Thursday, August 17, 2017

Georgia Clark Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview
Photo Credit: Daniel N Johnson

Georgia Clark is an author, screenwriter, and performer currently living in New York City. Her third novel, The Regulars, is her first adult fiction novel. The Regulars received widespread praise and press, including being a finalist for the USA Best Book Awards and a Rising Star 2016 by Amazon UK. It is being translated into half a dozen different languages and has been optioned as a TV show by CBS Studios. 

Georgia is the host and creator of Generation Women, a monthly storytelling night in Brooklyn, NY. Generation Women invites five women of note from five different generations to share an original story on a theme.

Her first novel, She’s With The Band (Allen & Unwin, 2008), is a Young Adult coming-of-age about a trio of teenagers who start a band. It is based on her own experience "singing" in a "band" called Dead Dead Girls despite having very little musical ability.

Her second novel Parched (Holiday House, 2014) is a YA sci-fi dystopia set in a world without water. It was inspired by years of being a scrappy student revolutionary while at the University of Technology, Sydney. Here she completed a Bachelor of Communication (Media Arts & Production) and spent time making short films (such as The Heist) and music videos. Parched was favourably reviewed by Booklist, School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, the latter summarizing it as “bold futurist adventure with unusual romance, riveting action and ominous ecological red flags.”

Georgia has received a grant for her fiction and has been selected to attend various writer’s residencies in the US and Europe. She is the creator of the online course The Pro-Active Author.

In 2014, she co-wrote the play Pickles & Hargraves, and the Curse of the Tanzanian Glimmerfish with Ryan Williams. This one-hour comic murder mystery follows a debonair mouse detective who solves a murder at the 49th Annual Fish Fanciers Convention. It was selected for a five-show run at the New York International Fringe Festival.

In Australia, Georgia won a national film and TV pitching competition for an original one-hour television pilot, Starts at Sunset. She has written for the Aussie TV drama Home & Away, and has created several pilots, spec scripts and web series. She's worked as a freelance journalist for over ten years and is published in Cosmo, Bust, In-Style, Daily Life and many more.

Georgia has been performing improv in New York for seven years. Trained at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater, she's a former UCB house team member. She appeared in The Untitled Web Series That Morgan Evans Is Doing For MTV (MTV). Georgia is enthusiastically vegetarian, proudly queer, definitely a city-dweller, and a long-time lover and supporter of the arts, such as New York and Sydney's indie theater scenes and Australia's Erotic Fan Fiction community (of which Eddie Sharp kindly credits her as a co-creator). She loves beach days, group dinners, and her beautiful girlfriend.

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What was your first introduction to literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with this fantasy-adventure Young Adult series called The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. I really felt like I was there, searching for the legendary Holy Grail in the mysterious windswept hills of Cornwall. It kicked off a lifetime love of exciting, plot-driven storytelling. Now I write adult fiction, but my first two novels were Young Adult, and I can tip my hat to The Dark Is Rising for that.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?


My love for fiction-with-a-feminist-kick really started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was the first time I’d seen a fun, shiny pop culture show with an openly feminist agenda AND a sense of humor. It felt revelatory and revolutionary. I fangirl over books by female comedy writers (Tina Fey/Lena Dunham/Amy Poehler/Mindy Kaling etc) and generally like any smart take on the rom com genre, which mixes the business of being a feminist with the pleasure of love, sex ‘n’ romance (bonus points for girls kissing girls). I’m also always learning from elegantly crafted literary fiction about the female experience. Recent faves are Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and The Girls by Emma Cline.

Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about THE REGULARS?

The Regulars is about three young women who get their hands on something called Pretty: a mysterious purple liquid the changes you into a different person. And that person is hot. Not cute. Not reasonably attractive. Super. Effing. Hot. Sure, it only lasts for about one week and the transformation is gross (think food poisoning, but worse). Hot mess Krista is broke af: she uses the Pretty to bank and get out of her shopaholic/law school-inspired debt. Willow is a sensitive, self-destructive artist: she uses her new face to break apart her relationship to see what’s real, and find artistic inspiration along the way. Evie Selby wants to change the world. When she transforms, it’s to test her theory that a feminist message is better received when you get a little sweet with the medicine: when it comes from someone as polished as Nanna’s silverware.

I’d wanted to write about beauty for a while before the idea for The Regulars came to me, as magically and mysterious as the Pretty itself…. I was at home, editing my last book, glass of wine in hand, and the idea of a serum that turns you pretty popped into my head. Hm, I thought, that’s interesting. As I sat there, a scene began playing in my head as fully-formed as a movie: three different girls in a grounded real-life world, a potion, an unexpected transformation… When it ended I knew instantly it could be a novel. And here we are! Moral of the story: listen to your daydreams.

For those who are unfamiliar with Evie, how would you introduce her?

