Welcome to another exciting edition of my series, Author Spotlight! This weekly feature is dedicated to shining a well-deserved spotlight on talented indie romance authors, providing a platform for them to connect with readers and share their incredible writing journeys. Today, I am thrilled to introduce you to an up-and-coming contemporary romance author, Bridget Van der Eyk, who will be sharing insights about her debut novel, “10 Dates.”
Bridget Van der Eyk hails from the picturesque countryside of New South Wales, Australia, where she resides on a 5-acre property with her loving family and two adorable dogs. When she’s not immersed in her full-time teaching job or indulging in captivating Korean zombie shows on Netflix, Bridget pours her heart into crafting compelling romance stories.
“10 Dates” is a riveting tale that takes readers into the glamorous and scandalous world of Hollywood. The story revolves around Libby Evans, a young socialite and heiress to her great-grandfather’s film production empire, Privileged Pictures. Libby’s life seems perfect, with all the money, a dashing boyfriend, and the potential for a coveted Victoria’s Secret Angel contract. However, an unfortunate turn of events unfolds when she wakes up with a pounding hangover and a paparazzo named Wentworth Turner beside her. To keep her secret hidden, Libby must agree to Wentworth’s demands – 10 Dates.
Your dream for “10 Dates” is to see it transformed into a Netflix mini-series featuring Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles. Can you tell us more about why you envisioned these actors in the lead roles and how you think the story would translate to the screen?
I didn’t write 10 Dates with Harry and Kendall in mind, but it just so happened that I think both would fit perfectly into the lead roles of Libby and Wentworth. Not only appearance-wise, with her dark hair and supermodel figure, but I think Kendall Jenner’s fun and carefree demeanour would be perfect to represent the effortlessness that Libby breezes through life with. I also think Harry Styles’ cheeky, confident, and warm personality would bring Wentworth to life and make any girl fall in love with the character.
We’re excited to learn that a sequel to “10 Dates,” titled “3000 Words,” is in the works. Can you give us a sneak peek into what readers can expect from the continuation of the story? Are there any new themes or developments that you’re excited to explore in the sequel?
3000 Words picks up where 10 Dates left off and sees Libby getting out of Hollywood and moving east to try her hand at the college life at Columbia University. If 10 Dates was a movie then it’d be Romeo and Juliet with the strong ‘forbidden love’ book trope, however, 3000 Words is more Legally Blonde – the romance is still there but it’s more about Libby’s journey of self-discovery and her figuring out what she wants out of life and love.
You have a full-time teaching job, and a family, and you still find time to write. How do you manage to balance your writing career with your personal and professional life? Do you have any tips or strategies for other writers who struggle with finding time to pursue their passion?
I am always busy juggling many different things and wearing many different hats in my life, but I love writing so I make time for it. For me that means using any spare time I have for writing, editing, marketing etc. Sometimes that’s during the day while my newborn is napping, and sometimes that’s at night when both my kids have gone to bed. I try and make use of any spare time I have because some days there is not a lot of it!
“10 Dates” is available for free on Kindle Unlimited. How has this platform benefited your book and your connection with readers? Have you noticed any particular responses or feedback that stood out to you?
Realistically, it is hard as an indie author for people to take a chance on your writing and your books because of how unknown you are, especially when you’ve only written one book so far. Kindle Unlimited was very attractive to me because it gave people with a subscription the opportunity to give 10 Dates a go without having to invest in a paperback or an ebook. I’ve had a lot of people give 10 Dates a go on KU and then go on to buy the ebook or paperback because they really loved it, so that has definitely made KU worth it for me.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind your debut novel, “10 Dates”? What sparked the idea for the story and its unique premise?
I wrote the characters in 10 Dates before I even came up with the premise of the book – each and every character is inspired by someone I went to high school with (obviously with embellishments here and there). I’ve always been a keen romance reader (contemporary romance is my jam) so it always made sense that 10 Dates would turn into a love story, but I wanted it to be a love story where there were twists and turns as well so you don’t know what’s going to happen until it does.
Besides writing, you mentioned that you enjoy binging Korean zombie shows on Netflix. How do other forms of media, such as TV series and movies, influence your writing process and storytelling? Are there any specific shows or movies that have had a significant impact on your work?
I started writing 10 Dates back in 2007 when I was 18 years old. At the time, I was addicted to the Gossip Girl TV series and books, and my readers have told me that that influence is very clear in 10 Dates. 10 Dates has been described as a ‘Gossip Girl goes Hollywood’ love story where you’ve got the spoilt, rich kids, and the power struggle to be Queen Bee, as well as the secrets and scandals.
One of the intriguing aspects of your book is the exchange of 10 dates for silence. How did you explore the dynamics between Libby and Wentworth throughout the story, and what challenges did you face in writing their evolving relationship?
I’m a big fan of the ‘fake dating’ and ‘boy falls first’ book tropes, and the premise of 10 Dates gave me the opportunity to write about both. I think the biggest challenge I had in writing Libby and Wentworth’s evolving relationship was ensuring that readers saw the change in Libby as something natural and genuine rather than her faking or forcing it when she’s around Wentworth. Libby is a very unlikeable and flawed character at the start of the book so it was important for me to use Wentworth to bring out a better side to her and make the reader really root for her in the end.
Finally, what message or emotion do you hope readers take away from “10 Dates”? What do you want them to remember or feel after experiencing your book, and why?
First and foremost I want my readers to be entertained by 10 Dates, especially because it’s set in a very glamorous world that not a lot of us live in but really enjoy reading about and watching. I guess, however, the message at the end of the book is that nobody’s perfect and being yourself will always make you happiest.
If you’re craving a captivating romance novel that delves into the high stakes of fame, scandal, and unexpected connections, “10 Dates” by Bridget Van der Eyk is the perfect read for you. This page-turner is available for free on Kindle Unlimited, allowing you to immerse yourself in the thrilling world of Libby Evans and Wentworth Turner.
To stay updated with Bridget Van der Eyk’s writing journey and future releases, be sure to visit her website at 10datesnovel.com and connect with her on GoodReads, Instagram and Facebook. Don’t miss the opportunity to join her growing community of romance enthusiasts.
If you’re an indie romance author and would like to be featured in our Author Spotlight series, fill in the form found on this page: Author Spotlight Form. We look forward to discovering more talented authors and sharing their stories with our passionate readers.
Remember, love is in the air, and captivating romance awaits within the pages of “10 Dates” by Bridget Van der Eyk. Grab your copy today and embark on an unforgettable journey into the world of scandal, secrets, and unexpected love.