Geli Voyante's Hot or Not by AUTHOR
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Chick Lit
Release Date: October 17, 2013
I think I will always be known as the Hot or Not girl, defined by it for the rest of my career. Even my tombstone will read: Angelica “Geli” Voyante, beloved trendsetter. Death? Not Hot.
Yet, it doesn’t sound right. Why won’t anyone realise that there is more to me than this fickle persona I have inadvertently become?'
Geli Voyante is bored of being the Hot or Not girl, even if it has the perk of sitting next to Theo, the newspaper's very Hot political columnist. She's also getting a little lonely being single.
When her arch-nemesis Tiggy Boodles gets engaged, and other loved ones start to settle down, it's time for Geli to convince Theo that she’s not as shallow as her column suggests and, more importantly, she’s the one for him. Geli should remember though that there are always two sides to every story, and that applies to people too.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know you wanted to be a writer?
I've always been a voracious reader who scribbled down stories so I think it was inevitable that I would become a writer, it was just a case of when and what genre! I dabbled in writing children's and YA fiction as a teenager, but it wasn't until I was twenty that I properly discovered chick lit and found my genre of choice. Although, who knows, maybe I will write a children's novel one day!
What inspired Geli Voyante's Hot or Not?
A few things inspired me to write this book and, before I knew it, it all came together and the book was there! I was actually writing another book at the time - The Dirtification of Tabitha-Rose which will be released in 2014 - when I spotted something that made me stop writing that and start writing Geli.
Normally I am very strict and stick to one book at a time, although I find I get a million amazing ideas for other books when I'm meant to be working on just one - I usually jot those ideas down and make myself stick to the book I'm working on. With this spark of inspiration however, I knew I had to put Tabitha to one side and let the ideas for Geli Voyante's Hot or Not pour out of me.
My inspiration came from an engagement announcement on Facebook. The engagement announcement belonged to a girl who had always, oddly, acted like I was her biggest rival - she always had to compete with whatever I was up to which was a shame as, that aside, she was a nice person. But, this rivalry is what inspired the characters of Geli and Tiggy, two "friends" who compete in all that they do, so I'm sort of thankful for that behaviour as it inspired this book!
Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
It was the characters, definitely. The engagement was one tiny element of the plot that got me thinking about these two rival characters - plotting out their character traits and back story helped me to develop the plot for Geli Voyante's Hot or Not.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging when you were writing Geli Voyante's Hot or Not?
As I've never been to South Africa and that's where Geli is from and where the end of the book is set, I had to do a lot of research to make sure I set the scene authentically. That was a challenge as I couldn't draw from my own experiences and knowledge but instead had to rely on others to help paint that picture for me. The Internet certainly makes it a lot easier to research locations but I still wish I could have visited - I wouldn't have minded a research trip to South Africa at all!
If you could be one of your characters from any of your books, who would you chose? Why?
I would pick Obélix who is the main character's (Arielle) childhood friend in my first novel Kept. As Ob is a vet and very dedicated to his job, I think I would use my takeover opportunity to take him out of his comfort zone and, just like Arielle tries to meddle with his love life, I would find him a nice woman. I'll have to make sure in Kept's sequel that Obélix gets his happy ending - he deserves it!
When writing Geli Voyante's Hot or Not, was there anyone or anything specific that inspired the character Theo?
My degree actually inspired Theo's job. As I have a Masters in International Relations and Social Anthropology and (should) know a bit about politics because of this, I wanted to use my knowledge to prove something useful had come out of my degree(!) - cue the creation of Theo's job as New News' political columnist.
In your opinion what three words best describe Geli Voyante?
Loyal. Funny. Naive. (But naive only to begin with - she does grow up a lot during the course of the book!)
Coffee or Tea?
Tea! I can't stand coffee.
Milk chocolate or Dark?
Milk. Dark chocolate is lovely every once in a while, but milk chocolate wins hands down.
Favorite novel and why?
I couldn't possibly pick one, but I'll choose The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It's set in my home county of Yorkshire and is a beautiful and captivating tale with a magical simplicity that allows me to enjoy it over and over again.
Hard copy books or e-books? Why?
E-books, which is somewhat surprising as I'm a real book lover. However, since I now own thousands of real books, ebooks are a much-needed space-saver and are also a godsend on holidays and long weekends because I can take hundreds of books away with me. I still very much am a prolific reader.
What kind of weather do you write best in?
Dark and stormy. When the sun is shining it's far too tempting to be out and about but when it's dark and stormy, there's nothing quite like curling up and creating bright and sunny worlds.
Favorite author and why?
Again, I couldn't possibly pick one, but I'll go for Roald Dahl who is definitely one of my many favourite authors. I love the vivid imagination he had and his wicked way with words.
If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?
I'd pick Geli Voyante's Hot or Not as I could totally see Emilia Clarke playing Geli. I've just finished watching Game of Thrones; as Daenerys Emilia showed both a vulnerability and strength that Geli definitely has. Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl fame could definitely play her arch-nemesis Tiggy. I reckon they would portray the rivalry between those two characters perfectly! As for Theo, Geli's colleague and crush, it has to be Joe Manganiello. Now, how do I make this happen?
Elle Field is a twenty-something chick lit author who lives in London with her boyfriend. She enjoys exploring and photographing Blighty's capital, seeing far too many musicals, and eating her way around London's culinary delights.
Her debut novel Kept was released earlier this year, and her next novel Geli Voyante's Hot or Not will is out now. Watch out in 2014 for the release of Kept's sequel, as well as The Dirtification of Tabitha-Rose.