Today I’m featuring Georgina Penney on my blog. A big thanks to Penguin for arranging this interview.
1. Tell us a little about SUMMER HARVEST?
I’d love to! Summer Harvest is about loss, moving on and making life work for you. At the beginning, my heroine Beth is gifted an unexpected trip to Australia from her incorrigible grandma. Beth’s still coming out the other side of surviving cancer and while she’s initially not too keen on going, she commits to having a good time. When she gets to Australia she meets farmer, Clayton Hardy who is living with his loud, rambunctious family while waiting for his new house to be built. Clayton takes a shine to Beth and the story goes from there, with a few twists and turns along the way!
2. Which writers inspire you?
I’m a voracious reader, so how about I stick to the authors I was reading while I wrote Summer Harvest? From memory I was reading a lot of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Amanda Quick, Hunter S Thompson, Charles Bukowski, Walter Mosley, Norman Mailer and Jojo Moyes. There might have been some of the Twilight Saga around then too! I’m inspired by so many things, I think the act of reading is all the inspiration I need!
3. What is the hardest thing about writing?
Definitely the uncertainty. Once you get a couple of books under your belt, the writing and editing itself isn’t a drama anymore. And coming up with characters and ideas has never been a problem! The part I find the hardest is the bit I’m in now, waiting to see how people are going to respond to characters that feel like real people to me.
4. On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
That should be an easy question to answer but it’s a little tricksy. The typical response would be nine weeks, but that’s kind of a white lie. It’s eight weeks for the first draft, then about double that time for rewriting and editing. So all up, around five months. That’s if I don’t include swearing time and all those times it was imperative that I go to my local café for a hot chocolate and a cupcake for creative purposes!
5. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Get the words down, edit them, re-edit and get your work out there. When I’m in that initial stage of writing, I write for me. It’s only later, once the book is at the printers that I magically transform into a neurotic basket case! (I like to imagine myself as a shivering literary Chihuahua in a cape. Awesome but prone to being a little crazy.)
6. When you aren’t writing, what do you get up to?
Eating and socialising mostly if I’m honest! I love good food and I love good company.
7. Is there a message in SUMMER HARVEST that you would like readers to grasp?
That you have to take the good things in life when they come or they’ll pass you by. Oh and dogs are awesome. Everyone should have a dog. (Says the lady who is currently being glared at by a cat that could probably tick every box in a psychopath test. I love him though… from a distance!)
8. What are you currently working on?
Too many things at once! Today I’m working on a short story for a compilation. Tomorrow it might be something completely different. I usually have about five or six projects going at any one time, just to keep things interesting.