Interview with Author Genesis Bird
Welcome to the second in a series of interviews with fellow romance authors! This time I’m thrilled to feature debut author Genesis Bird, author of the upcoming travel romance Forget the Feckin’ Wellies, out later this year! Question of the Day: What are the top three destinations on your “To Visit” list? Tell me in the comments below! (Mine are Ireland, Italy, and Japan!)
Thank you, Genesis, for sitting down with me for an interview! Tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming an author.
I am a settler on the unceded land of Canada and am grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and create here. My journey into writing was quite unexpected! My background is in psychology and support work, and I never actually enjoyed writing. I always found the necessity of 'process' difficult---not being able to have the first attempt as the perfect, final result had been a road block for me as someone who struggles with a fear of mistakes. I very much grew up in an environment where emotions, failure, and 'human-ness' were not safe qualities to have, and so I got good at doing what I could predict would be done well – which wasn't writing. Significant life changes in the last few years meant that there was, for the first real time in my life, freedom – and an opportunity to connect to parts of myself that had always been suppressed. There was a powerful moment last year where I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I didn't hate my body anymore. I had a growing sense of wholeness and with that, began writing.
Why do you love to write and/or read in the romance genre?
I hadn't read any romance novels until the Bridgerton series (after the show came out on Netflix). I had always dismissed the genre, as it didn't fit who I thought I needed to be. When I read the Bridgerton series, I realized how fun romance can be, and that there were also authors with solid skills in the genre. (Sorry, I know that sounds judgy!) I also realized that this was a great way to get in the mood – a win for both my husband and me!
Part of this new freedom, in the last year especially, also involved a re-connecting to my body. I really thought that I was just not a very sexual person. It turns out that that is not true! I am enjoying reading and writing romance now as something fun and just for me (outside of mom life). It is also a way to continue to empower and connect with that sexy side of myself, which has been powerful in my relationship. I see a lot of value in this genre now. It's fun and thought provoking, allowing for (often women) to take charge of the narrative around sex and desire in a very patriarchal world. It also appeals to those of us who need that tension and anticipation that is so often unavailable in everyday relationships.
What are your favorite romance tropes to read and/or write, and why?
Reading-wise, I don't know that I have a favourite trope. Whether or not I can connect to the characters is most important. I don't enjoy big age gaps; bully to lover; or too much "good girl," and "daddy" dynamics. Writing-wise, I love travel-based romances that are steeped in real world settings. I enjoy writing a 'good' man---showing that solid communication and self-reflection are sexy. I love open door scenes and fun, witty banter when I am both reading and writing!
What is the best writing advice that you have ever received, or that you yourself have to share?
The top three bits of advice that I’ve received:
For writing 3rd person, try writing some of it from 1st person (as an exercise) to get a sense of what the character is really feeling and experiencing.
Next, read your work OUT LOUD. You catch a lot that way!
Last, read The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman. Excellent, accessible, and surprisingly enjoyable. Every aspiring writer should read it.
Tell us something surprising about yourself that no one would ever guess!
I don't hold my pencil correctly.
What is the best book marketing advice you have ever received, or that you yourself have to share?
Be genuine and connect with people as individuals. People will best remember how they felt about their interactions with you, so interact----whether it is in person or online---with that in mind.
Who is your favorite character that you yourself have ever written, and why?
It would have to be Hayden in my current novel, Forget the Feckin' Wellies. He is a New Zealand journalist, loves surfing, and cares deeply for his friends. He's got a hot body, a quick wit and a cheeky grin. He is also discovering his Maori ancestry, so he is thinking about what it means to be Indigenous, as someone who grew up outside of that culture.
Are there any other writers who have influenced your own writing, or whose books are comparable to your own?
I really like the YA fiction novelists Karen McManus and Samira Ahmed, as well as author Kate Moreton. I don't think my books will be comparable in genre, but I hope the writing quality will be (someday!) and that I can capture the imagery of place the way that Kate Moreton does.
Tell us about your latest work(s).
My current (and debut) project is called Forget the Feckin' Wellies and it is a travel romance inspired by Ireland and Portugal. Millennial widow, Jess, gets the opportunity of a lifetime to rebuild her life. She embarks on a trip to Ireland, where she reconnects with old friends and an old flame, special places, and herself. Come for the scenery, stay for the sex and the f-bomb infused Irish banter. The locations in the book are real. I like the idea that people could look them up and go there if they want. Secretly, I hope that at least one person does a Jess O'Maly trip someday and visits the places in the book!
Where can we connect with you and buy your books?
Thanks again so much to Genesis Bird for answering all of my burning questions! Next up: if you want an exclusive first look at my interview with romance writer Valerie Pepper, author of the sexy contemporary romance The Widow’s Guide to Second Chances, subscribe to my monthly newsletter! The newsletter with the interview will go out on May 1st. And don't forget to drop your top three destinations on your travel to-do list in the comments below!
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