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Thursday 17 March 2016

ℚ♫ Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock - Nino Gugunishvili

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock (, Archway Publishing, 542 pages), a Women's Fiction Contemporary Romance.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Nino, welcome to BooksChatter! Thank you for taking the time to be with us today!

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I would like to thank the BooksChatter blog for inviting me over, this really feels great!  Thank you so much!

Here’s a playlist I was listening to while working on Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock maybe someone else too will get inspired with these fabulous songs!"
What was the inspiration for Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock?
"When I’m now remembering the writing process of my debut novel “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” it appears to me that its creation was largely inspired by multiple factors, either books that I’ve read or films that I’ve watched, and of course by my own experiences. Somehow all of it transformed into a story about a young freelance journalist - Tasha, who receives an unexpected phone call one evening and this small beginning unleashes a chain of events which ultimately affect the entire course of her life.

At first, when I started writing I didn’t have a clear idea where the story would go to, what twists and turns it would have, or what would happen to the characters in the book.  Slowly, as I wrote day after day, their habits, manners, moods formed into a plot.  Honestly, I never thought that I would write a novel… it was more like something unreal, unbelievable, but as I write this guest post, my book is just in front of me on a desk, with its own life, it’s own journey to the readers."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"When a friend of mine have read “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” he tried to guess, whether it was about me or any of us.  He was desperately seeking for some clues, hints and indications that the characters and the events happening were real or somehow reflected my life.  Finally he announced the verdict, in which he said that I wrote a book about a life I unconsciously probably wanted to live myself.

Well, the answer to this is both yes and no… I’m often told that Tasha - is practically me, but from my own point of view, Liz Foster - a deputy editor of the magazine where Tasha starts working resembles me as well, as Balthazar, Fabien, or any other character in this book.  All of them took something from me I guess.

At the same time, the book is about media world, publishing and television business.  My own professional and educational background is in film, arts management and television and I think it partially influenced the novel too.

Finally, the story starts simultaneously in Eastern Europe, Paris and later London, probably because, I’ve travelled to those cities a lot and had a chance to live and study there in different periods of my life."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"One of the many reasons why I decided to self- publish “Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock” was the fact that as an author I would be actively involved in the process.  I had an opportunity to work with the excellent team of professionals from Archway Publishing who guided me through every stage.

When I first saw this image that you now see on the cover; a young woman with a suitcase standing on a road, it instantly drew my attention.  I stopped searching for more.  I knew this was the right one, because for me, it already tells a story.  A character stands on the road, or maybe on a crossroad of her life, facing a new beginning unaware of a journey that awaits her.

 In a way, Tasha’s trip is not only physical, it’s a metaphor too.  Both Liz Foster and Tasha are on a verge of a change and the book cover captures it ideally."
Why should we read Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock and what sets it apart from the rest?
"Imagine that you’re watching a movie.  A melodrama with elements of a thriller…You should read this book to have many good laughs, entertain yourself and at the end when you finish it, maybe, just maybe, the characters will stay with you for a little while or you’ll even want to read more about them."
Can you tell us something quirky about Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock, its story and characters?
  • I kept my writing in secret for quite long.  Very few people knew about it.  When finally I decided to reveal it, it was a huge surprise, even for my family.  I have to confess, when it concerns my writing, I’m getting superstitious.  Countless times I’ve been horrified by the thought of some cyber-hackers getting into my laptop and stealing my work from me.  I was super-hyper cautious, changing my email password every week, forgetting it and changing it again.  Oh, and I forgot about sticker notes!  They were my best friends!   Yellow Stickers in particular!
  • Long after I finished working on the first draft I didn’t have a title to my novel.  I wanted something simple and easy to remember, the kind of title that would give a certain feel of the story, catch an atmosphere and keep the readers intrigued.  Actually, I almost stole it from a friend of mine who whenever we decided to dine out, always suggested Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock for our gathering.  It hit me, that this should be the title of my novel.  By the way we still meet every Friday at eight.
  • The first opening sentence of the book: “Balthazar Hamish woke up in a grumpy mood that morning” came to my head when I was smoking a cigarette on a balcony.  I returned to the living room, switched on my HP laptop and started typing.  That’s how it started.
Who would you recommend Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to those who’d want to read something light about smart, independent, funny, ambitious women in their thirties.  I would recommend this book to those who are interested in romance, unbelievable adventures, sassy characters and happy endings! "
If you could / wished to turn Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Til Schweiger, Naomi Watts and James Franco would definitely be on the list!"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"As far as it goes by now, while I’m on a very early stage of writing my next novel I’m staying within the genre.

