Georgina Hannan grew up in Surrey, England. She loved school and spending her free time with her friends and family.
She wrote her first story when she was fourteen (unpublished) and has always had a love of writing.
‘Cursed’ was inspired by a brief day trip to the Dartmoor area. It was on this trip Georgina became enthralled by the area and an idea was sparked.
Georgina is a full-time I.T Consultant and so spends her free time juggling writing and see family and friends.
Alex Laybourne: Hi Georgina,
Georgina Hannan: Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat.
Alex Laybourne: What drove you to start writing?
Georgina Hannan: Believe it or not, a school project. We had to write a short story on a subject of our choice. I chose to write about a girl who was cursed as a child and everyone she loved was taken from her – I wrote it from two perspectives; hers, and her boyfriends. From that moment on, I was hooked.
Alex Laybourne: I see a lot of similarities there with your first novel. Did you retain elements of that school project for your novel?
Georgina Hannan: I didn´t, to be honest, I had completely forgotten about it! I do plan on writing that full story eventually.
Alex Laybourne: Cursed was your first novel, and part of a series; a large undertaking for a young writer. Was it a conscious choice on your part, or did the story simply lead you down that path?
Georgina Hannan: The story led me down that path. It started as single story called ´A Holiday to Remember´ but when I finished it me and friend – who also happens to be a writer – both felt that there was much more to it, areas that we had left unexplored. I just didn’t know what. It came to me one morning, extremely early, when I was ‘helping’ my boyfriend with his cleaning job. We excitedly began throwing ideas around until I had it! I knew the title still wasn’t right through. That came to me in the bath!
Alex Laybourne: What do you think makes a great book?
Georgina Hannan: A great storyline, believable characters, a big problem, and a few twists before you get to the resolution.
Alex Laybourne: Writing is a craft that you can never truly master. Would you agree?
Georgina Hannan: Yes. There is always more to learn and more to write about
Alex Laybourne: On that same note, do you think that it is possible for a writer to create a great novel at the first time of asking?
Georgina Hannan: No, I don’t. However, I believe that story telling comes naturally to some people, while others – who still achieve great success – have to work a lot harder and creating the key story elements.
Alex Laybourne: What does writing mean to you? How would you define being a writer?
Georgina Hannan: Writing to me is excitement. It is an escape. I love the freedom I can get from writing. It is something that I can’t always have in my own life. Being a writer is being the creator of worlds you can never have, and being able to share those with everyone else.
Alex Laybourne: Do you have a particular process that you like to follow when you write?
Georgina Hannan: Mostly, I just jot down the idea when it comes to me. I then set down the character names, research the information I need to begin, and then away I go.
Alex Laybourne: Do you set yourself a daily word target or a time limit?
Georgina Hannan: No, because I’m rubbish when it comes to sticking to those – life gets in the way a lot
Alex Laybourne: When it comes to writing would you sacrifice a day out and about or an evening with friends in order to finish a chapter?
Georgina Hannan: Yes if I had the urge to write. I tend to only write when I am compelled because that way what I write is of a better quality. If I force myself then I just find I have to re-writing it later.
Alex Laybourne: How long did it take you to write cursed? How many drafts did you go through before you had it just right?
Georgina Hannan: Well I started it in 2010, but then parked it until 2012. I did quite a few drafts although the number escapes me. I wasn’t keeping track.
Alex Laybourne: How would you define success as a writer?
Georgina Hannan: My goal was to publish my book and have people read and enjoy it – I’ve done that so personally, my success is huge. Compared with other writers, it is nothing special, but I am not disheartened or worried. I like writing and write for me more than anyone.
Alex Laybourne: What is more important to you; sales or reviews?
Georgina Hannan: Reviews
Alex Laybourne: How do you deal with negative reviews of your work?
Georgina Hannan: I haven’t had any yet. Not that I can find. But if I did, then I would just accept it, and look to learn from them. Everyone is allowed an opinion and you can’t please everyone.
Alex Laybourne: Outside of the current ‘Cursed’ series, do you have plans to write anything else?
Georgina Hannan: Yes, I have a lot of ideas. I have a story I am currently re-writing and another I need to re-read and edit before I start working on anything new.
Alex Laybourne: What made you decide to self-publish? Did you contemplate submitting your novel around or was the self-publishing route always your intended destination
Georgina Hannan: I did look at a lot of places, and I did submit to a few, but in the end I guess I grew a little impatient and thought I’d try self-publishing to get my name out there. I self-published my paperback through fast-print.net , so I call them my publisher. But my e-book I used Amazon & Smashwords.
Alex Laybourne: There have been instances of authors tuning down book deals with top-level publishers to stay ‘indie’. Would you?
Georgina Hannan: Not if they offered me everything I was looking for – including the freedom to make my own choices.
Alex Laybourne: Your novel ‘Cursed’ is set in Dartmoor, and you use a lot of the legends from the area. What was it about the area that attracted you the most?
Georgina Hannan: A combination of the beauty and hidden danger it held. From the legends to the hidden bogs and natural perils of the moors, it is just gorgeous and oh so fascinating!
Alex Laybourne: Will the other novels also be based in the area, or have you finished with the moors?
Georgina Hannan: For now Cursed is the only novel that will be based there.
Alex Laybourne: Given your affinity for Dartmoor, could you ever see yourself something non-fictional relating to the myths and legends of the area?
Georgina Hannan: Possibly but at the same time it is highly unlikely. I’m a lot better with fiction
Alex Laybourne: Which legend of Dartmoor do you find the most interesting? Where there more than the ones you worked into Cursed?
Georgina Hannan: I should probably say that answer to the first question is mostly in book 1 & 2, but the answer is the legend of Lady Howard. To answer your second point, yes there were a lot more!
Alex Laybourne: Writing a group of characters, four close friends no less can be a challenge. How much did you draw on your own experience with friends to help create the right atmosphere?
Georgina Hannan: Not as much as you’d think to be fair. The main character was based on myself, and Alice was loosely based on a friend, but the guys – totally fiction. I took their personalities and tried to think of how I would act and interact with that personality.
Alex Laybourne: Out of all of the legends and folk-lore surrounding Dartmoor, I noted that you never mentioned the ´Hound of the Baskervilles´, was this a conscious move on your part?
Georgina Hannan: Yes, very much so. I wanted to show people a few of the others myths and legends of the area. Some people may be disappointed I didn’t go into it more, but I thought it has been the focus of more than one story already. It was time for something different.
Alternatively you can buy your copy of ‘Cursed ’HERE