UPDATE: Winner Announcement!! —> Congratulations to Lauren, who won the $10 gift card!!
Guess what guys!!? Remember how excited we all were after reading “Bared to You“? How we chatted, and went over every little detail. How many questions we had, our speculations about a few of the emotional situations to come, and how many more books there might be?
Well… it’s our lucky day!! The author is here to answer our questions and provide some insight as to how she created these seemingly real characters, and her own emotional writing process as their story came to be. Even little tidbits about what’s to come. *squeeeee* I’m so excited!!
Let’s welcome Author Sylvia Day!!
Maryse: Hi Sylvia!! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us!
You already know how much I loved your book and I’m dying to know more!! I read about how the idea for Bared to You came about when you wrote Seven Years to Sin. Can you tell us more about that inspiration?
Sylvia: Seven Years to Sin is a Regency-set historical that tells the love story of two abuse survivors. Jessica was physically abused as a child and Alistair was emotionally abused. For a variety of reasons, I wasn’t able to delve into the aftereffects of abuse as deeply as I would’ve liked, so I continued to think about Alistair and Jessica after I turned the manuscript in to the publisher. Readers were also emailing me to continue the secondary story, which followed Jessica’s sister Hester and her recovery from a physically abusive marriage. That continuing thought process-the speculation over how a history of abuse would affect the building of a healthy romantic relationship-eventually morphed into Gideon and Eva’s story.
Maryse: Sounds amazing! I must read your historical!! So many of us absolutely adored this book and have already declared it as one of our absolute favorites of the year. How was your experience at the latest RT Convention, considering it practically coincided with the release ? Was Bared to You getting a ton of attention?
Sylvia: I’m so happy you enjoyed the book! I can’t tell you what that means to me or how much I appreciate you sharing it with others. Thank you!
Since Bared to You had just released the week before the convention, I expected to be introducing it to readers for the first time and for the most part, that was the case. It was a lovely surprise to meet readers who’d already read it and loved it.
Maryse: Oh wow, and here, we were, all in a Gideon reading frenzy. LOL! These characters were written in such a way that they were easy to connect to. Raw and emotional and so very human. The psychological aspect and past abuse issues were prominent in both of the character’s lives. Was it hard for you to delve into those darker subject matters?
Sylvia: Doing the research into the aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse was heartbreaking. And once I connected with Gideon and Eva, it really hurt. I cried for them.
Maryse: How did Gideon’s character come to you? Was it hard to write such a conflicted, seemingly unemotional man? How was it to explore the changes in Gideon’s personality once Eva was involved?
Sylvia: Gideon started out as Alistair. When I began Bared, I transplanted Alistair and Jessica from Regency London to modern-day Manhattan (which is why the two couples look alike and have similarities in circumstance). Alistair provided the framework for Gideon, as did Roarke (from the In Death series), but Gideon’s abuse is unique to him, as is the way he built a life around it and who he is as an individual. As far as difficulty in writing him, he’s very closed off. I tried to write Bared in my usual third person POV, but I couldn’t get inside him. He’s such a private man. The only way he allowed me to see him was through Eva’s eyes and in the things he said. So Eva took over. I’m as startled, frustrated, and enchanted by the things Gideon does as Eva is.
Maryse: Eva’s POV was perfect. It allowed the reader to become her, and to experience the trepidation, passion and heartache with her.
My friend Jenny asks if there is any chance of a few chapters from Gideons POV?
Sylvia: A few chapters? I don’t know. Right now I can’t imagine he’ll ever let me in to that extent. I did promise to write a scene from his POV, though, and I hope he’s cooperative. *fingers crossed*
Maryse: So do we!! In our chats about this book, we realized just how many so us truly connected to Eva. We were right there with her in so many of her spontaneous reactions, her rash decision making, her insecurities and her deep love for Gideon. You’ve written her so well, it feels like we know her. Almost as if we ARE her. Are there any surprises coming our way in terms of Eva’s life (past/future)?
Sylvia: I’m so glad you like Eva. I really love her, too.
Eva’s expecting a visit from her dad and also from an ex-boyfriend that she’s still friends with.
Maryse: Ohhhhh another ex to contend with!! This is gonna be good!!
My friend Sali wanted to know: “Was Eva’s move to NY because of Nathan? Will Gideon seek revenge on Nathan?”
Sylvia: Eva moved to New York because of her chosen profession and Cary’s. She also wants very much to have a healthy relationship with her mother. Going to school in San Diego was part of her coping mechanism (running away from conflict), but she’s trying to work on that. Being close to Monica is part of that slow growth.
As for Gideon and Nathan, Eva is extremely precious to Gideon. He’ll protect her and the acceptance he’s found with her, whatever it takes. He doesn’t have any boundaries where Eva is concerned.
Maryse: Yes… he’s quite clear on that aspect. *sigh* What was your favorite moment in the book? Most heartbreaking? The most surprising moment for you, in your writing of Bared to You?
Sylvia: I really loved the end, when Gideon and Eva have it out in her bathroom after the Waldorf-Astoria. And the most heartbreaking for me was when he carries her to the library and begs her to take him back. In both of those scenes I was able to see inside him. The most surprising moment for me was when I got to Chapter 6 and realized Cary’s a man. He first came to me as a woman, but the fit wasn’t right. I couldn’t put my finger on what was niggling at me until I realized I was getting my signals crossed because he’s bisexual. Once that came to me, it all fell into place and I fell in love with him.
