Falling for Hamilton: How a Hit Musical and an Obsessed Daughter Inspired Melissa de la Cruz's New Book

Posted by Hayley on April 11, 2017
Melissa de la Cruz is a self-described "Hamilfan," aka someone who adores Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical and listens to the soundtrack on repeat. Her new book, Alex and Eliza: A Love Story, gives Hamilton a YA spin and puts a Schuyler sister in the starring role. Goodreads asked the Blue Bloods author to share how one night on Broadway started it all.

I saw Hamilton on Broadway with my family last June. We were fortunate enough to see the original cast perform (save for Jonathan Groff). It was a week after the Tony Awards, and the applause when Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared on stage was deafening and went on for ten minutes. In fact, there was so much applause that at times it distracted from the performance. Nevertheless, we were enthralled. I sobbed.

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I was so incredibly moved to see American history depicted by black and brown people like me. For a work of art to say, "You, yes you; you immigrant, you non-white person are part of the American story, the founding of this great country. This story is your story." I still get shivers up my spine. I had never realized how apart from the American mainstream I felt until Hamilton put me right in its center.

I loved the musical. I listen to it every day. I am a super "Hamilfan." However, it was my daughter who inspired me to write Alex and Eliza. She's ten years old, and she was obsessed with Elizabeth Schuyler. She wanted to know more about Eliza, and in her mind, Eliza was the hero of the play: "She told his story, Mama. We wouldn't know about it if it wasn't for her." She asked me so many questions about Elizabeth Schuyler that I finally had to do some research to answer them.

As I researched, I got deeper and deeper into their story, and I realized I had to write a book about this. For me, the story was about a poor boy and a rich girl—one of my favorite romantic tropes. I wanted to write a book that was like my favorites: Pride and Prejudice, Little Women—about the bonds of sisterhood, along with a swoon-worthy romance.

Some of my favorite historical romances include Sarah Maclean's books (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is my fave of hers), and I wanted to honor those books, too—how fun and saucy they are.

I hope you enjoy Alex and Eliza—it's quite a different story and has a different sensibility than Hamilton, but I like reading it while listening to the soundtrack nonetheless. It's said that every work of art is a reaction or a sequel to a work of art that inspires us. For that, and for many more, I am grateful for Hamilton.

Melissa de la Cruz's latest book is Alex and Eliza: A Love Story. Follow de la Cruz on Goodreads and discover more of her books here.

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Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Cal (new)

Cal (Cal's Reading Corner) Cool to see such an interesting background for the inspiration... I'm not to entranced by the plot behind Hamilton, I think it's definitely something Americans would find important/significant. Fantastic that it's so successful! Just... meh. I'm sure other countries would have other (political) interesting stories from this time too.


message 2: by Maisy (new)

Maisy Is this irony? When I opened this tab to read what this book was about, Burn started to play... poor Eliza!


message 3: by Cal (new)

Cal (Cal's Reading Corner) Maisy wrote: "Is this irony? When I opened this tab to read what this book was about, Burn started to play... poor Eliza!"

Oh my that's amazing haha


message 4: by Max (new)

Max this sounds like an amazing book! its great that kids are starting to take interest in politics and history because of Hamilton.


message 5: by Tamar (new)

Tamar Looking forward to this one!! I'd never be able to read it while listening to Hamilton though- I'd get too distracted and start singing and then I'd need to listen to the whole soundtrack before picking up the book again haha


message 6: by Gavin (new)

Gavin Abdollahi Maisy wrote: "Is this irony? When I opened this tab to read what this book was about, Burn started to play... poor Eliza!"

Cooool...


message 7: by Lopa (last edited Apr 12, 2017 10:53AM) (new)

Lopa So the Tony's were last June. So in less than a year, she wrote and published a book! That's pretty impressive.


message 8: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Lopa wrote: "So the Emmy's were last June. So in less than a year, she wrote and published a book! That's pretty impressive."

She cranks books out. lol


message 9: by R.F. Gammon (new)

R.F. Gammon I can't wait to read this one. :D


message 10: by Deepa (new)

Deepa Krishnan Elyse wrote: "Lopa wrote: "So the Emmy's were last June. So in less than a year, she wrote and published a book! That's pretty impressive."

She cranks books out. lol"


She did write like she was "running out of time" then. :-)


message 11: by andromeda (new)

andromeda I can't wait for my copy to come in the mail!


message 12: by Nissa (new)

Nissa I was very lucky to have won a copy of this book a while back. Even though it was written for YA it was still a good read for adults to.


message 13: by Emily (new)

Emily Shelby wrote: "Wasn't this already done....The Hamilton Affair??"

This one spans from Alex and Eliza meeting to getting married. Nothing to do with Maria Reynolds.


message 14: by Saoirse (new)

Saoirse Ní Riain I loved the musical and I can't wait to read this!


message 15: by Elyse (new)

Elyse Shelby wrote: "Wasn't this already done....The Hamilton Affair??"

That wasn't YA. This one is.


message 16: by Yolanda (new)

Yolanda Ruiz-Fabian I am looking foward to reading this one. Love Melissa de la Cruz's books!


message 17: by Krystal (new)

Krystal I actually won the book from a book club I belong to on Twitter, and it is currently sitting on my bookcase waiting to be read, I also have Hamilton The Revolution. I have 15 more books before I can start both books. I've followed Lin Manuel Miranda's career since In The Heights(currently I'm listening to the soundtrack). I also have the Hamilton soundtrack also. I can't wait to get the movie Moana and the soundtrack.

I first started reading Melissa De La Cruz's Blue Blood series because I had gotten the second book of the series as a Christmas gift a couple of Christmas' ago. I loved her books ever since, and also Witches of East end.


message 18: by Kyla (new)

Kyla I'm only 16 and I've now been obsessed (head over heels in love) with Alexander and Lin-Manuel since early September (7 months). I just got SUPER into In the Heights (I had just heard a little bit before) about 3 weeks ago. And of course, I've been OBSESSED with Moana. I can't wait to read this. :)


message 19: by Aubrie (new)

Aubrie THANK YOU LORD JESUS


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