So, here’s my #PitchWars bio. For those who’ve come across this as a fellow contestant, best of luck. For those who have come across this by accident and don’t know what PitchWars is, here’s some background info: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/. And for any mentors looking at this, all I can say is “Pick me! Pick me!”
My name is Georgiana – it’s pronounced George-gee-ah-na – and not, as many people seem to think, pronounced the same as Georgina, only in a posher accent. Leave my fancy extra “A” out of my name at your peril!
As you can probably tell from this (now rather under-used) website and blog, I wrote and self-published The Cavaliers, a trilogy of vampire novels set at Oxford University. I’ve since written two other, quite different novels, which I’m aiming to publish conventionally.Firstly, The Dictator’s Wife, an adult romantic thriller about a military coup in the UK. Secondly, my actual PitchWars entry, My Love is Vengeance, a YA fantasy about a sixteen-year-old girl seeking revenge on the feudal lord who killed her brother while trying not to fall for his charms or give in to her dark side.
I’m British, and originally from Yorkshire. For those who don’t really know British geography, think Winterfell. I used to sound like a Stark bannerman. My Sean Bean-esque accent has faded over the years – it comes out when I get stressed or over-excited though. Part of my Yorkshire heritage is being a massive Sheffield Wednesday fan. (For those who don’t know that’s a football or *shudder* “soccer” team).
I studied history at Oxford University – I still adore everything historical, particularly the three Rs: Renaissance, Restoration and Regency. Afterwards, I converted to Law and now live in London with my husband, Freddie. If I’m a Stark, he’s definitely a Lannister, and his accent makes him sounds like a stereotypical British villain. He has other awesome qualities, but I think deep down, that’s probably what attracted me to him 😉
We both work for the UK Government. This has not made for a relaxing last few months. Still, getting to pose outside Ten Downing Street sort of makes up for it.
I love any type of story that takes me away from the here and now: futuristic, historical, fantasy or simply weird, dramatic things happening in a contemporary setting. I’m generally less of a fan of stories of ordinary people doing ordinary things in the present day, though I’ll make an exception for anything that includes unconventional narratives, unreliable narrators or tricksy, experimental story-telling.
I am an unashamed lover of alluring villains and villainous (or at least seriously morally ambiguous) protagonists. That’s Gone Girl-style ladies and Darkling-style gentlemen. I particularly enjoy tales that feature sinister characters as possible love interests. And to be clear, that’s villains, not bad boys. I have zero interest in muscly, drug-taking hardmen who take a ‘treat em mean, keep em keen’ attitude to their love interests, but I can’t resist those hell bent on world domination.
Other things I love are posh characters (and classes colliding), well-executed twists, complicated plots with lots of hidden clues, elaborate world-building I can obsess over, elaborate plans, and doomed or forbidden romances. Some of my favourites include:
YA Fantasy and Paranormal
- The Grisha Trilogy
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone
- A Court of Thorns and Roses (though I couldn’t get into a Throne of Glass for some reason – I keep thinking I ought to give it another go)
- This Savage Song (and other VE Schwab books)
- The Young Elites
- The Red Queen
- Everything by LJ Smith – they are a bit dated now, but basically defined my mid-teens and I still feel no one does sexy villain quite so well
- Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire (love, love, love the books and the TV show. My husband introduced me to the books years ago, and geeking out about them is a core component of our marriage!)
- The Kingkiller Chronices
- Prince of Thorns – which pushes my ability to root for the villain to its absolute limit
- American Gods
More realistic and/or literary books
- Gone Girl
- Cloud Atlas – and basically everything by David Mitchell
- Prep – and basically everything by Curtis Sittenfeld apart from her latest one, Eligible, which was fun but forgettable
- Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies
I fanatically review every book I read, so you can get more of a feel for what I enjoy on my Amazon review page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1M4SYONBR2PXM? or on Goodreads.
I spend far more time reading than I do watching TV and films, but I do have a few recent favourites: Outlander (enjoyed the books too, but prefer the adaptation), Lord of the Rings (likewise), House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire. I also think I might be the only person in the world who genuinely enjoyed Jupiter Ascending – mostly thanks to Eddie Redmayne’s space villain’s eyeliner and shouty voice, and this review. http://www.themarysue.com/review-jupiter-ascending-the-worst/
I have a very weird relationship with computer games. Due to having seriously screwed up hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness (I’m dyspraxic – it’s a bit like being dyslexic only with time and space instead of words), actually playing them is a bit of a non-starter. But my husband is a massive gamer, and usually he plays while I read or write in the same room, and then I dash over to his computer when it looks like something interesting is about to happen. As a result, I can happily geek out over most major games of recent years (particularly Assassins Creed, The Witcher, Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect) without ever having touched the mouse. Though when he plays map games, I hide in the corner.
I love music. In my teens, I went through a bit of an emo phrase (though I’m far too cheery a person to have pulled it off particularly well) and I still have a soft spot for My Chemical Romance (see below for one of my all-time favourite pictures), Panic at the Disco et al.
Nowadays, I’m into slightly gentler indie type stuff like Vampire Weekend and Lana del Rey. At the same time, I’m much more willing to listen to something poppy and mainstream than I used to be – though when my tattooed, guitar-playing brothers found out how much I’d been listening to Taylor Swift recently, I didn’t hear the end of it for weeks.
Then there’s the musicals. I used to be word-perfect on Evita (though sadly not pitch perfect) and force my youngest brother to join in on the duets. Nowadays, I think I could probably sing the whole of Hamilton right through without having to look up any lyrics.
Away from arts and entertainment, I love solo exercise of all kinds – running, weights, dancing, yoga etc. I try to workout every day to some degree or another, even if it’s just a quick fifteen minute yoga practice. This only started about four years ago – before then, I confused being too malcoordinated for anything involving a ball (see above) with hating exercise. Then I did the Couch to 5K programme and 30 Day Shred and never looked back.
Perhaps to balance this out, I really enjoy cooking. Either me or my husband cooks something from scratch almost every night, and at weekends or when people are coming over, I like to try out elaborate new recipes – here’s my pile of ingredients for one recent attempt.
Finally, I love getting seriously dressed up (sometimes with a vintage edge) and doing fancy things. Oxford provided ample opportunities for this, real life rather fewer, but I try my best.
You can find many other pimpmybio entries here: http://linkis.com/lmubp