Meet Author Georgina Young-Ellis

Posted on September 7, 2011

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In my sister’s spare time, she is a ballroom dance instructor and runs this really neat competition each year. Through her, I learned to love ballroom dance. And those of you who know me know that Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is one of my all time favorite books and can’t get enough of reading Sci-Fi. What does this have to do with today’s guest Author Georgina Young-Ellis? You’ll see.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been an actress most of my life, but I started writing novels about five years ago, and that has pretty much taken over for me as a creative pursuit. The process is not that different: creating compelling characters, and the motivation for them to overcome obstacles. I live in NYC with my husband who is a sculptor, a director and a writer, and my musician son. As a matter of fact, I come from a family of artists; my dad was a painter and designer, my brother’s a photographer, I have an interior designer sister, and most of my cousins are musicians as well.

Tell us something few know about you.
When people meet me, I think they see a kind of lady-like person. What they are always surprised to know is that I’m crazy about Swing dancing (you know, like 1940’s style Jitterbug… it’s called Lindy Hop) and take classes with my husband. I’m also a die-hard Kayaker, and I’ve been known to curse like a sailor.

What genre(s) do you like to read?
I love classic literature most of all, but I also read a lot of sci-fi and historical fiction.

What is your favorite novel and why?
Besides Pride and Prejudice (which is almost everyone’s favorite novel) I’d have to say Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. She’s an African American writer from the 1920’s who wrote this poetic and soulful book about a young woman’s arduous path to love. It hits me in a very deep place.

What was the last novel you read that you enjoyed and why?
I tend to read several books at once; so two of the novels I last read were vastly different, but I enjoyed them nearly equally. One was Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, a beautiful and compelling story, and the other was Wendy and the Lost Boys by Barbara Silkstone, a hysterically funny, thrill ride of a book.

When did you begin writing?
I’ve always written in some form or another, poetry, essays, plays, screenplays…but I only began to write novels five years ago.

What genre(s) do you write?
The Time Baroness, and its soon to be released sequel The Time Goddess (or Time Heiress, I haven’t totally decided on the title), are time-travel novels with a romantic theme – you might say time-travel romance/adventure. But in my spare time I’m also working on a thriller featuring mermaids and murder!

Where do your concepts for your novels come from?
From my fantasies – especially my first novel. I dreamed about going back in time to Jane Austen’s day, but doing it as me, a modern woman. I wondered: how would I prepare for this journey? How would I fit in? Who would I meet?

How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It’s such a process: first draft, second, third, having people read it for feedback, more drafts, an editor, more drafts, more editing. So far, I’m averaging three or four years to complete a book, but just like I can read more than one book at a time, I can also write more than one at a time. For instance, while my I wait for feedback from early readers or my editor, I’m usually working on another book. Therefore, I’ve managed to have one book completed, another almost finished and another about half way done – all within five years.

Tell us about your latest book?
The Time Baroness is my first novel, released in April of 2011. As I mentioned, it’s a romantic, time-travel adventure set in Jane Austen’s England. The main character, Cassandra Reilly, is a scientist. She travels from the future of 2120 to the year 1820 as an experiment: to live for a year and try to pass for a wealthy woman of the time. But things happen to throw a wrench into her experiment, one of which is falling in love; another situation leads to a dangerous adventure.

Where can readers purchase your latest book?
They can find it on Amazon, both as a .99 cent e-book and in print: http://amzn.to/ljb0wb

What other titles have you written?
Nothing that is available just yet, but ultimately I plan to have five books in what I’m calling The Time Mistress Series, and the next one is The Time Goddess (Heiress). If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be? I think I wouldn’t have tried to get an agent so early on. My book was accepted by an agent before it was really ready to be out there. She thought that the concept was so strong publishers would overlook the undeveloped writing, but that wasn’t the case. I wasted about a year waiting for a publisher to accept it; time I should have spent re-writing it. In the end, it was published by an indy publisher, Leaping Tall Buildings. I’m so happy with them because they totally understand my vision.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being a writer?
The best part is writing. I never have writer’s block. I’m like a fountain of ideas and inspiration. But I don’t have limitless energy because writing requires a lot. I’m really only able to devote about four hours a day total. The down side of writing is that, of course, it’s hard to make a living only writing, yet I’m getting closer and closer to that goal. In the meantime I teach ESL, a job I truly love. One day soon though, I’ll be happy to do nothing but devote my days to writing, promotion and networking.

What do you have on the burner for the next year?
Certainly The Time Goddess (Heiress) is on that burner. I plan to release it this fall (2011). After that, I’ll be continuing my research for, and starting the first draft of the third book in my series which will be called The Time Contessa, taking place in Renaissance Italy. I will also move forward with my mermaid book that I’m calling, “Deep Revenge.”

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Get an editor. Get an editor. Get an editor. Someone you can really trust. If you’re writing an indy book, I can’t stress this enough, and it can’t be your sister or your mom or your best friend. It has to be a legitimate editor who you can find by asking other writers you know. That brings me to networking. Do tons of it. Find online writing groups and get advice there. Form connections and friendships with other writers, especially those more experienced than you. And last but not least, follow the words a writer friend once said to me that have made a huge difference to the time I allow myself for writing: “Your writing comes first or it comes last.” Meaning, don’t put your writing after doing the dishes, or sending that email, or sweeping the floor, because you may never get around to it. Of course making a living really comes first, and things like feeding the kids…I also put exercise first because I decided that having a healthy body means having a healthy mind, and besides that, I don’t want to become an out of shape writer hunched over my computer all day. Other than that, don’t let day to day things distract you from your writing.

How can readers reach you?
You can find me at my website: GeorginaYoungEllis.com, on my blog: http://www.Nerd-girlsRomanticsandTime-travelers.blogspot.com, or http://www.SearchingForSincerity.com. Also The Time Baroness has a fan page on Facebook and on twitter: @TheTimeBaroness.

What would you like to add?
Just thank you so much for the opportunity to make myself known to your readers. I wish everybody the time and space in their lives to follow their dreams!

Dee here. I’d like to thank Georgina for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit with us.

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