Faze hosted a special live Q&A at Chapters Mississauga between Faze editor Lorraine and Beth Fantaskey, the best-selling author of Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, in front of a whole bunch of her biggest fans celebrating the release of her highly enjoyable second novel Jekel Loves Hyde!
FAZE: When and why did you begin writing?
Beth: I began writing after college, only because I needed a job and heard about an opening for a speechwriter in a public relations office. (My horse riding plan never did pan out…) I really started writing just to survive, but I’ve been happy doing it for 25 years now.
FZ: What inspired you to write your first book?
Beth: As a speechwriter and journalist, I always wondered if I had a book in me. When I developed the idea for Jessica’s Guide, I knew it was time to sit down and see if I could do it. It was partially a challenge to myself.
FZ: What book are you reading now?
Beth: I just picked up a children’s adaption of the “Arabian Nights” tales. It’s intended for fairly young kids, but when I started reading, I realized I didn’t know most of the stories and became completely absorbed. No wonder those tales have endured for generations!
FZ: What are your current projects?
Beth: I’m writing the sequel to Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. It picks up after the “mini sequel” that’s on my website, bethfantaskey.com, and will tell the story of rational Jessica’s adjustment to life as a Romanian vampire princess.
FZ: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Beth: Practice every day, just like you would practice if you wanted to be a great violinist or athlete. More than twenty years into my career, I still feel like I improve by sitting down every day and working. If it’s really your dream – make the effort and go for it!
FZ: You wrote on your website that your favourite hobby is travelling. What are some of your favourite places that you’ve travelled to? Do you travel for writing inspiration or just out of interest?
Beth: I love travelling in the U.S. and Europe, but my two favorite places (so far!) have been China and India. I am especially enamored of China because on my last two trips I adopted my little girls, so of course the experiences were amazing. And I love India for the intense color and energy.
I usually travel just out of interest, but I will say that visiting Eastern Europe influenced my first novel, part of which is set in Romania. The whole region is very mysterious and romantic. The perfect home for a vampire prince…
FZ: What do you like to do when you’re not working and travelling?
Beth: I like to hit the gym or ride my bike to relieve stress. I’m part of a group of women who train for an annual triathlon, so it’s a social thing, too. And of course I love to read – and watch too much “reality” TV. Gotta have my Project Runway fix!
FZ: With two 5-year olds do you find it difficult to balance writing and being a good mother?
Beth: I think being a good mom is always challenging. But I usually write while they’re at school, so it works out. By the time they come home, I’m ready to focus on them.
FZ: As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
Beth: I wanted to ride horses for a living. I’m not sure how I expected to make money, but that’s what I wanted to do. Just ride horses!
FZ: What do you teach at college?
Beth: Oddly enough, I don’t teach fiction writing. I usually teach journalism. And I recently taught public speaking, which was funny, because it’s a fear of mine. I figured I could relate to everybody in class who was scared, though.
Read our review of Jekel Loves Hyde
Visit Beth Fantaskey’s website for latest news: www.bethfantaskey.com
Beth Fantaskey and a big fan at a Faze-hosted Q&A and book-signing
A Little Bit About Beth:
Beth Fantaskey lives with her two 5-year-old children and husband in the small town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Her passion, besides travelling around the world and being a mother, lies in writing and…she prefers to write about the dark side: teen monsters and vampires. With two highly successful novels written, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and Jekel Loves Hyde, Fantaskey is only just beginning…
Beth Fantaskey speaks to her fans