Abigail Gibbs On Wattpad And The Dark Heroine!

19-year-old Abigail Gibbs is the mastermind behind the Dark Heroine series, which take place in an England where vampires and magic exist in dark corners, and nothing is just as it seems!abigail gibbs the dark heroine

We recently spoke with the young author about what it was like to write the series, and to find out a little more about the latest installment, Autumn Rose!

Abigail was about nine years old when she developed a strong passion for writing.

"I received a Jacqueline Wilson writing set for a birthday, and within a couple of years I had one hundred handwritten pages of a science-fiction story," she said. "I never stopped after that!"

As she grew older, she desired an outlet to share her writing with the world. She found that opportunity in the online writing community Wattpad.

When Abigail started writing the first novel in her Dark Heroine series on Wattpad, she never expected it would get very much attention.

"I really just wanted a couple of readers so my story wouldn't be sat in the dark depths of my laptop having never been read," Abigail said. "I remember being overjoyed at my first three fans. When that became ten, and then a hundred, and a thousand and so on, that feeling of surprise never went away."

Like many other teenage girls her age, Abigail had read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga.

"Whilst I enjoyed the idea of vampires and humans interacting and even falling in love, I thought Meyer's vampires were a bit tame," Abigail said. "So I started writing a story where the vampires were incredibly dangerous, dark and not particularly nice, and mixed it up with a romance. The Dark Heroine was the (slightly disturbing) result!"

The first book, The Dark Heroine: Dinner With A Vampire, had been read about 17 million times before an agent discovered her writing. Before long, Abigail had signed a six-figure book deal with HarperCollins.

She described the experience as "incredible and surreal."

"The deal totally changed my life," Abigail said.

She's currently working on a degree in English language and literature at Oxford University as she continues to spend time writing books and doing publicity.

"I'm very busy!" she said. "But I am incredibly thankful that I can do something I love as a career!"

Unlike The Dark Heroine, which was written chapter-by-chapter on Wattpad, the second book in the series, Autumn Rose, was written specifically to be printed as a book. She said there were a lot of major differences between writing the two books.

"Writing The Dark Heroine was a communal experience," Abigail explained. "I would get feedback, good and bad, on every single chapter, and my writing technique improved whilst the plot sometimes changed direction depending on how fans felt about the story thus far."

Writing the sequel was a more individual endeavor.

"Autumn Rose was mainly written during vacations from university, so it was written in very intense bursts, without any feedback," she explained.  "It was a solitary experience, and more nerve-racking, as I didn't have the guarantee fans (or my editor!) would like it."

However, Abigail said she enjoyed both writing processes. She said that the ideal writing conditions might lie somewhere between the two styles.

Abigail also gave us a particularly striking summary of the latest novel!

"Autumn Rose lives in a sleepy seaside town in the south-west of England, but buried deep under the surface of her quiet life are dark secrets," Abigail explained. "Swirling marks on her skin mark her out as having extraordinary power, but at school she is shunned and condemned by the very people she is sworn to protect."

But it turns out that Autumn Rose isn't alone!

"The appearance of a handsome young man at her school – who has the same curious markings as Autumn Rose – sends her world into turmoil," she said. "Plus, there is the fact that Autumn keeps dreaming of a human girl who is about to be seduced by a very dark prince … and Autumn must figure out how to save her before it is too late."

Like any other author, Abigail sometimes faces writers block. We asked her how she overcomes this kind of wall.

"I write!" she answered. "Even if it's not my current work in progress, I try to write something. Sometimes that's a poem, or the beginning of another short story or novel."

Abigail will even use the opportunity to write companion material to the Dark Heroine series, or write fan fiction.

"It doesn't really matter," she said. The aim is to jog your imagination into gear so that it can be working in the background on the material you are stuck on. It can be a struggle just to write a sentence occasionally, but persevere!"

If all else fails, she reminded writers never to give up.

"If you really find that you can't write anything, try taking a break for a few days or a week exercising, or listening to your favourite music," she said.

Abigail said that her biggest goal for the future, aside from some graduate study and travel, is to complete The Dark Heroine series.

"There are nine books in total so it's a big undertaking!" she said.

For all of the latest on Abigail Gibbs, make sure to follow her on her social pages, listed below! You can also join us at SweetyHigh.com to tell us about your favorite young authors, or share some writing of your own!