on YouTube
- 27 Dresses on Amazon Prime Video
- 10 Things I Hate About You on Amazon Prime Video
- Helen Hoang on Amazon
- Jasmine Guillory on Amazon
- Veep on Max
- Friday Night Lights on Amazon Prime Video
- Hamilton on Disney+
- My Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters Through the Centuries by Rictor Norton on Amazon
- Paris is Burning on Max
- The Royal Archives website
- Lost on Amazon Prime Video
- Buffy, the Vampire Slayer on Hulu
- Oscar Wilde on Amazon
- Carrie Fisher on Amazon
- Nora Ephron on Amazon
- Mary Karr on Amazon
- Jane Austen on Amazon
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Rebecca Traister on Amazon
- Roxane Gay on Amazon
- Parks and Recreation on Peacock
- The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo on YouTube
- Political Animals on Apple TV+
- Black Panther on Disney+
- Crazy Rich Asians on Amazon
- Big Gay Fiction Podcast Links
This transcript was made possible by our community on Patreon. You can get information on how to join them at patreon.com/biggayfictionpodcast.
Will: Coming up on this episode, we’re taking a trip back in time to 2019. What could we possibly mean? Find out next.
Jeff: Welcome to episode 433 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast. The show for avid readers and passionate fans of queer romance fiction. I’m Jeff and with me as always is my co-host, my husband, and my time traveling companion, it’s Will.
Will: Hello, Rainbow Romance readers. We are so glad you’re here and that you could join us for the last of our Super Summer Bonus Episodes.
Jeff: As we roll into this last month of summer, there’s so much to look forward to in August. “Heartstopper” Season 2, just around the corner. Starts later this week, Thursday, August 3rd.
I can’t wait. I’ve been loving all the promo I’ve been seeing around Season 2. I suspect I might just be parked in front of the TV all of Thursday night. Maybe just to binge to the whole thing, who can say. If you want a little sneak peek and you missed it maybe before or wanna revisit it, we were so happy to have Alice Oseman on the show back in episode 420, which aired back in May. We were talking about the US release of “Solitaire,” but of course we had to talk about “Heartstopper,” and we do talk a little bit about season two in that episode.
And, finally, Friday, August 11th, just a little over two weeks, “Red, White, and Royal Blue” finally hits Amazon Prime Video after so much anticipation as the movie filmed late last year. We’ve been seeing all kinds of promo, all kinds of trailers coming out. Can’t wait for that.
And it’s actually “Red, White, and Royal Blue” that is the subject of our trip into the past. Author Casey McQuiston joined us back in 2019, just days before the book hit stores and we decided to celebrate the movie by revisiting that interview. Casey told us about their inspiration for the book, which was rooted in the idea that everyone deserved a big, shiny tropey-filled, fun rom-com.
Even in this interview, we talked about the film, which had been optioned by Amazon right before the book came out. We talked about what it meant that it was going to be a movie, and we even got their thoughts on casting. So here we go, into the Big Gay Fiction Archives, and our chat with Casey.
Casey McQuiston Interview
Jeff: Casey, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining us.
Casey: Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited.
Jeff: So, before we got to this segment, I spent a ton of time just going over “Red, White & Royal Blue” as being one of the best things I’ve read this year and one of my top books maybe in the “ever” category because it’s everything I needed in a romance with the prince trope and essentially royalty in the U.S. with the first son. And, I mean, Alex and Henry are so awesome. Tell us what your inspiration was behind this book?
Casey: Yeah. So I first started…actually, it’s weird. A couple of days ago, I was going through my Timehop which shows you, you know, what you tweeted two, three, four years ago, and I realized that, a few days ago, which is April 13th, was the day that I tweeted, “Hey, I just had this idea for a book.” And it took me back to that moment of the exact lightning strike moment when I knew what I wanted to write. And this is a question we’ll get into later, but it was one of many attempts at a book I had started and none of them had really taken hold of me like this one did. So it was early 2016, I was obsessively following the presidential election, which, you know, we all were at the time with a lot of optimism. And, at the same time, I was reading two books. I was reading “The Royal We,” which is by Heather Morgan and Jessica Cocks, and it’s basically almost a novelization of Will and Kate with a bunch of different things changed about it. So I was reading that. And I was also reading a super dry Carl Bernstein Hillary Clinton biography, which was a fun little juxtaposition.
