Katelyn: With Jessica's Guide To Dating on the Dark Side being such a big success and without a doubt a fan favorite, did you feel any pressure while writing Jekel Loves Hyde? How did you deal with that?
Beth: Looking back, I probably should have felt incredible pressure, but mainly I was just excited about the second story I wanted to tell. In retrospect, it seems insane that I wasn’t more nervous, though, because I actually had a publisher waiting for a manuscript. That is a lot of pressure!
Katelyn: I love how you took a long time classic like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and incorporated it with your new novel. Where did you get the idea, and how much fun did you have making the classic your own?
Beth: The idea for Jekel Loves Hyde grew out of the title, which flashed through my brain one day. I loved the sound of it so much – and the possibilities it immediately brought to mind – that I rushed to my computer to see if anyone had ever done a modern, YA interpretation of the book. When I couldn’t find anything like what was already percolating in my brain, I developed this story about a young, troubled girl and an aloof, enigmatic guy who share a mysterious connection to the old Robert Louis Stevenson book.
It was incredibly fun adapting the original novel, because it gave me a chance to create characters who are trying extremely hard to be good – but who sometimes succumb to utter wickedness.
Katelyn: Even from the beginning, Jekel Loves Hyde had more of a dark twist and feel to it compared to your previous work. Were you trying something new or should I expect to experience the anxiety brought on by the massive suspense that this new book had in all your future books?
Beth: I didn’t set out to write a darker novel, but the story just seemed more intense to me than Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. Like the original Stevenson work, Jekel Loves Hyde has a very moody, almost Gothic feel, which I loved exploring.
However, I’m working on the sequel to Jessica’s Guide now, and that has the same lighter tone of the first book. Jess is trying to deal with suddenly being a princess, and there’s a new Italian surfer vampire, and ditzy Mindy returns, and Lucius writes snarky letters... It’s definitely lighter. I just go with what the story dictates!
Katelyn: If you were describing Jekel Loves Hyde in three words, what would they be?
Beth: Moody, twisty, passionate
Katelyn: What are some of you favorite books/authors?
Beth: I love all the classics, and especially the works of Dickens, Austen, Melville and the Bronte sisters. You can definitely see where I get my interest in both humor and darkness by looking at those authors’ bibliographies! And I’d have to say that my all-time favorite novel is Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, which I think is the ultimate combination of light and dark.
Katelyn: I always ask because I'm always curious, any good stories or comments from your fans that you'd like to share with us?
Beth: My favorite comments come from readers who tell me that they hurled Jessica’s Guide against the wall because they got so frustrated with arrogant vampire prince Lucius. I know that sounds weird, but I love hearing that. To me, it means they got really invested in the characters, and because they can’t really “talk” to Lucius, they have to express themselves somehow. Oddly enough, readers always say they ultimately like that frustration, too, because you want to be emotionally involved in a book, right?
Katelyn: And of course, do you have any other novels in the works? Care to tell all your fans anything about them? We're already dying for your future books!
Beth: Thanks so much! Like I noted, I’m working on the sequel to Jessica’s Guide, which picks up after the “mini sequel” that’s posted on my website, bethfantaskey.com. I introduce a few new characters in the on-line continuation – like surfer vampire Raniero Lovatu Vladescu – so if anybody plans on reading the full sequel, you might want to check it out!
I just want to thank Beth so much for visiting the blog and answering a few questions, I know I'm not alone when I say we're super excited and anxiously awaiting anything you produce in the future!
And get excited guys....Beth has been kind enough to donate a book for a giveaway, that she will sign and personalize for the winner....and the contest is international! So fill out the form below, the contest will end on June 15, 2010 so hurry up and enter for your chance to win!