Thursday, 24 October 2013

Author Interview: Beth Reekles

Beth Reekles is an internet sensation. Her first published book, The Kissing Booth, originally on Wattpad, now has over 19 million reads and 40,000 comments. Beth is now a published author with Random House and her second book, Rolling Dice was released on 29th August. 

Before I get into interviewing Beth, here's what Rolling Dice is all about:

They say that the higher you climb, the harder you fall - and Madison Clarke will do anything to keep her new life from crumbling to pieces. Moving from a small town in Maine to Florida, Madison grasps the opportunity to reinvent herself, to forget about those days of being a lonely, loner outcast, and jumps at the chance when the popular kids decide to take her under their wing. A hot boyfriend, parties, friends... If only there wasn't the slight problem by the name of Dwight, a cute, funny and totally nerdy guy in Madison's physics class who she can't help but enjoy spending time with. Running from her past and stumbling through the present, who knows what lies ahead in this new life in Florida?

Please describe Rolling Dice in 5 words. 
New beginnings and first love. 

What made you want to be an author?
I've always really liked writing and reading. I just love books - so being an author always sounded like a dream job when I was younger, but I never thought it would actually happen!

How have your life experiences affected the way that you write?
I think that being a teenager writing about teenagers gives me a different perspective when writing, because I don't have the benefit of hindsight, of knowing that in the long term, nobody's going to remember how badly that maths test went, or how bad that break-up was. I try and write about teenagers in realistic situations that people like me can relate to. I don't base any of my stories directly on my own life experiences, but I draw on them for inspiration.

Do you read books similar to those that you write, or a different genre altogether?
I read all kinds of books: dystopian, historical fiction, fantasy... I mostly write YA romances (and I read a lot of those, too!) but sometimes I'll write other genres, just for fun.

For you, what components make up a good book?
I think that a compelling protagonist is one of the most important things - someone relateable and endearing. As long as the character is someone I like to read about, I'll read almost any story. A good book is usually well-paced, too - not so fast that everything happens in a couple of chapters, but not so slow that in twenty chapters, nothing of consequence has happened.

If you could be any character from any book for just one day, who would you by and why?
I'd love to be someone from Hogwarts - not necessarily one of the main characters, but just a Hogwarts student. I loved the Harry Potter books growing up, so I think it would be really awesome if I could experience the magic and mystery of Hogwarts!

Some authors do certain things while they write like listen to music. Do you need to do anything similar?
I usually listen to music, or sometimes I'll put re-runs of TV shows on. I'm not too picky about what I have on in the background, though - it's just whatever takes my fancy!

Were any of the characters in Rolling Dice, or their traits, inspired by people you know?
As a teenager, I think it's inevitable that you come across people who'll put other people down, so I drew on my experiences of people in high school to develop some of the characters, but I didn't base any of the characters directly on people I know.

What is your favourite book of all time and why?
That's a really difficult question; I've read so many books it's hard to choose! I think that maybe my all time favourite book is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, because it's got everything I could want in a book: it's funny, sad, compelling, and it makes you think. It's a fantastic read and one that I couldn't put down, even when I re-read it. The protagonist is witty and relateable, and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Do you have a favourite book that you've read this year?

I recently read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and I couldn't put it down! I thought it was brilliant, and I loved the world that Martin created, and the menagerie of characters.

Thank you Beth for such a wonderful interview. Rolling Dice and The Kissing Booth are out now, published by Random House! 

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