Thursday, 19 February 2009

Guest Blog: Beth Fantaskey

Beth Fantaskey has been a great sport in contributing to Persnickety Snark this week. And now for her crowning achievement...the guest blog.

Like probably everybody who writes, I used to have this elaborate fantasy about what it would be like to be A Published Author.

The daydream involved standing in a store like Borders and seeing a book with my name on it, sitting there on a shelf. Sometimes I would be sipping a fancy coffee drink from the in-store cafe, and sometimes I skipped that part and just stood there, looking. (Okay – maybe the fantasy wasn’t so elaborate.)

The one thing I never expected, when I learned that Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side would be published, was how writing a book would connect me to amazing people around the world.

Pretty much as soon as the novel came out, I started getting e-mails not just from readers in the U.S., where I live, but from folks in Canada, the Phillipines, Korea, England – and from one very enthusiastic Chinese-born technical artist living in Germany. (You know who you are!) And now here I am blogging away with Australians who seem to share my sense of humor and interest in variations on the theme “monkey.”

This, to me, has been the coolest aspect of the whole surprising turn of events. Even better than seeing my book on a shelf. (FYI: I did NOT have coffee, when it really happened.) And at the heart of my new global communication network are a surprising number of people, young and old, male and female, who really love the idea of vampires.

You may not believe this, but when I wrote Jessica’s Guide in mid-2006, I had no idea that so many people liked vampires. The Twilight juggernaut was just really taking off, and it wasn’t on my radar screen yet. When my new editor mentioned Twilight and got a blank stare from me, she looked at me like I was crazy and must live in a closet. (Guilty on both counts!)

In fact, if I had known that so many young adult novels already involved vampires, I might have just scrapped the whole idea for my book. But, swimming as I was in a pool of ignorance, I wrote a novel about a vampire prince and princess, and thank the winged monkeys that I did.

Vampire people are awesome. I have loved getting connected to them, all around the world.

The other day, an acquaintance worried aloud that if she added me as a friend on Facebook, she’d “get hooked up with a whole bunch of people who are into vampires.” And I told her, “You should be so lucky. You HOPE they befriend YOU.”

I certainly feel that I’ve been fortunate.

Fortunate to be hanging out, via the Internet, with some awesome Australians.

Lucky to chat, now and then, with a Chinese-German technical artist.

Grateful for the girl in England who wrote that she likes Lucius because he’s not “ginger” – even though I had no idea what that meant.

Who knew that the undead could have such power to bring people together, across lines of time, space and culture? Who knew that beings whom some consider monsters could actually unite us?

World peace through vampires and the occasional flight-equipped simian… Envision it!

Nobody’s come up with a better plan that I can see!
See that's why I adore the woman? Thank you so much to Beth for taking the time to share with us this week. I have had a great time reading the interviews and blog, randomness and humour are always appreciated. Long live the winged monkey!

Coming soon here at Persnickety Snark - Author Spotlights on Cassandra Clare and Mo Johnson. Stay tuned.