I’ve just published my first book Georgiana Garland ~ Fashioning a Dream and I am ecstatic!
Georgiana is a young fashion student who also works for a prominent designer in Elliot Street, near gorgeous Vulcan Lane in Auckland but, she dreams of being a famous designer in Paris one day. The story climaxes at the Designer of the Year parade held at the Hilton Auckland, a spectacular hotel overlooking the Waitematā Harbour.
Like Georgiana, my dreams have also taken me around the world, working in London as a Designer/Patterncutter and travelling frequently to Paris. But however lucky I have been in my fashion career, Georgiana’s story has kept pestering me for well over ten years now. Scenes continually played out in my head and even snooped into my dreams.
Finally in 2017, when I was forced to recuperate after an operation, I had a few weeks off work, and so immersed myself in the alternate life of my book. I was so happy writing, even thoroughly enjoyed re-writing passages to change scenes around… I was back to my schoolgirl daydreaming days – this time with a different focus: writing.
Daydreaming can be a productive motivator, though others haven’t always seen it this way. This comment, or a variation of it, was constantly written by most of the academic teachers in my school reports…
“Vicky tries hard but she finds it difficult to concentrate, she has a tendency to daydream.”
My Art teacher, Mrs McIvor and my English teacher Mrs Fullerton, both at Hill Top School for Girls in Auckland were my absolute favourites, they always wrote lovely words in my school report, and didn’t see my daydreaming as a negative… I loved them both for it! See how I remember their names many years after finishing school!
I unfortunately also remember the name of the teacher I loathed the most in junior school. He enjoyed hitting some of us, especially after the plump girl who was the class bully and captain kept him updated with her fictitious tales about us… I digress!
At least I have vivid memories of schoolgirl antics, which has helped me write my book!
Just before Georgiana’s story slowly gained momentum in my dreams, I had enrolled in a few Creative Writing classes taught by Zena Shapter in Sydney, but as with so much of my learning, I work better being taught privately. Zena became my mentor, and still is today, she guided me from the jumbled mess in my head through to the final words of the book. I learned how to write the chapters out in calendar form, going through the months and inserting the chapters in the correct chronological order, then sketching scenes just like a movie or fashion mood board. My apartment had sheets of paper and coloured pencils literally spread out everywhere trying to put the chapters into their correct order. I dared not move anything for days and sometimes weeks.
During this process, Zena interviewed me about the writing process, read about it here on her blog.
I am not, unfortunately, a person who can sit still, I always have to be doing something, my relaxation has always been my work. Even when I was working as a Designer / Patterncutter in fashion, I made patterns in my spare time, as well as my art… writing hadn’t entered into my life in such a big way then.
Now that I have given fashion away to a large extent, I still make patterns occasionally but I prefer to tutor young girls in patterncutting and spend more time with my art and writing now.
So it might be no surprise for you to hear that I’m already working on another book. Watch this space!
In the meantime, Georgiana’s finished story is available over here.