Friday Author Spotlight: Author Abigail Gibbs

Friday Author SPOTLIGHT! We will feature a Young Adult, New Adult or Adult Author. These post will contain interviews, author posts, book blasts, fill in the blanks, etc... This is just our way to get authors noticed and out there as much as possible. So we hope you enjoy and stay tuned Fridays to see who we have on and what they shared. To see previous posts click here.

Today we are excited to spotlight author Abigail Gibbs. Gibbs latest book is called Autumn Rose which is the sequel to The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. Check out our review of The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. 

Abigail Gibbs

Abigail Gibbs was born and raised in deepest, darkest Devon, England. She is studying for a B.A. in English at the University of Oxford and considers herself a professional student, as the real world has yet to catch up with her. Her greatest fear is blood and she is a great advocate of vegetarianism, which logically led to the writing of her first novel, The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. She splits her time between her studies, stories, and family, and uses coffee to survive all three.

Interview with Abigail Gibbs

OUaT: Hello Abigail and welcome to OUaT! To start off tell us a little bit about yourself for those that might not be familiar with you.

I’m Abigail Gibbs, I’m nineteen and my heart absolutely and completely belongs to Chaucer and not to vampires at all, zilch, none – or at least that is what I tell my tutors at Oxford University, where I’m reading for an English degree. I have a cat who I have a time share agreement with for my bedroom during term-time, an entire world inside my head and I own corsets. A lot of them. Sometimes I write about corsets and my imaginary world (though not cats) and what ended up on the page became my first novel, The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire, and then some more words appeared and that became the sequel, Autumn Rose. But I definitely spend all my time writing essays on Chaucer.

OUaT: How different does it feel now that your second book will be getting published as to when it was your debut?

I’m a lot more confident now. I’m happy to write or go to interviews without feeling so self-conscious, and I understand the publishing process much better, so my poor editor and agent aren’t constantly plagued with worried emails! There is more pressure with a second book, however: will it live up to the first book? Do better, worse? What if people don’t like it? etc. I think you are more aware of your own vulnerability because this isn’t your (obviously absolutely fantastic and perfect) debut.

OUaT: You began writing The Dark Heroine (Dinner with a Vampire) when you were just 15 years old, now a few years later do you believe your writing has matured as well as the story?

Definitely, and thankfully. I understand the world a little better now, and I think this translates into my characterization, especially. My characters are more nuanced, and though just as changeable as Violet Lee and those from the first book, there is more rational and purpose behind their neuroticism. It makes them a little more real, I hope.

OUaT: The sequel to The Dark Heroine is called Autumn Rose, which centers on a different character by that same name then your character in The Dark Heroine which was Violet Lee. What made you go with a new character in the sequel, as opposed to continuing the story with Violet Lee?

I get bored very quickly. Even when writing The Dark Heroine I was worried about losing interest and knew that I would need to shake things up after Book 1. Luckily, at the same time it occurred to me I could write further books from the perspective of the different Heroines, allowing me to fill in the gaps left by the first book and also allow the reader to experience the scope and depth of the world of the dark beings. By telling Autumn Rose’s story, readers will not only get to enjoy a new main character, world and romance, but they will learn a lot more about Violet Lee too, who features very heavily.

It was a scary move to change perspective, but I really hope my readers enjoy and understand! I also want them to know this doesn’t mean I will never return to Violet: the beauty of having such a vast world is the way in which there is plenty of potential for spin-off.

OUaT: Your female characters both have names of a flower; Violet and Rose, any meaning behind that?

I am impressively unobservant and that had actually never occurred to me. Well spotted! If there is any reason behind it, it’s subconscious. They are just the kinds of names I really like! (And maybe the imagery strikes a chord? I know I always equated Autumn’s character with the colours of the season even before I named her).

OUaT: How hard has it been to writing a story about Vampires that would compete or stand out from other vampire paranormal books out there?