And I had this idea in my head of I want to do… I’ve seen so many sub-versions of prince charming trope, but I feel, as a queer person, I’ve never seen one that seems the most obvious to me, which is, you know, what if, he wasn’t the perfect, going to produce a million heirs, prince, you know. And then on the other side, I was I loved “Chasing Liberty” when I was growing up and “My Date with the President’s Daughter” and I was really into the idea of a rom-com starring this rebellious first kid, and I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to do first, and I was like, “Wait a minute. If I put them both in the same story, I don’t have to pick.” So, honestly, it was me being indecisive that led to that decision. And on a wider scale, a bigger scope, I just really was looking for the perfect, fun escapist tropey rom-com that was so undeniably fun that the fact that it was also queer wouldn’t keep it out of the mainstream, you know, because a big thing that I want to do as an author and as a queer person is push those stories into the mainstream and be like, hey, you know, it’s kind of what they say in “Love, Simon,” everybody deserves to have a great love story, you know. And so everybody deserves to have a big shiny tropey, fun rom-com, you know. So, yeah, that was kind of where it came from for me.
Jeff: And there is so much rom-com-y goodness floating in this book. I think you pulled a little bit from everything. Without giving spoilers, because there could be some depending on what you pick for this, what are the rom-com moments that just sticks out for you as one of your favorites among all of them?
Casey: Wow, that’s a good question. I have pulled so many tropes from so many of my different favorite rom-coms. But there is this one thing that I love in every rom-com which is the gratuitous karaoke moment, which is actually if you ever watch “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” it’s a song on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Okay, yeah, that. So it’s like “27 Dresses” does it, and “10 Things I Hate About You” does it where it’s like somebody gets up and sings a song in front of a bunch people for no reason. And it’s like, “No, this doesn’t happen in real life, but it’s super fun.” And so writing the whole karaoke scene, which I don’t think is a spoiler, that was so much fun for me because I was, you know, as musical theater kid in high school, we all were, and so I got to be so indulgent with that, and it was such a blast. I loved it.
Jeff: I think you picked a great one right there because you’re right, there is that moment. That says a lot about people, the songs they pick.
Casey: It does. It’s character shorthand for sure. Yeah. Like when Bea gets up and sings “Call Me” by Blondie in the book I’m like, “This is what she’s about, you know.”
Jeff: Yeah. There have been so many accolades on this book before it even got published. What’s resonating so much with all these pre-readers?
Casey: God, you know, I mean, just to start off, I’ve been, completely blown away by the response to it. When I wrote this book I was like, “This is so niche.” It’s a queer political rom-com with royal elements. And also we talk about gerrymandering in it, and I was like, “This is so niche,” no one’s gonna care, no one’s going to publish it. I was like, “I’m going to try and query this for a month, and then I’m just going to self-pub,” you know. And the fact that people have engaged with it so much and that it has gotten, I think three-star reviews now which is just blowing my mind completely, so beyond grateful for those.
It’s just been so staggering and incredible. But, I don’t know, I think that right now the world is really depressing. We live in a world right now that is at times literally on fire, you know. And it is so important to have these little oases or moments of respite and little escapist things because when I first started writing this book, I’m so neck deep in the news cycle and I really couldn’t finish it until I pulled out of it because I realized that wasn’t what it needed to be. It didn’t need to be mired in all of the negativity and all of the darkness that was going on in the world. It needed to be this spark of hope, you know, that would kind of feel… I think about when Obama won re-election in 2012, and I was with my friends. I was in college at the time and we went out on the balcony, and popped a bottle of $60 French champagne, and I think about how I felt in that moment and I was like, “I want this book to feel like that moment,” you know. And I think that a lot of people have been missing that feeling. I think that we have so few things, especially when we look at the political sphere right now, to be excited about and to be hopeful about.
