Double feature with Georgia Clark

I discovered Georgia Clark early on in my book blogging career with her first novel, The Regulars. The cover hooked me with its pretty pink background and fun lipstick covered lips, total bliss, beauty and books vibe plus I adored the book. I immediately sent her a bookish pouch and was lucky enough to meet her at Bookexpo- she was a delight! Fast forward to her latest novel, It Had to be You, a fun romcom romp reminiscent of Love Actually. This book is what summer reading dreams are made of. I am so thrilled to have her on the blog with Open Book and What’s in Your Bookish Beauty Bag. Her response to my Royals question is amazing and she even reviews one of her latest reads!

via Amazon ~

“The book-equivalent of a perfect first date… Highly highly recommend.” —Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

“Clark has concocted a heady kaleidoscope of romance, heartbreak, and healing that’s both rich in insight and enchantingly funny. A magical set of intertwined stories that speaks to our times.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author 

The author of the “emotional, hilarious, and thought-provoking” (People) novel The Bucket List returns with a witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Casey McQuiston.

For the past twenty years, Liv and Eliot Goldenhorn have run In Love in New York, Brooklyn’s beloved wedding-planning business. When Eliot dies unexpectedly, he even more unexpectedly leaves half of the business to his younger, blonder girlfriend, Savannah. Liv and Savannah are not a match made in heaven, to say the least. But what starts as a personal and professional nightmare transforms into something even savvy, cynical Liv Goldenhorn couldn’t begin to imagine.

It Had to Be You cleverly unites Liv, Savannah, and couples as diverse and unique as New York City itself, in a joyous Love-Actually-style braided narrative. The result is a smart, modern love story that truly speaks to our times. Second chances, secret romance, and steamy soul mates are front and center in this sexy, tender, and utterly charming rom-com.

Open Book ~

What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a book club with?

Nora Ephron, Truman Capote, Zadie Smith.

Current binge series?

Great British Bakeoff. I only got into it this year and I’m a full-blown fan, I think I’ve
done ten seasons in three months. I feel truly connected to every season’s group of bakers. Bakeoff is about so
much more than good bakes without soggy bottoms: it’s about ordinary people being extraordinary and just
doing their damn best. I’m a bit addicted to that emotional, feel-good feeling at the heart of it. It’s why I write
rom-coms: that feeling works so powerfully on me, and I love making other humans feel that way, too.

Last favorite book?

I just finished Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam.

Mini review: New Yorkers Amanda and Clay head to the Hamptons with their teenage kids for a quiet and
indulgent weekend away. The AirBnB is lux—“The house had that hush expensive houses do . . . A house that
barely needed people”—but the temporary illusion of its ownership is shattered when Ruth and H.G., the older
Black couple who own the home, show up after a mysterious black-out renders New York unsafe. With the
internet down, it’s impossible to parse what’s going on in the city. If they’re safe. What to do.
Leave the World Behind works on so many levels. It’s eerily prescient of 2020’s societal unraveling and the
need to collectively patch together What The Fuck Is Happening with little information and a good dose of
paranoia as to if we can trust our neighbors. It’s a devastating skewering of race and our assumptions as to who
deserves what. It’s suspenseful (I suppose you might call it a literary thriller?) and it’s engaged with the very
real environmental danger we’re all currently in. On a line level, it’s masterful. There’s “a whiskey old enough
to vote”; children are “beautiful narcissists”; “Snow, a bit of poetry for what you saw when the signal was
broken.” Rumaan especially excels when writing about parenthood and privilege. This is a novel deeply
concerned with individual responsibility and the fate of the planet. Tightly plotted and paced, Leave the World
Behind deserves all the praise it’s gotten and more.

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Where is it?

I’d really love to explore Japan, and would be packing my sleep mask (I can’t sleep without it), a pair of All-birds sneakers, and, if it wouldn’t get me in trouble, a cheeky weed pen.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I’m a New Yorker, so the Times, of course.

Last movie you saw?

I watched I Care A Lot, because I’m queer and contractually obligated to watch anything with a lesbian relationship. The film was okay. Not sure if I totally bought the relationship between Marla and Fran – Fran’s character was a bit undercooked.

Book you read that you wished you wrote?

Anything written by Karen Russell. I’m obsessed. I recommend Vampires in the Lemon Grove, one of her best short story collections.

Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

I had a great Year 12 English teacher, Mrs Allen. She was small like a wren, deeply passionate (also like a wren? Do we know wrens aren’t deeply passionate?), excited about words and ideas. I had her for 4 Unit English, the Aussie version advanced English/AP classes. We studied Jane Eyre, The Awakening, and Wide Sargasso Sea. Reading rich literary novels like these made me an even more adventurous reader, and writer. Mrs Allen was a wonderful woman. I wonder what happened to her.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

I used to listen to Air’s Moon Safari on repeat, super soothing and it was just white noise, but now I listen to actual white noises. My new book is set on an island, so I listen to waves, the relentless pulse of the ocean. If I’m not drafting, or doing anything too high-level, I listen to Taylor Swift: I’m a Swiftie, for sure.

Describe your writing space?

My wife and I share an office which is also our guest bedroom/TV room. There’s a messy desk piled with books and gear and empty coffee cups and notebooks. It’s actually a bit of a disaster.

