Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post: Georgia Clark with Parched on improv comedy!

Parched
Parched
by Georgia Clark
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Holiday House

Robots, renewable resources, and romance get tangled together in this thrilling futuristic adventure novel about a utopian city struggling to keep its peace.

"A gutsy teen living on an arid, depleted Earth two centuries in the future faces danger and shocking revelations when she covertly joins a subversive group.

Sixteen-year-old Tess lived in Eden, a seemingly idyllic, domed city where access to information and water is regulated by the governing Trust. After a rogue robot killed her scientist mother, Tess fled with a terrible secret to the desperate, arid Badlands, where she’s recruited by Kudzu, explained to her as a “nonviolent collective working to undermine the Trust and free the Badlands.” Learning Kudzu plans to destroy Aevum, the Trust’s latest advanced robot, Tess reluctantly returns to Eden, where she finds the luxurious life morally unconscionable and secretly trains with Kudzu. Living with her uncle, who’s involved with Aevum, Tess is strangely attracted to his sympathetic assistant, Hunter. During a Kudzu raid on the Trust’s lab, Tess discovers that Aevum will be used to eradicate all inhabitants of the Badlands—and that Hunter’s not what he seems to be.

Tess’ first-person, present-tense voice lends chilling immediacy to her no-nonsense story of mixed loyalty, disturbing secrets, and ethical dilemmas associated with diminishing natural resources and scientific experimentation.


"Bold futurist adventure with unusual romance, riveting action and ominous ecological red flags." —Kirkus Reviews


Guest post: Georgia Clark

YA novelist Georgia Clark dishes the dirt on her hobby: improv comedy!

I had my first U.S. novel, Parched, published last March. It took me three and a half years to write it, and in between the time I spent hunched over a laptop in a Writers Room in Manhattan, I was doing a tonne of improv comedy.

I discovered improv on my first trip to New York. A friend had lent me the Upright Citizens Brigade DVD and told me that UCB was actually a theater too. Being a fan of series, I was excited to visit. I picked a show at random, a musical improv show called “We Eat Pandas.” It was incredible: so funny, so clever, and only $5! I went back to UCB two more times that trip, and when I moved to New York to live, one year later, I signed up for Improv 101, an eight-week class.

Because I didn’t know anyone when I moved, I thought the class might be a good way to meet good people, and to be honest, it was just something to do; something ‘New York-y’, and a bit scary (because really, isn’t that what a relocation to New York is about—challenging yourself?). I thought I’d take my eight classes and be done with it.

I was wrong. Because very, very quickly, I became hooked on improv.

I just loved the artform. There’s nothing like watching good improv: seeing people create strange, wonderful, insane dreams onstage out of nothing more than their imaginations. I love funny movies, but nothing makes me laugh as hard as good improv. I’m also stubborn. That’s probably why I can be a novelist. You have to be stubborn, to persist through years of rejection and substandard work. So my stubborn streak helped me get through the years when I sucked at it.

But the biggest drawcard for me was the people I got to play with. By nature, improvisers aren’t just funny. They’re generous (improv is a team sport, and the key is sharing focus and honoring others ideas), hard working (NYC is competitive; to be good you have to work hard and be dedicated) and basically, just good people. I met some of my closest friends through UCB. The community is very strong and supportive.

People often ask how improv helps my writing. I think it does help it: there are tricks to do with structure and characterization that I use. Maybe it helps me open my imagination and go anywhere with an idea. But really, improv helped me the most by keeping me sane and getting out of my storyworld. When you’re onstage doing a show you MUST be focused and present. You literally can’t think about else than what is happening in the here and now, and that’s very refreshing for a permanent daydreamer like me. Plus, when it’s all over, you get to have a beer with your teammates and laugh about all the silliness you just bought to life.

My new book!

Parched

Robots, renewable resources, and romance get tangled together in this thrilling futuristic novel about a utopian city and the sixteen-year-old girl who challenges its peace.

Where I wrote it: The New York Writers Room, right here in Manhattan.

Favorite writing snack: Chocolate macaroons

Most commonly distracted by: Facebook. It’s a drug.





Georgia Clark grew up in Sydney, Australia. She received a BA in Communications: Media Arts 
and Production from the University of Technology, Sydney. After graduating, Georgia worked as 
editor of The Brag, a weekly music street press magazine. She then became an online producer for an 
Australian soap opera called Home & Away and an online writer for Fremantle Media Australia.
Georgia moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue a career in teen and lifestyle journalism. Her 
articles have been featured in various publications, including Cosmo, CLEO, Daily Life, Sunday Life, 
Girlfriend, and more. Georgia currently works as the senior digital creative at Showtime Networks, 
where she produces the award-winning SHO Sync app.

Despite refusing to own a smart phone, Georgia crafts a thrilling story of robots, renewable resources, 
and romance in her new futuristic fantasy novel Parched. After the death of her scientist mother, 
sixteen-year-old Tessendra decides to join a rebel group and risk her life to bring justice to the people 
living outside the utopian city of Eden.

In addition to her love for writing, Georgia is a travel enthusiast and has visited fourteen countries. 
She also enjoys improv, studies comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, and hosts a monthly 
show in the East Village with a team called Dreamboat. For more information about Georgia, visit 
www.georgiaclark.com and follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. 


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