And I think that we’re all just nostalgic almost for when we had hope. And I think that what this book does is it lives in the space of being here and now and still having hope, you know, and I think that’s really resonating with people. And then I also think that people are just excited to see…we’re seeing it with Helen Hoang and Jasmine Guillory who are writing romances that are integrating, you know, neurodiverse characters and just racially diverse characters. I think a lot of people are tired of seeing, you know, the same two straight white cisgender, neurotypical people falling in love, you know. And so I think that people are hungry for something that’s different in rom-com that can show that different types of people can have that same big, huge, escapist magical love story. So that’s kind of where I think it comes from.
Jeff: You noted that you started writing this in 2016, essentially before the election happened. Do you think you would have written the same book had Hillary won?
Casey: That’s a great question. And the book I had planned to write before the election went the way that it did was a different book. There were so many threads that I ended up dropping. I, at one point, had…and this was before anything about Russia had come up. I, at one, point had… a Russian double agent involved in the campaign and I was like, “This is too unrealistic. No one’s going to buy this. I’m cutting this,” you know. And now I’m like, “God…” But, yeah. I mean, it definitely…I think it would have been more lampooning the Democratic Party…not that I have anything against the Democratic Party as someone who is registered as Democrat, but it would have been more of “Veep” style, you know, that we’re all on the same side here, so we’re going to send each other up kind of thing. And instead it’s still very tongue in cheek, and it still has that “Veep” side to it, but it needed to have more of…. it needed to be less cynical, basically, you know, because I don’t think that we can really afford a lot of cynicism right now beyond what, you know, roasting the President on Twitter is cynical, I guess.
But, yeah, I think that there are certain things that happen in the plot that never probably would have been explored if the results of the election had gone differently because I don’t think I would have felt as much of an urgency to put those into the story. So, yeah, it definitely would have been different. It definitely would have been a lot different. But the President was always the same. President Claremont was the same character from the moment I came up with the idea for the book. She’s like Tami Taylor, from “Friday Night Lights” meets Wendy Davis, the politician from Texas, meets a tiny bit of Selina Meyer from “Veep” and probably every strong female in my life, you know. So, yeah, long story short, yes, it would have been different.
Jeff:One of the things I like about it so much, and you touched on this a little bit, is that it’s not two white guys getting together because Alex is Mexican-American. And certainly given how things have played out under the current administration, having that element in the White House as first son, it says a lot. And Alex comments on this, you know, periodically as he’s kind of going through things and how that aspect of his heritage plays into things. Did you have that set early on or did that kind of manifest as we saw how immigrants were being treated post-election and even during the election cycle for that matter?
Casey: Sure. Well, the minute…it kind of was, like, the plot itself that informed what Alex would be because, like I said, the first character I came up with was the president and everything kind of formed around her. And I’m from Louisiana, and I have this huge chip on my shoulder about democrats, and liberal people, and progressive people in red states because I was one for so long. I live in a purple-y state now. But, you know, I feel they’re so often written off and discredited, and I can probably count on one hand the number of actual presidential candidates who came and campaigned in my hometown, which is the capital of Louisiana. And people just don’t see anything worth investing in. So I wanted to do a southern Democrat. I didn’t think that a Louisiana Democrat was that realistic, so I did a Texas Democrat. And from the minute I knew she was from Texas, I was like, “Well, it would make sense for her to have married a Mexican man, or a, you know, a first or second generation Mexican man.” And it just kind of went from there where I was, like, “You know, I really do like that idea of that.” I spent so much time in Texas, I know so many people from Texas, I know so many Tejanos and people… it just made sense to me. And then, you know, the more that the rhetoric kind of got really vitriolic about Mexican immigrants around the election, I was like, “Yeah, fuck you. Actually, I am gonna put some Mexican people in the White House.” Yeah, that’s what’s gonna happen.
