‘Debut Author Spotlight’ is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Abigail Gibbs was born and raised in deepest, darkest Devon. She is about to start studying for a BA in English at the University of Oxford and considers herself a professional student, as the real world is 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, Dinner With A Vampire. At age fifteen, she began posting serially Dinner With a Vampire online under the pseudonym Canse12, and after almost 17 million hits, set her sights towards total world domination. She splits her time between her studies, stories and family, and uses coffee to survive all three.
Abigail Gibbs started posting her writing on Wattpad in September 2009, and overnight she achieved 95 reads and three fans. For the past three years she has continued to post chapters of her novel The Dark Heroine: Dinner With a Vampire, on to the site and to date they have been read almost seventeen million times. Nearly 25,000 people have commented on her work and 91,000 people have voted for it, generating a truly global audience. None of her readers have yet to discover the breathtaking end to her novel which will be published in ebook and paperback format later this month.
Abigail Gibbs says: “From first picking up a pen to writing online on wattpad, I have always aspired to see my work in print and I feel extremely privileged to have such an enthusiastic and supportive team behind The Dark Heroine at HarperCollins. I hope my experience as a teenage writer will inspire young people everywhere to develop the craft, even in the face of pesky distractions like school!”
RELEASE DATE: Oct 2012 | PUBLISHER: Harper Voyager | GENRE: Paranormal Romance
When sixth-former Violet Lee is the solo witness to a bloody massacre in London’s Trafalgar Square, she is swept up in a bitter feud between humans and vampires which has lasted centuries. Drawn into a glittering world beyond her wildest imaginings, Violet finds herself in a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth, of beautiful mansions and lavish parties, where a decadent group of friends and royals live for pleasure alone. But Violet is a political prisoner – and no matter how hard she tries to escape, the brutally charismatic vampire prince, Kaspar Varn, is waiting for her. Violet and Kaspar surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds, but all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface. And theirs is a passion that comes at a price…
Welcome to Book Chick City, Abigail. What’s DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE about?
Dinner With A Vampire is the story of Violet Lee, the sole living witness to a mass murder in the heart of London. Kidnapped by the culprits, Violet soon realises she is in even deeper trouble than she first thinks: her captors are vampires. Provided with a choice – remain human but captive, or become a vampire and earn her freedom – Violet is sucked into a game of politics on a scale she can’t comprehend. But as time passes, she gradually comes to question her allegiance, especially as she gets ever closer to the dark and dangerous Kaspar Varn.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE
The leading lady, Violet Lee, is a survivor. She will not give-up, no matter how many bitter pills she has to swallow. She uses her determination and wit to stay sane in a world where her situation is hopeless and though she would never admit it, she is utterly helpless – essentially a walking dinner. In addition to that, she is more than happy to passionately voice her opinions, leading to more than one foot-in-mouth scenario! Yet as time passes, cracks do appear in her armour, and she begins to question her initial stubbornness…
How did you research DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE?
Cue a nervous little laugh. I don’t research – it’s probably why I enjoy writing about the fantastical so much. The majority of the vampire things (burning, thirst, etc.) were inspired by other vampire novels and well-known mythology, or plain made-up. The one thing I did research was the height of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, of which I was very proud. Sadly, when it went to copy-edit, I was four feet and a quarter-inch out.
I have had an angry message accusing me of poor research concerning pigeons however. The presence of pigeons in my first chapter in Trafalgar Square is inaccurate, I’m told, because a feeding ban supposedly cleared the Square. I don’t think this person has been to Trafalgar Square recently. The hawk they brought in to scare them away is lazy! There are pigeons everywhere!
Is DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE the first in a series or a stand alone?
It’s the first in a series. I have far too many ideas for it to be a stand alone!
When is your favourite time to write?
Really late at night, or more accurately, extremely early in the morning. After plenty of coffee, of course.
Where is your favourite place to write?
On my bed, which is a one-way trip to repetitive strain injuries, but it’s just too comfy…
What was the last book you read and enjoyed?
Insatiable by Meg Cabot was the last book I absolutely flew through in a couple of days, but that was some weeks ago now. Recently it has been all literary theory and heavy classics, in preparation for my first year at university. I do enjoy them, but sometimes formalism can be a bit heavy-going.
Which authors do you admire?
Jane Austen! She was ahead of her time with her protagonists, and her characters are so timeless and well fleshed out. You can’t say Mr Darcy without conjuring a certain image, after all. I also really admire J.K. Rowling and E.L. James, for more than just their books (yes, I read Fifty Shades). They are not two you would normally put together, but they are both extremely dignified, reserved people who haven’t let their enormous success go to their heads. I think that’s a quality that should be admired, regardless of whether you like their work.
Describe yourself in five words
Vegetarian, blonde, caffeinated, opinionated, geeky.
Next for me is the sequel in The Dark Heroine series, tentatively named The Dark Heroine: Autumn Rose. I’m currently halfway through it and really enjoying the process. It’s quite fresh and different in many ways to Dinner With A Vampire, but it propels forward Violet and Kaspar’s story, tying up the knots and questions left unanswered in Book 1.