I’m Georgia Hill and I write sexy contemporary stories with fun loving heroines and realistically flawed but delicious heroes.
I was delighted to be asked to contribute to FRR but then the reality sank in. What on earth could I actually write about? So, I began to think about why I write at all … and how it all started …
I was one of those children who always had their nose stuck in a book – I even read as I walked home from primary school! Enid Blyton was a favourite but along the way I devoured Rosemary Sutcliffe, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and the lovely Flambards books. When slightly older I borrowed Mum’s Mills and Boon and relished the exotic locations like New Zealand and Madagascar and mentions of flowers like frangipani. To a girl whose idea of heaven was a caravan holiday in Lyme Regis, this was exoticism indeed.
And then as a teenager, I discovered Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is still my all time favourite novel. My love for it survived even being read aloud in class by a bunch of bored thirteen year olds. How we giggled at the mention of ‘social intercourse’!
So far, so unoriginal. But what makes an avid reader like me turn into a writer?
I’ve always scribbled down disorganised jottings and at one stage in my life I was lucky enough to travel widely and always wrote accounts of my holidays. I’ve never, however, knowingly come across a frangipani flower! Then, during one of my many house moves (once every six months at one point), I lost my notebooks. I was devastated! How was I going to write that zeitgeisty novel set in Thailand? (Too late Alex Garland got there first!) How could I remember all those little character sketches and notes on snatches of overheard conversation? What had happened to the (mostly execrable) poetry I’d written? Disaster. I’d hit my forties, had lost my notes for The Great Novel and realised that if I didn’t have a go at writing I never would. A crush on a tall dark actor appearing in a BBC costume drama gave me the … erm … final tweak of inspiration! So I began to write – secretly, in snatched moments, when my husband thought I was working. It was a shock to discover my natural writing voice wasn’t very Austen-like. It was more Austen-lite. But I wrote and wrote. The words poured out. Real life didn’t get a look in. I simply wrote. I remember it felt as if I had fire in my belly. And still I wrote. 35,000 words later and the story was complete. More Mills and Boon than Dostoevsky but none the worse for that. While I wasn’t going to change the world with what I’d written, I knew I could tell a story, had an ear for dialogue and had a good feel for what makes a hero sexy! Writing it was the easy part though, giving it to people to read was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Coming clean to my husband was quite funny. I’m not at all sure he thought it would be any good!
I still have moments when I get that same fire in the belly but now realise there is a lot more craft involved than simply getting the words down. Editing is my own special nightmare!
And what became of that very first 35,000 word story? It’s been re-written and changed completely. It will be my first published novel.
So, why do I write? Because, like that ten year old walking home from school, I still love to be completely absorbed in a story. It’s just that nowadays I escape into a world I’ve created. It’s amazingly satisfying. And occasionally drives me demented …
And I still don’t know what a frangipani flower looks like!