I did as much as I could with it. Obviously, I’m white, and I did a ton of research, I talked to a ton of Mexican friends of mine, and especially Tejano first or second generation people. And then what I’m really excited about with the movie is that we have the opportunity to bring in more people on the creative side who are Latino who can offer more of that voice, that can go farther than I could go with it and that can explore more things with it. So, yeah. It just felt really natural to me, he’s from Texas, of course, he could be half Mexican. That’s just so typical there. So, yeah, it was a very natural progression of the character for me.
Jeff: There is a ton of history in this book. Henry goes into a lot of history of the monarchy. And one of the things I loved is in the emails that Alex and Henry are trading, they end up and quote a lot of literature or other letters of historical people. How much of that was in your head, and how much was “I need to go off and do a ton of research?”
Casey: So, for me, a lot of…when I was talking about… there’s parts where after Alex starts figuring stuff out, he starts, like, develops independent research of, like, let me remediate myself on queer American history, and reconnect with it, which I think is something that a lot of queer people in their 20s do. Especially for me when I was 20, 25, and then I started to figure myself out, I was like, “Wow, I need to know the first thing about my own community.” And so I went back and really read a lot and educated myself. And so a lot of the American history, American queer history was stuff I was already familiar with because that’s something that I felt was my responsibility to learn in the past. But, yeah, I definitely didn’t know a lot about queer British history at all.
And so that was a lot of reading for me, a lot of, you know, finding history threads on Twitter, and then okay, I’m gonna go look up all these stories individually, and find out what’s the real truth, because things get twisted online. But, yeah. The letters kind of started with…and this is gonna date when I started writing this, but I was really coming off the “Hamilton” high, you know, which I think we all were in early 2016. It was like, “Oh, man, I’ve been mainlining Alexander Hamilton history for six months, you know.” And, you know, I was really interested… I love all of Hamilton’s love letters with Eliza, but there was also his letters with Florence that were really fascinating to me, and I had started looking into that and that was how I found this book called “My Dear Boy” by Rictor Norton. And I found that because I was researching the Hamilton/ Lawrence letters, and that was where I found a lot of the letters that are featured in the emails. And then I also was looking into Virginia Woolf, and Eleanor Roosevelt, and all those figures from history who also have a lot of archive letters that are very interesting. And, yeah, honestly, it was almost…I had a blast with it because it was just a queer history, like Easter egg hunt.
And, you know, I intentionally did that in the book because I pictured this book…I pictured it being something that a lot of people at different points in their journey with queerness would read, and I would want…let’s say some 19-year old who’s just figuring things out, and they don’t really know anything about queer history, I’m like, “Well, here’s the name of something that you should go look up.” “Here is ‘Paris Is Burning,’ go watch it,” you know, kind of thing. And so it was, it’s really, a bunch of sneaky history lessons. I’m a nerd, and I was like, “You should know this, too.” But, yeah, I had a blast doing that. And then just research, in general, was just so much fun. I spent so much time poring through the royal collection archives online, just for throwaway jokes and stuff. I was a journalist for six years before I quit to do this full time. And so, yeah, I’m a huge nerd and I love historical context for everything because that’s just what I’ve been wired to do for so long. So, yeah, that’s kind of where it all comes from for me.
Jeff: And my musical theater geek self loves that “Hamilton” had a play in that because I kind of felt that I was reading some of it’s like, “This seems very ‘Hamilton’ in some ways that they’re using this.”
Casey: I battled with myself over whether “Hamilton” was a thing that existed in this universe, and if I should mention it in the book, and I was like, “I’m not gonna,” because it’s still so fresh and I feel it’s gonna date the book a lot. But it’s definitely, like, there’s this undercurrent of we’re doing colonial rap battles under the text, you know.