Evie Selby, 23, is an overworked, underpaid copyeditor for a monthly women’s magazine called Salty, which offends every bone in her Sarah Lawrence-educated, Amy Poehler-loving body (which is also a tad pudgy). She’s a feminist, only expressing her true views in her anonymous blog, Something Snarky. In the right light her dyed black hair and thick-rimmed glasses make her cute but not beautiful. She’s smart but not confident. Sexually liberated, but only in theory (why is online dating so damn hard?).

Evie discovered feminism and queer attraction through a badass substitute teacher in Grade 10 she remembers as Call-Me-Charlie (Doc Martens and piercings – be still my beating labia). Her number one celeb crush is her favorite novelist Velma Wolff, an insouciant sex bomb who drives Evie tongue-tied. Evie knows beauty isn’t an accomplishment, that she should just Lena it up and love her extra inches. But when the most action she’s gotten all summer is a Pap smear, that’s easier said than done.

What part of Krista did you enjoy writing the most?


All of it! Krista is the funniest character, which meant she had me laughing (and gasping) the whole way through. Krista is Evie’s roommate, and a certified hot mess. She’s a South-East Asian law school dropout, and her tendency to be distracted by sales, snacks, and sex keep jacking up her terrifying 130K debt. She’s impulsive, funny, and highly irresponsible.

As the only daughter of first generation immigrants, Krista is the source of constant disappointment to her parents, who had aspirations for their naturally brainy child to pursue a much more traditional route. As a result, Krista’s in a wildly explorative and reactionary phase, pursuing acting in cutthroat New York. She’s well intentioned, but self-destructive with a chronic case of FOMO. Krista lives in a different time zone to every other human being. No matter if it's the callback of a lifetime or a date with the man of her dreams, there is zero chance she’ll be on time.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Willow?

Just how sensitive and mysterious she is. There’s something ethereal about Willow Hendriksen, 22, like she might turn into a flock of birds in you snap your fingers. The daughter of acclaimed European filmmaker Matteo Hendriksen, Willow grew up unwillingly in the spotlight. Shy, lost, sensitive and searching, Willow knows her art pales in comparisons to her father’s, whose approval she’ll never get. Not that she wants to follow in his footsteps: Matteo was a notorious womanizer whose new girlfriend is barely a decade older than his daughter. I was surprised to learn just how much she’d internalized her father’s behavior, and the ways in which she is similar and different to her dad. As a fledging photographer, she sees the world through a lens like her father, but struggles with being seen herself. Both father and daughter are emotionally unavailable, but it’s Willow who carries most of the damage.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I’m just finishing The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker which is brilliant and unputdownable, so that’s where my mind went! I’d love to introduce Evie (or really, anyone) to Mel Vaught: a singular literary creation.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

I’m currently working on my fourth novel, The Bucket List, set to come out through Simon & Schuster next year. It's about 25-year-old Lacey Whitman who is diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation, a shock diagnosis that puts her at a 72% lifetime risk of contracting the disease that killed her mother: breast cancer. Witty, self-made and independent to a fault, Lacey must decide whether to get a preventative bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction to end the anxiety of waiting for cancer to strike. To help her make this decision, she creates a “boob bucket list”: all this things she’s always wanted to do with and for her beautiful tatas. This uncharacteristic decision propels Lacey out of her comfort zone and into a slew of new relationships: with lovers, friends, work colleagues, and herself and her body. Everything will change by the end of Lacey’s life-changing year. What’s on your bucket list?

I also host a monthly female storytelling night in NYC called Generation Women and I created an online course for authors called The Pro-Active Authors that helps writers get there work out there. Readers of this blog get 10% off the course using promocode friendly10.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Ladies, don’t wait for permission: do your thing. Write a novel, run a marathon, make a short film, start a company! You don’t need to apologize for or downplay your ambition and passion, even if you're still a beginner. The word “amateur” comes from the Latin word “amator”; lover. Never apologize for your love.

Tell me about your first kiss.


Backseat of the bus. Braces. I was very excited.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?


My girlfriend wanted me to write her a poem for her birthday so I did that this year. Does that count?

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

As soon as my brother and I were old enough to fly solo, we started visiting my grandparents in Queensland (Australia) every summer. So, very young: ten, eleven?

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

“Hungover”. (I was)

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

I wrote a book set in the 1920s so I’m all about that era. Flappers! Jazz! Gin!

What is your greatest adventure?

Would it be cheesy to say life? I’d also like to go to Tokyo.

Where can readers find you?

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and sign up for my newsletter on my website!

