Author Chat with Kathryn Berla (Beau & Bett), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Kathyrn Berla, author of
Beau & Bett.
Read on for more about Kathryn and her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Kathryn Berla!
Kathryn Berla likes to write in a variety of genres including light fantasy, contemporary literary fiction, and even horror. She is the author of the young adult novels: 12 Hours in Paradise, Dream Me, The House at 758, and Going Places. The Kitty Committee is her first novel written for adult readers. Kathryn grew up in India, Syria, Europe, and Africa. Her love for experiencing new cultures runs deep, and she gives into it whenever she can. She has been an avid movie buff since childhood, and often sees the movie in her head before she writes the book.
Kathryn graduated from the University of California in Berkeley with a degree in English. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Meet Beau & Bett!
Beau’s prepared to work, but he’s definitely not prepared for the infamous temper of Bett Diaz, also known as "The Beast" at school. As Beau learns the secrets behind Bett’s tough exterior, he finds himself falling for her . . . until he catches Bett in a lie.
A contemporary twist on a classic fairy tale, Beau and Bett is a timely story of family, friendship, and the power of speaking out and standing up for yourself.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I love fairy tales, and, like many people, Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorites. But I’ve always been intrigued with the purpose of fairy tales and how they’ve evolved over many hundreds of years. I believe that many fairy tales were meant to educate young minds in a way that can also entertain. Some fairytales (particularly the Grimm brothers’ fairytales) were meant to frighten children into compliance. Doing a fairy tale retelling as a contemporary (non-magical) story seems like a natural and evolving way to update the message behind the story.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I have to say that both Beau and Bett are equally favorite characters of mine. Beau, just because of his natural goodness and his “open-book” quality. But Bett has many layers and isn’t as easy to love. She’s the one who delivers the real message of this story which involves looking beneath the surface of what a person chooses to show us.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel, because it’s based on Beauty and the Beast. The title was fairly easy to come up with once I decided to do a retelling. Because the original fairy tale has French origins, I used the French term for “handsome” as Beau’s name, and a play on the French word for “beast” for Bett.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
SPOILERS AHEAD SO PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS…
I’m most proud of the moment when the tide of public opinion begins to turn from bullying into supporting Bett for what she did when she stood up for herself. Some people believe that the purpose of the original fairytale (Beauty & the Beast) was to make young girls feel comfortable with being forced into arranged marriages. By giving the power to Bett, I feel like I’m striking a blow against that ugly bit of history. Bett is willing to risk everything in order to stand up for herself. Today, we view the message as one of acceptance and willingness to know and love those who might not be easily understood or appreciated. That first impressions are often wrong. As times have changed and modernized, so has the message.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I’ve learned so very much that it isn’t easy to pick one thing, but I’ll go with this one. I didn’t really need to learn this, but it has been reinforced over time—an author should never stop reading. In fact, I spend way more time reading than I do writing. Reading is the best school for a writer and reading the best makes you aim for the best. It’s important not to get so bogged down by writing that you don’t make enough time to read the works of others.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
This cover just screams “romance”. And not only “romance” but old-fashioned, lyrical romance. I love this cover so much that I had my hair done in the style of the cover for my son’s wedding <3
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?
Actually, the 2019 release I was most looking forward to is already out as of last week and is waiting for me in my e-reader. That is ‘The Fountains of Silence’ by Ruta Sepetys. And since I just happen to be in Madrid right now (where the story takes place) I’m doubly excited to read it.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018?
I have to go check my Goodreads account—back in a minute 😉 Okay, I’m back. In 2018 my two favorite books were ‘Pachinko’ and ‘Less’.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
This is the first time in years that I haven’t had a novel in the publishing pipeline. For a while, I’ve been thinking that my next project would be a YA hist-fic coming-of-age that takes place during the “Summer of Love” (1967) in Reno, Nevada. But I also have a YA crime-thriller in the back of my mind. Also, a YA retelling of a very famous classic novel which I won’t mention yet until I commit to it. So, I’m kind of all over the map and I may have to poll my newsletter subscribers because I would be excited to write any of them and hopefully one day, I’ll write all three.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I so much more enjoy revising than writing because really all the work has already been done by the time you revise—all that’s left is polishing what you already have and molding it into its most perfect form.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I’ve been working on my ability to jump back and forth into my parallel lives but haven’t had success with that yet. Other than that, I’m a fairly normal person.
Thank you so much, YA Books Central, for the chance to answer some questions about RICOCHET. I very much appreciate this opportunity.
Beau & Bett
By: Kathryn Berla
Release Date: June 25th, 2019
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Eight winners will each receive a copy of Beau & Bett (Kathryn Berla) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*