Jeff: That’s one of the things I like about this so much is that it is current revisionist history, you know, because, I mean, most of it, and this doesn’t get to a spoiler, most of it is leading into the 2020 election, with Claremont being President in the here and now and having succeeded from Obama. Yeah, its current revisionist history. It’s very interesting how that plays itself out. Now, I think we mentioned that this is your first book that’s out there in the world. What got you into writing romance and specifically m/m romance?
Casey: I mean, I have always consumed all types of media and this is my one sacrilegious answer that I give in interviews which is I’m really more into movies and TV than I am into books, and that is the most media that I consume. It’s not what I write, I’m not a screenwriter, I’m not good at that type of writing, but it is where I pull most of my influences from.But what I engaged with about all of those things was the relationships in them. I’ve watched “Lost” and I was like, “I don’t care about Dharma, or the clues or what this island actually means to the polar bear,” I was like, “I care about that everybody’s gonna end up together that I want to end up together in the end, you know,” and it was always like that with everything I watched. I’ve watched “Buffy,” and it was always about that for me. It was like, “This is cool, mythology is cool, whatever, but, like, Spike,” you know. And it really that was just what grabbed me, and so I knew that was what I was always gonna wanna write. And I tried to write other genres. Every other book I tried to start writing was young adult, magical realism, or young adult fantasy, which is clearly not my genre. And I tried a bunch of different false starts in those genres, and it didn’t pan out for me.
And this was, like I said, the first time, I had an idea that completely grabbed me. And I think, like I said earlier, I gravitate to writing queer fiction for the same reason that straight people gravitate to writing straight fiction which is that I’m a queer person, and it’s my experience, it’s what I know. I didn’t really come into this book with an idea of what the gender should be more than what the story would be and it formed around that because I didn’t think that the story would take on all of the same qualities. If it was two women, you know, I thought that it would be a little different tone. I felt if it was two women there’d be a porn parody within 15 minutes of it coming out, you know.
And so it’s just, there’s just different ways that lesbian couples and gay men couples are perceived by the world I felt, and for this story it made more sense with two men, and I also wanted to do that prince charming trope sub-version. And so it just kind of told me what it wanted to be. But my next book is…it’s about two women, and it’s a completely different story. And so, yeah, I really…honestly, it’s just me trying to make queer rom-coms a mainstream thing more than anything else.
Jeff: More power to you. And, so far, it looks like you’re doing a great job with that.
Casey: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Jeff: This question may not have a good answer based on what you just told us about your kind of TV and movie thing, but are there authors who influence you?
Casey: Well, yeah, I mean there are definitely authors that influence me. I loved Oscar Wilde growing up which is, you know, I was 15, my sisters, I remember being at my sister’s college graduation with highlighter and sticky tabs going through “The Importance of Being Earnest.” So, yeah, I did my term paper in high school on “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” and I was like, “This is straight behavior.” But, yeah, Oscar Wilde was a huge influence on me.
I read a lot of non-fiction and a lot of memoirs actually because I love the voice of them, and I think that’s what helps me to have a good narrative voice. So I love Carrie Fisher’s writings, I love…Nora Ephron’s memoirs are all incredible, Mary Karr. Let’s see, what else. I’m looking at my bookshelf right now. What else do I read? Jane Austen, obviously, the classics of romance, you know. And then more recently, my favorite author right now is Taylor Jenkins Reid. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” is my favorite book I’ve read in the past couple years and definitely has earned a spot on my all-time faves shelf. And so that’s definitely… And I loved how she does a lot of…she does a lot of what we call in journalism alternate story formats, so epistolary style things that are threaded into the book, which is something that obviously I really love too.
