Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Beth Fantaskey

A few months ago, I wrote this review about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I told some friends to read it and then forgot about it until two months ago, when Beth Fantaskey emailed me to thank me for my review and offered to do an interview for our website. I was floored to say the least!

If you haven't read the book yet, be careful of a couple of the links, they might be a little spoilery!

The inevitable Twilight question:
With the popularity of the Twilight, Hollywood seems to be jumping on the bandwagon and turning to books, how do you feel about this? If Jessica’s Guide were to be turned into a movie, who do you see as the lead characters?

I think it’s great when books are adapted into movies, if it’s done well. (Like the amazing Harry Potter films!) It seems like people really long to connect with a favorite story or characters in different ways, and want to see new interpretations, so I think that’s fine. As for lead characters if Jessica’s Guide was adapted for film… I can’t even begin to imagine that. They are such distinct individuals, in my mind, that it would be impossible for me to cast someone to play them. That would have to be up to somebody else!

Are there any plans for a sequel for Jessica’s Guide?
That’s under consideration… I know that sounds coy, but it’s all I can honestly say right now. I wish I had more concrete news for everybody who’s asked. In the meantime, fans of the book should check out my website,, for more on Jess and Lucius’s story. I’m doing an interactive “thank you” event all throughout September. It’s meant to give readers a chance to read a little more while I figure out if there will be a full sequel.

I know Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but Jekel Loves Hyde? What can you say about the new book?
It’s the story of two young people who learn that they share a mysterious, and possibly deadly, connection to the old Robert Louis Stevenson novel. As they work to unravel the mystery, they become more attracted – and increasingly dangerous – to one another. It’s a love story with lots of twists and turns and cliffhangers…

You still teach college and have two small children at home, when do you find time to write?
My husband is a college professor, too, so we have pretty flexible schedules, especially in the summer. We take turns working and watching the kids. And I’ve gotten used to working at night. It’s close to 9 p.m. now, and I still have a ways to go!

How long does it take you to write?
I strive for a chapter a day. Sometimes that takes a few hours, and sometimes it takes all day. That’s another way I manage my time. If I get done with fiction early, I can work on grading or preparing a lecture.

As a reader what is your favorite genre? As a writer?
I am a big fan of classic literature. Dickens, Melville and Dumas are among my favorites. As a writer, I am loving my niche writing paranormal romances for the YA audience. YA readers are so communicative… Some have become real friends.

Who are your favorite authors and influences?
I guess I sort of answered that above. And you can definitely see my influences in my work. In Jessica’s Guide, I tried to do my own small tribute to Moby Dick and Wuthering Heights, and, of course, Jekel Loves Hyde draws a lot on that work. I am also really influenced by Dumas… I love his larger-than-life, chivalrous, brave heroes and all the dramatic plot twists.

As a teen what was your favorite book? Genre to read?
When I was young, I fell in love with the Tolkien books. I obsessed on them. The story was so epic, and the characters so real to me… Those novels got me into fantasy for quite awhile. There were also a few writers doing twists on the Arthurian legends at that time, like Mists of Avalon, and I liked that topic, too.

If you are a gadget girl, what is your favorite?
I’m not a gadget girl, but I am permanently attached to my iPod. My husband calls it my “boyfriend,” because I pay so much attention to it…

Who or what makes you “fangirl” out?
Musicians – Springsteen, John Wesley Harding, and when I went to see Coldplay this summer, I kept getting chills just from being in the same arena with them. At the end of the concert, they ran off the stage and I ended up about fifteen feet from Chris Martin… I was totally on cloud nine the whole ride home!

I have to ask since I use to work at a book store and remember the shenanigans we did, how did you get fired?
Oh, gosh! Two reasons. First, during the Christmas rush, I panicked at the cash register while trying to sell a man a deeply discounted “Joe DiMaggio Box Set.” (Box set of what, I do not recall.) He had discount cards, and gift card that was half used, and in the end, I got totally baffled about which buttons to press and what to swipe when, and I caused a HUGE backlog at the register. Then, about two days later, I had the nerve to forget I was scheduled to work and went skiing instead. End of career!

Thanks again to Beth for offering to do an interview for us! We greatly appreciate it!

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