I am super excited about this post. We just wrapped up The Weight of Words re-read as part of the countdown to the release of The Truest of Words, final book of The Words Series. This is the FIRST EVER author interview on Symphony Book Cafe and I am so honored to have Georgina Guthrie as the first interviewee!
Thank you GG for agreeing to do this and Amy for contributing questions.
You can visit GG’s website here: In my Write mind
How did you come up with the title The Weight of Words?
I don’t even remember the process (it was over five years ago…I’ve reached an age where I often can’t remember what I did five minutes ago…LOL). I think it was really organic. When plotting the story, the first scene that came into my mind almost fully realized, was the one in which Daniel tells Aubrey about his experience at Oxford. I was contemplating the power of words, and how just a few can have such overwhelming implications, especially if there is a powerful verb involved. (I hate you, I love you, I forgive you…) In this case, the verb was “molest”. “He molested me” were the three words that blew Daniel’s life out of the water. I wanted to choose a title that reflected the powerful impact of these few words.
What personality traits or characteristics do you share with your characters? What do you love most about Aubrey and Daniel?
I’m stubborn and independent, like Aubrey. Definitely stoic and emotionally strong. I share her love of literature and have a similar interest in nicknames and verbal sparring. What I love most about her is how much she grows as a character over the course of the three books. She’s always been independent, but she really matures during the time span of the books, primarily in her deep understanding of the importance of the various relationships in her life—with friends, with family, and with Daniel.
Like Daniel, I’m an acute perfectionist and often doubt myself and my abilities, which can be paralyzing at times. I’m also a romantic. I’m fond of sweet, simple gestures which can mean much more than grand ones. I like that he comes to realize that and embraces simplicity as well as spoiling Aubrey with “material” gifts. What I love most about him is how he throws himself wholeheartedly into his relationship with Aubrey. It’s all or nothing. There’s no in between.
TWOW was primarily written in Aubrey’s point of view and a little bit of Daniel’s, not entirely a dual-POV book. Why did you choose to write it this way? How did you decide when to switch from Aubrey to Daniel’s POV?
I’ve always enjoyed dramatic irony—that feeling of a reader knowing more than the characters do about something critical. That’s a difficult kind of tension to create when writing in the first person. I’ve played with that notion a little bit in the third book without the POV change, but there are still a few chapters written from Daniel’s point of view. For me, the time to switch from one character to the other occurs when I need the opposing view to skew things, or when I know more about what’s happening with the characters than both the characters and the readers. That happens a couple of times in The Truest of Words. *insert evil laugh*
I enjoy exploring another character’s mind, as well. As a writer, I’ll often write out what another characters is doing during a certain time period, just so I can fully understand their motivation and mindset. I suppose for readers, seeing events from each character’s perspective also allows them to identify with characters more readily.
(And don’t you just love being inside his tortured brain? Sigh.)
Aubrey and Daniel’s first tutorial debate sees Aubrey reference the title of the book, The Weight of Words. Daniel says he completely disagrees with her stance during that debate. Whose opinion was right? (whose opinion do you believe?)
Daniel puts forth the idea that “a play isn’t fully realized until it reaches the stage.” When Aubrey disagrees with this, claiming that such a statement belittles the importance (weight) of the words on the page, I agree with her in general terms. Every text has its own import, meaning, and textual significance. If you read a book and then watch a film adaptation, you simply cannot assess them with the same set of criteria. They are different mediums entirely.
But in the case of literature that rose out of a “pre-literacy” era, you have to consider the author’s intended audience. Shakespeare was writing for the stage. Whatever he wrote on the page, he knew would be spoken by an actor at the Globe (or wherever his plays were being performed at the time). Very few people were reading the printed page. The reading and study of his plays came later. In that sense, where Shakespeare is concerned, I agree with Daniel.
Anti-fraternizing policy prohibits Daniel & Aubrey to have a relationship while they are TA and student yet they are together. Do you believe that true love conquers all? Or at least in this case, is love above ethics?
I’m a bit of a rule follower, so I’m not sure I could flout policy this flagrantly. (This aspect of the story is definitely NOT autobiographical). In writing the story, I was not intending to denounce university policies, or indeed policies of any organization which discourage fraternization. Those rules and guidelines are in place for a reason. In the case of the story, Aubrey and Daniel (Daniel in particular), found a way to navigate both the moral landscape and the academic pitfalls.
I don’t know if I necessarily believe in aphorisms like “true love conquers all” or “love comes before ________”. I’d like to think that I’m living my life with my soul mate, and I know my life is richer and better because of his presence in my life, and dealing with difficulties is easier with him by my side.
This is only PART I of the interview, please let me know what you think by commenting below!
PART II will be revealed next week! Please stay tune!
For those of you who are wondering what we are doing post TWOW reread, here is the plan:
11/9 Part II of Interview with GG
11/16 Better Deeds Than Words post where Amy and I will talk about favorite moments in BDTW, things we want to see resolved in The Truest of Words, scenes we want to see happen in TTOW, and scenes we DON’T want to see happen in TTOW. Maybe even some prediction.
11/18 The Truest Of Words release date!
I hope you will stay with us as we countdown to 11/18