Q&A With Georgie Blalock
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Q&A With Georgie Blalock
Tonight I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with author Georgie Blalock. Georgie is the author of the historical fiction novels, “The Other Windsor Girl,” “The Last Debutante,” and her recent novel “An Indiscreet Princess: A Novel of Queen Victoria’s Defiant Daughter”. I plan on reading all of those novels because as anyone who’s been on my blog knows, history and historical fiction is one of my favorite genres.
Q: So Georgie at what point in your life did you realize that you were called to be a writer?
A: I was called to writing early, and my first experience with writing success was in 6th grade when I won a short story contest. I was hooked after that, however, it took many years to find my writing niche. I originally wanted to be a screenwriter, and my professional writing career began at a small cable TV station in San Diego where I wrote marketing videos and public service announcements. Later, I moved to Los Angeles and while I never conquered Hollywood, I’d always enjoyed reading romance novels, so one day I started writing one. It was a Regency romance and it went on to become my first published novel. After writing historical romance novels under the pen name Georgie Lee for a number of years, I wanted to branch out into historical fiction and bring to life new eras in different ways. The Other Windsor Girl was my first historical fiction novel.
Q: What made you want to write historical fiction specifically?
A: I love history and there are so many different time periods to explore. Writing historical fiction allows me to imagine what those who have remained silent over the decades might have said or thought if they’d had the chance to speak. I also get to do a great deal of research and I love reading non-fiction history. It is thrilling to discover something or someone interesting and then imagine and play with how their story or the event might have turned out.
Q: What’s your advice to anyone wanting to write historical fiction? What’s your advice to anyone who struggles with writers block?
A: My best advice to those wanting to write historical fiction is to sit down and write. It sounds simple but it’s true. Sit down and write, even if you don’t feel like it, even if you don’t feel motivated, just write. The inspiration will come. It’s the same advice for dealing with writers block. I also recommend that people develop good writing habits and routines. I finished writing The Last Debutantes between March 2020 and June 2020, and long established routines and habits helped me stay creative and focused during that difficult time. I sat at my desk at the same time every day because when I’m at my desk, I know it’s time to work. The routines I’ve employed over the years, such as working for forty-five minutes and then taking fifteen off, helped keep me on track despite the craziness around me. I also heard from many writers that they went back to old routines, such as getting up before the kids, in order to make their word count and meet deadlines. Having established habits and routines, even old ones that you can fall back on, can make all the difference when life or writer’s block interferes with your writing plans.
Q: Out of all the novels which one did you have the most fun writing and why?
A: I had the most fun writing The Other Windsor Girl. Princess Margaret is such a fascinating character who provided a great deal of juicy content to work with. She had it all but, as a member of the Royal Family, she didn’t truly have the freedom to enjoy it. She was also the Princess Diana of her day. She was beautiful, glamorous and everyone wanted to know everything about her. During her 1949 trip to Italy, a reporter snuck into her hotel room and reported on what color nail polish she used. On that same trip, the press used telephoto lenses to snap pictures of her swimming in a pale bikini in Capri. They then wrote that she was swimming naked. Even Life Magazine in their May 16, 1949 issue ran this story. If you Google it, you can read it. It was fun to include those realistic details in my novel.
Also, postwar England is an interesting time of transition when a little of the old world of Downton Abbey still existed before swinging 60s London wiped it away for good. The change from one world to another, the loss of old traditions and a way of life, and the uncertainty and possibilities that those changes created offered a great deal of complex conflict to explore.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?
A: Yes, but I can’t give any details at this time.
Q: Considering that you wrote “The Other Windsor Girl,” about Princess Margaret,” and “An Indiscreet Princess” about Queen Victoria’s daughter, are you a huge fan of The Crown and the ITV and PBS show Victoria? I enjoyed both of those shows. It’s sad that Victoria isn’t coming back.
A: I’m a huge fan of The Crown. I love it, especially Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. I was careful not to watch the first season until I was done writing The Other Windsor Girl because I didn’t want The Crown’s fictional version of Princess Margret to influence mine. However, once I was finished, I binged it in a weekend. The release of season 2 coincided with the release of The Other Windsor Girl so I threw a viewing party. It was fun to gather up all my British decorations and serve tea. I’m very excited about the upcoming 5th season.
In regards to Victoria, I must shamefully say that I haven’t seen it. I’ve read the Daisy Goodwin book that Victoria is based on but I have yet to watch the show. I will have to change that very soon.
Q: If you were to collaborate with another author, who would it be and why?
A: I’m going to go with a few classics for this question. If I could, I would love to collaborate with Oscar Wilde for sharp and witty dialogue, and W. Somerset Maugham for great insight into characters. Also, both of these authors have popped up many times in my research, especially Maugham who moved in the London social circles of the 1920s and 1930s. If it were somehow possible, it would be wonderful to collaborate with them and hear their stories about what some of my historical characters were really like.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?
A: I have a number of story ideas that I’m developing for potential novels, including one about Wallis Simpson and the rumors that she may have been a traitor. Everyone thinks her love story with King Edward, who abdicated to be with her, is a grand love story but there is a darker reality beneath it that I’m eager to explore.