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Casey McQuiston

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Casey McQuiston
McQuiston at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
McQuiston at the 2019 Texas Book Festival
Born (1991-01-21) January 21, 1991 (age 33)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
EducationLouisiana State University (BA)
Years active2019–present
Notable worksRed, White & Royal Blue

Casey McQuiston (born January 21, 1991) is an American author of romance novels in the new adult fiction genre, best known for their[a] New York Times best-selling debut novel Red, White & Royal Blue, in which the son of America's first female president falls in love with a prince of England, and sophomore book One Last Stop.[1] McQuiston made their debut in the young adult fiction genre with their book I Kissed Shara Wheeler which was released on May 3, 2022.[2] They were included in Time magazine's 2022 Time 100 Next list.[3]

Personal life


McQuiston was born on January 21, 1991[4] and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[5][6][7]

They attended Louisiana State University and received a degree in journalism.[8] Prior to publishing their first book, they waited tables, freelanced,[9] and worked extensively in magazine publishing.[8] McQuiston previously lived in Fort Collins, Colorado[7] and currently lives in New York City.[10][11]

McQuiston is queer,[1][12] non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns.[9][13][14] However, some reference books and critical reports list them by their originally assigned pronouns "she/her." McQuiston has expressed that they write romantic comedies about queer people because they grew up attending a conservative evangelical Christian school, and they want to write books that would have made them feel less isolated as a queer teenager.[15]

McQuiston has spoken about how ADHD affects their writing,[16] describing the process as "impulse-driven" with scenes often written nonlinearly.[16] After their father's death in 2014 and mental health problems in 2015, McQuiston turned to writing as a way to cope.[16]



McQuiston is currently represented by Sara Megibow at KT Literary.[10] Additionally, they were a 2020 recipient of the Alex Awards for their debut book Red, White & Royal Blue.[17][18] In November 2023, McQuiston told Out that queer fiction was a "formative experience" for them, allowing them to engage with queerness safely, as a young person and that much of work as an author is "about taking care of that conduit and preserving it" for young queer people "who need it the way I did."[19]

Red, White & Royal Blue


Red, White & Royal Blue is a contemporary queer romance that follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, a fictional First Son of the U.S., as he develops romantic feelings for Henry, an English prince, following an altercation that forces them to fake a friendship for damage control and PR purposes.[20]

McQuiston first came up with the idea for what would become Red, White & Royal Blue in early 2016 as they followed the 2016 American presidential elections.[21] While watching a season of the HBO comedy series Veep and reading both a Hillary Clinton biography by Carl Bernstein, A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, McQuiston found themself intrigued by the extravagant, high-profile lifestyle of the royals and wanted to write their own take on a story featuring a royal family.[21] Some additional inspirations behind Red, White & Royal Blue include All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.[11]

McQuiston describes Red, White & Royal Blue as a queer romcom and says that they write queer fiction "for the same reason straight people write straight fiction," meaning that they draw from their own experiences.[21] For protagonist Alex's realization that he's bisexual, they were inspired by their own experience.[1] The character of the fictional American president Ellen Claremont in the novel was inspired by American politician Wendy Davis, whose filibuster McQuiston watched and was deeply moved by in 2013.[22]

As part of their research for Red, White & Royal Blue, McQuiston used websites such as whitehousemuseum.org to study both past and present White House interiors that would be incorporated into the novel.[16]

In April 2019, Amazon Studios acquired the film rights to the novel at auction, with Ted Malawer attached as writer and Berlanti Studios as producer.[23][24]

Red, White & Royal Blue was published by St. Martin's Griffin in May 2019 and debuted on the New York Times Paper Trade Fiction bestseller list, at number 15.[25] It was received favorably by critics, earning a starred review from Publishers Weekly,[26] Kirkus,[27] Booklist,[28] Vogue[29] and Vanity Fair.[30]

It has been published and translated in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and Uruguay.[31]

Red, White & Royal Blue won the Best Debut Novel and Best Romance Novel categories in the 11th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards, making it the only novel to win in two categories in 2019.[32][33]

