Please welcome Georgie Lee to the blog today to celebrate her recent release of her Regency novella, HERO’S REDEMPTION. I met Georgie through my local RWA San Diego chapter because we both had an interest in Regency Romance and she’s also a member of The Beau Monde chapter. If you can’t guess from her bio picture below, she’s a wonderfully animated person and a veritable whirlwind of energy when you get her going on topics she’s passionate about.
by Georgie Lee
Devon, the Earl of Malton, is a hero for his deeds at the Battle of Waterloo. But he suffers terrible nightmares, and drinks himself to sleep most nights. A habit he vows to break when he awakes one morning to find a woman sharing his bed, no memory of how she got there, and her angry brother at his door.
Cathleen is mortified when her wastrel brother and his greedy wife propose a blackmail scheme involving the earl, but as a penniless war widow she’s at their mercy. She goes along with the plan and sneaks into Devon’s bed one night, and ends up comforting him through a night terror.
Charmed by her beauty and kindness, Devon determines that rather than pay the blackmail, he will offer his hand in marriage to Cathleen. Although she is deeply attracted to the stoic earl, Cathleen cannot understand why Devon would want to marry her. What she doesn’t know is that Devon owes her a debt that can never fully be repaid…
Georgie’s a fan of many historical eras from Ancient Rome to the Golden Age of Hollywood, but let’s find out a bit more about her and why she writes in the Regency Era.
1. What drew you to writing Historical Romances in general and specifically to setting stories during the Regency Era?
I’m a history buff who loves many different eras from ancient Egypt to early America but I’ve always been drawn to British history. Jane Austen is responsible for leading me to focus on the Regency in my writing. I love Jane Austen because she captures the spirit of a very specific era with great insight, humor, wit and intelligence. Her characters are well-developed and with foibles, heartbreaks, challenges and triumphs that everyone can relate to. And, even after almost 200 years, Mr. Darcy is still very dishy.
2. What’s the strangest bit of historical trivia you’ve picked up in your research?
I’ve learned a lot of strange things, but one of the strangest is that the Sears catalogue used to sell morphine and a syringe, back when it was legal.
3. These next few questions assume that time travel is possible. I know you’ve written novels in several different time periods from Ancient Rome to Regency England to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Which era in time would you pick to visit?
Choosing just one time period is tough, but I have to pick ancient Egypt during the reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. She was the most powerful female ruler in Egypt and they were co-rulers for some time. Once she died, Thutmose became one of Egypt’s greatest Pharaohs. It would be wonderful to see the dynamics that made her reign possible, to watch her rise to power and to know why, so many years after her death, Thutmose decided to remove her from the historical record. Also, I’d love to know more about the ancient Egyptian’s daily lives. Although we know a great deal about their funerary practices, very little is known about their daily lives. I would love to see the court of Pharaoh, to see how he and the noble women spent their days.
4. What modern conveniences would you miss most? What would you miss least?
The modern convenience I would miss the most is modern medicine. The one thing I would miss the least is TV. I just don’t watch it as much as I used to.
5. What would be the hardest for you to adapt to in the Regency Era?
The lack of plumbing and bathrooms. I really like running water and flushing toilets. It is so convenient.
6. Where would you fit into the society?
Oh, I would definitely fit in right at the top, maybe not as Queen, but definitely as a Duchess (hey, this is all make-believe so why not aim high, right?)
7. How long have you been writing? What advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning novelist if you could? Would this advice differ from what you’d say to an aspiring author now?
I grew up writing many different things including poetry, short stories and screenplays. I wrote a short story for a contest in sixth grade. At the time, I was fascinated by Greek mythology so I created a myth about the Greek gods and the creation of the silver swan constellation. The story won first prize.
I began my professional writing career at a small cable TV station in San Diego where I wrote marketing videos and public service announcements. I’d always dreamed of being a screenwriter, so I moved to Los Angeles and earned my MA in screenwriting. Despite my best efforts, screenwriting success proved a little elusive (OK, a LOT elusive). I’d always read romance novels and so I thought to myself, heck, I can write a romance novel. So I did. The first draft wasn’t pretty, but I learned a lot during the revision process. That story went on to become Lady’s Wager, a Regency romance and my first published novel.
The best advice I would give myself as a beginning novelist is to learn to plot. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I’d forced myself to become a plotter sooner. The best advice I can give to aspiring authors now is to keep trying and don’t give up. There were many years where I was writing and nothing was being published and then all of a sudden, one day, all the hard work began to pay off. It’s a long term career so you can’t let setbacks make you give up.
8. I know you also love the Golden Age of Hollywood and even have a novel set there. Tell us a bit about your Hollywood experience and what are the biggest differences between writing for the screen and writing for novels that you’ve found?
Ah, the Hollywood experience. I have so many whacky stories from when I worked in La-La land, there isn’t a blog post long enough to write them all. However, I also have a lot of great stories too, like the time I accidentally met Enya, my favorite singer. It was the only time I’ve ever been star struck.
The biggest difference between writing for the screen and writing novels is detail. Screenplays don’t demand a lot of detail about setting, characters etc, so when I made the switch from screenwriting to novels, I had to learn to add details and not leave them out.
9. How do you balance your writing life and with being a wife and mom?
Making time to write is key and those writing times are usually first thing in the morning when the house is quiet and I am, for the most part, awake. I’m also an opportunistic writer and I will sneak in writing time during naps, quiet play and in the evening.
10. Are you reader? What are some of your favorites?
I am a voracious reader of non-fiction history. It’s where many of my ideas for historical romances come from and something I’ve always enjoyed. I have a large library of non-fiction books covering subjects from ancient Egypt to medicine, Regency England and classic Hollywood, to period costume and dance. There are very few topics or times periods that I am not interested in reading about.
I also read a lot of fiction, but when it comes to favorites, I lean towards classics authors such as Oscar Wilde for sharp witty dialogue, W. Somerset Maugham for great insight into characters and D.H. Lawrence for well-developed internal monologue.
11. What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a writer?
The most challenging part of being a writer is marketing. However, I am really good at walking up to strangers holding a Kindle and handing them a card for my book. I have done this numerous times, much to the embarrassment of the person I’m with.
About the Author
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her first novel, LADY’S WAGER, and her contemporary novella, ROCK ‘N ROLL REUNION are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. LABOR RELATIONS, a contemporary romance of Hollywood, and STUDIO RELATIONS, a love story set in 1935 Hollywood, are currently available from Montlake Romance. Her Regency novella, HERO’S REDEMPTION from Carina Press released on July 29, 2013, and her Regency novel, ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE is coming from Harlequin Historical on October 1, 2013.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com or http://georgielee.blogspot.com for more information about Georgie and her novels. She can also be found on Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter.