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Hello Hello! How are you?
I’m so very happy to be bringing you this author interview today! If you follow me on Twitter and my blog, you may have seen me absolutely raving about a book at the start of the week. I read The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips for the #UltimateBlogTour organised by Dave from @The_WriteReads and you can find my gushing review for it here.
This was such a great middle grade book and I was so lucky to get the chance to interview Jack about his book, so thank you so much to Dave and the people over at Egmont for organising this interview, and thank you to Jack for replying to my answers!
This is the second part of the interview, and my lovely friend Noly posted the first part on her blog The Artsy Reader yesterday. It is probably the funniest interview I have ever read and you definitely need to go check it out. Now, on to my questions and Jack’s answers!
What was your favourite part of the story to write?
“The beast’s feeding scenes are always enjoyable. I also had way too much fun writing the scenes involving the villainous pudding fridges.“
The story is quite dark and humorous and has been described as similar to Lemony Snicket. What other books or authors inspired you to write this dark middle grade?
“The Beast and the Bethany definitely has elements of a Victoria spine-chiller about it, and owes particular doffs of the hat to The Picture of Dorian Grey and A Christmas Carol.”
What was your inspiration behind this book?
“I was working on a book that just sort of collapsed at the seams. The characters revolted against me, and the plot seemed to think it was the height of hilarity to play a spot of hide and seek.
I started The Beast and the Bethany because I wanted to have fun writing again, and because the idea had been coughing pointedly in the back of my mind for a while.”
Why did you decide to write Middle Grade?
“Without wanting to sound terribly corny, the world viewed through a child’s eyes is infinitely more intriguing, important, and irrepressibly silly than any other perspective. Also, I do love writing about three-eyed, child-eating beasts.”
Which room in the house do you think is Ebenezer’s favourite one and why?
“On the thirteenth floor, there is an entire wing dedicated to waistcoats and dressing gowns. Ebenezer often spends entire weekends there, lost in the parade of velvet, leopard print, and pixie-breath silk.”
The Beast and the Bethany has such a great message of telling the truth, not being greedy, and being a good person. What prompted you to write a story with these themes?
“I need constant reminders to be a better person. I tried leaving myself post-it notes about it, but I kept losing them. Having several chunky books in the house has been far more effective.”
What is the inspiration behind the beast and why does it eat everything?
“The beast is quite comfortably the most powerful creature in the universe. It could vomit out the cure to world peace, or it could spit out a pop song so delightful that the entire world would feel compelled to boogie. Instead, it uses its powers to demand interesting meals to eat.
And the sad truth is that the beast is not unlike you or I. We all have gifts and talents that we could use to make other people’s lives a little bit better, but, more often than not, we waste them, or use them just for our own advantage. The beast is the worst parts of us all – it’s selfishness beastified.”
Thank you so much for answering my questions, I loved all the answers and found them to be so profound. I loved reading this book, I can’t wait to watch the film when it is released and I’m very much looking forward to reading the second book in this series next year!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed my post, see you soon, stay safe,