It is with great pleasure that The Debutante Ball welcomes fabulous author Georgia Clark to the guest chair! Georgia is the author of the “feisty, feminist fairy tale,” THE REGULARS, along with two YA novels. In addition, she is an improv actor, screenwriter, book marketing guru, and a terrific friend. Information about her new, cutting-edge, online course on effective book marketing — The Pro-active Author — is here and below. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of THE REGULARS! You can also enter our #DebBallGiveaway to win Georgia’s course The Pro-Active Author, which has a purchase price of $500: RETWEET on Twitter, and/or SHARE on Facebook with the hashtag #DebBallGiveaway by noon (EST) Friday, November 25th to win a copy of this useful and clear book marketing course. We will select and contact the lucky winner on Friday.
Find out more about Georgia’s exciting new course and other big news about her writing by signing up for her newsletter at www.georgiaclark.com and following her on Instagram and Twitter at @georgialouclark.
THE REGULARS, Georgia’s debut adult novel, was described in Harper’s Bazaar as “a lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations.”
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?
Wildly irreverent, blatantly sexy, and observed with pitch-perfect wit, THE REGULARS is a fresh and funny debut from a major new voice in women’s fiction.
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I’m writing this on Thursday November 17th, aka Nine Days Later. Like everyone I know here personally in the U.S., it is not a happy time – try traumatic and tumultuous – which is why I wanted to answer this question first, to provoke myself into happy thoughts.
Being in New York makes me happy. I moved to the Big A almost eight years ago and despite many periods of being broke/cold/frustrated/overwhelmed, I feel personally offended if anyone suggests moving. Where would I move to? New York is the center of the world and I’m hooked: it’s gritty and pretty and witty and gay. There’s a place for me, which is a very special feeling when you’ve always felt slightly out of step with your hometown. New Yorkers have also responded loudly and angrily to He Who Must Not Be Named, which makes me feel safer still. I love being a part of the ongoing project that is New York City.
Do you have a regular first reader? If so, who is it and why that person?
My regular first reader is my girlfriend, Lindsay. When I’m drafting, I work during the day at the New York Writers Room. At night I’ll come home, pour a glass of wine and read to her what I’ve written. She’s a great first reader as she’s enthusiastic and encouraging. She’s a fan, more than a critic, and she’s a good “every gal” kind of reader. Plus, she’s American, and I’m an Australian writing American English, so her “What’s a carpark?” type questions are invaluable. (A carpark is a parking garage). For that early, raw read, I’m mostly looking for emotional support and corrections of the mildest kind. I don’t get into excavation-type editing (slash and burn) until I have a draft, and then I work with a professional developmental editor in a more formal setting.
The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.
Twisty is right! I’ve had some opportunities handed to me on a silver platter and others refuse to acquiesce to me despite fighting tooth and nail for them. I’ve written two books that didn’t sell and both times thought they would end me (they did not). The first was a young adult novel I wrote without being familiar with young adult writing. It seems so obvious now, but it is near-impossible to sell anything without being familiar with the genre: any assumptions you have about a genre are likely outdated and untrue. I was cocky enough to think I could write a YA without doing my homework; it was a girl-detective called Tigerskins Incorporated, with an odd-couple set-up and a PG-rated detective tale. Too PG-rated: when my agent took it out, it suddenly became “middle-grade” (not my intention) and then didn’t sell. I was beyond gutted: every writer knows the feeling of years of “wasted” work. It definitely set me back and shook my confidence, and only through sheer, stubborn perseverance did I cobble/force another YA into existence, PARCHED. My advice: read your genre and don’t kid yourself about whether your ms sits comfortably in it or not. Work with a freelance editor. Don’t get hung-up on perfecting one book—if it’s been over 5 years, think about starting something fresh.
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
I really loved Amy in GONE GIRL. I found her voice so addictive and utterly compelling. I love a bold, “bad” woman; Ani in LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE also comes to mind. I don’t tend to read a lot of thrillers because I generally don’t like realistic violence in entertainment, but I love Gillian Flynn’s writing and this novel felt like such a big step forward: so much more complex and funny (darkly) than her first two books. On the lighter side, I’ll always have a soft spot for Bridget Jones, who is a singular literary creation, even if she does calorie count/obsess about men more than I’m interested in. Shout-out to George in Enid Blyton’s THE FABULOUS FIVE series for introducing me to the first gender-queer character in popular children’s fiction.
What’s your next big thing?
I just launched an online course called The Pro-active Author. It’s an 8-week self-study book marketing course that shows you step-by-step how to proactively and effectively launch your next book. I had a lot of success launching THE REGULARS, but it’s also something I worked really hard on, and learned a lot about along the way. This course will share with you all my tips and tricks, secrets and strategies that got my book out there! Great book marketing is absolutely essential. Up to 1 million books are published every year. On average, each will sell 250 copies (Forbes, 2013). Whether you’re self-publishing or being published by the Big Five, you need to be pro-active to make an impact.
The course takes the form of eight in-depth masterclasses with over 8.5 hours of content that will simply and clearly walk you through book marketing and publishing’s best practices. Every masterclass features video content, multimedia webinars and downloadable resources drawn from real-life success and 13 years’ experience writing, pitching and publishing. Early-bird prices are good till December 1st! I’m excited to help writers get their voices out there, so check it out!
Georgia Clark is the author of The Regulars, and the YA novels She’s With The Band and Parched. She is the creator of the online course The Pro-active Author. A native Australian, she lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend and a fridge full of cheese. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @georgialouclark. The Regulars is on sale now.
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