In interviews, McQuiston has expressed hopes that Red, White & Royal Blue, along with their future novels, will help push queer romance into the spotlight.[34] When asked about their writing process for this book, McQuiston said they knew from the get-go that they wanted to write a queer romance but did not plan out each character before they began writing.[34] For example, while both Henry and Alex are written as cisgender boys, that was not planned from the beginning.[34] Additionally, many of the characters in Red, White & Royal Blue were inspired by different political ideologies and archetypes instead of real-life people.[34] In interviews about this novel, McQuiston likes to say that "no real royals or first families were harmed in the making of this book".[34]

One Last Stop


McQuiston's next book, One Last Stop, came out on June 1, 2021.[4] The book is "pitched as a queer Kate & Leopold, in which a 23-year-old realizes her subway crush is displaced from 1970's Brooklyn, and she must do everything in her power to help her - and try not to fall in love with the girl lost in time - before it's too late."[35] McQuiston was inspired to make the setting of this book on a subway because when using this public transportation you get a glimpse of another person's life.[15]

This book follows two young adults who were never supposed to meet as they have a chance encounter because one is lost in time.[36] August, the protagonist, does not believe in love and happily ever afters. She believes that living her life alone is the only way until she meets Jane, the time-traveling love interest, on the subway. The subway quickly becomes August's favourite part of her day and she realizes that she needs to do everything in her power to help return Jane back to her own time before it is too late.[36] McQuiston wanted to explore this story within the romantic comedy genre because they wanted to ensure the characters would get happy endings.[37]

In an interview for Time, McQuiston expressed that they wanted to create a queer story that centered around a queer cast. McQuiston finds it strange that in many narratives there is only one queer character while the rest of the cast of characters is heterosexual and cisgender. McQuiston states "I always thought it was silly and unrealistic, the idea that some straight people have, that it is statistically unlikely for more than one gay person to exist in the story."[15]

One Last Stop has been placed sixth on the Bookpage top ten romance novels of 2021.[38] The book was also nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards for best romance of 2021 where it placed 3rd.[39]

I Kissed Shara Wheeler


McQuiston's third book, I Kissed Shara Wheeler, was released on May 3, 2022.[40] The book is their first for the young adult age group and is a rom-com set in a Christian high school in Alabama. The book follows Chloe Green after she moves from SoCal to Willowgrove Christian Academy. Her rivalry for valedictorian with Shara Wheeler leads to a kiss before Shara vanishes. Chloe must team up with Shara's other love interests to find her.

McQuiston wrote the book in the tradition of queer coming of age stories set in southern, oppressive religious settings, in part to deal with their own religious trauma. They describe the book as "the most personal thing [they've] ever written."[41]

I Kissed Shara Wheeler was listed as a Stonewall Honor Book[42] for Children and Young Adult Literature in 2023. This book was also nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction of 2022 where it placed third.[43]

"Bloody, Lovely"


On September 20, 2022, McQuiston's short story, "Bloody, Lovely," was featured in a collection of paranormal romance shorts edited by Patrice Caldwell, Eternally Yours. The story follows a young teenager falling in love with the Bloody Mary ghost in their mirror and coming to terms with their queerness.[44]

The Pairing


On October 12, 2023, McQuiston announced the title for their fourth book, The Pairing.[45] The release date is slated for August 6, 2024. It will be published by St. Martin's Griffin, an imprint of MacMillan, like Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop. This book will mark McQuiston's return to adult books after previously publishing the young adult I Kissed Shara Wheeler, and will be their third adult novel.


  1. ^ McQuiston uses they/them pronouns.


