My interviews normally only appear once a month, but I’m happy to make an exception for a special occasion. And this week’s guest has one such occasion coming up next week: the release of her fourth novel. I’ve read it and loved it: it’s well-written, pacy and with an original, engaging main character. But more of that later. First of all, let’s have a chat with my guest, author Georgia Rose.
Good morning, Georgia and thank you for sparing the time to drop by and chat. I’m going to start by taking you back to the beginning. What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
I always loved the sciences, particularly Biology, although I liked the fauna side of it and found the flora a little dull, much to my teacher’s dismay. The science labs were in an old part of my school and I loved that whole building with the lived in feel it had. It was atmospheric, the benches, dark wood dented and worn, covered in marks and stains where experiments had become overly enthusiastic. Brilliant. (Yay! You are making the scientist in me very happy!)
I used to try to avoid PE which was odd because I’ve always taken plenty of exercise. I guess it was because I did so much out of school that it felt like a bit of a waste of time. Swimming lessons felt rushed, trying to fit them in during one period; then you’d sit there for the rest of the day with water soaking into your clothes from your hair and making you uncomfortable. Our playing fields were a couple of miles away so we’d have to take buses and it felt like by the time you’d got there, changed and got out on the field it was time to pack up, especially for me as I had to catch a bus home and there was only one so I’d have to leave early, and run the miles back to the bus depot – like I said, a waste of time.
If you had to escape from a fire, what three things would you take with you?
Assuming all family and pets were safe – my photo albums. That is really it as I am completely non-materialistic. I guess it would be sensible to grab my laptop as that has my work on it but as it’s all backed up in a cloud somewhere, it’s not essential…ooh, but as I type this, I know what I’d need: my secret box with all my passwords and log in details kept totally encrypted, of course, so only I understand what I’ve written, in order to gain access to the cloud place with all my stuff on it – without that I’d be lost.
How would you finish the sentence “not a lot of people know…”?
Not a lot of people know this but I once went up in a microlight, while attending a wedding… (Now, there has to be a story in there somewhere…)
Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?
For the purpose of this I’m discounting home as that is my favourite place but otherwise it is Gozo, which is a small island off Malta. We discovered Gozo six years ago and have been going there ever since. I feel truly at home there and it is the place I would run to should I ever have to leave the country. The people are wonderful, and actually like the British. They drive on the left hand side of the road so I’m happy driving there. It’s relaxed, beautiful and unendingly interesting. (We went to Gozo more than forty years ago and loved it. It was just starting to open up to tourists, but was still very quiet and peaceful.)
How do you relax?
I only really relax on holiday and I need to improve on this as that’s one week of the year. The rest of the time I do my best with a glass of wine in front of an episode of some series we’ve recorded, usually watching something everyone else was raving about a year ago.
If you could change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
I would like to be better at doing what I wanted to do, rather than what I feel everyone else wants me to do. And if I could do that and not feel guilty or upset anyone else then that would be terrific – but it also sounds really selfish so I know I will just carry on doing whatever keeps everyone around me happy. (Sounds all too familiar!)
Describe your ideal menu — and where would you like to eat it?
I would have the chilli prawn starter that Nick at The Tavern in a nearby village prepares – it is delicious and I would happily have this as a starter and main! Then because of where I would like to eat it (details to follow) there would be a pasta course and that would be my favourite food of all time, macaroni cheese (Charlie Bigham’s preferably, delish!)
My main would have to be chateaubriand as I love melt in the mouth steak, and there would be crispy chips and some sort of mini salad with a mustardy dressing. Pudding would have to be something chocolaty and my options are really endless but one that is a family favourite is Cookie Pudding so I might just have to make that myself – it’s dead easy though so I don’t mind.
I’d then end with cheese and biscuits but as I am picky and like to be precise it would actually be Tuc crackers, a really mature cheddar and a fantastic red onion chutney I get from our local shop. I always buy three pots at a time as anyone who tries it at my place loves it and I end up giving them a jar. As for where, well it would have to be in the gardens of the villa we stayed at in Gozo this year. It would be one of those fabulous Mediterranean evenings, a floaty outfit that would hide my expanding waist, and plenty of wine, what could be better? As you can see, I have given this a lot of thought! (Well, it’s not often that a response runs into three paragraphs! Sounds like a wonderful menu; have you got room at the table for one more?)
What would be in your ‘Room 101’?
Trifle – I cannot abide the grainy jelly soaked cakey layer at the bottom. Then all the fruit, custard and cream that gets mushed up with it, and the mere idea of then adding sherry into the mix makes me shudder. Yuck!
Clowns – pretty standard I’m sure. I hate anything with a false face, or no face at all, actually. They are creepy, even the ones that are meant to be making you laugh. No thanks.
On a slightly more serious note – Brexit. I wish I’d never heard the word and did not have to keep hearing it now – enough said.
If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
The Great British Bake Off – but only if it was back on BBC1, with Mel, Sue and Mary Berry. It’s stupid I know but I’m not watching it on whatever other channel it’s on, out of protest. I’m terribly loyal about things like that and hate change, detest it in fact.
So what have you got coming up in September?
I’m so pleased you asked! I’m delighted to say I have the launch of my fourth novel, Parallel Lies, on the 12th September. It is available to pre-order now and from the feedback so far I’m feeling pretty positive that Parallel Lies will find some readers who enjoy it. I’ll show you the cover, and the blurb, seeing as I’m here.
‘My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…’
Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it. Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job. Company…when she wants it. It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect. Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe, he might be worth letting into hers.
But all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets. And they never stay buried for ever. Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him. Or her past. Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have. Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new? You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.
But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish! You can find that by clicking here: Rafflecopter giveaway. (And there are some great prizes on offer!)
Thank you so much for inviting me onto your wonderful blog, Elizabeth, I’ve had great fun answering your terrific questions and getting to chat to your readers.
It’s been good chatting to you, Georgia. And good luck with the launch.