The Dark Heroine and the world in which it is staged grew quite organically, and I didn’t really set out to make it particularly unique. I’ve always been fascinated with royal power and also with fate, and those elements naturally combined themselves with the vampire element. Most difficult was establishing a sexy, power-imbalanced vamperic relationship that was still in many senses modern and not an Edward-Bella one, where Bella just subsumed her needs and wants to Edward. It’s surprisingly easy to default to that model with vampire books (the vampire is always stronger and tends to be the protector) so I had to trust in my characters to stay strong and independent. I have to thank my fans from for helping me with that: they were always commenting and offering questions and ideas, which kept the story fresh and my mind going ‘what if?’

OUaT: I’m sure you have noticed how many books have recently been published from stories that began as fan fiction, why do you think think the publishers are catching on to this now?

Maybe they discovered the Internet? I’m not completely sure, but I think the rise of the e-reader and e-book made them perk up. First there had to come that acceptance of digitalized material, before the next realization could hit: that the ability to access texts on ereaders, phones and tablets meant people were able to access online content, for free, and a large proportion of that was fanfiction. It’s popular because it can be tailored to the wants and needs of the readership – it’s what readers want! I think publishers realized fanfic and online stories had the potential to be big sellers for them – and if they didn’t jump on the bandwagon, they were at risk of being out competed in any case. I don’t think they had much choice!

OUaT: So Autumn Rose is the sequel, what can we expect within its pages?

I suppose I always knew I was different; that my fate was set in stone, and that one day, I would sit on a cold, hard throne. A symbol of what I am. A deity of my kind.

A deity among many.

Autumn Rose begins on the same night of Violet Lee’s fateful kidnapping by vampires. Able to have extremely vivid visions, at night Autumn follows Violet in her misfortune, all whilst dealing with problems of her own: Autumn Rose is a Sage, and no one likes a Sage. Magical beings of immense power, the Sage stick out in a crowd: with vivid scars across the right side of her body, there is no hiding for Autumn. With her grandmother recently murdered, she’s as good as exiled to live with her human parents and must attend a human school. Lonely, Autumn withdraws into herself, hiding her real power and her visions.

But when another Sage joins the school, there can be no shrinking into the shadows. Fallon Athenea is a Prince, and every student wants a slice of his royal gaze. Yet Fallon is determined to drag Autumn into the limelight with him – but what really matters is a secret that lurks in the shadows – a destiny that will change everything the young Sage think they know about power.

OUaT: Who will be the swoon-worthy man or vampire in Autumn Rose everyone will be falling for?
So many choices! We see the return of sexy-vampire-in-residence, Kaspar Varn, from the first book, but just like the humans of the book, readers will probably have their gazes firmly cast on Fallon Athenea. Handsome, royal and pursued by the press until he finds seclusion in the county of Autumn’s birth, he is loyal, politically-minded and places his family above all else. A childhood friend of Autumn’s, he can’t understand the change in the girl he used to stage play-weddings with and who could out-cast him with a flick of her wrist. Enchanted, he decides to find out if any remnants of that girl have survived.

He is everything the rogue Kaspar Varn isn’t, and clashing between the two men ensues!

OUaT: Is there a book 3 in the near future? If so, any details you can share with us?

Near-ish! Book 3 is still in the planning and first chapter stages, but thus far it is looking to be the darkest one yet. It features some less-traditional relationships (less traditional than human-vampire, anyway) between characters, so it might even be a little controversial. What I can say for certain is Book 3 is about The Damned, creatures of the third dimension, and like Violet Lee, the protagonist has to learn their ways – the hard way! It will feature Violet, Kaspar, Autumn and Fallon very heavily, and there will be lots of romance, sex, blood and booze!

OUaT: What is the one piece of advice you have been given that you want to share with aspiring writers?

Write what you want – not what you think you should write!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Abigail I absolutely adore Autumn Rose. It's my pleasure to have gotten a chance to read an ARC and am looking forward to picking up the first book!
    Thank you so much for giving us more insights into your writing and ideas for this series.


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