  1. ^ a b c Walker, Savanna (May 14, 2019). "Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - Interview". BookPage. Archived from the original on May 28, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "I Kissed Shara Wheeler|Hardcover". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Straub, Emma (September 28, 2022). "Casey McQuiston". Time. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  4. ^ a b McQuiston, Casey (January 21, 2021). "casey mcquiston ⚡️ preorder ONE LAST STOP". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  5. ^ "Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston - Author Biography". LitLovers. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  6. ^ Taroy, Daniel (August 27, 2019). "Why Red, White, and Royal Blue Was Everywhere This Summer". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  7. ^ a b No First Families or Royals Were Harmed in the Making of This Debut Rom-Com, by | Booklist Online.
  8. ^ a b Megibow, Sara (February 1, 2018). "Welcome to our newest client, Casey McQuiston! – kt literary". Archived from the original on February 5, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  9. ^ a b McQuiston, Casey. "casey mcquiston ⚡️ preorder ONE LAST STOP (@casey_mcquiston)". Twitter. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  10. ^ a b McQuiston, Casey. "CMQ". CMQ. Archived from the original on August 28, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Interview With an Author: Casey McQuiston". www.lapl.org. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  12. ^ Nicolaou, Elena (May 17, 2019). "What If The Prince Of England Fell In Love With The Son Of The President Of The United States?". Refinery29. Archived from the original on May 25, 2019. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Scribd [@Scribd] (November 12, 2020). "Who are other trans or non-binary authors we should amplify?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^ McQuiston, Casey [@casey_mcquiston] (October 30, 2020). "nonbinary bisexuals live each day with every chaos meter turned up to eleven and for me it is ✨ sensational ✨" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ a b c "Casey McQuiston Is Writing the Queer Rom-Coms She's Always Wanted to Read". Time. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d "SPINE-Casey McQuiston on Writing Red, White & Royal Blue". SPINE. May 29, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  17. ^ "2020 Alex Awards Virtual Celebration". The Hub. June 2, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "2020 Alex Award Winners | Awards & Grants". www.ala.org. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  19. ^ Ermac, Randy. "Casey McQuiston". Out. Archived from the original on November 5, 2023. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  20. ^ "Spring 2019 Announcements: Romance & Erotica". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  21. ^ a b c "An exclusive interview with Casey McQuiston". shereads.com. May 7, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "Making Politics Loving Again: PW Talks with Casey McQuiston". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (April 2019). "Amazon Studios, Berlanti Productions Win Casey McQuiston Novel 'Red White & Royal Blue'". Deadline. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  24. ^ Valby, Karen (July 19, 2019). "Why Have Novels About Royalty Stormed the Y.A. Best-Seller Lists?". The New York Times – via NYTimes.com.
  25. ^ "Paperback Trade Fiction Books - Best Sellers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  26. ^ "Red, White & Royal Blue". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  27. ^ "Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston". Kirkus Reviews.
  28. ^ "Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston" – via Booklist.
  29. ^ "In This Escapist Masterpiece, America Has a Woman President, and Her Son Is in Love With a Prince". Vogue. May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  30. ^ "Red, White & Royal BlueIs a Romance Perfectly Tailored for Viral Success". Vanity Fair. August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  31. ^ "FAQ". CMQ. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  32. ^ "Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best Debut Novel!". Goodreads. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  33. ^ "Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best Romance!". Goodreads. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c d e "Author Interview - Casey McQuiston, author of Red, White & Royal Blue". BookPage.com. April 30, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  35. ^ "casey_mcquiston". Twitter. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  36. ^ a b "One Last Stop". Indigo Books & Music Inc. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  37. ^ Fulop, Olivia Harrison,Lily. "Casey McQuiston Is As Attached To Their Characters As You Are". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved November 22, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  38. ^ "Best Romance of 2021". BookPage. November 16, 2021. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  39. ^ "Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best Romance!". Goodreads. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  40. ^ SupaduDev. "I Kissed Shara Wheeler". Macmillan. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  41. ^ McQuiston, Casey (April 1, 2022). "God-Honoring Trauma Dumping". Casey McQuiston. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  42. ^ admin (September 9, 2009). "Stonewall Book Awards List". Round Tables. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  43. ^ "Announcing the Goodreads Choice Winner in Best Young Adult Fiction!". Goodreads. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  44. ^ "Eternally Yours". Patrice Caldwell. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  45. ^ "The Pairing".