Hello friends! We’re super excited to be writing this today, because we have been asked by the lovely Tasha Christensen to reveal the cover for her newest book, As You Were! This book is on all of our most anticipated lists, so we’re very excited for this opportunity. If you’re a fan of lovers to enemies to lovers, anxiety & depression rep, and high school band and theatre, you’ll want to check this one out!
To seventeen-year-old Hannah Wright, band is everything. As drum major of the Itaska Marching Raptors, she feels responsible for their tiny, underfunded program.
When a schoolwide competition is announced, Hannah is determined to win the cash prize and save her beloved band. There’s only one problem: her main competition comes in a freckled, charming package named Eli Marshall, a.k.a. the star of the theater program.
…a.k.a. the guy she just broke up with.
We were also very lucky to have the opportunity to interview Tasha, and talk to her all about As You Were!
Hi Tasha! Thank you so much for asking teatimelit to host your cover reveal, and for taking the time to answer some of our questions! To get us started, what gave you the inspiration for As You Were?
All of the novels I’d written up until 2019 were science fiction under the name Natasha Watts. I love sci-fi, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for romantic comedy movies and books. They’re the perfect balm to a rough day, like a warm bath made of snarky heroines and dreamy love interests.
When National Novel Writing Month rolled around that year, I decided to try my hand at creating a romantic comedy of my own. I’d noticed that there weren’t many books out there with a protagonist in high school band, even though that’s important to a lot of people out there. Writing As You Were was my way of writing a book for teenage me, a hopeless romantic whose life revolved around band.
If As You Were was a tea party, what flavor of tea would it be? What tea party treat do you think your characters would bring?
Oo I love this question! I think the As You Were tea party would feature white peony tea, because it’s light and fresh. Hannah, my main character, would bring mint cucumber sandwiches on gluten-free bread that her yogi mom picked up for her at a local deli. Eli, her ex-boyfriend turned rival, would bring coconut macaroons that he made himself as an attempt to one-up Hannah (and that are only slightly burnt). Hannah’s best friend, Morgan, would bring a bag of chips and get salty (no pun intended) when Hannah chews her out for not sticking to the tea party theme.
Since music is a big part of Hannah and Eli’s lives, what’s a song or an album that you think describes them perfectly, as individuals and also together?
Hannah’s theme song is “Head & Heart” by Joel Corry, because her type-A, practical brain is always at war with the side of her that loves bedroom dance sessions and over-dramatic pop choruses that you can belt at the top of your lungs. Eli’s song would be “Hopeless Wanderer” by Mumford & Sons, because on the surface it’s this angsty, serious song, and yet the music video is just delightful and self-deprecating and never fails to make me laugh.
As a couple, Hannah and Eli’s song is “peace” by Taylor Swift. It’s such a great encapsulation of their relationship, how they’re always butting heads but somehow complement each other perfectly. It takes a break-up, then being pitted against each other in a competition, for them to really figure out what they could have together.
If Hannah and Eli had to be in any musical or play together, what show do you think they would be in and who do you think they would play?
I think it would be highly entertaining to watch them as Annie and Frank in Annie Get Your Gun. They’re so competitive that they’d encapsulate that enemies-to-lovers dynamic perfectly. “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)” could pretty much be the theme song for As You Were.
What’s something that you hope readers will take away from As You Were?
I really hope readers who love band or something else “nerdy” can read As You Were and see how awesome it is to be passionate about something. The people I know who live the most happy and fulfilled lives are those who throw themselves into their interests, no matter what anyone else thinks. Even if you don’t end up playing saxophone professionally or conducting a famous orchestra, those passions of yours–and the friends you make–change your life for the better.
Without further ado, here is the beautiful cover:
If you’re excited about this marching band romance as much as we are, head over to the Itaska High Discord community to get updates and chat with fellow readers, writers, and musicians.
Tasha Christensen believes the best love stories are found in the geekiest places. When not composing tuba closet make-out scenes, Christensen enjoys writing music, losing friends via Among Us, and exploring the gorgeous Rocky Mountains near her home. She lives with her husband, daughters, and an overly affectionate mutt named after her favorite Stranger Things character.
Her debut novel, AS YOU WERE, comes out August 2021. Christensen’s Itaska High series chronicles the romantic shenanigans of a high school marching band in Minnesota. The first in the series, AS YOU WERE, features a drum major competing against her theater star ex for a prize that would save her beloved band program. It comes out August 2021.