Chit Chatting with Author Bethany Huang
Written by: Jill Sheets
Pictures source: Bethany Huang/ Hannah Shaner
Recently I had the honor of interviewing 11 year old author Bethany Huang. Her new
book is “The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter: The Truth Behind the Lies.” Continue to read on
and learn more about Bethany, her book and about her second book that she is working
on — “The Chang Family.”
R: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
B: I am an 11 year old Chinese American. This is my first year in Middle School, and
I currently attend BMMS (Blue Mountain Middle School) as a sixth grader. I enjoy
playing piano, flute and bells, and I also like reading and doing creative writing in my
spare time. Someday, I’d like to major in business and fashion, possibly even English.
R: Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite book?
B: I happen to like many different authors, but I have to say that J.K Rowling is my
As for my favorite book, (I just recently read this book but I immediately loved it) The
Season by Sarah Maclean.
R: Tell us about your book “The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter: The Truth Behind the Lies.”
B: “The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter” is an adventure book full of suspense that mesmerizes
young readers from ages 9-14 as well as teens. Swanilde, the protagonist of the story, is
brave, heroic, empathetic and compassionate. She finds out that her stepfather, Andreyev,
is a spy whose secret identity is revealed to Swanilde on her mother’s wedding day.
Swanilde ran away from her mother to seek help from her father and accidentally runs
into her long-lost brother Val on her journey. Val is compulsive, secretive, rash and
impatient, but occasionally loving and kindhearted. Val joins Swanilde to save their
mother, and together they persuade Swanilde’s father to rescue his divorced wife. On
her journey to Egypt, Swanilde meets Atemu, a chivalrous and masculine Egyptian boy
whom she is fond of. He also cares deeply for Swanilde and plays a great role in helping
her realize who she is. The story ends with her family reunited together in Greece.
R: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
B: In that summer of 2009, my mom got me this book called “The Most Fascinating
Places on Earth” by Donna E. Hicks. I looked through it briefly, until one caught my eye-
The Eiffel Tower. After a second of thought, I bolted up from my seat, grabbed a pen and
an index card, and came up with something like this;
Swanilde runs across the country to her father because her stepfather is a spy.
That is how I started my book-The Eiffel Tower’s Daughter. Taking trips to places like
Washington D. C., Boston, and Newport Mansions had given me great inspiration. Most
of the plot I came up with was during after school activities at the town’s youth center,
and for that, I am forever grateful. Some other fragments of my plot were developed
before I went to sleep. I would just lie still in my bed, thinking what I should write for my
story next. Then all of a sudden, I would jump out of my bed and jot down every single
idea that I had. The name-Swanilde was inspired from the ballet Coppeila because it
Pictures source: Bethan Huang/ Hannah Shaner
R: How long did it take you to write this book?
B: I started writing it in the summer before entering 5th grade (2009) and completed just
last October (2010) at the beginning of 6th grade. Overall, that took about a year.
R: Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?
B: Yes, I based some of my characters on a lot of my friends.
R: If they were to make your book into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
B: I really don’t know that many actors or actresses or that much about them to be my
dream cast. I actually had my friends did a play for one of my book signings. I wrote a
script that included two chapters from my book and they did such an amazing job.
R: I read that you are working on your second book. Can you tell us anything about it?
B: Yes, I am. It is called “The Chang Family”. The story is inspired by the Brady Bunch
and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. “The Chang Family” is a story of a family
with three boys and one girl and their hilarious ventures as they grow up. Between family
rivalries and pranks, they learn a lot of lessons about family and what it means to be one.
Through school, college, their careers and marriage, they stick together to become this
novel; “The Chang Family. “
R: Where can people get the book?
B: My book is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com,
Kobobooks, Authorhouse.com, Abebooks, Powells, Alibris, Better World Books,
Books A Million, Indiebound, Scribd, Allbookstore.com, eCampus, Bookdepository,
Biggerbooks, Buy.com, BookonBoard, Inkmesh, Ebay, BuyDirectWorld.com, and
Bookrenter. If you are living in a different country and these bookstores are not available
to you, visit Bethanyhuang.com and click on buy the book to find out where to purchase
R: What do your family and friends think about you being a published author?
B: My friends think it’s really cool (one person asked me to sign their head!), and I’m
treated mostly the same besides people asking me to sign random pieces of paper. My
family is very proud, but I’m not given a rock star status. I don’t get a maid to clean my
room or anything-I’m still normal. I clean my bedroom, save up my money to buy my
own things, do my homework and go to school.
R: What do you do in your spare time?
B: I really like to read, write and design clothing in my spare time, as well as hang out
with my friends.
R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and by who?
B: The best advice was obtained from Michele Kwan when I read her biography, “Work
hard and have fun at the same time”.
R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to follow into your foot steps and
become a published author?
B: As long as you work hard for what you want to do and put your heart into it, you will
succeed in whatever you do.
R: What are your future goals?
B: My future goals are to attend Harvard University and major in MBA and study
fashion in Paris. I hope I will someday become a fashion designer and continue to write
R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their
addresses? Do you have an official website? If so, what is the address?
B: I am on several social networking sites, such as,
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-of-The-Eiffel-Towers-
Facebook Book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Novel-by-A-Tween-for-Tweens-
I also have my very own official website: www.bethanyhuang.com.
And I also have a wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethany_Huang
R: Bethany, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.
B: Thank you for having me.