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Alex Schnee

Alex Schnee

New York, New York

Alex is a Shakespeare lover and an award-winning author and travel writer. She eats a lot of pizza.

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About the author

Alex Schnee is the youngest-ever recipient of the Mount Hermon Most Promising Writer Award. Her first novel, Shakespeare's Lady, was originally published by Guideposts Books when she was 20. She was also an honorable mention for the Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize in 2012.

She has been published in the Underground Literary Review, the Whitefish Review, and many others. She has also written as a travel writer for USA Today, the Huffington Post, and many other publications.

She currently travels the world. You can find her at The Wayfaring Voyager.

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Success! Shakespeare's Lady sold 19 pre-orders by April 10, 2018, was pitched to 26 publishers, and will be published by Cranthorpe Millner.
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$15 Little, but fierce

12 readers

A $15 donation receives:

--A digital copy of Shakespeare's Lady
--A newly-published copy of Shakespeare's Lady

Ebook included

$20 Books like running brooks

2 readers

A $20 donation receives:

--A copy of a newly-published Shakespeare's Lady
--A digital copy of Shakespeare's Lady
--A digital copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

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$50 The more I give to thee

5 readers

A $50 donation receives:

--A signed first edition copy of Shakespeare's Lady with a personalized message
--A copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets as a companion book
--A digital copy of Shakespeare's Lady
--A newly-published copy of Shakespeare's Lady

1 copy + ebook included

$5 shipping

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$500 Be not afraid of greatness

0 readers

Anyone who donates $500 will receive:

--An acknowledgement in the book by name
-- A signed first edition copy of Shakespeare's Lady with a personalized message
--A digital copy
--A Shakespeare-themed gift basket
--A newly-published copy of Shakespeare's Lady

1 copy + ebook included

$20 shipping

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$1000 You great benefactors!

0 readers

A $1000 donation includes:

--A mention in the acknowledgements
--An author chat with Alex (and a chance to ask her anything about anything)
--A signed first edition copy of Shakespeare's Lady with a personalized message
--A Shakespeare-themed gift basket
--A digital copy
--A sneak peek at Alex's next book, Burning Troy
--2 tickets to Drunk Shakespeare on Broadway in New York City
--A newly-published copy of Shakespeare's Lady

1 copy + ebook included

$20 shipping

5 of 5 left

Shakespeare's Lady

A Novel

Readers have debated the identity of the mysterious Dark Lady in William Shakespeare's sonnets. Emilia Bassano -- lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth -- could be the answer.

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Literary Fiction Historical Fiction
96,000 words
100% complete
7 publishers interested


In Shakespeare's Lady, Emilia Bassano is one of the most dazzling ladies at court when she meets the little-known playwright William Shakespeare. Shakespeare sees the world like no one ever has before, and despite everything -- his wife in Stratford-Avon, Emilia's husband and young son, and the will of the fiery and unpredictable queen -- they fall in love. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the Virgin Queen does not take lightly to her ladies straying. These star-crossed lovers must fight for their love -- and, eventually, their lives. Meanwhile, William, courting the queen's favor for his new theater, pens some of the most memorable stories ever written, and encourages Emilia to write; he helps her compose, and eventually steals, a little bedtime story she calls A Midsummer Night's Dream.


At its heart, Shakespeare's Lady is a love story--which was the second-most popular genre in 2017.

The average reader of historical romance is middle-class and established in her career. She is around the age of 30-55, and reads a few books a year. (

One of the benefits of historical fiction is that it remains timeless in a way that other romance genres do not. Shakespeare's Lady is geared toward thoughtful readers who have a love of literature and enjoy historical mysteries.

It is also historically accurate. Each character presented in the book was a member of Emilia's circle and a real figure during that time period. This not only add legitimacy to the story, but it also calls on the reader to be engaged with Shakespeare as a character and author, as well.

Women also tend to be the biggest readers--especially within this age group. (

The average reader of my blog (500+ subscribers, 2k monthly views) is 25-55 years of age and female, which would be the main


I have a large audience on various social media channels and already a dedicated base of readers. I have a blog with 500+ subscribers, and over 13k followers on various platforms.

Having already gone through the marketing process for a book, I know how important these connections are, but also how essential it is to meet with readers. I also have a number of contacts that would be willing to review the book and announce its launch.

I would like to put together several book signings and create a strategic marketing campaign across all my social media pages.

3 months in advance: Begin marketing on social media.

1 month in advance: Begin contests and put together book signings in local bookstores. Send advance copies to reviewers.

1 week in advance: Actively post on social media and hopefully have video to release.

