Georgia Clark is a novelist and performer. She’s the author of It Had To Be You, The Regulars, The Bucket List, and others. She’s also the host and founder of the popular storytelling night, Generation Women. A native Australian, she lives in Brooklyn with her hot wife and a fridge full of cheese. Follow her on Instagram.
Check out our review of It Had to Be You here.
What’s the strangest thing you searched for on the internet for your novel?
This week I’ve been reading about the mating habits and life span of the huntsman, a flat-bodied non-venomous spider about the size of your hand. I’m an Aussie and grew up with them living on my bedroom walls (I know: weird). The book I’m currently writing is set on a tropical island off the coast of Australia, and a Canadian character called Liss talks to one she’s named Max; sort of a non-verbal sidekick. Vis a vis mating habits; here’s where that knowledge got folded in (unedited!):
“Max,” Liss addressed the arachnid while toweling dry, “do you ever get really, really horny?”
In order to mate with virgin females, male huntsmans sometimes guarded female huntsmans on the verge of sexual maturity. Mating could last for many hours, and unlike other species, female rarely attacked the males. Female huntsman were typically attentive mothers, forgoing food to mind their egg sacs and new-borns. This parental devotion lasted around three weeks. For most huntsman species, this affair would be the only social interaction they’d experience in their 2-year lifespan lives. Had Liss known this, she might not be seeking love life advice from a spider.
What book (or author) made you fall in love with the romance genre?
Well, I grew up loving Woody Allen’s witty NY-set rom-coms (bummer, right?). I was a casual Babysitters Club reader and obsessive Sweet Valley High fan—I will be able to recall the cover for Dangerous Love (#6; Todd gets a motorcycle) on my deathbed. I still love writing about hot blondes and I do blame that series.
As far as recent work that has helped me find my place in romance and identify my taste: the novel Red, White, & Royal Blue (for premise, tone, sexiness, and political fantasy), Happiest Season (for the power of a queer lens of a classic trope, the holiday film) and the TV show Feel Good (for the power of autofic, queer love stories, chemistry, humor, heat; basically everything).
All this landed me in a place where ensemble rom-com with a strong queer focus feels 100% right.
What is your favourite trope? Why?
I like the idea of working from a really classic trope – something so broad it’s a cliche. Waitress meets movie star. There’s so much in those four words—who doesn’t want to see that with a happy ending?! In It Had To Be You, that waitress is Zia Ruiz, a free spirit with a painful past, looking for her freedom. The movie star is Clay Russo, a thoughtful (and extremely hot) action hero parsing his identity in a world where everyone knows his name. I wanted to make this old idea work in a new way, and for readers to truly believe that these two people, separated by class, belong together. I really liked working with Zia and Clay—they are probably the least like me out of the whole cast, but I definitely felt like I understood them. I hope I did a good job.
It’s the morning after, and a lover is making your main character the perfect breakfast in bed. What is it?
Savory, for sure, involving buttered sourdough toast, sunnyside down eggs, potato hash, fake meat, hot sauce, maybe a pastry on the side and really good coffee with half-and-half. And then some lazy morning sex? Am I just describing my perfect breakfast?
What book are you reading currently?
Just started Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters and Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne is next after that.
Rapid Fire Question: Peonies or Lillies? I have a native Australian lily called a dianella tattooed on my skin so gotta go lily.