Tell me your coffee/tea order?

Coffee, with half and half, every morning, first thing.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Big Magic is a great gift for creatives. Liz Gilbert has so many precious wise words for anyone making art. My favorite insight is about money. She says (I am paraphrasing): don’t expect your talent to make you money. It’s your job to make money to protect your talent. Your talent is never going show up for you if you’re screaming at it about the fact it hasn’t made you rich. I found this helpful: even though it is hard making a living selling your art, it’s better than not doing that. Big Magic isn’t just a beautiful gift. It’s a generous and insightful guide.

Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Less by Andrew Sean Greer. Why isn’t that a movie yet? Everyone loved that book! It is a literal romp around the world. I think romp around the world is one of the best genres ever, and I’m half convinced I’m going to do it after I finish my island book, which I am honestly sad about because I am loving writing this book so much, it’s beautiful and sexy and fun. Anyway, Less: can someone look into this for me? Can we get this thing going? Can someone make a call?

If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Hold onto that feeling! Such a great 80s classic: I dare you not to singalong.

Must-have beauty product?

I have been wearing so little make-up over lockdown, but if I’m putting on a game face, I’ll wear Becca Skin Love foundation with a Beauty Blender, Glossier or Nyx lipstick, Benefit brow products (also their Pore Primer is good), Tarte blush or Olio e Osso Balm No. 3 (also doubles as a lip balm).

Royals- yes or no?

If so, who is your favorite? I actually just had a long conversation with my dad about the Royals (his take was “well, they cost a lot of money but they make a lot of money”). The Royals are the world’s greatest soap opera and everybody knows it. Diana, a tragic, complicated, extraordinary-but-ordinary young woman. Meghan as the new Diana: it’s too much. I have so much empathy for the boys (Will and Harry); I feel like I grew up with them and they’re my weird rich English cousins. I love Kate. Team Sussex forever. (And look, if you’re into the royals keep reading, if you’re not please stop reading as what I’m about to tell you is kind of embarrassing, but both the Lifetime movies about Will and Kate, and Harry and Meghan, are so so good. Yes, yes, they’re SO trashy and cheesy but I have ugly cried in both because my boys got their happy endings! I’m only human, I love Lifetime royal biopics, don’t tell anyone.)

Favorite Instagram account?

I just started following @adrirachelle, this woman who founded a farm for rescued farm animals called Wild Things Sanctuary. One day I’ll give up the hustle and go live on her farm and tend cows, I think.

If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?

Red, White & Royal Blue, after the excellent rom-com of the same name, and it would be red, white and royal
blue, aka purple.

Current #TBR pile?

Too too many. Daddy by my friend Emma Cline, Luster by future friend Raven Leilani… I just started Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: a birthday gift from my wife; Katherine’s a fave of my fave Karen Russel. I can see the influence in Karen’s work: so interesting. I’m also reading The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (and have dipped into her previous The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent for research for the book I’m currently writing. Ask me about birds, I know a ton! Did you know they are descendants of dinosaurs? And we are descendants of mammals – evolutionarily speaking, birds have been around for 100 million years. They are older than us, they have survived for much longer (think about that next time you call someone bird-brained, hm?). But half the species of bird in North America are predicted to go extinct in the next half century because they can’t evolve quick enough to deal with the pace of human change. We, dumb humans, are so destructive we’re killing off something that evolved to fly. I’m fun at parties, I promise.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Just keep doing it.” It’s the secret to every artist’s success.

What’s In My {Bookish} Beauty Bag?

What is your bag of choice?- purse/tote/backpack and brand that you have? I’ve been heading out without a bag recently (the freedom! Is! Real!), but if I have to, I take my cute Aussie-themed tote. 

What are your top favorite beauty picks? I try to buy cruelty-free, ethical everything. Tarte for foundation and blush. Tata Harper’s products are lush but exxy. Acure skincare. The Strategist said Revision Skincare D.E.J. has the best eye cream so I just spent $75 on that and I actually think it’s working. (I didn’t check if this was cruelty-free because I am a flawed weak human. Literally can’t bring myself to confirm I traded beauty for values. Being a woman is hard!)

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products? There’s usually a lipstick or lip balm rolling around in there somewhere. 

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

Geek Love and The New Yorker. I just started doing the crosswords. I want to be someone who does crosswords. To me that person is smart and cool. My dad does crosswords. I guess he’s pretty smart and cool. 

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂 

Well, right now it’s an ARC of my new book, IT HAD TO BE YOU. My dream is to write smart, funny, sexy romantic comedies that are diverse and have girls kissing in them. My new book has five interwoven love stories (Love Actually but make it 2021) is a reminder that life-changing love is out there for all of us, at any age, no matter who you are. Babes, if that sounds up your alley this charming buzzy new novel is only a few clicks away. Support your local independent bookstores by buying from Bookshop.org!

Georgia’s Bag

Follow Georgia:

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GEORGIA CLARK is the author of The Regulars, The Bucket List, It Had to Be You, and others. She is the host and founder of the popular storytelling night, Generation Women. A native Australian, she lives in Brooklyn with her hot wife and a fridge full of cheese. More at GeorgiaClark.com and on Instagram and Twitter @georgialouclark.

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