Women's Fiction, contemporary, romance
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.
“Hey Liz, it’s me, what’s up?” Balthazar finally got through to her. “Listen, where did you get it?”
“That unromantic goddess piece. Very nicely done, Liz. Find the author as soon as possible, please. I need her here. You can do it, right?”
“Sure I can, Balthazar. The only thing is, she lives in another country. It will probably take time.”
“Hope you can arrange everything, her work permit, visa, and all. I need her as a columnist. I’m thinking of starting a new column right away. Well, that’s all I wanted to say. See you later, Liz.”
What an asshole! thought Liz, with her lips pressed to her old cell phone. She didn’t have time to buy a new one. She barely had time for anything more than her job lately. She was becoming a workaholic and hated herself for that discovery. Okay, fine! I will try to reach the unromantic goddess by phone and send her an email. That’s it. Come on, Balthazar, the new issue is just a week away, and I don’t think it’s perfect timing for a newcomer to come in. I’m not your secretary, after all!
Liz took a last sip of coffee and suddenly brightened. A good cup of coffee always changed her mood.
She opened her laptop and easily found what she was looking for in her database of new authors. There she was. Her name was Tasha. She looked young and wore big glasses. Her haircut was simply awful.
That’s fine. Her haircut can be changed, Liz thought as she started typing an email.
Nino Gugunishvili will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
What sparked the idea for the story?
I may be wrong, but I’m a strong believer in the fact that everything that happens to us in different periods of time has its reason. I do think that my life led me to the point when I would be ready to write my debut novel Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock a story that starts while introducing a young journalist Tasha, living in an Eastern European country, who gets an unexpected offer to work in a magazine in France and enters the world of publishing for which she’s totally unprepared.
I always wanted to write but as many of us do, easily found excuses to do something else, blaming it all on my demanding job, lack of time and being buried into responsibilities we all have in our lives. However, one afternoon in the winter of 2013 I started writing. That was the period when I didn’t have a full time job anymore. After more than 10 years in a television industry I somehow felt that I needed a change, I wanted to experience and try something completely different, something more fulfilling and engaging. I still don’t know whether it was a coincidence, the stars in the sky or really a sparkle from a magic stick that my muse gently hit on me, but luckily I had all the time in the world to devote it to writing.
It almost began like a game. I just came from a trip to a winter resort with my closest friend, where we caught a terrible flu. We both stayed at our homes and she texted me saying, she was working from home, just like Carry Bradshaw and wouldn’t mind reading something to entertain herself. I jokingly suggested writing a small piece for her and that’s how it all started. Every single day I wrote several pages on a certain topic and sent them off. Later, another friend of us joined and we even created a closed group on facebook where I posted each and every day.
I remember standing on my apartment balcony when a phrase came out of nowhere to me: “Balthazar Hamish woke up in a grumpy mood that morning...” which eventually became the first sentence of my future book. Who was this character and why his mood was grumpy that particular morning, I had no idea. Little by little a story formed, and it became obvious that the plot would be centred around several individuals: Tasha, the freelance journalist, Balthazar Hamish - editor in chief of the magazine where she starts working, Liz Foster, deputy editor, Dmitri Lange - a TV reporter with whom Tasha meets accidentally before going to Paris and Darren O’Keefe - a media mogul and the owner of the magazine “Stones”. These are the main characters of “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock but you’ll meet many more along the way.
For me, this book primarily is about moving out of a comfort zone while entering an unfamiliar cultural and social landscape. It’s about establishing yourself while pursuing your goals and dreams. It’s about relations that we have with our families, friends, colleagues, it’s about love and career driven choices we make, it’s about betrayals or challenges we encounter. It’s about decisions that define or affect us and it’s about choices. If I may quote Liz Foster, in a scene where she makes a presentation to the board of directors about the magazine - “This magazine is for those who live just as we do, near and around us—for those who fall in love and marry, or stay single—for those who have kids and who work, for those who love their solitude and for those who love spending time with their family or friends. Their hobbies vary from reading books to watching TV shows and movies on a Sunday night.
They love dancing or singing, they smoke or they quit. They love to travel. They can’t live without their friends and their pets. They think, they analyze, and have a fantastic sense of humor. They’re desperately trying to stay fit, and that’s why they’re swimming, jogging or practicing yoga. They worry, they cry, sometimes they feel lonely, confused or frustrated, but deep down, these people have adventurous spirits.”
Forgive me for bringing such a lengthy quote to your attention, but for me this description best portrays the image of readers who will enjoy this book, I hope that they are among us right now!
I would very much like to express my deepest gratitude to the blog hosts for giving me an opportunity to be with you. Hope you had fun! So did I!!! Thank you !!!
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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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