What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Nino Gugunishvili holds an MA in arts and has worked in film and television industries. Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock is her first published work of fiction. She lives in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Today I'm interviewing author Nino Gugunishvili.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
* Oh, I’m not the most disciplined person you’ll know. When I’m not writing I’m reading, or going out with my friends, walking in the park, or forcing myself to attend my fitness class and of course I’m waiting for the new episodes of my beloved shows to watch.
What was your favourite book as a child?
* “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas, Jerome K. Jerome’s “Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog), Jack London’s short stories and novels, Mark Twain’s works, O.Henry’s short stories, and many, many more….
* My father had an incredible library, so I often sneaked there to lose the sense of time while reading.
Where do you get your ideas?
* Ideas may come from everywhere… Even from our dreams, from places we visit, form impressions and our own experiences. In my opinion, the stories we write about reflect our inner life and accumulate everything that is stored in our memory. When the right moment or an impulse comes, it nourishes our imagination and the story is born.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
* I guess I’m a pantser. While working on “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” I haven’t planned anything in terms of story or plot development, but there were certain things which I knew. I knew for example that the main protagonist Tasha would have a dog, a Labrador - retriever, or that another character, Balthazar Hamish would have a headache in the opening scene, or, that he’ll have a deputy - Liz Foster. I also knew that Tasha would be straight-forward, unconfident and funny.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
* When I decided to publish my book, I had to learn and research as much as I could in the field of publishing. All of it was a brand new, extremely challenging, sometimes unnerving, but at the same time a very enriching and positive experience that lasted for three years, starting from the process of writing a book to the final stage of its publication. I’m deeply grateful to the “Archway Publishing” team who made it all possible. They were very supportive all through my publishing journey.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
* Don’t be afraid, believe in yourself, trust your abilities, read as much as you can and write, do not wait for a perfect moment, a muse or n inspiration, just write!
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
* I think that the toughest one is still to come either in a form of review or a verbal remark and I’m trying hard to get used to it. It’s the most difficult part of presenting your writing to the outside world, to the audience… that’s the moment when you have to realize that not everyone will fell in love with your book instantly, if at all. Someone will say that it’s not what they expected, or that it’s too long and dull and boring, or that the situations in the book are too unrealistic… You definitely need to have guts to cope with criticism, judgmental views or a bad review, especially when you’re a debut author. You’re certainly not prepared or used to it. You’re not immune to it and probably will never be… But I hope that there will be readers who’ll enjoy this book and for me this is the most important and encouraging thing.
What has been the best compliment?
* When readers say that they couldn’t put it down! When they say that they didn’t want it to end or that they laughed to tears! A friend of mine told me that reading my book was like watching a very good movie!
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
* My writing environment consists of a couch, an HP mini black laptop, a muted TV and my dog beside me. Oh, and I forgot about a mug of a hot coffee.
* She's bored with Pilates. She's never tried yoga. She doesn't even have a driver's license. She lives a pretty ordinary life as a freelance writer who battles the occasional flow of melancholy with the regular flow of martinis. Nestled into her couch, her television remote in one hand and a cold adult beverage in the other, she's found a favorite way to pass the hours on a Friday evening. It's comfortable and familiar, but it's not exactly an exciting way to live. With two of her closest friends, a bossy mother, an eighty-two year old grandmother, and Griffin, her fat yellow Labrador at her side, she knows that there has to be something better out there.
* But where?
* When she gets an unexpected offer to relocate to France to write a magazine column, she thinks her circumstances are improving. But life in a new country isn't all pêches et la crème. Now far away from her comfort zone, Tasha must find the inner strength to start a new career and navigate the bizarre and unknown world of professional jealousy, intrigue, and conflicting personalities in a very foreign land.
* It's enough to make a girl yearn for those quiet nights on the couch.
* “Get what?”
* “That unromantic goddess piece. Very nicely done, Liz. Find the author as soon as possible, please. I need her here. You can do it, right?”
* “Sure I can, Balthazar. The only thing is, she lives in another country. It will probably take time.”
* “Hope you can arrange everything, her work permit, visa, and all. I need her as a columnist. I’m thinking of starting a new column right away. Well, that’s all I wanted to say. See you later, Liz.”
* What an asshole! thought Liz, with her lips pressed to her old cell phone. She didn’t have time to buy a new one. She barely had time for anything more than her job lately. She was becoming a workaholic and hated herself for that discovery. Okay, fine! I will try to reach the unromantic goddess by phone and send her an email. That’s it. Come on, Balthazar, the new issue is just a week away, and I don’t think it’s perfect timing for a newcomer to come in. I’m not your secretary, after all!
* Liz took a last sip of coffee and suddenly brightened. A good cup of coffee always changed her mood.
* She opened her laptop and easily found what she was looking for in her database of new authors. There she was. Her name was Tasha. She looked young and wore big glasses. Her haircut was simply awful.
* That’s fine. Her haircut can be changed, Liz thought as she started typing an email.
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