**Trying not to happy dance myself to death** I am seriously beside myself with excitement and respect, because I get to interview Georgina Guthrie, the amazing author of The Weight of Words, coming out November 26th.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of her writing since 2010, when she first started writing about “Sailor and Poppet”. Even though we have actually conversed via email many times, now she’s hit the big time, and little old me gets to interview her. *big fat cheesy grin*
So Miss GG, let’s chat…
Hi Katie! Thanks so much for having me!
Tell me about one of the first stories that you wrote. Even if you were just a kid.
I used to write in a diary every day. I was the weird kid who’d get excited about having to write stories and plays at school. When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a children’s story about a clumsy caterpillar. Turns out he was always falling over because his shoes were all on the wrong feet. I haul it out to look at it from time to time. The illustrations are hysterical. #NotAnArtist (I’ll be digging it up as soon as we’re finished here…LOL)
Do you have a writing schedule or ritual that you follow?
I honestly don’t have the time to indulge myself in schedules or rituals. I write whenever I can, wherever I can, using a computer, my phone, pen and paper, whatever’s available. I’m reluctant to ritualize my writing because I fear that would limit my productivity.
Do you find music influential in your writing? Do you listen to music when writing or do you like quiet?
There are a few artists whose work is very inspiring. Peter Katz is a local singer-songwriter whose songs tell stories and explore the human condition in such an honest way. His song “Forgiveness” really helped shape my thoughts about one of my character’s experiences with the death of his parents at the hands of a drunk driver.
I don’t need music to write, but if I’m writing a particularly stirring scene, I’ll sometimes select a piece of music and replay it as I write to try to keep myself in that mode.
I’ve wanting to thank you for introducing me to The National. They are one of my favorite bands now. 🙂
I learned so much about Shakespeare‘s work from you. It changed my opinion about reading it. It’s not that I didn’t like the Bard, but it can be daunting. You made it seem attainable. Was it his work that inspired you to write The Weight of Words?
I wouldn’t say Shakespeare’s work initially inspired me to write The Weight of Words, but once I was writing and developing my ideas for the story, his works were largely inspiring. Using a Shakespearean quotation to open each chapter allowed me to delve back into his plays and poetry, and I loved immersing myself in his words again. The tutorial scenes are some of my favourites. His themes are truly timeless.
I love how your writing transports me to University of Toronto. My goal one day is to go there and wander the campus looking for my own gorgeous TA. Did you study there?
I did study at U of T. It’s a beautiful campus. I lived at Vic, but spent many hours at University College, too. I also spent a great deal of time at Hart House. I worked there for a couple of years.
Your stories made me this crazy woman who loves the idea of having sex in a book store or library. Yes, I do blame you for this “problem”. Is this something you might have experienced in your past? Please say yes…LOL
Well now you’re just being cheeky. *zips lips*
When you decided to approach a publisher with your work, what was that experience like? Do you have advice for writers out there who think they might want to share their work with the world?
Any time you offer up a piece of yourself and face potential rejection, the experience is frightening. I had my share of angst and did a fair bit of hand-wringing. I suppose, like anything, there are no guarantees of success. I did some research on writing queries and summaries, and didn’t start putting myself out there until I felt I understood what I was doing. Having said that, the publishing process is definitely a learn-as-you-go experience.
I love that your story has this insane amount of UST, because honestly I don’t necessarily need a lot of sex in the beginning. Which do you find more difficult to write about, UST or actual sex scenes?
That’s an interesting question. Sex scenes aren’t difficult to write in and of themselves. There’s only so many ways the parts can go together. It’s making the scene genuine and not reducing it to its basic mechanics that’s important. When I write an erotic scene, I have a constant mantra running though my head: my characters are not porn stars. I try to remember the human aspect—these are two people in love. I try to make sure they remain in character.
UST is merely the longing between the two characters who want to be together but can’t. It’s just a part of the plot as far as I’m concerned. I love writing that. I slow down. I close my eyes. I picture the moment— imagine the thudding hearts, the magnetic pull, their overwhelming desire to push aside impediments and crash into each other. Love it.
Personally, I don’t think that writing foreplay would be any easier than writing the actual act. Kudos to you for doing so well at both.
OK. Rapid-fire questions, which means say the first thing that comes to mind.
Coffee or Tea
Tea. Doh. Coffee. No, tea.
Sweet or Salty
Sweet (But both combined is amazing. Ever had chocolate covered potato chips? HEAVEN!)
I love salty and sweet together too!! My favorite treat is chocolate covered pretzels. Yum!
Wine or Beer
Favorite play or sonnet from Shakespeare.
Play: Macbeth, Sonnet: Sonnet 57 (at least this week 🙂 )
Favorite musical artist or what you’re listening to right now on your iTunes
Right now: The Head and the Heart
Favorite place to see bands play live
Clubs or small bars
Favorite eye color
Dogs or cats
Neither – allergic. (but at least cats don’t bark…) My dog is not a barker. I’m sure you would love him. 🙂
PC or Mac
Next week Tamie and I are going to review The Weight of Words together for the book release and tour, so stay tuned.
Thanks GG for the interview!!