TEN QUOTES FROM THE REGULARS

You are a goddess. You are a catch. You are, like, the outcome of every self-help book ever written. Pg 1

We need role models who look like real girls. Pg. 121

She was a professional. A professional who didn’t need five inches of makeup and fuck-me cleavage to do her job. pg 126

She was a road trip without a map. pg 200

Her mouth connected with his. Everything inside her collapsed and was constructed, simultaneously. pg 205

Escape. The word sounded sweet and alluring in her brain. She rolled around with it, letting it wash over her, pushing it under her skin. pg 226

She felt untamed. Reckless. Powerful. Pg 237

Why have beauty standards always been so damn painful? Why can’t we decide they’re all about cellulite and milk mustaches? Pg 256

There was only one thought that settled, as calmly as a cat finding a spot of sun to sleep in. One word that felt inevitable, as they kissed and nibbled and quietly laughed with the delirium of it. Home. Pg 275

“You’d end wars. You’d make angels weep. You’re all I ever think about.” Pg 292

In New York, everything was permissible. No one cared what you wore, how you looked. Only you cared about those things. And if they didn’t worry you, then they didn’t matter. Pg 363

Owning her face, unapologetically, or—even more revolutionarily—happily was the bravest thing she could possibly do. Pg 365



A fierce and feisty debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true... or do they?

Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well... gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.

But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left: What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?


Praise for THE REGULARS

"Charming." ― People

"A lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations." ― Harper's Bazaar

“THE REGULARS is a saucy, sexy story that's one part cautionary tale, one part social commentary, and one part screamingly hilarious comedy. Deceptively simple, it's one of the most original books I've read in years. You'll eat this one up!” ― Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and THE HEIRESSES

"Take just one drop of The Regulars and you'll be hooked: this is compulsive reading from a bright new voice." ― Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August

"This wonderfully entertaining debut, full of magic and heart, is a fairy tale for our times."
― Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Zeroes

THE REGULARS is the ultimate modern take on the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for.’ Best of all, in Georgia Clark’s sexy fable, this message comes to us by way of a gaggle of hilarious, relatable friends....How far would you go to become the person you’ve always dreamed of being? Would you transform yourself completely, with no sense of the long-term cost? Georgia Clark asks these questions of her ambitious girl squad,and their answers lead us on a wild ride of self-discovery and friendship.” ― Elisabeth Egan, author of A WINDOW OPENS

"A feisty, feminist fairy tale...Atmospheric and confident, it's 13 Going on 30 with sharp, polished veneers. " ― Caroline Kepnes, author of Hidden Bodies and You

"THE REGULARS is happily grounded in a world and a generation we recognize, filled with yummy, quippy dialogue and delicious storytelling. Hats off to Georgia Clark, who explores the debates around what, exactly, is female empowerment. A lovely summer read!"
― Maggie Grace, actress and star of the Taken films, Breaking Dawn, and Californication

“Quick, witty, and damn funny! A fresh snapshot of 20-something Brooklyn, celebrity culture, and how men and women buy into the fiction of beauty. This thoroughly entertaining novel will make you giggle, sigh and above all, keep you hooked.” ― Suzanne Rindell, author of THREE-MARTINI LUNCH and THE OTHER TYPIST

“Smart, funny,fabulous. A thoroughly modern and fresh look at relationships, friendships, career, sex, art, fame, and—most of all—beauty.” ― Amy Poeppel, author of SMALL ADMISSIONS

“Twisted, modern-day take on Cinderella.” ― InStyle

"Imagine a magic elixir that makes you crazy good-looking. Would you use it? BFFs Evie, Krista, and Willow do, so surely the dates, promotions, and perfect lives will come rolling in. Right?" ― Cosmopolitan

“Compulsively delicious.” ― Redbook

“[A] raunchy and very funny tale . . . . with a distinctly hip, modern feel.” ― Booklist

“A winning recipe…with wit and unapologetic candidness, The Regulars explores the dangers and inevitable sacrifice of thirsting for beauty.” ― Brit + Co.

“A sassy novel.” ― Cosmopolitan (Australia

“We laughed out loud more times than we care to remember while tearing through this extraordinarily funny page-turner.”— Marie Claire UK

“A modern day fairytale with a feminist message. Riotously enjoyable—sexy, fast-paced and extremely funny. Brilliant.” ― The Daily Mail UK

“In The Regulars . . . . three best girl friends find themselves in an extraordinary situation that opens a few of the closed doors they've come across in New York City. The Regulars is a fresh look at friendship, sex, fame and career.” ― The Reading Room

"A feisty debut with a magical twist about three ordinary girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true when they come across a tincture that makes them gorgeous." ― Hinsdale Living Magazine

"THE REGULARS unravels the concept of prettiness, beauty standards and pop culture in general. Clark beautifully brings to life the struggle to accept oneself, while still wanting to change." ― Bookpage

"Something of a modern-day fairytale with a feminist message, this romp through a heightened world is riotously enjoyable—sexy, fast-paced, and extremely funny." ― The Sunday Mirror UK

You can purchase The Regulars at the following Retailers:
        


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Georgia and Simon & Schuster for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Regulars by Georgia Clark.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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3 comments:

  1. "When was the last time you laughed so hard you were crying?" I'm not sure that's ever happened!

    ReplyDelete
  2. About a month ago with my sister at a concert.

    ReplyDelete