Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Woman's Fiction
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Date of Publication: July 30, 2015
Number of pages: 542
Tasha is a dreamer in search of a new dream.
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.
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.
Balthazar Hamish woke up in a grumpy mood that morning. He had a terrible headache. His nervous young assistant, Clarissa, and a fashion editor, Chloe, were looking down at the magazine layout, spread out in huge sheets on his office desk. Clarissa always seemed to be a little afraid of him and his fat old cat, Baltimore.
Where did she get that awful velvety coat and ankle boots? She apparently is not at all a fashion addict, or a shopaholic, he thought. Still, she worked in a fashion magazine. What the hell is that? He looked down at one of the headlines printed in bold.
“A True Tale from an Unromantic Goddess”! Balthazar felt suddenly irritated. It’s a sophisticated magazine, for god’s sake. I don’t need more sentimental or feminist crap out here. That title sounded artificial and kitschy to him, as did the whole idea of aspiring foreign authors working for a magazine on a regular basis. It was Liz’s brilliant hunch, of course.
Liz Foster, his deputy! Stubborn and selfish! The whole damn thing about this magazine project was a total waste of time and possibly money. Shark heads in the top management of the publishing house were longing for Balthazar’s blood. He knew it from the very beginning of it all.
“Clarissa, could you please send reminders to all for our meeting later?” Balthazar tried to say it louder word by word. Clarissa looked at him and blinked. She was terrified by his presence and wanted to leave the room—the sooner the better.
“Tea maybe?” she asked, grabbing an opportunity to leave this uncomfortable place. She had to make tea for her new boss, make notes, organize staff meetings, and be optimistic about her new life and brand new dream job as a secretary at this damn, hellish magazine! Working with Balthazar made her feel dizzy. She tried hard to overcome her nervousness and pretend to be confident, but her hands were almost always shaking.
“Tea would be great, thank you!” he responded quickly.
Clarissa walked out the door, leaving Chloe and Balthazar alone. Chloe, stylish and cute, looked at Clarissa, amazed but silent. A while later Chloe left, too.
Balthazar’s headache was getting intense. He opened the locker and took out a painkiller, swallowing it without water. Baltimore sat in his lap lazily. All Balthazar wanted was a cup of a dark tea, but his eyes were already glued to the printed text.
Today, we welcome Nino Gugunishvili to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Hello everybody! Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be your guest!
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Thank you so much! I’ll answer all your questions with the greatest pleasure!
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
My writing style is definitely pantser, when I started writing my debut novel “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” I had no plot whatsoever. I just had some clues, or certain hints to what the story would be about and how the plot would develop. I did know however, that I wanted my work to be about young women in their thirties, and I also had several characters, around which the plot evolved. Usually, when I write I don’t have a particular scene or episode in my mind that I would like to put on paper immediately. I never know in advance what I’ll be writing about. As a process it greatly resembles watching a movie, seeing a very detailed episode, hearing characters speak, seeing their movement, gestures, the way they walk through different settings, what they wear, places where they live. As soon as I see all of that, I start to write.
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
For me, writers block is something more related to my own lack of self- discipline and an inability to say “No” to destructions. I may very easily jump from doing one thing to another, check my facebook page feed, then get back to writing an email and after that have a lengthy conversation with a friend over a phone.
It’s difficult for me to get back to writing, I’m often losing my though. A sentence that I was just about to write down vanishes, leaving me bemused. It’s getting particularly tricky when I’m writing a visual description of a character. So I started making notes and it helped a lot during writing. Of course, even now, when I’m working on a draft of my second novel not everything goes flawlessly, and when this happens I try to forget about writing for a short while and do something unrelated to it. I’m still learning how to fight my own demons of laziness!
What one thing do you wish someone had told you before you started writing?
That in times it would be really difficult to balance through the inner life as a writer and more social, extrovert part of me. That I should get used to be more exposed and try to be less vulnerable, and finally, that the second half of a hard work really starts when the book is actually published.
Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I’m a sniffer. I think in another life I could work in perfume business. Smells are very important to me. I often memorize things, or recall different periods of my life through smells.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m lucky to be free from a full time day job right now. I enjoy being alone, reading or watching TV and movies, I love spending time with my friends. I love to travel as soon as I have a chance! I’m thinking of studying a beautiful Italian language… I definitely have to go to Italy, find a little, typical Italian village and learn one of the dialects!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation definitely! It would give me a chance to be in multiple places simultaneously, without tiring flights and endless car rides!
Tell us 2 positive and 2 negative character traits you possess.
Positive: Humorous, friendly. Negative: Inconsequent, neurotic and arrogant sometimes.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Late night phone calls, dirt, intrusion into my space when I’m writing!
If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why? I would die for a nice chat over drinks with Ernest Hemingway, to get even a tiny advice on writing from this absolute genius.
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be? My phone, my laptop and my kindle, loaded with many, many books. The question is, where am I going to charge all of the three on a deserted island? ☺
What would we find in your refrigerator right now? Bananas, cheese, canned dog food, pickles.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
A life of an author who was a character herself….
Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra
AM or PM? AM
Mountains or Sea? Both
Meat or Veggies? Meat
Italian or Chinese? Italian
Summer or Winter? Winter
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Cake or Pie? Cake
Car or Truck? Car
Dead Tree or Electronic? Electronic
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Don’t be afraid, if you want to write, just do it, don’t wait for anything extraordinary to happen. Start with the first sentence and it will come. Believe me, I did exactly the same!
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.
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