How did the two of you come together to write this book?
To be honest, it just happened. As avid readers, having both dabbled in writing for years, this story just magically came together. The idea spoke to us both equally — as it will for many readers — and we ran with it. Our mutual fantasy of the surreal possibility of falling into the lap of your fantasy crush resulted in our co-authorship and became a very fun story to create. Before we knew it, we had filled up four hundred pages and still had more to say.
We love the written word — its ability to transport you to other-worldly places; worlds filled with fantasy and intrigue, desire and empowerment. In the end, the decision to embark on our own novel was a culmination of wanting to experience and live within our own personal dream-world, versus the delicious worlds created by the talented authors we fantasize with.
Is your family supportive of your adventure?
Were our husbands okay with our taking Alexander Tate to bed every night? Ummm, su-ure! [purses lips]
Our husbands, as well as our families, have been incredibly supportive throughout this journey. We’re extremely grateful for them. With both of us managing full-time roles during the day, our evenings and weekends were endlessly spent focusing on putting our thoughts and fantasies on paper. Given our families’ unyielding understanding of our creative urges, they were compassionate of the hard work involved, going above and beyond to help pick up the slack in our absence. They are all very encouraging and have strong hopes for our success.
How did Henry Cavill become your inspiration for your character of Alexander Tate?
To be honest, how could he not [ogles his image]? He inspires so very many things…. What was the question?
The reality is, Mr. Cavill was the inspiration for the entire story and our muse for Alexander Tate — our mutual unattainable heartthrob. Henry is the epitome of a man — stunning good looks, charming personality, a gentleman through and through, and the list goes on. With that in mind, writing from our point of view, translating our fantasy, was easy. It was Henry’s launch into super-stardom — when news spread of his upcoming role as Superman — that Alexander’s character began to take an interesting shape. We began imagining the fantasy through the eyes of a famous actor. Although private in his personal life, Mr. Cavill’s sharing of his dreams and aspirations inspired Alex’s story, but of course the rest is one hundred percent our imagination.
Alexander Tate can, however, represent any woman’s desire. The unattainable man who floats through their psyche, whom they fantasize having the opportunity to cross paths with. Yes, it was Henry Cavill for us, but perhaps for others it’s someone entirely different. Robert Pattinson or Jamie Dornan? Whomever it is, the fantasy is an ever-present reality in all of our normal lives. The allure of the unknown. The fantasy man that fits every romance novel hero to perfection.
The media casts a light on celebrities that separate them from our real-worlds. They are iconic, kings and queens who live a very different, very other-worldly life than us mere humans [insert sarcastic laughter]. The irony is, they are real people just like you and I. It is this detachment between our world and the celebrity world that groups our fantasy crushes with those cherished fictional characters we’ve come to love — Mr. Darcy or Heathcliff — the one we all enjoy imagining, “if he met me, he’d call me his”.
I love a woman who realizes she's on the wrong path and summons the courage to take hold of her life and make it different. Was there any one person or events that inspired your heroine, Abigail Ryan?
Life happens right? That’s the basic truth. It’s ironic how the older you get, the more questions you start asking yourself. Did I make the right decision(s)? Should I have done that? Why didn’t I do that? These questions, regardless of our contentment with our lives, consistently float through our minds. The ever-present ‘what if?’ It’s human nature and one would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t reflect on such questions at some point in their lives. Were we inspired by one particular individual? The answer is no. We can’t say we’ve ever encountered such a fierce creature who’s had enough strength and confidence to submit and start over from scratch, although have no doubt there’s many such women out there. Hence the allure for her creation. Aby, for us, is the epitome of courage, yet so real with doubts and insecurities. The woman we can’t help but admire, and secretly seethe with jealousy over. The woman who risks it all for the unknown, and experiences the ultimate prize and fantasy.
Let us also clarify that running away from your life is not the answer. Aby fought for twelve years before succumbing to her desire for more. Those years weren’t necessarily wasted. We hope that by the end of the Perfect Plans Series, our readers will remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side; their more might be right in front of them. You shouldn’t go looking for it elsewhere without being sure you don’t already have it.
Your story takes an ordinary girl and thrusts her into an extraordinary world filled with illusion and scrutiny. What type of research did you do in creating the world Abigail 'falls' into?
The internet is such an amazing tool for research - endless upon endless videos and depictions of fan frenzies, publicity events, autograph signings, etc. etc. Having never had any exposure to such happenings — outside of TMZ or Entertainment Tonight — we spent many a day cataloguing as many videos as we could to get a true sense of what it would be like to live in that world. The truths were certainly telling. We commend each and every celebrity — whether that be our favorite authors, actors, singers and/or musical groups, etc. — for their valiant, and oftentimes seamless displays when presented with such fan-frenzies or public scrutiny. We’re not entirely sure we could do it.
What do we have to look forward to with your second book, Take a Bow?
In Take a Bow, our readers will continue to grow along with Aby as she gains empowerment through her journey. They will meet Liam; laugh and enjoy Stacey’s continued spicy camaraderie; fall more in love with Alex; and be treated to some great surprises and twists with all the other characters. We’re excited to finish it and share it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it.
How has social media affected your promotion of your first book?
As Indie Authors, social media is the promotion of our book. We’re extremely grateful for the benefits of this forum, and cherish all of the wonderful people we’ve met along the way. Social media is the doorway for the independent publishing option. It’s wonderful to see authors supporting authors and we love being a part of that.
We can’t thank those enough who’ve helped promote our book, particularly HenryCavill.org. Thank you for supporting us and helping us introduce Alex to Henry’s fans!
Co-Authors, and sisters, Christa Gibbs and Jill Syed reside in London, Ontario, Canada. Born and raised on da’Rock [a.k.a. St. John’s, Newfoundland], their laid back personalities and eclectic sense of humor is indicative of their native roots. Although fluent in Newfinese, both are quite eloquently spoken, showing no remnants of an accent unless alcohol is involved.
Fluent in air-guitar [she trained in Europe], Christa, by day, transforms into her Executive role in the Property Management World. This wonderful position lends credence to her altruistic life experiences lived vicariously through the many residents within her keep. This translates beautifully to her evening endeavors, which include creating lovable characters and interesting storylines [when she’s not catering to her loving ‘Oooge’ — a.k.a. biker hubby]. An avid reader of erotic romance [upwards of two to three novels per week], Christa decided to give her own incessant fairytale sex-capade fantasies a voice.
When she is not behind the camera in her Photography Studio, Jill spends portions of her days mentally cataloging all the reasons why she shouldn’t become an indulgent drinker at the helm of her three young children during the absences of her Pilot husband [though you will hear her undying love and devotion for them often: “blessed”]. Passionately creative, Jill spent many years capturing life moments on film, canvas and even paper. Having dabbled in the writing of many children’s books, all of which ended up covered in dust and never carried through, clarity hit once she collaborated with her sister: “Ohhh, the steamy sex was the missing ingredient”.
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