I’m greatly fond of the authors like Marian Keyes, Sophie KinsellaJennifer Weiner, Anna Gavalda, Helen Fielding, Nora Ephron, Ann Patchett and I believe that their brilliant talent inspired many debut authors like me."
What is your writing process?
"I usually start writing in the morning and work till late evening.  Since I don’t have a full time job right now I’m free, but on the other hand, this freedom turns into a challenge very often.  Suddenly, out of nowhere it appears that I have other very important things to do!  Shouldn’t walking with my dog on a bright, crispy winter day be a priority?!  Shouldn’t he enjoy the snow?!

I guess I’m not the planner… The process of writing for me is more spontaneous.  I need to have a character’s name and as soon as I get one, I continue.  I would want to say that I'm switching off my phone, locking the door of the room and not speaking to anyone while I write, but it’s so not true.  I’m very easily distracted and discipline is something I still have to achieve."
What is in store next?
"I’m now working on my second book and from what I’ve written so far, it’s totally different from Friday Evening, Eight O’Clock considering its style, plot, and structure.

I wanted to explore the theme of psychological violence within a family, a group of individuals living together, having a strong bond with each other.  All the events in the book are seen and told through different characters.  The whole plot develops through character monologues. It’s a story of two sisters, Tessa and Cecilia.  The elder one - Cecilia is handicapped after a terrible car accident and it shatters her life substantially.  That’s all I really know about the story for now.  It’s just hundred pages or a little more, but I hope to finish the first draft in the coming months."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a beautiful English Cocker- Spaniel named Figu.  He arrived in a crate from Moscow some 10 years ago as a four month puppy.  I regret I didn’t mention him in the acknowledgements section of my book, because he undoubtedly is an integral part of my writing life and of all the funny stories behind the book.  Thanks to our long morning walks in the park and his loyal companionship my first book became real and possible.  Luckily he’s there too - as a prototype to Griffin, Tasha’s - Labrador retriever, so I hope he’s not too upset with me! :-)

Here’s a picture of me and Figu standing at the entrance to the park. That’s an old one really, he’s about five months old in there and I’m much younger too :-)"
 I love Cocker Spaniels, that's the only type of dog I ever lived with, and only during my childhood (since then it's only been only cats! Lots of them!)

Hello Figu!  Head scratches and treats to you :-)

Thank you for sharing with us :-)  In fact I spotted a picture you posted on your Facebook page that embodies many of the items you have shared with us - Figu, your HP laptop, some sticky notes, cigarettes and coffee...

Nino, it was a pleasure having you with us - we hope you have a great tour and wish you all the best with your latest manuscript!

Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock
Available NOW!

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Nino Gugunishvili said...

It's so wonderful to be here with all of you, and Maroon 5 Thanks for featuring!

BooksChatter said...

Hello Nino, thank you for popping by! Indeed, thank you Maroon 5 and the beautiful cast chosen by you. Of course the star of this post is Figu :-)

Have a great day,


Nino Gugunishvili said...

Thank you soooo much Flora for such a beautiful presentation of the book, me as an author and making Figu the star! He sends tail wiggles to you!:))

BooksChatter said...

My pleasure! I enjoy doing it :-)

Nino Gugunishvili said...

Thank you! and I enjoy being here!