The Dark Heroine: Dinner with Vampire follows feisty 18-year-old Violet Lee as she is swept into a glittering world of extravagance and luxury. But all the riches of the world can’t hide the darkness underneath – embodied in the charismatic but dangerous Kaspar Varn.
You might think authors are middle-aged cardigan wearing types, but this is the story of a teen told by teen author Abigail Gibbs, who was signed to Penguin after posting chapters of her dark and twisty vampire love story on an online platform.
Check out what she had to say below..
First of all massive congratulations on the book! For people who haven’t read it yet, how would you describe it?
Well it’s about a girl called Violet Lee, who witnesses a mass murder in the streets of London and is subsequently kidnapped by the culprits who arehappen to be vampires. They give her a choice, which is basically to stay human but remain captive, or join them, become a vampire and earn her freedom.
The story is basically about her kind of questioning her allegiance to humanity and the vampires, especially as she gets closer to the very dark and dangerous Kaspar Varn.
You started writing it when you were 15 - what made you start writing it in the first place?
Well I read Twilight and I did like it a lot, but everyone around me was addicted and a Twi-hard, and to be honest, it just seemed a bit boring to me by the end. It didn’t feel very dark and the vampires weren’t very vampirey, so I wanted to write something bloodier and edgier.
So I kind of went and did that, but it’s not just another Twilight, because that’s been said by a lot of peopleI I think it's pretty different and it really is supposed to be.
Have you seen the films or is that not really your cup of tea?
I haven’t even seen them, no! I love the books but yeah, the films – there’s a lot of books I like where I read the books but don’t watch the films.
So Violet and Kaspar – they’re pretty different, obviously. What do you think it is that draws them together?
They just have this amazine witty banter going on. There’s a lot of chemistry there, a lot of conflict, and that conflict draws them together.
So we heard that you're actually a vegetarian. The story is SO bloody - what on earth made you want to write a vampire story?
Yeah I know! [laughs]
I really don’t know, and I’m also afraid of blood! It’s such a paradox. I don’t know why I did it, but I suppose so long as I don’t have to see blood or eat meat I’m okay with it. But then Violet, the main character, is a vegetarian so I did bring a little bit of that in to the story..
Are there any other traits in you that you wrote into Violet?
I don’t think so… only the vegetarianism bit. I’m definitely not as sarcastic as her or as strong I don’t think either.
Kaspar is a bit of a hottie as well, is be based on anyone In particular?
No. Sadly I don’t know anybody that hot, which is a shame!
Dammit! We were hoping you could introduce us. Are there any actors you could see playing Fabian or Kaspar if The Dark Heroine was made into a book?
You know what, I really have no idea. A lot of people ask me this, but actually I can’t think of any current actors who would fit my vision of them, so I don’t really have an answer for that one!
How would you feel if your book was to be made into a film?
That would be amazing! Really amazing. I don’t really know anybody I’d pick for any of the characters. When I was writing it I never really had anyone in mind, which I know a lot of authors do, but no it was completely from my head really.
What do your friends think about your book? Have they read it?
Some of them have and some have just bought it and are reading it at the moment. But yeah they’re quite chilled about it they’re very excited for me, but because I’ve been writing it for 3 years online they’re quite used to it.
So did they know you had this alter ego and were beavering away writing it online?
Yeah, after the first few months everybody kind of found out. I also won a competition on the site I was using and the local media got quite interested in me. I had to have an interview with a local news station in my English class in an English lesson, so they all found out – they all knew after that!
And how is the sequel coming along?
I’m half way through it at the moment. I’s tentatively named The Dark Heroine and the Autumn Rose, but that’s only tentative for now.
It’s following some minor characters from Dinner With a Vampire, so it’s perhaps not what people quite expect, but at the same time its filling in a lot of the backstory, and it does follow Violet and Kaspar at the same time. It’s hard to explain. It’s not the end for Violet and Kaspar thought, that's for sure.
You self-published online to start with, in that way it’s similar to 50 Shades of Grey. Do you think that’s the way to go if you want to be an author?
Yeah I think certainly there’s a lot of scope for writers to be discovered that way. I think Amanda Hocking was discovered that way as well, so it’s definitely opening doors and things for amateur and new and young writers to get noticed and to prove - I think is the most important thing - to prove that their books are marketable and publishable and that they will sell. I think its a way of breaking through the glass roof a bit for new writers.
What kind of things are you reading at the moment?
At the moment I’m reading Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations actually.
That’s very different..
Yeah well it’s on my reading list! I’m making my way through that and I’m also making my way through Vanity Fair. I’m the kind of person who always has 2 or 3 books on the go.
Do you read a lot of other vampire books?
No, I’ve read very little vampire fiction, which surprises people. I’ve read the Twilight saga, obviously, and Dracula and the Darren Shan sagas, but I haven’t read the Vampire Diaries or Suki Stackhous, nothing like that.