When did you first come up with the story for TouchStone for giving?
I had the idea for The Story of Us twenty years ago, believe it or not. I used to write when I could and actually completed a manuscript. I was working as a copywriter and commercial journalist and any spare time I had was spent with my family. So there it sat collecting dust for all those years. For me the catalyst was Fifty Shades of Grey, The Crossfire Series and Sylvain Reynard’s wonderful books narrating Gabriel Emerson’s and Julianne Mitchell’s love affair. I read Gabriel’s Inferno and regarded it as the best book I’d ever read; that skilled distillation of romance, literature, music and suspense was the lifeblood that raised my story from the dead.
Was it always going to be a three part story or did it develop as you wrote?
It was always going to be a trilogy and very few people know this, but book three was the book I envisaged. I have written TouchStone for play and for giving to get me to this point; characters established, scene set … TouchStone forever will be the consummation of all the planning and plotting thus far.
You’ve said that Henry Cavill was your inspiration for the character of Ayden Stone. How did that happen? Was there one particular part that Henry played or did it come from photo images?
Initially I had a model in mind – not David Gandy Ha! – He was dark with stunning blue/green eyes and a mop of thick black hair. I had nothing else to go on and then I caught sight of Mr. Cavill. This was the photo that did it for me. He was at the Immortals Premier, looking stunning and even wearing a navy suit. I saw it and called out to my lesser half, “There’s Ayden.”
Since then he’s been in every chapter. I even studied interviews for his speech pattern and facial gestures so I could incorporate that into the book. By doing that, it became easier for me to visualise him and, for my readers, too.
This is your first writing adventure. What else do you do and what led you to take the plunge into writing not just a novel, but a three part story?
TouchStone for giving… the Soundtrack!
What now — Rihanna
Stronger — Will Young
Before You — Shane Ward
Love to Love you Baby — Donna Summer
Lovesong — Adele
Badfinger — Day after Day
At Last — Eva Cassidy
Tonight — John Legend
Blackbird — Paul McCartney
Lego House — Ed Sheeran
Lights Ellie — Golding
Naughty Girl — Beyoncé
You’re All I Have — Snow Patrol
Say Yes! — Snow Patrol
Locked Out of Heaven — Bruno Mars
Devotion — Kele
Diamonds — Rihanna
Because you Loved Me — Celine Dionne
Clouds — Newton Faulkner
Grow Old With Me — Tom Odell
Firework — Katy Perry
Another Love — Tom Odell
Right Thing to Do — Carly Simon
Small Blue Thing — Suzanne Vega
When I look back, I realise, I have always written. There are boxes of notes stored all over my house. I have written commercially for years: adverts, leaflets, magazine articles etc. When I was a copywriter, I had to be very creative; ideas that were well conceived were used and could not be repeated. I side stepped into teaching fifteen years ago and now I can spend my days helping others discover and develop their creative talents in a written form. I enjoy my job, but I love to write, it’s my passion.
Initially, I was going to seek out a publisher, but then I became aware of Kindle Direct Publishing and liked the idea of uploading something one day and people on the other side of the world being able to read it the next. Once I had TouchStone for play out there and doing well, I decided to focus on getting TouchStone for giving finished. It took less than six months. I’d like to see the books in paperback, definitely. There are still so many people out there who are missing out on The Story of Us. It’s essentially a sensual love story, with some mild erotica and a lot of suspense. It has a soundtrack, too which I’ve included to heighten the emotional experience for the reader. Each song relates to each scene very closely. I like to think of my books as a mild Fifty Shades meets Dirty Dancing! Ha! Still love that film …
How have you used social media to promote your book?
I came into this publishing journey with very little idea at all about social media and networking and it’s been a steep learning curve for me. I’ve had to learn on the job and quickly. Thankfully along the way I’ve met some extremely generous and talented people who have helped me. As it stands we have a wonderful TouchStone family on twitter that consists of myself, TouchStoneFans, Elizabeth Parker, Ayden Stone, Charlie, Miller and now TouchStone Fans on Facebook. We recently worked together on The TouchStone for giving Book Launch and it was a blast! A real team effort! I feel very blessed.
Do you have one image of Henry Cavil that is the perfect image for you of Ayden Stone?
Now that’s like asking a mother which of her children she loves best. Ha! There are so many depending on the scene I’m writing. At the moment I have this as my favourite as it typifies a scene in TouchStone for giving when Ayden bares his soul to Beth; he’s stripped bare and vulnerable. No Armani suit of armour or bark to keep people at bay, just raw emotion.
Henry Cavill has a classic beauty that’s timeless. Picturing him in every scene is not difficult. I think of all the good looking actors to choose from, he is the most enamoured; not just for his looks, but because of his charm and sense of fun. He still appears to take all the attention in his stride, making time for fans and refusing to let the fame go to his head. That’s his appeal and, naturally, that body and those blue/green eyes help too. Ha!
When is your next release?
I have just released TouchStone for giving as the second part of The Story of Us Trilogy. Of course, for play has a special place in my heart as it was my first book, but for giving focuses more on Ayden. The reader gets to see beneath the veneer; his childhood and the events that have made him the man he is. I have enjoyed writing it and, even I feel I know Ayden Stone much better now. My readers tell me they have been brought to tears and I can believe it. I have cried as I have typed, the way you do when you have an emotional connection with your characters. Both Ayden and Beth are very dear to me.
How did you come up with the titles?
I wanted to incorporate Ayden’s surname and came across TouchStone; by definition a touchstone is a basis for comparison: a reference point against which other things can be evaluated. In other words Ayden is close to perfection. Also the word ‘Touch’ and ‘Stone’ have other connotations as do ‘for play,’ ‘for giving,’ and ‘forever.’ Each title encompasses the theme contained within the book.
Thank you so much henrycavill.org for inviting me here. It’s a fabulous site and the perfect place for up to the minute news on all things Henry. Usually I come here as a visitor and leave. It’s been fun chatting with you today.
Sydney Jamesson has published both of her books and they are available on Amazon. She also generously has given us two limited edition, author signed ebook copies of TouchStone for giving to give away. Just RT on Twitter and you will be entered to win. If you would like to buy her book, simply click on the link below for a special discount available only for the next 24 hours. If you want to join the Touch Stone fun with other readers, check out the fan twitter and Facebook page.
Amazon Link for Special Discount for Henry Cavill Fans