And then yeah, that’s…I mean, I read a lot…at least I read a lot of non-fictions like Rebecca Traister and Roxane Gay, those are those are all my faves. But then I pull from a lot of a lot of TV and movies. The biggest influences on this were “Veep,” “Parks and Rec.” There is this web series called “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo” that I love, and it’s so millennial absurdity that it really kind of like… there’s a shout out to it in the book because they play the song, “Loco In Acapulco” by The Four Tops in that show, and I put that in the book. Yeah. So I’m kind of all over the place. I have a lot of influences and a lot of things that kind of all feed into what comes out of my brain.
Jeff: So let’s talk movie. You hinted that a little bit ago. Amazon and Greg Berlanti picked this up before, you know, again before it’s even published out to the world. What was your reaction when you first heard that that was a done deal?
Casey: Well, I mean, it was so many stages of reaction because what people don’t see behind the scenes is that the process is crazy. It starts with I have a Hollywood agent, and she sends it out to people and then one producer expresses interest and then more producers can if they want to, and then it turns into you’re on the phone with, you know, such and such from whatever huge production company, and it’s like, “I’m not qualified to do this.” And you talk to those and you pick your producer, and that’s how I picked Berlanti. And I was just really excited to even have a chance to work with them because I’ve loved so much of their work, not even just looking at “Love, Simon,” and going back to “Political Animals” which was a six episode series that’s on Netflix. It’s got…honestly, I have to say one of my touchstones too because it’s got Sigourney Weaver is the president in that which is just amazing, and they’ve got Sebastian Stan as one of the president’s kids, and he’s very tortured, and recovering from addiction, and he’s gay, and he’s Sebastian Stan so he’s crying, you know, and very beautiful.
But, yeah. So I just knew that he had the range for it and I also knew that based on “Love, Simon” that the production company had the chops to get an unapologetically queer rom-com into the mainstream. But also it was on a personal level, I just remember going to see “Love, Simon” in the theater and that was probably a week after I signed my book deal. And I showed up with an entire eight-inch Jimmy John’s sub in my purse because I knew I was going to cry and I like to eat my feelings. So it was literally me alone. I had to drive 15 minutes out of my city because I was living in Louisiana at the time to find a theater that was playing it, and it just me alone in the theater with my sandwich and was just weeping to Jennifer Garner, you know.
And I just remember getting in my car and thinking if my book could make people feel half as seen as I just felt by watching that movie, then I will be so, so happy. And so I’d have the chance to do, to kind of pay forward what that feeling was for me to the next round of people, especially queer people, meant so much to me. And then yeah, Amazon, they just care so much about the project. They’re so passionate about it. They want it to, you know, really…they’re actually really invested in diversifying what is in the market, and taking some risks, and doing projects like this. And it’s just so incredibly mind-blowing, and it really doesn’t feel real yet to have people want to invest those kinds of resources in a story that I wrote and came out of my brain.
More than anything, I’m just so excited about what it could represent and what it could mean to people. I think about like…and not to at all compare the histories of these communities, but I think about “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” and what those movies meant to have as big cinematic events geared around a demographic that wasn’t usually catered to by the mainstream, you know, and what it meant for those people and what it represented for the future of storytelling for different groups. And I like the idea of being able to make any kind of similar impact with movie is incredible. And I really hope that we can do that, and I really hope that it can be the beginning of a lot more queer rom-coms, you know. So, yeah, it’s amazing. I’m so, so humbled, and amazed, and really excited to see what comes next with it.
Jeff: As you were writing, I think all authors tend to cast their books to some degree. Do you have in mind, and knowing this is totally separate from anything that Amazon and Berlanti might do…
Casey: Sure. Sure.
Jeff: …do you have in mind who Alex and Henry are, at least in your head, as you were writing if you had to assign them an actor?
