An interview with Georgia Beers
1. Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I don’t know if it’d be considered unique or quirky, but here you go. I am a huge fan of the show Friends. Watched it when it was on. Watch the reruns decades later. It’s my favorite comfort watch. So, it’s unsurprising that I know the episodes inside and out. However, not only do I quote them when I’m with other people (which can get annoying, I’m sure), but I quote them when I am alone! Out loud. Just me. Sitting there all by myself with my cat. Reciting lines from Friends. Out loud. And then laughing because I’m a giant dork.
2. If we opened your browser history, what would we find?
I moved into a new house a month ago, so I was shopping for house stuff this morning! My history is a lot of Wayfair and Pottery Barn and then I popped in on my favorite Twitter account, which is Am I the Asshole. I was very busy, as you can see. Furnish my house, judge somebody’s actions. LOL! The last thing I googled was “What alcohol mixes well with ginger ale?” (The answer is: “Many more than I thought.”)
3. What is your favourite genre to read, and why?
My go-to is the psychological thriller. I think the reason is because the main character is almost always female and almost always defeats the bad guy. I don’t think I realized it until this ridiculous dumpster fire of a year. I also love horror movies and a friend asked me why I like to be scared. And I realized it’s not that, it’s because I like to see the bad guy get caught. Seems especially apropos for 2020, right? But romance and women’s fiction run very close seconds.
4. What are your favourite pizza toppings?
My favorite combo is mushrooms and banana peppers, but I’ll eat almost anything on pizza that’s not sausage. Blech.
5. Sing in the rain or dance in the streets?
If it’s warm, sing in the rain. But I’m not opposed to dancing in the streets. ;-)
6. What is your motto in life?
Be kind. It’s not hard. Just be kind.
7. Tomorrow I absolutely refuse to…
Get on the scale. Ugh.
8. Tell us a funny incident/embarrassing moment in your life.
I won’t tell you which book, but I was writing a book in first person a while back. And when you write in first person, it’s a bit of a different feel. You’re closer to that character, you know them better (as the writer) because you’re actually in their head. Anyway, I wrote the book and I was really happy with the main character. I didn’t admit it to many people, just one or two of my closest friends, but I felt she was the first character I’ve written who was very much like me. While every character of mine has little bits and pieces of me, none of them are me, but this one? She thought like me. She felt things the way I do. She felt more real, more genuine, much more like me than any character I’d written before. So, I send the finished manuscript in to editing and I wait. And I finally get the first batch of notes back from my editor and one of the big notes she gives me is, “I think we need to work on your main character. She’s getting really close to ‘unlikable’ and you don’t want your readers to feel that way about her.” And I am instantly thinking, “I’m sorry, what? She’s unlikable???? But...she’s me!” So embarrassing!! And, needless to say, a terrible thing for somebody with crushing self-esteem issues already! LOL! There may have been some rocking in a corner and crying, but then I pulled myself together and did my job, and the book got very good reviews. But wow. Talk about knocking me down a few pegs! LOL!
1. How long have you been writing for and when did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I have been published for, god, twenty years! But I have always written, even as a kid. I have report cards from second grade that say both “Georgia loves to tell stories” and “Georgia spells above her grade level.” LOL. Honestly, though, being a writer as a career never occurred to me to even be a possibility. To this day, I sit down to write and am still happily shocked that this is my full-time job, and that I actually pay the bills with it.
2. What comes first, the plot or the characters?
Usually the characters. I’m very visual, so I want to see the main couple in my head. After that, I usually work on a combination of their occupations and the main conflict, then tinker with everything else and write from there.
3. When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
Wine. Lots and lots of wine.
4. When writing a series, how do you keep things fresh for both your readers and also yourself?
That’s a good question and I’m currently in the midst of writing my second series, so it’s a timely one as well. I think I’m learning that you need to have a...I’m going to call it a gimmick, for lack of a better phrase. A tie. Something quirky or fun that holds all the books together, whether that’s a place or a person or a pair of pants. That way, you can get as fresh and unique as you want with each individual book (and you do want to in order to keep your readers from getting bored and bailing out of the series early), but you always have something to pull it all back home. It’s also good for the author, I think, because if you start to get lost or stuck, you just pull everybody back to the bar, to Grandma’s, or wherever and you can regroup. Figuratively and literally.
5. What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself/or a new writer?
Keep learning! Keep writing, but keep learning. Learning and growing is a never-ending process. As long as you keep writing, you will keep learning. I don’t think any of us get to a point in our writing careers where we shrug and say, “Oh, well. Guess I know everything there is to know about writing now.” Hell, I’ve been doing this for twenty years and I’m still learning new stuff. If you want to write? Write. But also read and study and go to conferences and listen to other writers. Keep learning.
6. What’s your next project?
I have a book coming out in December called 16 Steps to Forever, a romance about starting over in very different ways.
ABOUT YOUR BOOKS:
1. Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?
It was amazing and surprising and so many things. I have always written, but as I said earlier, writing for a living never occurred to me. I was reading a lesbian romance many, many years ago and it was awful. Just terrible. And I was annoyed by it and said out loud to my wife, “I could’ve done a better job.” And she wisely pointed out, “So...what’s the difference between you and that author?” And I said, “Um...she actually wrote a book?” I decided right then to give it a try. I had been writing fan fiction, but never anything full-length. I had met folks who were starting up lesbian presses, so once I finished, I handed them a manuscript and it was accepted! I couldn’t believe it. I got lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with one of those presses. The book was Turning the Page and I loved it so much. If I go back and read it now, it has a ton of flaws and a million and one things I’d do differently, but it’s my first book and I love it. I’ll never forget the day I got actual print copies to hold in my hands. There’s nothing like it.
2. What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
That I could actually write a book! More than one, even! Every time I finish one, every time I look at the shelf that I keep all my books on, I’m still kind of stunned that I wrote them all. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. Which is totally okay.
3. Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special?
I don’t think I have a favorite character really. I love them each the best at the time I’m writing them. I do have a “hottest” character, though. Elena from Starting from Scratch is definitely the sexiest character I’ve written so far. I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve gotten many an email from readers who tend to agree with me.
4. Where can readers purchase your books?
Amazon, the Bold Strokes Books webstore, and anywhere books are sold.