RCM Virtual Bookclub Interviews Georgina Cross, Author of “The Stepdaughter”
Here at RCM, we love books. We also love any opportunity participate in an awesome book club. So we decided to smoosh the two together and create the virtual Rocket City Mom Book Club! More info about our next title is below, and you can request to join the conversation here. Happy reading!
This month’s RCM Virtual Book Club title is The Stepdaughter by Georgina Cross. Join us virtually on Thursday, June 24 at 8:30 PM CST. If you can’t make it at THAT time, check back in throughout the week to keep the discussion going. Big thanks to The Snail On the Wall Books for sponsoring our title selections, and Shannan for her author interview below!
Minor spoilers ahead. Continue at your own risk!
Local author, Georgina Cross, discusses her work in the Rocket City
Our most recent pick in the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club is The Stepdaughter by Georgina Cross, described as “an addictive suspense novel packed with twists and family secrets”. Instead of my usual review (it is a thoroughly enjoyable page-turner), I had the pleasure of interviewing Georgina. Let’s not waste any more time and get into it.
RCM: I’m starting off with a weird question but readers of The Stepdaughter will understand why. Are you a swimmer? I was struck with the clarity and accuracy of your description of being underwater in the first scene.
GC: As a kid, I spent every summer at our neighborhood pool and with a vivid imagination, I would sink to the bottom and check out the way the sunlight hit the water and the sounds from other swimmers. Below the surface, it felt magical and mysterious. As an adult, I confess I still do this sometimes when I swim. (I was on the swim team for a few years in middle school but only excelled at the breaststroke. Backstroke and butterfly are so hard!) Mia is inspired by swimmers from my childhood team but their personalities are way different.
RCM: Where did the idea for The Stepdaughter originate?
GC: I knew I wanted to write a book about a girl that goes missing, but I also wanted it to be a storyline that stood out from other missing children stories. So I thought, what else could be happening at the exact same time the girl disappears? Something gripping? And the idea of the neighbor’s house burning to the ground instantly came to my mind. Everyone is looking one way while the girl goes missing in the opposite direction. Another intriguing idea was complicating the family dynamic by having a stepmother and stepdaughter situation while also exploring the role of a widow and his new wife, and in their case, the “replacement wife”. Those relationships can be complicated with the idea of a wicked stepmother or misguided love and doubt that can be cast between family members. (I have two sons of my own and I’m also a stepmother to two more boys, but they’ve both told me I’m not a wicked stepmother so that’s good!)
RCM: That must feel good! Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club consists primarily of moms who live in our town. You are our first local author! How long have you lived here and what brought you here?
GC: I grew up right outside of New Orleans which was an exciting and colorful place to experience as a kid. After graduating from Louisiana State University in broadcast journalism/mass communications, I moved to Huntsville in 2001 to be the promotions writer producer for WAFF 48 News. I was only supposed to be here on a two year contract but I enjoyed the area so much that I stayed, had my 2 children, and worked for several years in marketing/business development at the Huntsville Art Museum, AEgis Technologies, and the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. I am now a full-time writer and love being a local author.
RCM: We’re so glad you stayed in the Rocket City. How do you complete your writing and your work and take time for your children and your family?
GC: Writing is my world and I also approach it as my job. It’s what I commit to doing seven days a week, every morning from about 7 am until 1 pm until my eyes start crossing and I need to step away from my laptop and take a walk. My husband keeps telling me to take the weekends off but with several book contracts in the queue and deadlines coming up, I have a lot of work to do. The only time I’m not writing is if the kids have a basketball tournament or we’re out of town. You could definitely say my writing schedule takes priority in the mornings, but in the afternoons, it’s time for our kids and running errands, going out to dinner, watching movies, and hanging out by the pool. David and I work out twice a week with a trainer so that keeps us laughing while we try to one-up each other.
RCM: LOL. That sounds like competitive fun. Prioritizing life is so important. I assume you take time to read books by other authors and it goes without saying that we want to know the last great book you’ve read.
GC: I can’t stop telling people about The Chain by Adrian McKinty (suspense/thriller). It’s one of those storylines that is so original, it nearly took my breath away which is hard to do with books where it feels as if every subject has been written under the sun. I won’t say much more, but I will tell you that when the author told his agent what he wanted to write, his agent dropped a plate while doing the dishes. This book is not for the faint of heart. The Chain is now being made into a movie.
RCM: Yes, by Universal Studios. I looked up the premise and it is terrifying! LOL. What can you tell us about your upcoming books?
GC: If you want to read more suspense, check out The Missing Woman which was published in January (Bookouture, Hachette Publishing). My next book Nanny Needed will publish October 5 with Bantam, Penguin Random House. And then I have 3 more books slated for 2022.
RCM: Nanny Needed is available for preorder. Is there anything else that you would like RCM Readers to know?
GC: I would love to tell people to keep working hard for your dreams. I didn’t get a book published until I was in my 40s even though I’d been writing and editing for years and didn’t want to give up. Anything is worth dreaming and it takes a lot of hard work, patience, grit, and determination which we all have. You can make it happen!
RCM: So inspiring! Thank you. Tell everyone the best way to connect with you.
GC: Thank you so much for reading my book! I’m so honored that the Rocket City Mom Book Club included me. You can find me on Instagram @georginacrossauthor, Twitter @gcrossauthor, and Facebook Georgina Cross Author. Sign up for my newsletter at www.georgina-cross-author.com.
Click here to join the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club as we discuss THE STEPDAUGHTER on Thursday, June 24 at 8:30 PM CT. See you there!
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Shannan Moore Malone squeezes in the time to write while taking care of the Buddy Man. As you already know, she loves books but she also loves great movies, running, and is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a foodie. Though generally more on the quiet side, you can get her talking by mentioning living authentically, the importance of clarity and organization, and enjoying life, which she occasionally writes about on her blog her blog and posts about on Instagram.