So if you haven't come across author Beth Fantaskey yet, then keep reading and find out more about her. If you have across her before then keep reading and maybe learn something new ;)
Keep reading till the end and enter this weeks contest!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a bit about Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side?
Beth - It's the story of a very rational, average, adopted American girl who discovers, on the eve of her senior year in high school, that her birth parents were actually vampire royalty. And to make matters worse, Jessica learns this fact from a hot, arrogant, Romanian foreign exchange student who has shown up on her doorstep - insisting that he's a prince from a rival vampire clan, here to claim Jess as his future bride. If Jess doesn't marry Lucius and fulfill a pact signed at their births, it will ignite a global vampire war...
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
Beth - It was actually very quick. I came up with the idea while on a long car trip, and I just started jotting down ideas on all these old (clean!) napkins that my husband is always stuffing in the glove compartment of his old Subaru. Some of the inspiration comes from my children, who are adopted... but beyond that, it's hard to say!
Amber - What comes next? Is there going to be sequel? Series? Do you have any other projects you are working on?
Beth - My next novel, Jekel Loves Hyde, comes out in the spring. That's basically been my project since Jessica's Guide - and I wrote a "mini sequel" about Jess and Lucius on my website, bethfantaskey.com. Those 22 new chapters are meant as a "thank you" to everybody who's asked to read more of their story, while I consider whether there will be a full sequel. I'm getting lots of wonderful (and some desperate!) requests, so I am definitely working on that right now.
Amber - Have you always wanted to be an author? and why did you pick the paranormal genre?
Beth - I've been a writer for magazines and newspapers for over 20 years, and I think every journalist secretly - and sometimes not so secretly - thinks about writing a novel. That compulsion started getting stronger in me over the last few years, and I began moving into fiction.
The story that I wanted to tell drove the genre. The stranger who shows up on Jess's doorstep needed to really shock (and initially repulse) her - and what would shock a rational, math-oriented girl more than to learn that she's destined to be a "mythical" being?
Amber - Something I have always wondered about is how authors come up with the names for their characters. How do you pick the names you use in your books?
Beth - "Jessica" just popped into my head as perfect for the girl I was imagining - and "Packwood" comes from a mansion down the street from my (very un-mansion-y) house. I took a lot of time combing through Romanian genealogy and name sites before choosing "Lucius Vladescu." I selected "Lucius" because it's strong and masculine and means "light" - although it's also reminiscent of someone very dark and sinister... And "Vladescu" is meant to call to mind the original "Dracula," Vlad the Impaler.
Amber - What is the easiest and hardest part about being an author?
Beth - The easiest part is doing stuff like this - basically hanging out with readers. The hard part is just getting down to work every day... being disciplined about sitting down and typing.
Amber - How do you relax? Do you have any hobbies?
Beth - I'm a runner. That's like my therapy. I like to put on music, go out and relax for a few miles. I also love to travel when I get the chance. My last big trip was to India, which was amazing. Now I'm just waiting until my kids are a little older so I can start dragging them around the planet!
Amber - Alot of authors have 'soundtracks' for their books. Is there any music influenced your books?
Beth - I either put on Pandora or my local college radio station, WQSU, which mainly plays alternative rock. My Pandora mix includes everything from AC/DC and Kenny Chesney to Saosin and Rammstein. I like to keep an open mind, music-wise, which is reflected a little in the German metal and pop references in Jessica's Guide.
Amber - What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have any favourite authors/series?
Beth - I am a big fan of classic authors like Dickens and Dumas - which is probably pretty obvious to readers of Jessica's Guide. There are lots of references to Austen, Melville, etc. And, of course, Jekel Loves Hyde is a twist on the old Robert Louis Stevenson novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As for a favorite work... it's hard to beat The Count of Monte Cristo, in my eyes. It's a page-turner with an incredibly dangerous, charismatic hero... I love it!
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Beth - This probably seems boring, but I'd have to say vampire. There's just something so compelling about them!
Amber - Thank you for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog! I hope you will come back again someday!
This weeks prize is something extremely rare and special. Beth is giving away a printed copy of the 'Wedding chapters'. It isn't anything fancy, just printed off her computer and stuck in a binder which makes it very rare! She will however sign it! Which makes it very special!
All you have to do to enter this contest is post a comment on any other post on Amberkatze's Book Blog and let us know where you posted.
No Post = No entry!
The usual rules apply!
Earn another entry for each place you link this contest on the net. Make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries!
You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.
I can offer more prizes if my Amazon Associates account gets more money!! So please make sure you order at Amazon.com through the links around the site and help keep the contest coming!
The contest will stay open until Sunday 15th of November 2009 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.
If you are claiming a prize, have emailed me and have not heard back before the 7 day limit is up then post a comment here on the blog. Your email may get sucked into my spam filter.