Georgina is an author of fantasy and science fiction novels. Georgie and I have become good friends over the last few years. This is through a love of writing, and a desire to support our local Tasmanian Indie Author community. Georgie is a prolific author/publisher, with over twenty-eight fantasy and science fictions novels and novellas. All the amazing result of dedication and strict discipline.
Georgina Makalani survives life as a servant of the public by hiding in cafes at lunch time with dragons, the occasional crazed faery, and a little bit of magic. She and her daughter live in beautiful southern Tasmania, with two crazy cats and a writing desk that overlooks the water.
Georgina is a discovery writer, which means she discovers the story as it unfolds across the pages, as a reader would discover a story as they read. She can’t explain how this works, or why it is the best way for her. It is what it is. And she loves that about writing: discovering new characters, being surprised by twists, and learning that what seemed insignificant a few chapters back actually had a reason.
She tried plotting and planning, but the characters had other ideas. She feels she’s just the typist to their story. Over the course of writing many books, she has learned to trust her process.
Many of her stories contain a sense of finding place or family, and explore relationships both good and bad, platonic and intimate.
Here’s my interview with Georgina:
1. Why do you write – and why did you decide to write a book?
The easy answer here is that I need to write. I have to write. There are so many stories inside my head that the only way I can stay sane is to write them down.
Since I was young, I have been scribbling down ideas and scenes just to get them out of my head. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I thought about writing a book and I was in my thirties before I started trying to do that seriously.
2. What genres do you enjoy reading?
Over the years I have read very broadly and I think as a writer it is important to experience a range of story telling. The genres I enjoy most are fantasy and science fiction (which is what I write). I love adventure style books, where I can develop an emotional connection to the characters – my all time favourite author (who does this extremely well in both my favourite genre) is Lindsay Buroker.
3. How long did it take you to write your first book from first word to publish? If you’ve written or published more than one book, how long does it take you now to write and publish a book?
The first book I published took me seven years from first work to publish – I reworked it a lot. But it wasn’t the first book I wrote (that will never see the light of day).
Depending on a number of factors, it now takes me 4-6 months to write and publish a book.
4. What’s the most challenging part of being an author for you?
Sometimes it is the writing – as much as I love it, writing can be hard. The marketing side of being an indie author is a real challenge and one I’m working on.
5. What do you love the most about being an author?
Getting lost in a story and I love that as a reader too. As a discovery writer I don’t know what is going to happen next until it is forming on the page before me and that can be really exciting.
6. If you could give an aspiring author one piece of advice, what would it be?
Shut out all of the conflicting advice, and all the “you must do this…” or “you must be this…” if you are to be a REAL writer. Just write. Find your own voice and your own process without trying to stick to what other people say that must look like. We all write differently, we all think differently, and that is ok.
7. What is the best book you’ve found on the writing process?
It is not about quitting writing, it is about finding what works best for you as a writer, and what you need to work on to be the writer you want to be. The whole series is quite good.
8. Are you self-published, traditionally, or hybrid-published, and why did you take that publishing route? Would you choose that route for your next book?
I am self-published and I wouldn’t do it any differently. I like the control, I like being able to publish my stories the way I want to, without someone telling me there is no market for them, or that they don’t fit current reader expectations. I will continue to publish my own books.
9. What does writing process look like?
The first novel I wrote, which we won’t talk about again, was chick lit (and bad) and I was reading through it as I was editing and mumbled about how boring it was. My daughter (just a little thing at the time) was wise enough to tell me that if I wasn’t enjoying it, I didn’t have to read it. So I thought about what I did enjoy reading and started in that same instant what would become my first published novel.
Dragons. Dragons were the key.
10. What does your typical day look like, when you are working on a book?
When working on a book – I get up early and maybe fiddle with email for a little while and then get into writing or editing my current book.
If it is a work day, I do this until six am and then the usual grind starts.
If a weekend or writing day – I continue writing in 20-40 minute blocks and then break that up with some housework tasks, fresh cups of tea and playing with the cat until lunch time. I may come back to it after lunch, but usually play with other writing business things, or take the time to allow my brain to mull over where the story might be going (usually while I watch something or spend time with my daughter).
11. Do you put yourself into your characters, or are they completely fictional?
I certainly don’t deliberately put myself into characters. I feel what they are feeling, and they tend to respond as I would to certain situations, but not always.
Experiences from my life might influence some of those responses, or plot points, but I prefer to think that they are completely fictional.
12. How much of your own life, and your own experiences, have affected your storylines?
Likely more than I am conscious of, but as I said, I don’t deliberately try to put my own experiences into my stories.
13. Do you write what you want to write, or what you feel is sellable?
I write what the characters tell me to. I’ve tried pointing them in a direction, but they don’t like that. My stories might not fit exactly into categories, but the readers seem to enjoy them, and that is all I can ask.
14. Would you still be an author if you knew no one would read your books?
I would still have to write, whether I published or not.
15. What’s the best book you feel you’ve written?
My favourite book is usually the most recent. And each book is better than the one before as I learn so much from them.
The book that really sticks with me – The Caged Raven, the second in the Caged Raven series, there were some moments in the book that really surprised me, and scared me, as I wrote it and I think Meg is still one of my favourite characters.
You can find Georgina here:
Facebook : /georginamakalaniauthor
Website link: www.theflowofink.com
Link to Georgina’s books: www.theflowofink.com
Link to Georgina’s latest book: https://books2read.com/BurningPrince