Casey: Well, it’s so hard because…and this is kind of an indictment of the state of Hollywood and that is slowly beginning to change, but there really aren’t a lot of young Latino actors out there choose from, you know. And so it was… there really wasn’t a definitive Alex in my head because I have looked and looked and it was so hard to find someone that fit. And that’s what’s exciting to me about the movie is I think that we will get a chance to kind of give a star making role to some young unknown Latino actor, which would be amazing, and I would love to do that. And Henry is just very elusive. There’s five million charming white British men, but in my head, he’s just so specific-looking, and I have not yet found anyone that matched him. But the parts that were, I think, easiest for me to assign an actor to were like… I always pictured Daniel Day-Lewis as Richards with like the silver foxy and then, Ellen Claremont in my head from day one has been Connie Briton. And then, I mean, Rafael Luna in my head is Oscar Isaac for sure, you know.
Jeff: Oh, yeah. I like that.
Casey: There’s some characters that I came up with the character first and then tried to figure out what they looked like, and there are other characters where… with Rafael Luna I was like, “I want a character who looks like Oscar Isaac. What’s he going to be?” you know, and that was kind of how that came to be. But, yeah, I’m really excited casting is going to be so much fun, and I’m very excited about it. And I’m really, really excited about just getting to see, you know, what we can do for some…I think there’s gonna be a lot of unknowns in the lead roles, and that’s going to be amazing because they’re going to be able to really step into and embody those characters without it being distracting, like, “Oh, that’s like so and so. I look at them and all I see is the character they played in ‘Game of Thrones’ or whatever.” Yeah. so I think that’ll be, you know, a fun thing. But, yeah, that’s kind of it for that.
Jeff: Do we get to see more of Alex and Henry in the future do you think?
Casey: I think that… I would not rule that out, and that’s all I can really say about that.
Casey: Yeah. I think that that would be amazing. I would love to do that.
Jeff: What’s the best way for folks to keep up with you online so they could track your progress with what’s up with Alex and Henry and also the new book and everything else?
Casey: Yeah, Twitter for sure. I’m kind of been taking a step back lately because since we announced the movie my notifications have been busted, you know. But, yeah, I’ll definitely be back on more especially during tour. I tweet out playlists and a lot of little trivial information like their birth charts and things like that on there, and then also Instagram. That one is more for like I’m here for this tour date kind of thing. So yeah, those are my big two ones. It’s casey_mcquiston on Twitter, and then casey.mcquiston on Instagram.
Jeff: Very cool. Well, we will put the links to all of that in the show notes.
Casey: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I’m so, so grateful, and it’s been so much fun. So thank you so much for having me on.
Will: This episode’s transcript has been brought to you by our community on Patreon. If you’d like to read the conversation for yourself, check out the show notes page for this episode at BigGayFictionPodcast.com. We’ve got links to absolutely everything that we’ve talked about in this episode.
Jeff: It was amazing talking to Casey as “Red, White, and Royal Blue” arrived, and it was fun revisiting the conversation now, four years later. Something that stuck out to me was that they said that they hoped to make queer rom coms a mainstream thing, and if the book itself, and finally getting this movie adaptation, doesn’t help prove that, I don’t know what does.
And you know how much I absolutely love this book. I actually talked about it back in episode 410, which was our 2022 wrap up episode, because I had re-read it when the collector’s edition came out with the bonus material, which has delightful vignettes that cover six years beyond the end of the original story. It was so good. So having recently re read the book, I am super excited for this movie.
Will: Alright, I think that’ll do it for now. Since we’re now finished with our super summer bonus episodes, we’re going to be returning to our regular schedule, which means we’ll be back here on Monday, August 14th with author Timothy Janovsky.
Jeff: Now, Will’s loved Timothy’s books, “Never Been Kissed” and “You’re a Mean One Matthew Prince,” and we’re going to be talking to Timothy about his latest “New Adult,” which is a book I completely fell in love with. It’s got some “Big” and “13 Going On 30” vibes going on mixed with what I consider a little bit of “Somewhere in Time.” Now, if you want to know how all of those things actually combine, you’ll just have to come back in a couple of weeks to find out.
Will: Thank you so much for listening. We hope that you’ll join us again soon for more discussions about the kinds of stories we all love, the big gay fiction kind. Until then, keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.