Maryse: WhatWhatWhaaaat? Cary starting out as a woman!? His story is quite intriguing too… theres’s much to explore. We’re so glad he came to you as he did.
Sali asked if you already know where the story is leading or are you waiting until you write more, to find out where it all goes?
Sylvia: I know all the threads that need to be tied, but I expect Eva and Gideon to surprise me.
Maryse: How many books are you hoping to write in this series?
Sylvia: I’d thought it would be just one, but it wasn’t possible. I’ve had two NY editors tell me that it’ll definitely be three books, based on how much there is to cover. But I’m not going to write with a set number of books in mind. It’ll take as long as it takes to do justice to the story, whether that turns out to be three books or two.
Maryse: Yayyyyyy!!! You don’t know how happy you just made us. Explore it as long as you need to. We’re happy to take the journey with them!
In fact, Jenny asks if you are you going to explore more of Cary and his past? His future? Considering the depth of his own story, might there be the possibility of a spinoff?
Sylvia: You’ll see more of Cary and his story as Eva’s story continues. Her friendship with him is one of the foundations of her life. When he’s shaky, so is she and vice versa. She can’t be happy if he’s not. Whether that leads to a book for Cary, I don’t know. Right now he’s not talking to me that way, but if that changes and he tells me his story, I’ll share it with you.
Maryse: Great!! We also connected to Cary & Eva’s relationship. He appears to be very dependent on Eva.
Sali wants to know if Eva fills a mother roll for Cary or is it more like a girlfriend but without the emotional/intimacy issues that Cary struggles with? How will this affect Gideon’s relationship with Eva in the future.
Sylvia: Cary and Eva are the closest to family that either of them have. Eva doesn’t open up to her mother or father the way she does with Cary. There’s a deep trust between them, because they know the best and worst about each other and love each other anyway.
Cary acts out his self-loathing in front of Eva deliberately, knowing she can help him as no one else can and that she won’t think less of him or turn away from him when he baits her. That’s one of her core strengths–unconditional love, which is something both Cary and Gideon need.
Gideon is on the fence about Cary, but he’ll have to deal with that. Cary is very much a brother to Eva. As far as she’s concerned, they’re related and connected to each other’s lives forever. She won’t let anything jeopardize that. She’s too fiercely loyal.
Maryse: Absolutely. I can definitely sense a struggle in Gideon’s acceptance of Cary and Eva’s closeness. Although I was actually surprised at how well he’s taken “them”, so far.
If this was ever to be made into a movie, who would be your “dream cast”?
Sylvia: Oh man… I’ll have to think about that one.
Maryse: Haha! We’ll probably end up making a dedicated picture folder to those that we “envision” as the characters shortly. I think a few examples have already come my way, and I, too, have a clear image of “Gideon” in my head.
“Bared to You” was self-published. Can you tell us about your decision process and your experience since releasing it this way?
Sylvia: There were two main reasons why I chose to self-publish Bared. One was timing in relation to my other releases. I have three publishers and unfortunately they sometimes release my books right on top of each other, sometimes on the same day. I wanted Bared to fill a gap between releases. The other consideration was the subject matter. I wasn’t open to changing Eva’s history or the symptoms of Gideon’s psychological trauma. It wasn’t an option for me to remove any of the darker, perhaps controversial aspects of the story to make Gideon more “heroic” or Eva’s past less ugly. The only way to control the timing and the editorial was to do it independently, so I never considered shopping it wide.
Maryse: I’m happy that you were able to tell the story exactly as it came to you. The depth and emotion is what had us so invested in them. As intense as this book was for us, and how viscerally we reacted (in a good way – we love all of that angst and those moments of shock verging on heartbreak), do you have a favorite book that affected you similarly?
Sylvia: The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed. It’s so heart wrenching. The hero is dark and tormented and so damn delicious. That book ate at me while I was reading it and haunted me for weeks afterward. It took a long time before I was able to reread it, because I had to mentally prepare myself for the experience. I give the book my highest recommendation. It’s angsty romance at its finest and the book will forever be on my keeper shelf.
Maryse: Oh wow!! That is exactly what I (and so may of us) love to read, and I’m absolutely getting it next!
Thank you so much Sylvia for clearing up some questions, letting us into your writing world, and indulging our need for more Gideon and Eva. This has been so much fun!
Find out more about Sylvia, and get news updates from her by checking out her website (she’s written tons of books!!):
P.S. –> $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card giveaway (to one lucky winner, that I will randomly choose from the comments below).
How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below, I will end the “contest” at 9pm EST tomorrow night (Thursday May 3rd 2012), and I will contact the winner by email to confirm if you want the Barnes and Noble card or the Amazon card. The winner will be contacted and the gift card will be sent to the email address provided (make sure it’s valid!!). NOTE: The “winner” will have 48 hours to respond to the winning email notification. If no response is received, I will randomly select another winner. Make sure to check your email, so you do not loose your chance. This is open to anyone that can receive an emailed giftcard from either of these two companies.