3 days in advance: Double social media efforts.

Day of release: Book signing and party.

Previous praise for Shakespeare's Lady:

"A must-read for fans of this genre..." - The Romantic Times, four-star review

"Alex Schnee crafts a believable love story between Emilia and Shakespeare, while holding true to the known facts of Emilia's life... it is a remarkable look at history and an engaging story based on facts." - Five Minutes for

"I believe there will be more to come from this young writer." - Fiction

"A great work of fiction, written exceptionally well. It's a novel journey into a world we don't see often, but one that truly isn't much different from our own today." - Enjoying the Writing Craft


The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.

--Philippa Gregory reimagines the Tudor court and the interactions between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.

--The Girl with the Pearl Earring weaves together a main historical figure (Vermeer) along with a fictional muse.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant.

--The Birth of Venus reimagines a Renaissance artist using historical fact and blending in fiction.

Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady by Sally O'Reilly.

--Dark Aemilia serves as Shakespeare's Lady's biggest competition. However, Shakespeare's Lady was published first and O'Reilly's account of Emilia's life is highly fictionalized. It was not universally liked by readers, as well.

7 publishers interested
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Any writer will tell you that brilliance does not come from the head. It comes from the heart.

I learned this from the greatest writer the world has ever known. He whispered it in my ear as I lay in his arms. He told me as he looked over my crossed-out lines and empty pages. I see its truth in the little book he gave me. But I never understood what he really meant until it was too late and he was already gone.

Yes, I loved William Shakespeare. Yes, he loved me. No, it did not end well. William and I would never grow old together. We would never build a life together. Love doesn’t always guarantee happiness.

He was so handsome. An actor. A writer. So passionate about his work that sometimes it seemed to be the only thing he could ever love. His words were my rival, and sometimes I felt I could never compete. But I loved William Shakespeare more than I loved anyone on this earth. I loved him more than Henry Carey, more than Alfonso, more than myself, even. He was my salvation from the life that had been chosen for me. He encouraged me to become more than what I had been destined to be.

Our love went against everything I believed in. A lifetime of doing what I believed was right was wiped away the moment he and I became lovers. I sinned against my queen, and I sinned against my God.

He wrote about me. He hadn’t even done that for his wife. He wrote incandescent words about a woman who was captivating, beautiful, and mysterious—all things he told me I was. No one knew the identity of the woman in his sonnets, but I knew. When I read them, I knew he loved me, even all those lonely years later.

Because I loved William Shakespeare, I lost my honor, my name, my dearest friend, and my queen. I lost my best work, one of my greatest accomplishments.

Was it worth it? Was it worth it to love that man? That genius? Was it worth it to throw away my life for him?

You tell me.

The world doesn’t remember my name, but they will never forget me. I am a part of his work, his sonnets. I am his lover, his muse, his Juliet. I am his Dark Lady.

During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I


I remember Twelfth Night so clearly. I often reflect on it even now, when I am about to fall asleep. I can recall every detail. I remember what I wore, what I said, what dances I danced, the pageantry and singing. It was my first introduction to Queen Elizabeth’s court, with its intrigues, absurdities, and dangers. This was the night my life really started.

My emerald dress flowed to the floor. A simple, silver chain clasped around my neck. I was perfumed and powdered; the brush’s bristles tickled my neck and face. My hair hung loose down my back, as I was a young lady just recently come to court. This was a flag of my virginity, a proud display of youth. Lady Margaret loaned me a type of silver, which we draped over the back of my head. What a contrast against my long dark hair, shining in the candlelight.

I remember the warmth of Lady Margaret’s hands on my shoulders as she inspected our accomplishment. I detected a bit of pride in her sweet features as she admired me.

She smiled and said, “You look like a countess. And you deserve to be one.”

Lady Margaret would know. She was the Countess of Cumberland. The title afforded her many fine things; Cumberland was a rich and fertile area. She was gowned in a subtle pink, her hair pulled back in an elaborate bun. She reminded me so of the fairies I used to create stories about when I was young…but I did not tell her this because it seemed childish.

Frances stepped up to me and ran a hand through my hair. She was dressed in a royal-blue gown. It was the perfect complement to her eyes. Her blond hair danced around her shoulders. She was gorgeous—the epitome of English beauty. A pang of jealousy went through my chest. We all knew her night would be filled with courtiers, dancing, and laughter.

She held my shoulders between her two hands and shook them. “There will be dancing, and food, and men!” she cried.

A knowing look passed between Margaret and me—the latter was what Frances was obviously most excited for.

