Georgina Carter Pickard is a freelance writer from Teddington, South-West London. She earned her BA (Hons) degree in Graphic design at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design in Epsom. Shortly after graduation, she worked as a freelance Magazine designer but quickly realised it didn’t give her any creative freedom. Spurred on to do something more exciting she turned up on the doorstep of a model-making studio and asked to be given a chance – luckily the company director had answered the door, liked her up-front attitude and offered her a temporary position in the business. She worked on miniature sets for stop-motion animation, beer commercials and TV awards before moving onto another studio where she made props for prestigious films such as Star Wars, Spy Game and Tomb Raider. When the film industry closed some of its studios, Georgina moved into children’s publishing at Templar publishing before deciding to live out her restoration dreams as a property developer in Spain where she began writing her first novel Forever and Olé.

Her book is a travel memoir, a hefty page-turner that is gaining rave reviews for an independently published book. It all started back in 2003 when Georgina and then-boyfriend Jason moved to Valencia, Spain to seek new opportunities. The couple found the move both invigorating and challenging as they found themselves in unpredictable situations and Georgina’s untitled novel was beginning to form.

Beginning a new life abroad was freeing but also a struggle” Georgina explains as the country was hit with two recessions, making planning a future difficult under such financial instability. “The only way to ride it out was to constantly adapt to the changing economic climate, we were accidental entrepreneurs” she states. “If we didn’t come up with an income solution we were out, it was over.”

And they certainly pushed their creativity by starting an adventures tours business and taking on interior design jobs for holiday rentals as well as launching their own holiday retreat in the mountains. When the couple discovered stone house renovations were the next big thing in the north of the country, it seemed a plausible move. They bought a ruin and temporarily relocated to rural Galicia to face their biggest challenge yet. Although Georgina had visited La Coruña as a teenager, the north was a very different environment than the south. As they started out on their journey, the couple were embroiled within a series of disasters, “We broke down and got stranded for five days, then more chaos followed it was as if we were cursed, an unbelievable narrative unfolding before us.”

According to Georgina the ensuing days and months working and integrating with the locals supplied plenty of content for the novel. Referring to one particular chapter in which a fight breaks out between an alcoholic farmer and a delinquent mother causing the entire village (of just fourteen people) to get involved, it is here, Georgina writes with such vivaciousness.

It was as if this mini-series was playing out in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t write down each scene quick enough” she explains. “I remember sitting down inside the caravan after the event, rain pelting as Jason worked on the renovation and I took some time-out to write up what felt like a witness statement, there was so much happening I was worried I’d forget the finer details. These little village episodes were just pieces at that stage but they had their own little rhythm that I visualised frame by frame in a movie. I think that was the first time I knew I had a great story in my hands and what a pleasure it was to write.”

You can read all about her life abroad in her novel Forever and Olé available from all Amazon stores.