This week’s Inheritance Books are from Georgia Hill. Hi Georgia, welcome to the blog.
Many thanks to Rhoda for having me on. What a great idea for a blog!
Why, thank you! And it’s my pleasure. Do take a macaron, they’re so light I don’t they have any calories in them. So, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Georgia Hill and I write short stories, rom-coms and historical fiction. I’m published in magazines, by E-Scape Press and Harper Impulse, the digi-first imprint of Harper Collins.
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!
A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted oast house, which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.
I was one of those children who always had their nose stuck in a book – I even read while walking home from primary school. Enid Blyton was a favourite but along the way I devoured Rosemary Sutcliff, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and the lovely Flambards books. When slightly older, I borrowed Mum’s Mills and Boons and relished the exotic locations like New Zealand or Madagascar and descriptions of flowers like frangipani. To a girl whose idea of heaven was a caravan holiday in Lyme Regis, this was exoticism indeed.
And then, as a teenager, I discovered Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is still my all time favourite novel. My love for it even survived being read aloud in class by a bunch of thirteen year olds. How we giggled at the mention of ‘social intercourse’!
Nowadays I read widely and eclectically. Favourite authors are Barbara Erskine, Rachel Hore, Sebastian Faulks and Phil Rickman. I love autobiography too and have just finished Bedsit Disco Queen by the wonderful Tracey Thorn. I read a lot of history, especially local and social and love anything to do with regional folklore and ghost stories.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
My inherited book is one which had a direct influence on the next book I have out: While I was Waiting (out in July with Harper Impulse). It was handed down to me by my father and it’s a collection of photographs from World War I.
The foreword states, ‘it is a stern heart which can look upon these photographs unmoved’ and it’s very true. As a child, the book gave me nightmares. The reader is spared no image, no matter how horrific. It began a morbid fascination with World War I, which intensified when I read Testament of Youth, aged 17. While I was Waiting takes place during the Great War and is about a group of people tragically affected by it.
Which book would you leave to generations below? Why?
The book I would like to pass down is Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. Part love story, part war story, it’s set during World War I. I’d like to think reading about the effects of war would make us a more peaceable race but, sadly, I fear that hope is in vain.
To appease my other, far more frivolous side, I’d also like to bequeath Jilly Cooper’s Octavia. A breezy romance with a hunky Welsh hero and terrible puns. What’s not to love? And, after all the poignancy and horror of World War I, you really need something funny.
Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us Georgia. Do drop by soon.
Georgia’s books While I Was Waiting is published by Harper Impulse and available to preorder now. You can find out more about Georgia and her books by visiting her website, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter (@georgiawrites) profiles.