Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Exclusive interview with author Beth Fantaskey

I am so delighted to welcome Beth Fantaskey. She is the author of YA Novels ‘Jessica´s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side’ (review), ‘Jessica rules the Dark Side’ (review), ‘Jekel loves Hyde’, ‘Buzz kill’, and her recent novel ‘Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter’, her first novel for preteens.

In this interview she tells us about her recent book, new projects, and life. It is very interesting. Enjoy the reading.

1- Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter is actually based upon my doctoral dissertation. I wrote about female

crime reporters working in Chicago in the 1920s, back when women weren’t usually allowed to cover anything but fashion and “society.” The female reporters’ lives were so exciting that I turned my research into a mystery novel for pre-teens. I wanted to highlight the amazing, ground-breaking things that some women were doing in the Roaring 20s, and inspire girls, especially, to go after their dreams, no matter what society tells them is “proper” for females.

2- How do you get inspired to write?

I often find inspiration in everyday life. For example, my three children are adopted. We don’t know
anything about their birth parents. That inspired me to write my first novel, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, which is about a teenage girl who is also adopted – but whose birth parents turn out to be vampire royalty. I like to take things that seem “normal” to me, and see if I can find ways to spin them into a story. That was also the case with Isabel Feeney. A dissertation might not seem like a jumping off point for a novel for kids, but there was definitely potential there.

3- Which book do you like most?

My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. It’s got everything – humor, adventure and a dark, funny, charismatic hero. I love that novel!

4- How many months do you take to write a book?

That depends. I would say an average of four months for a first draft, then a month or two of revision.

5- What´s your advice for aspiring writers?

My advice is to treat writing like anything else you want to be good at – which means practice every day. I get the sense that some people think writing is a “gift” that you either have, or don’t have. But it’s also a talent that you can develop with hard work and practice. So I always encourage new writers to sit down and work, just like you’d practice piano if you wanted to be a concert pianist, or do soccer drills if you wanted to be a soccer star.

6- Who are your favorite authors?

Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, James Thurber and Martha Grimes. I have pretty wide-ranging tastes.

7- What´s next for Beth Fantaskey?

I’m working on a three-book series of “cozy” mysteries, under the name Bethany Blake. The first, Death by Chocolate Lab, will be out next year, followed by Dial Meow for Murder. The series – called Lucky Paws Mysteries – features Daphne Templeton, a free- spirited pet sitter with a Ph.D. in philosophy, who gets mixed up in murders and tries to solve them with her taciturn basset hound sidekick, Socrates. They’re fun stories with lots of laughs, set in the quaint community of Sylvan Creek, Pennsylvania.

8- What is your formula of success?

Work hard, and when you fail – which is inevitable – work harder. And never stop laughing!

Beth Fantaskey