The Great Hall was filled with sound that night. The music itself felt like a presence in the cavernous room hung with the queen’s rich tapestries. A long, heavy table laid with endless settings for the queen’s guests sat at one end of the hall. Plates and knives had been scrubbed until they shone. Ladies clucked around each other and swarmed the high-ceilinged room, while men gathered around tables with wine, their glasses sparkling in the candlelight. The air felt thick with merriment.

Feasting was the evening’s first event, and Queen Elizabeth had outdone herself. The queen’s chefs had roasted a swan to perfection and painstakingly replaced the feathers before presenting the delicacy to her guests. There was rich, roast duck for everyone, accompanied by the finest wine. We had the softest, most aromatic bread I had ever tasted and wild boar that had once roamed the queen’s own forests. I could only imagine the hours Elizabeth’s handmaidens had spent, organizing this grand feast.

The queen sat far in front of us, on a raised throne, so all could admire her. In my first audience with her, when I was presented, I could only think of how cold and distant she had seemed. It was obvious she was enjoying herself now, though. She wore a lavish, golden gown embroidered with beads and pearls, her favorite gem. She wore her wavy, copper hair like mine—long and loose around her shoulders. Whether or not she deserved the honor, we were all willing to believe it that night.

No one abstained from drinking or making merry. Rowdy men poured themselves more ale while the women chattered. The Great Hall could hardly contain the splendor of the evening.

After we feasted, we danced. Lady Frances was immediately chosen by a young courtier with an eager smile. Lady Margaret was allowed to dance with her husband, the Count of Cumberland. They danced together with calm experience.

My eyes never left the dance floor as finely dressed figures twirled in time to the music, the ladies’ gowns swirling around their slippers, the men’s feet their metronome. Frances’s hair flew out behind her like a banner, and we could hear her laughter floating above the tune.

I longed to join them. My hands ached to hold a handsome courtier’s, and I couldn’t help but sway to the music. It reminded me of the songs I would play for the countess of Kent. I missed her, but I was grateful to be here. The scene before me was all I had ever imagined of court.

There were so many handsome men in the room, I could hardly look at one before I drifted to another. But one man in particular seemed to stand out from the rest, perhaps because he looked utterly indifferent. He stood slightly away from the other men near the large double doors with a glass in his hand. He nodded in time to the music, but he seemed to be buried in his own thoughts. His eyes darted in my direction, and he must have caught me staring at him. My own eyes went to the polished floor, my face burning in embarrassment.

“Who is that?” I asked Margaret when I had the chance to pull her aside. She was short of breath.

“Who?” She craned her neck to look. “That man?” She waved a hand. “A playwright, I believe.”

“He’s quite striking.” I was surprised at the boldness of my words. Those sorts of things I usually kept to myself. But there was something about this playwright. He wore no finery or anything that might attract a young lady, and he seemed to be more interested in the music than in finding a partner to dance with. All the company he needed was himself.

I peered over at him. I felt my heart dance to the music when I caught his eyes again. He raised his glass to me from across the room. It was all the encouragement I needed.

I took a step forward, and then another, until I realized I was actually crossing the room to talk to him. I was almost there. His eyes again happened upon mine, and I swallowed. His dark brown hair was cut short, and I could detect a hint of stubble lining his jaw. He watched me, waiting for me.

  • Update #3 - Looking toward release Dec. 19, 2018

    Hello and Happy Holidays,

    Thanks to all of you and your support, Shakespeare's Lady is almost finished with the final proofs! This is a ...

  • Update #2 - A publisher is chosen! June 25, 2018

    Hello friends,

    Thank you for your continued interest and support for my book, Shakespeare's Lady. I wanted you to be the first to know ...

  • Update #1 - Decisions, decisions... May 28, 2018

    Hello friends,

    You are receiving this email because you are amazing. Also, because you helped me with my campaign to put Shakespeare's Lady back ...

  • Stephanie Wallace
    on March 11, 2018, 4:49 p.m.

    I love supporting women and entrepreneurs and I look forward to this and your future works!! Wishing you much success!
    Stephanie Wallace

  • Cayla Johnson
    on March 15, 2018, 6:55 p.m.

    Good luck! I look forward to reading your book.

  • Jeannie Gripentrog
    on March 20, 2018, 3:23 p.m.

    Good luck Alex! Shakespeare’s Lady is a wonderful book and I wish for you great success getting it published again so that it is available for more to enjoy!!! Best wishes in all future endeavors!

  • Rachel Kerdman
    on March 29, 2018, 6:25 p.m.

    Good luck Alex!!!!! Can’t wait to read the book...Rachel