Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 8: Celebrate Amore

Georgie Lee

Cate: Yay, Georgie Lee is here to help us Celebrate Amore. Georgie, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Georgie:  Hi Cate. Thanks for having me here today. I was born and raised in Southern California and I’ve always been a history buff, voracious reader, writer and a movie lover. I especially enjoy classic films because they have such witty dialogue. I grew up writing many different things, poetry, short stories, and plays, but my professional writing career began at a small cable TV station in San Diego where I wrote marketing videos and public service announcements. I dreamed of being a screenwriter, so I moved to Los Angeles and earned my MA in screenwriting. I never conquered Hollywood, but at least I tried and I have some fun stories to tell about my time in the entertainment industry. I’d always enjoyed reading romance novels so one day I started writing one. It went on to become Lady’s Wager, my first published novel.

Cate: Very cool. What do you love most about Valentine’s Day?
Georgie: Chocolate. The romance and stuff is nice too, but hands down, the chocolate wins every year.

Cate: lol! Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
Georgie: About ten years ago, one of my good friends got married on Valentine’s Day. It was an out of town wedding, so my husband and I enjoyed a nice weekend away. We stayed in a hotel, and had a great time celebrating and partying with our friends. It was a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Cate: A getaway sounds wonderful... Do you have any romantic Valentine’s Day traditions?
Georgie: My husband and I exchange cards on Valentine’s Day in which we always write something sweet to each other. We may forget about gifts, or we may not be able to go out, but we never forget the cards. We keep them to remind us of how much we love one another.

Cate: So sweet! Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Georgie:  Studio Relations is a love story set in 1935 Hollywood as is about a vivacious female director and a handsome studio executive must overcome their professional differences to find love.
Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.
Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.
Studio Relations is published by Amazon’s Montlake Imprint and can be found on Amazon or by following this link -

Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt? (suitable for general audiences, please)
Studio Relations by Georgie Lee
Available from Montlake Romance
Hollywood 1935
Vivien Howard marched into Earl Holmes’s office and threw the script on his desk. “Storm of the South. This is it. This is the picture I want to direct next.”
Earl picked up the script and flipped through it, unfazed. “The Civil War? It’s been done, and badly.”
“Not the way I’m going to do it.”
“I read the script a couple of months back. It’s a war movie. A woman can’t direct a war movie.” He tossed the script onto his large mahogany desk and leaned back in his leather chair, his hands clasped over his round belly, his graying eyebrows knitted as his eyes bored into her. Earl’s imposing attitude would have cowed a lesser director, but Vivien had played this game too many times with the old studio head to be scared off now.
“It’s a love story set during a war.”
“The Civil War.”
“I know exactly how I’m going to shoot it.” She sat down on Earl’s plush leather sofa, pushing back her shoulder- length curly brown hair. She crossed her legs, thankful Miss Hepburn’s popularity had made wearing trousers respectable. Even if the Women’s Decency League proclaimed pants the ruin of womankind, Vivien preferred them to skirts and always made sure they were femininely tailored to complement her dark hair and eyes. Being one of only a few female directors in Hollywood, she played a man’s game, but she was always careful to remain a lady. Her career depended on this tightrope walk.
Earl leaned back in his chair and studied her. She knew he was intrigued, but she also knew he hated to let directors think they were getting their way, even if they were.
“The boys in New York won’t like the idea of a woman directing a war movie,” he replied, selecting a cigar from the humidor on his desk.
“If you pitch it right, they’ll love this project.”
“But I’ve got to love it first.” He clipped off the end of the cigar and placed it between his lips. Vivien picked up the large silver lighter from his desk, popped open the cap, sparked the flame, and held it out to him across the desk.
“You love the money my films make. You also love how good my successful films make you look to the boys in New York.”
Earl leaned forward and lit his cigar, then sat back in his chair, slowly drawing in the smoke. Vivien knew she had him. She smiled, waiting for him to make the next move.
“Who’d you have in mind for the lead?” he asked.
“Peter Davies. He’s perfect.”
“He’s a supporting actor. You need a leading man with box office draw, someone like Gary Roth.”
Vivien perched on the edge of his desk. “Peter has leading man potential. All he needs is the right role, and this is it. ”
“And the fact that you two are dating?”
“Has nothing to do with it.” Vivien was on shaky ground, and she knew it.
“The boys in New York are going to insist on a big star, especially when they get wind that I’m letting you direct a war movie,” Earl protested.
Vivien fixed him with a serious look. “It’s a love story, and you know it. It’s also the best script to come across my desk in years, and I’m the best director to do it.”
“We still need a star to headline it.”
“And we’ll have one when I cast the female lead.”
Earl chewed on the end of his cigar, eyeing her. “Fine. You can do it. Start tomorrow.”
“I’ll start today.” Vivien jumped to her feet. She’d been planning the film on the sly for weeks and relished the chance to finally work on it out in the open.
Earl shook his head, snatching the black phone off the receiver. “I don’t let any of my stars push me around half as much as you do.”
Vivien smiled over her shoulder as she made her way to the door. “That’s because no one makes as much money for you as I do.”
“Don’t make me regret this, Vivien,” Earl called out after her.
“You won’t, I promise.” She winked, then slipped out the door.

Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Georgie: My love of classic films and Gone with the Wind helped inspired Studio Relations. I knew from my film studies background that there were a few female directors working in Hollywood during the 1930s. While the major studios did employ women behind the scenes, women usually worked in publicity, writing or the costume shop. It was the rare female who stepped behind the camera, and she faced a number of obstacles, from demanding studio bosses to disapproving women’s groups. Also, the 1930s saw a great deal of change in Hollywood from the conversion to talkies to the introduction of the Hays Code, which dictated what could and could not appear on screen. Outside the studio gates, the Great Depression was raging and Europe was heading toward World War II. There was a lot of conflict both on the soundstage and off for me to play with. I touch on all these subjects in Studio Relations, but especially what it was like for a woman to work in a man’s world in 1935 Hollywood.

In Studio Relations, I also pay homage to my favorite film Gone with the Wind, by making the film Vivien directs a Civil War movie. I drew on my knowledge of Gone with the Wind’s production to help me make the scenes dealing with the production of Vivien’s film seem authentic to the time period. It was fun to pull from both my knowledge of classic Hollywood and Gone with the Wind to help make Studio Relations an engaging story.

Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Georgie: I want to thank everyone for stopping by today and I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Avalon Books. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit for more information about Georgie and her novels.
Social Media Links
Twitter: @GeorgieLeeBooks
Buy Links

Cate: Thanks for joining the party, Georgie! Happy Valentine’s Day!


Yolanda Renee said...

I love the concept and as a Gone With The Wind fan, this one is a must read!

Thanks Cate, you've done a wonderful job celebrating one of my favorite holidays and giving us amazing authors in the bargain!

Excellent celebration!

Georgie Lee said...

Thanks Yolanda for stopping by and thank you Cate for having me here today. I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day!

Cate Masters said...

Welcome Georgie! :)