The Armitage Authors Network is thrilled to bring you our interview with legacy fan and popular romance author Georgia Hill this week. We talked to her recently about the impact of North & South, her inspiration for her first novel, and what’s coming up next for her.
Armitage Authors Network: You’ve been a fan of Richard’s for quite a long time. Can you tell us a little about how you discovered Mr. Armitage?
Georgia Hill: I love period drama, always have. A history degree has left me with a fondness for Mrs Gaskell’s writing, too. When the BBC announced its autumn period drama would be North & South – I tuned in! Have to admit to intensely disliking John Thornton in the first episode – I think I was seeing him through Margaret Hale’s eyes. I was completely hooked by the second and besotted with the character and the actor by the third! I’ve followed Richard Armitage’s career ever since.
AAN: Did you write fan fiction for the Armitage fandom? And was it your first attempt at writing fiction?
GH: I joined the now famous C19 forum and began posting stories on there, one chapter at a time – it was how I was writing then. Very little idea of where the story was going and no planning but it was great fun. It was my first attempt at writing fiction down but I’ve always made up stories in my head. Bit of a mad thing to do, having all these characters crowding out your brain!
AAN: What impelled you to begin writing?
GH: I saw others posting stories and felt I had something to offer too. The urge to share my stories was acute. I think it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done but readers seemed to like what I was writing and they were soon demanding more. I loved the immediate feedback. It boosted my confidence so I wrote more.
AAN: What was it that made you decide to make the transition to writing original stories?
GH: This is an interesting question. A Winter’s Tale has, at its core, a character based on John Thornton, with a strong physical resemblance to Richard Armitage but the actual story veered off in its own direction! I began it as fan fiction and it soon became its own creation.
AAN: What was your first published work?
GH: I was picked up by a small e-publisher and A Winter’s Tale, expanded and edited, became my first book: Pursued by Love. I still prefer the original title.
AAN: What’s your most recent release?
GH: I’ve written a series of novellas for Harper Impulse – the digital-first imprint of Harper Collins. The complete series of Say it With Sequins is out next, as an e-book, closely followed by the paperback. It’ll be incredibly thrilling to hold the paperback in my hands. The novellas are light romances, set against a television reality dance show. If you like shows like Dancing With the Stars or Strictly Come Dancing, it’s for you!
I’ve also got a dual narrative romance, partly set in World War One, due out in February 2015. Exciting times!
AAN: Can you give us any hints as to what you might be working on next?
GH: I’m writing a supernatural romance, set in an Oxford college, at the moment. And I’ve always got a few short stories on the go, which I submit to magazines.
AAN: What would you like Armitage fans to know about you or your work?
GH: It’s been ten years since North & South aired. I can’t believe how much my life has changed since then! I’ve become far more adept online and with new technology – I learned so much from the C19 forum. I have an online presence and blog and post on Facebook and Twitter with confidence. I’ve also made some fantastic friends.
The most dramatic change is that I’ve given up my paid job, to write full time. I’m currently writing my eighth novel and have ideas for many more. The root cause of all this is North & South, John Thornton and, of course, Richard Armitage!
It’s been a ball and I owe him so much.
Georgia Hill is archived on our blog under the tab Other Works By Armitage Authors. Visit her Author Pages at Amazon US and Amazon UK and at Harper Impulse. Tweet her @georgiawrites and find her on Facebook at Georgia Hill Author.