Anyone who has not read Beyond by Georgia Springate is hereby advised that this post may contain a few unavoidable spoilers.
Writer and trainee teacher, Georgia Springate, is the exciting and promising new author behind the touching coming-of-age novel, Beyond.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Georgia about her favourite films, her writing and her debut novel, Beyond, which is available to buy now from Amazon.
Oh! And don’t forget to come back next week to catch my review of Beyond (spoiler: it’s favourable).
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always loved writing and found a passion for prose in school. When I started my Open University degree in English and creative writing, this reestablished my love and it was then I started writing properly.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The best thing about being a writer is the impact my writing has had on others. Hearing the feedback of how my book has helped readers and inspired new writers has been amazing.
Let’s talk about Beyond (a great book, by the way). What was the initial inspiration behind Beyond?
Aw thank you! A lot of people are surprised when I say I’ve been lucky enough not to have to experience a family member or friend going through a cancer diagnosis. This idea came to me more through my own insecurities and worries about death and what happens after life. Exploring this through writing has really helped me come to terms with the realisation that there is no solid answer and that’s the beauty of it – very much like Alex.
The protagonist in Beyond is obviously very concerned to find out what happens to us after we die. Can I ask if you believe in life after death?
I’d like to think there’s something in some capacity wherein we can be with our loved ones after we die. But what will be will be – we should make the most of the time we do have on this earth every day!
As well as death and afterlife, you also touch upon some other pretty heavy themes in this book such as bullying, terminal illness, abusive relationships. What’s your approach to handling emotive or controversial themes?
If people didn’t write about these issues, awareness and support wouldn’t be half as strong. On the one hand, when writing, I was mindful that themes like that might be triggering or upset certain readers. On the other, I knew that they were integral parts to the story and needed to be explored sufficiently, not only for the narrative, but to show them for what they really are. Someone once called my book ‘trash’ because a character calls another character fat. Unfortunately, kids use these terms and speak this way. The book needed to feel real, whether it was controversial or not.
What’s your writing routine like?
Ooh okay, so when I was writing Beyond I was studying with the Open University full time, working in HR full time and, at certain points, working a part time job too. My life was hectic, no doubt, but I always found time to write. This would often be late evenings, early mornings and weekends. I live at home with four sisters and my parents so we had no room for a desk or study room. I wrote in bed, laptop on my lap, noise cascading in from every other room! In an ideal world I would love to have a little writing room with a desk, a few nice plants, a little radio. But the truth is life is messy, and situations aren’t always how we envision them. If you’re thinking about logistics that are blocking you from writing, just know that you can write anywhere at any time. All you need is an idea and pen and paper! I’m a strong believer that if you believe in yourself and your idea, that’s all the ‘luck’ you need.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon. I’m also a sucker for a full fat Coke.
Plotter or pantser?
Panster. This then comes back to bite me with plot holes later in the day! But I’m just not much of a planner. Hopefully teacher training will help me with that!
Do you have any other passions besides writing?
I’m a huge film buff! Pretty gutted the cinemas are closed now. Looks like I’ll be blitzing through Netflix!
What’s your favourite film?
Can I give you top 3?! Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, Jojo Rabbit.
What’s next for you? Can we look forward to anymore books in the near future?
I’m currently working on a screenplay (editing for the hundredth time!) so that’s my main focus right now. After that, who knows? With all this extra time at home I think another book will be on the cards!
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Every Tuesday, I post a new edition of Spotlight: a short post which shines a proverbial spotlight on a published novel or collection of short fiction. If you would like to have your book considered for a future edition of Spotlight, drop us an e-mail including a short synopsis of your book and a link to where we can buy it. Better yet, send me a copy of your book and I can include a mini-review.
I’m still looking to interview fiction authors here on Penstricken, especially new or indie authors. Whether it’s books, plays, comics or any other kind of fiction, if you’ve got something written, I want to hear about it. If you’re interested in having your work featured on Penstricken, be to sure to drop us an e-mail or message us on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest.
Please be advised that due to a recent surge in interest, I am presently committed to a significant number of reviews/interviews over the next couple of months. If you would like an interview or review, I would still love to hear from you, though it is unlikely that I will be able to begin work immediately.
You can check out our previous interviews here: