Sandon mum's joy at publication of first novel

Emma Perle's debut novel Much Ado About Benedict is out on February 25.

Emma Perle's debut novel Much Ado About Benedict is out on February 25. - Credit: Emma Perle

A Sandon mum-of-two's first novel is being published this week - with her romantic work inspired by none other than William Shakespeare.

Emma Perle had always harboured a desire to write a novel,  and said her "eureka moment" came when she thought of using the skeletal plot of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing - and put pen to paper just before the first lockdown.

She told this newspaper: "My love of Shakespeare stems from school. I studied drama and loved it, my drama teacher was Thane Bettany - the father of actor Paul Bettany - and he was so inspirational."

Emma Perle's debut novel Much Ado About Benedict is out on February 25.

Emma Perle's debut novel Much Ado About Benedict is out on February 25. - Credit: Pegasus

Emma's novel unfolds through the eyes of Beatrice and Benedict. Benedict, an irresistible but arrogant army officer, and Beatrice, an upcoming lawyer. 

The pair have clashed in the past but, when staying in the same house for a weekend, discover they have irresistible chemistry.


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The book, set in modern day, reimagines their witty banter and explores their sexual and romantic magnetism.

Emma continued: "Writing is my moment of escapism - I am a stay-at-home mum, so it's about raising children, walking dogs, cooking meals and overseeing homework. I've got my kids homeschooling at the minute, and it's so nice to shut myself away and write."

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"I feel I have totally learned on the job. It took me a while to get my flow and see what works - the whole editorial process has been a really good learning curve."

Emma sent her work off to publishers and looked at going self-published - and was thrilled when she secured a deal with Cambridge-based Pegasus 

"You don't expect these things to happen at this stage in your life," she said.  "I was totally shocked, it was brilliant."

"The publication process has taken about nine months so I am excited for this to happen. During these lockdowns, writing has been my saviour - it's been amazing and I have certainly got the writing bug now!"

Much Ado About Benedict by Emma Perle - published by Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie Publishers Ltd -  will be available from Thursday at Waterstones, Amazon, the Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

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