About the Author
With her IvyLeague education, white trash sensibility, and pop culture savvy, GVR Corcillo delights in writing Chick Lit about characters who try not to trip as they valiantly march to their own bongo beat.
But she didn’t start writing right away. First, she worked in a potpourri-stuffing factory, a metal-perforating plant, a video store, a greenhouse, a supermarket, a children’s museum, a radio station, and a bar. Not to mention she taught high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles.
But none of these fit the bill for what she always wanted to be when she grew up – a writer. So, she won some writing contests, hit the New York Times Bestsellers List with her first short story, and got a screenplay produced.
Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo, a native of Chinchilla, Pennsylvania, lives in North Hollywood with her husband Ron, a television comedy writer. They are both New York Giants fans.
What inspires you to write romance books?
I love reading it! And why not make rent creating something I really enjoy? I think about how books made me feel when I was growing up, especially the romantic moments in a story, and I really want to stir up such moments of glee, comfy warmth, and tingly incandescence for readers. Now when I read stories, especially romance, I look for the core of affection, camaraderie, and understanding pulsing beneath and within a wild or zany or fantastic or idealistic plot, because that is what really hooks me. And this is exactly the concoction I mix together in what I write. Over the top and high concept and sassy-snarky narratives are wonderful to read and write, but I like to anchor those stories with down-to-earth friendship and trust. Then you’ve got escapist entertainment laced with just the right dose of wonderful reality.
Tell us about how you write:
Frenetically! Some days, I will have all day to write, and get very little done because I am just not feeling it. Other times, I am struck with an idea or the mojo to write and I sit down and start pounding away at the keys until I have to go to sleep or take a shower or feed the cat.
I don’t work from an outline. I get an idea, and it works itself out in my head pretty quickly. I make sure I have the elements and progression of a solid story, then I’m off! I sit down and write write write. And ideas come up as I write, working themselves into the story. Then everything I write goes through much editing. MUCH editing. I am a firm believer that before you write something good, you have to write something. So, I do not worry much about the first draft. Once I’ve got it down, then I really go to work. Director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) said that you never get done editing, you just run out of time, and I agree! I could edit forever, tweaking this and that, but then I have to stop to you know, publish the book.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
No, but while I am writing a book, I constantly imagine them, even when I am not writing. Usually they are not even doing things in the book, but just living life. And living during different stages in life. I will imagine my characters as kids, in college, as young adults before they meet each other in my book. And probably my favorite thing to imagine about my characters is their lives after the last page of my book, after their arcs of growth and achievement and romantic pursuit.
What advice would you give other writers?
First, say true to your voice and write according to your comfort level! I remember when I started writing, I felt there were certain voice and certain amounts of sexual explicitness I “needed” in a romance. And the plain truth is, I felt constrained as a writer and I did not like writing sexually explicit scenes! I wanted sex to happen in my books, but I had no interest in describing it viscerally. Just not my thing. But I tried doing it anyway because I thought I “had” to in order to get published.
After writing a few unpublished romances, I wrote a short story completely in my own voice and at my own comfort level – the level of “hotness”, in fact, that the story demanded. And wham! Less than 24 hours after submitting the short story, I got a phone call from editor of the anthology – they wanted to publish it! And indeed it was published, and that anthology debuted at #14 on The New York Times Bestsellers List. Moral of the story: stay true to your voice and your comfort level!
Second, find that balance between your vision and what critique partners and beta readers say about your writing. If critique partners understand your story, characters, and goals, and they give you advice on how to more effectively convey your narrative – great! But beware of beta readers who simply want your story to go a different way because that is how THEY would have written it. Stick to your vision, but always be willing to accept advice on how to better convey that vision.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As soon as self-publishing became viable, I was so psyched! I had wanted more creative control and financial freedom for authors ever since I started pursuing writing seriously. But I admit I was a chicken. Publishing a book on your own is a daunting task! It involves so much computer know-how and marketing savvy, and let me take a page out of Dr. McCoy’s book and just say I’m a writer not an uber marketing god! But I was lucky to know some brave writers who forged ahead and really kickstarted their careers through self-publishing – and I am talking about both previously unpublished as well as traditionally published writers. Self-publishing allowed such creative autonomy and such lucrative royalties that I took the plunge!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will be more and more of my books uploaded, downloaded, and on the shelves!
As more and more authors turn to self-publishing, so many more creative careers flourish. Editors, formatters, and cover illustrators and designers, for example, are also going into business for themselves to help create quality books,and that is what I find most exciting – that artists will have more and more opportunities to make a living from their art.
As for traditional publishing? I don’t think it will ever disappear – after all, books have been around almost forever. And I don’t think the Internet is going to kill the Printed Book Star. Traditional Publishing just needs to find ways to keep up with the galloping technology and all the opportunities it affords to an artist.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print