‘Hello, Cruel Heart’ – Catching up with Author Maureen Johnson

Posted in Disney +, Interviews, Movies by - April 30, 2021
‘Hello, Cruel Heart’ – Catching up with Author Maureen Johnson

Cruella de Vil fans can rejoice! New York Times Bestselling Author Maureen Johnson brings us Hello, Cruel Heart. It’s an exciting new story of teenage Cruella de Vil. The book finds its inspiration from the upcoming live action film, Cruella starring Emma Stone!

The notorious fashionista Cruella de Vil is getting origin story treatment with the live-action Cruella. But what happens before the movie?

Inspired by Cruella, Maureen Johnson’s Hello, Cruel Heart (now in bookstores and available online) follows 16-year-old Estella. She’s an ambitious, aspiring fashion designer who runs heists throughout 1967 London with her loyal accomplices. After a serendipitous run-in with posh socialites, she finds herself in high society and living the fashionable life she always dreamed. But what will it cost to keep up with the rich and fabulous?

The story is set in swinging London, Summer 1967. Sixteen-year-old Estella, gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition, dreams of becoming a renowned fashion designer. But life seems intent on making sure her dreams never come true. Having arrived in London as a young girl, Estella now runs wild through the city streets with Jasper and Horace. They are amateur thieves who double as Estella’s makeshift family and partners-in-(petty)-crime. How can Estella dedicate herself to joining the ranks of the London design elite when she’s sewing endless costumes and disguises for the trio’s heists?

A chance encounter with Magda and Richard Moresby-Plum, two young scions of high society, vaults Estella into the world of the rich and famous. However, she begins to wonder whether there’s more in store for her.

Suddenly, Estella spends her days attending glamorous parties, exclusive eateries, flirtations with an up-and-coming rock star, and, of course, the most cutting-edge fashions money can buy. But what does it really cost to keep up with the fast crowd? And is it a price Estella is willing to pay?

The author Maureen Johnson is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many YA novels. These include, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Suite Scarlett, The Name of the Star, and the Truly Devious series.  She has also done collaborative works such as The Bane Chronicles (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan) and Let It Snow (with John Green and Lauren Myracle), which is now a Netflix movie. She lives in New York City.

Our Bonnie Laufer spoke with  author Maureen Johnson about Hello, Cruel Heart and why she felt it was important to give Cruella such a rich and exciting backstory.

Cruella starring Emma Stone will release simultaneously in theatres and on Disney+ with PREMIER ACCESS on May 28th.

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Bonnie is a 25-year broadcast entertainment reporter currently on CH Morning Live and on her YouTube channel. She's heard weekly on Sirius XM as on the Ward & Al Show. She's interviewed more than 20,000 celebs, including Angelina Jolie, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey,
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