An early emigration to a small-holding and ancient farmhouse up a Welsh mountain.
One goldfish named Jaws 2.
Wondering if her nightly chicken-run would cause her to bump into dead Mad Doris (it did not).
One move to the coastal town of Rhyl.
One supportive husband.
Two great sons.
One ninja cat.
Singing soprano with the all female pop-choir, Singsation Cymru!
Sensitive soul-searching and creative exploration.
Two Open University courses in creative writing and work on an MA in same from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Full-time joyous writing.
Three published stories and no stopping her now.
An uplifting attitude and humble nature.
One novel in the works.
A lover of the quirky and odd; just don’t ask her whether she’s a Mod or a Rocker.
Georgia’s style is brave and wildly free with a hefty dose of emotion. Her glorious story, ‘We See You’ won The Emerald Award and was published in this year’s Gem Street: Beyond the Axis anthology.
Creativity is a huge part of your life. You’re a soprano in a pop-choir and have also spent time exploring that creativity through various art forms. You’re presently doing an MA in creative writing. What are your personal goals and what drives you to write?
My personal goal, the core of what I do in any writing, is to produce works, whether in short story or a novel form, which tickle the reader’s brain. I love being quirky and different; it’s integral to how I write and if I’m not doing that I’d sooner not do it. It’s that important to me.
Writing came about for you gradually and it would seem, after much thought. Can you talk a bit about that?
I didn’t know I could be a writer, didn’t have a clue I had it in me. I’ve always loved reading but I never thought I was capable of writing something others would want to read. Convinced I wasn’t particularly imaginative, even though I always painted, loved art, and later did ceramics and sculpted, I contented myself with the role of onlooker to the writing world. And then I took both the OU’s creative writing courses, learnt I could write and gained confidence. After the courses I was determined to keep on going, to keep trying and to immerse myself in writing.
Are you a ‘eureka moment at 3 a.m.’ kind of writer or does your brain allow you to get a good night’s sleep?
Luckily for me my mind doesn’t wake me up with an idea (is that lucky?) but it delights in sending gems my way just as I’m about to fall asleep. Most times I scribble them down but there have been times when I’ve convinced myself that I’ll just remember. Ha, no! Of course by the morning the idea has retreated to wherever good ideas creep away to die.
Any rituals that work well for you when it comes time to sit down and work.
I aim to write at least two hours a day but that is an absolute minimum, to fit in with other things which crop up – appointments, things which need sorting. However most days I manage to write about five to six hours. I switch on the laptop and just dive in. If I’m stuck I freewrite, brainstorm or just come up with a sentence which intrigues me and then see where it goes (I’ve written many short stories this way). Writing every day has become my way of life, part of me, and I love that.
What was the most useful advise you’ve ever received in relation to writing and also, the most useless?
The most useful advice was from my father: ‘Be brave, do your own thing, be true to yourself.’ And I do. I write in a way which intrigues me, but I also care for the reader. Fortunately my best writing is when I’m excited about what I’m writing, so I think that works for the reader too. Dad’s also a great example to follow because he’s determined and tenacious – things needed in writing. Thanks Dad! And the most useless? It’s more a misconception really – that some people are imaginative and some aren’t. I’m sure everyone is imaginative, they just need to find the correct mechanisms that help tap into ideas trapped inside by lack of confidence, opportunities missed etc.
What does your writing process look like?
I’m not a detailed planner. Instead, I have a rough idea of where I want to go, create a hook as early on as possible and a character will usually appear to carry that forward. It’s important I intrigue myself and being too specific beforehand tends to reduce that; if I’m not having fun it comes across, so it’s a pretty big deal. It’s taken me a while to work out that I write this way, but it seems to work.
What is your favourite film of all time?
Local Hero. A 1980s classic, but just as powerful today. It’s a subtle and clever comedy. I could watch it forever and still see more gems. A great plot chocked full of lively and different, but still believable characters who make the film sing. Fabulous.
If given the chance, would you want to play any of your characters in a film? Who and why?
I once played Cinderella’s father in a pantomime arranged specifically for a friend’s birthday party. We rehearsed for months but still I was atrocious, so I really don’t think I’ll be playing any characters. People would probably pay NOT to see me act!
What influences your work?
Books, films, people around me and even the environment, especially the sea, which I am fortunate to live close by.
Which is more important to you, character or plot, and why?
Both. I want action and something which sparks the curiosity, but without getting a real connection to character, for me at least, the story loses so much. How it’s written is also essential – a turn of phrase, a metaphor, even a look – these are the elements which to me bring a piece to life.
If your writing was a colour what it would be?
My favourite colour is yellow = sunny, happy etc. However, when I’ve finished a piece, and I like what I’ve written, I’d say that writing is a metallic dark blue.
What’s the toughest criticism you ever received?
In infant school a teacher wrote right across a page of my work in an exercise book, in massive capitals and red pen, ‘RUBBISH!’ and then gave it back to me. I don’t even know what it was, Maths or English, but I remember it was nothing naughty I’d done, it just wasn’t very good, I guess. I still remember how that red ink message looked on the page. Not the best confidence booster!
You’re presently writing a novel. How is the experience different to working on a short story?
In some ways the novel is easier, because there’s all this space! However, that comes with its own issues: keeping track of characters, points of view, timings etc. The novel writing is definitely a different journey and although I’m enjoying it I do go off and write short stories, just for fun. I love short story neatness, the joy when it all comes together, and the fun of polishing.
Words you love and words you wish were never uttered (or written)?
I’m pleased with the, ‘hollow hollow’ in We See You. A bag placed in a hollow and then the bag is no longer there. Regretted words: ‘Yes, of course you can have a rabbit,’ (to my kids).
Do you ever misplace your writing Mojo? If so, where does it usually turn up?
Oh yes, far too often. I doubt myself, doubt I’m any good, and can I really do this? My husband is great and is always there for me, saving me from myself, but also just turning up at the laptop and reminding myself to write something which intrigues and amuses me works wonders. I invariably become engrossed and then I’m off again.
Your story ‘We See You’, published in this year’s ‘Gem Street: Beyond the Axis’ is a complex, terrifying and beautifully-written depiction of the sea laced with an aching loneliness. What was your motivation for writing it and how do you feel it developed? Any surprises?
I live close to the Irish Sea and am blessed with being able to regularly walk along the beach. The ocean can be tranquil and smooth or raging, but always breathtaking. All that energy and depth – exciting but frightening and in need of great respect. I’ve also always been interested in unusual points of view, and for this story I liked the idea of using first person plural, because again it was odd and I felt added to the sea’s ‘otherness’.
Originally the story was just the sea telling us about its longing for human contact but it wasn’t focused on any particular person; everyone was just, ‘You.’ Later, as the story developed I wanted it to be more personal and so I added the girl. I think the specificity of this gave the story more punch, and by the end although the sea seemed scary (which it certainly can be) I was also almost sorry for this strange, lonely ‘being’. I do look at the sea differently now, even though it was just a story.
Its a few years down the road, what are you doing?
Well I’m definitely writing. I’ve honed my style; I’m still loving it and can now laugh at any self doubt I had in the past; I’m an MA graduate, a published novelist and possibly a teacher of creative writing. I’m still living near the sea with my lovely husband.
You can follow Georgia on twitter at: https://twitter.com/jawjarD and visit her website at: www.Georgia-Davies.com