Beth Reekles – the name rings a bell, right? She’s the girl who penned her first novel when she was fifteen! Not only that but once she had uploaded it to the well known writing site Wattpad, she found herself to have over nineteen million people reading it. How insane? I’m lucky enough to sit down with the beloved author to talk about all things Young Adult…
Q. First of all, your success is HUGE! How did you feel when your Wattpad stories where reaching so many people?
A. It was kind of hard to believe! Writing was always something I’d just done for fun, but I didn’t think I was very good at it. When I saw how much people loved my book on Wattpad though, it was overwhelming! I owe my Wattpad readers a lot for their support, it was invaluable.
Q. You’ve been named as The Dickens Of The iPad Generation which quite possibly one the best comments an author can receive. When you began writing, did you ever imagine your stories would turn into all of this?
A. I was definitely pleased to be referred to with that title, haha! I honestly never expected this much to come of my writing. I only uploaded to Wattpad in the first place because I thought, ‘Why not?’ but I didn’t even expect ten readers, let alone the millions of hits I had! Sometimes I still find it hard to believe.
Q. You’ve been on a panel about writing sex in Young Adult Fiction. What are your overall views on this?
A. I think it’s really important that we do have an honest representation of sex in YA – it’s not like teenagers don’t have sex, and when you get to a certain age you start to become curious about it. You want honest answers rather than glorified erotica. Personally, I was aware that I didn’t feel comfortable writing anything explicit, and was also aware that had a younger teenage audience as well on Wattpad, who might not have wanted that sort of content anyway.
Q. Your three books; The Kissing Booth, Rolling Dice and Out Of Tune are flying high on Amazon with plenty of reviews. Your latest book came out last summer, what can readers expect from you this year?
A. I’ve got a short story coming out this March, actually! It’s called Cwtch Me If You Can and is being published on March 16th as part of the Quick Reads scheme. Having published all three books of my three-book contract with Random House, I signed with literary agent Clare Wallace from Darley Anderson last summer and am trying to get plenty of writing done alongside university this year!
Q. With your Twitter following of 4,560 (and counting) and the honouree blue tick – do you ever feel pressured to keep your writing going after the success you’ve had so far?
A. I’m trying to keep writing as a hobby, rather than hard work. It’s always been something I’ve loved and been passionate about so I don’t want it to become too stressful. Of course sometimes when I’m writing I think there are expectations now – but I try and forget about that and concentrate on writing the story I want to write.
Q. With how you’ve been portrayed as the Dickens of our generation, would you use your status in the literary world to write about serious matters i.e. panic attacks, depression etc?
A. I’d really like to tackle some more serious issues in my writing, but I’d want to make sure I was absolutely confident about these issues before writing about them. Illnesses like depression and anxiety deserve to be portrayed properly – I wouldn’t want to take the opportunity to write about them and represent them all wrong. But I’d like to tackle them at some point in the future.