My guest this week is the lovely Georgia Hill. I asked her to say a little about herself:-
I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!
After doing an ‘Escape to the Country’ to rural Herefordshire, I now live on the beautiful Jurassic Coast. Both places inspire much of my writing. I share my home with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.
I write short stories for magazines, rom-coms and historical novels. You can find out about my books at http://www.georgiahill.co.uk
Ooo I want to know more about the ghost!
I asked Georgia some questions:-
Where did the idea for the Millie Vanilla books come from?
I’d had the idea of setting a story by the seaside for a while. I’ve just moved to the coast, to near Lyme Regis and that’s inspired me. The name Millie Vanilla just came to me but the plot was born in a workshop I did last year. I had so much of it that it spilled over into not just one novella but three! (Must add my thanks to fellow writers Wendy Lou Jones and Evonne Wareham who talked me through some plot knots).
A sense of place is important to me and I love writing about closely-knit communities. Before I moved, I lived in a village for twenty years and know village life well – both the advantages and the less positive aspects! Berecombe, my fictional seaside resort, is based on Lyme Regis (anyone who knows Lyme will instantly recognise it) but is in Devon, not Dorset.
Berecombe is a closely-knit village by the sea but, as well as the resident population, it also has a seasonal influx of visitors, of outsiders. That can add a useful dynamic for a writer.
How is the heroine of your book like you?
My immediate thought is Millie is nothing like me – Millie can cook! She’s also young and attractive (although the lovely thing about Millie is she doesn’t realise how beautiful she is and whenever someone tells her, she doesn’t believe them). She’s kind too, possibly a bit of a soft touch. She’s incredibly hard-working and still struggling with the grief of losing her parents. Taking over the family café has made her grow up too quickly and focus on work too soon. She hasn’t had time for love and has missed out on going to university, and being young and frivolous.
I’m really not as kind, am quite lazy and became a responsible adult as late in life as I could. I share Millie’s need to better herself by reading – and her love of dogs, of course. Oh – and we both have a weakness for attractive posh blonde men!
If you were casting a film of the book, who would play the leading parts?
This is always fun! I often have a person in mind on which I base the physical attributes of my characters. I always make image boards for my books and have one for the current work in progress, on the notice board as I write.
I’m a very visual person so it really helps with the writing. Helps too, as a quick reference, when you’ve forgotten the colour of your heroine’s eyes! Word count matters in novellas and there isn’t a lot spare so, if you can refer to a well-known person when describing your characters, it can get over an idea of what they look like quickly. It also saves words (and time. See reference above to me being lazy!).
I always had in mind a curvier version of Keira Knightley for Millie. I’ve got a picture of KK in a bo-ho chic flippy short skirt and big boots. She’s got a messy bob and it’s very much how I picture Millie. As she hasn’t much money, she buys from charity shops or wears her Dad’s old clothes. In this, she was influenced by the Sandra Bullock character, Lucy Moderatz, in one of my favourite films, While You Were Sleeping.
For the gorgeous Jed, I found an image of a bloke modelling Hackett. I dressed Jed in top to toe Hackett too, so the bonus was I had his wardrobe. As I wrote more of Jed, I realised I was channelling Bradley James, who is the square-jawed, with cheekbones like coat hangers actor who played Arthur in the TV series Merlin. There are also shades of Eddie Redmayne.
Mikey Love, in the second Millie book, is David Essex circa 1988, Dora is Bonnie Wright and Jed’s older brother is Alexander Skarsgard crossed with Tom Hiddlestone in sexy glasses. Gorgeous Linda Bassett, as Phyllis in Call the Midwife, is Biddy; a bit of a curmudgeon but with a racy past and a heart of gold. What a cast. I’d never afford them!
Once the book is finished, all the pictures and information get filed away. This is the picture which began While I Was Waiting, my historical dual narrative novel. It’s the perfect image of Gabe, the sun-tanned, blonde builder who was the modern hero.
As well as actual pin boards, I’ve virtual ones for all my books, so if you’re interested, take a look at my Pinterest boards. It’s fabulous for research and ideas https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’ve been busy, busy, busy. For those of you who love reading about Berecombe as much as I love writing about it, the good news is there will be three more Millie novellas in 2018. I’ve also just finished a supernatural time slip romance which I’m hoping will see the light of day at some point. This is a full length novel, similar in theme to While I Was Waiting. I’m really excited about this one as the hero, Matt, is just gorgeous. I’m totally in love with him!
Thank you, Georgia. Some interesting answers there. If you would like to contact Georgia or keep in touch with her work, there are some links below.
Buying and contact links:
HarperImpulse – http://www.harperimpulseromance.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/georgiawrites
Website – www.georgiahill.co.uk
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/georgiawrites/
Published 29 September 2017
Winter wedding bells are ringing at the Cupcake Café!
It’s winter in Berecombe and Millie’s café is up for sale. Her final task as its owner is to host her friends’ Christmas wedding on the beach, only she’s feeling anything but festive! Putting her ex, Jed, firmly out of her mind is proving impossible now he’s back working for her biggest rival.
What on earth is Jed up to? Telling her he still loves her is all very well, but if her café goes out of business, no-one will buy it. Christmas might be the season of good will towards men – but can Millie trust this particular man with her heart again?
Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café by Georgia Hill available as e-books and as a paperback from January 2018
Baking, broken hearts and beach weddings…it’s all happening in the gorgeous little seaside town of Berecombe!
Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café is struggling as a multi-national chain of cafés moves into town. Despite baking up a storm in a bid to save it, Millie’s distracted by falling head over heels for the gorgeous, mysterious Jed.
As the seasons change in Berecombe, the loveable, quirky locals rally round Millie, and in return find their own happy ever afters. Millie’s delighted for her friends, but when she discovers Jed’s been keeping secrets, she faces a new dilemma. Is it finally time to hang up her apron and start an exciting life somewhere new? Or is everything she’s ever wanted right under her nose, just waiting for her to reach out and take it?
What readers are saying about Millie Vanilla…
‘Pretty perfect’ – Swiss Bookworm
‘What a fabulous start to a series!’ – Annie’s Book Corner
‘From the very beginning, it stole my heart…A very promising start to an already cosy read, roll on part two!’ – The Writing Garnet
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit and winner of their Search for a Star competition 2016 is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.