Pawprints & Predicaments
How many books have you published?
So far, I've written four out of the planned six novels in the Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery series, including Death by Chocolate Lab, Dial Meow for Murder, Pawprints & Predicaments, and the upcoming Midwinter's Tail (12/2018). I've also written five novels for young adults and middle-grade readers under the name Beth Fantaskey. Those books are Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, Buzz Kill and Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter. You can probably tell which book is for younger readers by the title!
How did you become interested in writing?
I always loved to read, but I didn't know I was a writer until I graduated from college. I had changed majors at the last minute and had no job prospects, so I followed a lead on a position as a writer with a public relations office. I had to take an on-the-spot test, and my future boss said, "Didn't anybody ever tell you that you were born to write?" That's all I've done ever since, as a p.r. writer, a journalist and novelist.
What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening, etc?
I currently have a full-time writing job with Bucknell University, so it's very challenging to find time to write fiction. I used to treat writing novels as my full-time job, getting up in the morning and sitting down at my desk for the entire day. Now I squeeze in personal writing time whenever I can, over lunch, in the evenings and on weekends. Luckily, I love going into my fictional worlds, so I enjoy my extra writing time. It's challenging to find time, though! I will admit that our house is a little bit messy!
Do you plot the entire book first, then write or plot as you go?
I plot as I go along. I would never be able to stick to an outline. Sometimes my plot twists come to me as I'm writing. The magic is kind of in the narrative as it comes out. I think it would be much more reassuring to have an outline, but it just doesn't work for me.
Do you use real people and places as models for your books?
The cute, pet-friendly town of Sylvan Creek is based upon my hometown of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. In fact, the character Moxie Bloom "lives" in my former apartment, above a storefront in a yellow Victorian house. There are lots of other similarities, too. We even love our pets in Lewisburg. For example, I will be attending an event called "Spiritual Readings with Cats" at The Scratching Post Cat Cafe this spring. My characters are a different story. They aren't really based upon people I know--with the exception of sensible veterinarian Piper Templeton, who was inspired by my rational, physician sister. They both always keep a level head--and always win at board games!
Who is your favorite author?
Charles Dickens is my favorite classic author, and Martha Grimes is my cozy mystery muse. I love everything about her books.
How do you promote your books?
I do lots of giveaways, occasionally make public appearances and use social media extensively. My links are:
I will also be holding a Facebook party on Feb. 27 to celebrate the release of Pawprints & Predicaments. Everyone's invited for fun discussions and giveaways!