Sophie Gonzales on her new YA rom-com, The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist

"I do, however, continue to write fanfiction in some different fandoms these days, and I will never admit to anyone which fandoms or who I am!"


Asking the question ‘what would happen if your fictional crush came to life?’, Sophie Gonzales’s new YA rom-com, The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist, is a witty and delightfully fun love letter to fanfiction, fandoms and the tropes we all know and adore.

To celebrate its release, we had the chance to chat with Sophie all about her relationship with fanfiction past and present and, of course, talk all things The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist.

Hi Sophie! It’s so lovely to get to chat to you today to celebrate the release of your newest YA rom-com, The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist. For readers just learning about it, how would you best sum it up in one sentence?

A teen girl accidentally brings her fanfic character to life, and discovers the tropes she finds romantic in fiction are distinctly less so in real-life!

Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the story?

The story is mostly inspired by the Pygmalion myth, where a sculptor brings his art to life after falling in love with her. Though while the Pygmalion myth has a happy ending for the sculptor and his statue, I wanted to explore the comedic side of this premise! I’m also a fanfic writer who cut my teeth on fanfiction, so it was a chance to really write a love letter of sorts to fanfics and romance books. While I hope the book can be enjoyed by everyone, I think fanfic enjoyers will appreciate the references and Easter Eggs throughout the story!

The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist was a wonderfully fun read. What was your experience writing it like and is there a certain scene you especially enjoyed creating?

Thank you! It was a different writing experience than with other books, as I was aiming for a very comedy-focused tone, and I ended up doing a few rewrites while trying to find the book’s voice. I had a lot of fun writing Ivy’s (not-amazing) fanfiction snippets, spelling and grammar mistakes and all! I love epistolary techniques, and had a lot of fun exploring something I’ve never tried before.


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The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist very much feels like a love letter to fanfiction. You’ve mentioned your own history with writing and reading fanfiction but would you ever consider returning to your old works and either sharing them or maybe even reworking them for publication?

For me, my fanfiction is very separate to my original fiction! For a start, the fanfics I was writing as a teen and child were not even in the realm of publishable, and I favoured the soap opera style. Even my original fics would not be even close to publishable unfortunately! I do, however, continue to write fanfiction in some different fandoms these days, and I will never admit to anyone which fandoms or who I am! I doubt I would ever want to rework these for traditional publishing. Part of the fun for me is the anonymity—to be able to write whatever I feel like writing, without worrying as much about what others would like to read, whereas in traditional publishing you have to be much more aware of audience tastes and preferences. That, and the fanfiction community is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s wonderful to have an area where the feedback is focused on joy, rather than what could be improved (though knowing what can be improved is a crucial part of being a published author and I wouldn’t change that aspect of my job! I just like to separate work and play!)

Fanfiction in mind, who would young fanfiction writer teen Sophie Gonzales most like to spend a day with?

James Potter. I was very involved in the Marauders fandom back in the day! Notably—the character was a much more pleasant sort of person in fanfiction stories than in the HP books. Fandom created the character anew.

How would current Sophie answer the same question?

With fanfiction in mind, I can’t really answer this without revealing my current fandoms! Fictional characters in general, however, I would want to spend a day with Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than to debate philosophy with someone who knows much, much more about it than me!

Finally, are you currently working on anything new and if so, is there anything you can share with us about it?

I’m currently editing my 2025 release, Nobody in Particular, a sapphic royal romance following the crown princess of a small European country, who meets and falls for an American girl at her boarding school. It’s angsty, and a little dark, and heavy on the romance–which is an area of fiction I’ve been itching to dive back into, and I’m beyond excited for people to read it!

Get your copy of The Perfect Guy Doesn’t Exist by Sophie Gonzales here.

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