Jekel Loves Hyde Contest

Jekel Loves Hyde
by Beth Fantaskey
Available 05/03/10
Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.
Jill: "...I followed him, and of course Tristen, always a gentleman when not wielding a butcher knife, held the door for me with his blood stained hand..."
Ch. 64 pg. 211.
When I opened my copy of JLH, a huge part of me secretly wanted it to be a new version of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside. Once I got over that ridiculous idea and saw this book for itself, I completely fell in love. It's odd, and dangerous, and has an intensity that is becoming a signature of Beth's novels. It also must be said that another reason why I loved this book so much was that there is a tiny red-hot-angry-thing in my gooey center that breaths and grows, vibrates, and burns with gleeful satisfaction when I read an angst-ridden character like Tristen Hyde. And oh dear homicidal Tristen, he will want to make you burn!
IB Teen Interviews Beth Fantaskey...
IBT: Is destiny fact or fiction?

BF: What a thought-provoking question! There was definitely a time when I would have said that “destiny” was just a romantic concept that belonged only in novels. However, in recent years I’ve started reading more and more about the concept of time, and how it twists and turns and is almost certainly not the linear “thing” we once believed it to be. In a universe where time, itself, is such a mystery, maybe it’s possible that destiny exists? That things happen for reasons set in motion in ways and places that we can’t even fathom?
I hope that makes sense… I’m having a difficult time expressing myself – probably because I have such trouble grasping the whole idea of wormholes and time travel, etc. I guess to make a long answer short – yes, I think destiny might very well be fact.

IBT: What are your key ingredients to a good story?

BF: Characters whom I (and hopefully readers) care about, and situations in which they grow by facing stakes that keep getting higher and higher. When the stakes reach life and death – then things get interesting!

IBT: What is your favorite type of hero?

BF: I love “dark” and complicated heroes who struggle with the worst aspects of their natures. My all-time favorite character in literature is Edmond Dantes, the “Count of Monte Cristo,” because he’s driven by revenge and engages in shameless deceptions – but he’s also capable of powerful love and self-sacrifice. I really like that type of hero more than someone to whom “goodness” comes easily.

IBT: In Jekel Loves Hyde, Tristen Hyde skates the razor's edge of what most people would consider redeemable, was it hard finding the balance between dark and light within him?

: Yes, it was definitely difficult striking that balance, especially at first. There were times when word choice seemed crucial. In particular, I remember struggling over one sentence in which Jill reacts to something in Tristen’s shady past. I wrote and re-wrote that single line at least a dozen times, because I wanted readers to clearly understand how – and why – Jill could manage to forgive him. But as the story progressed, and I got to “know” Tristen better – and he became willing to sacrifice for Jill – it became easier to balance his dark and light sides. Although terrible things about his past continue to be revealed throughout the novel, he strives harder and harder to be a better person, so the scale starts to tip toward the “good.”

: Which character's voice came easier to you: bad boy Tristen, or good girl Jill?

BF: Jill’s voice came easier to me, because I am such a shy rule follower, myself. I am the ultimate “good girl!” But writing Tristen’s voice was a little more fun, because it allowed me to experience being “bad” for awhile. And when Jill cut loose – that was REALLY fun for me. I was totally living vicariously!

IBT: The ending leaves some wiggle room for a sequel, is this a possibility?

: I don’t think there’s a sequel to this story. Although there’s a bit of ambiguity in the final pages, I think Jill and Tristen’s story will probably end with the first book.

IBT: If you could have dinner with any three people (living, imaginary, or dead), who would they be and why?

: 1. Edmond Dantes, because he’s my ultimate romantic lead. I’d love to see him in all his dangerous, charming splendor at the head of the table!

2. Charles Dickens, because I am in awe of his talent, and I’d beg him to tell an original story. (I bet he’d tell a great one, too – just off the top of his head.)

3. Last but certainly not least, my grandmother, Lillian Winner, so I could give her one more hug and tell her that I miss her.

: What a great dinner that would be!

Winners of this contest will receive:
  • A SIGNED copy of Jekel Loves Hyde from Beth.
  • A copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (a gift from Tristen so says the bookplate inside the book!)
  • And a cozy sweatshirt pictured here, in any size, to cuddle up with at night and read your new books!
To Enter:
  • Post a comment on this post with contact information.
  • For One Extra Entry: Add contest to your blog, twitter, or other site.
  • For One Extra Entry: you an add yourself as a Follower of this blog! (Followers automatically get the extra entry.)
This contest has ended. Thanks to all who participated!