Faces of AWNY: Georgia Clark

Author Georgia Clark shares gives us a peek into her life and experiences in New York.

Tell us about yourself and why you moved to NYC?

I moved to NYC because I fell in love with the city and felt like I needed a big, exciting, scary change to kick-start my life. I was 29, single, hungry, restless and had lived in Sydney since starting uni. I wanted an adventure: and I got it.

Where are you from? How long have you been here?

I went to school at Gosford High School on the Central Coast, having grown up in Hornsby Heights and then moving to North Sydney when I was in Year 10 (so yes, it was a 2 hour commute to school every day!). I’ve been in NYC for 7.5 years.

Favorite NYC brunch spot

Dead heat between Five Leaves in Greenpoint and Diner in South Williamsburg.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice

I love some sort of spicy/sweet jalapeño margarita (like the Firewalker at Nitehawk cinema: amazing!). My girlfriend and I like getting the happy hour wine and a little cheese at Miusa, which is a cute little place close to our home.

How did you get into your job in NYC?

My current job is being an author, and I got that because my agent and I sold my first adult fiction novel, The Regulars, to Simon & Schuster in January 2015. I’m very lucky, but I also worked damn hard, unpaid, for years to get there! [Ed’s note: Georgia spoke about just how hard she worked at our recent event, Australian Writers in New York.]

What do you like about being part of AWNY?

I love being connected to so many smart, hard-working, curious Australian women. When the tide rises, all boats float.

What was your biggest win recently?

The Regulars launched in the UK on August 11, 2016, and we got some wonderful press. We got a great rave in the Sunday Mirror, Grazia published a two-page article, In-Style published a piece I wrote on how to write your first book, and Look called the book “Mean Girls with magic”, which is simply the best.

What’s the biggest challenge or road block you’ve been faced with since being in NYC and how do you overcome it?

I couldn’t get work for a long time and I was very broke. I foolishly thought that having a good resume and solid experience in Australia would translate well in America: it does not. I could’ve tried to get full-time work but I knew if I did that I’d never have the time to write and that was my priority. I subsisted on piecemeal writing work, like writing daily deal type copy for sites like Living Social and living on vegetable soup (Every. Single. Day) until I finally got a good freelance gig, and was able to get on top of debt and have a decent standard of living. But it was a long, tough road to that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living/working in NYC?

Persistence is key. It is all about who you know. It takes about 5 years to truly settle and put down real roots here, so be patient, if you’re serious about making a life here. Get a proper winter jacket.

Who are some Aussie ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?

Lexi Freiman has written her first novel and landed a hot agent: I’m so excited to see her get a deal and do the publishing thing. Alexandra (Ally) Collier is a super talented playwright currently making the transition into television. Sofija Stefanovic is the host of Women of Letters, which is one of my favorite spoken word series.

Where do you live? Why did you choose that area?

I live, love and laugh in South Williamsburg. I love it because it’s super cool, right on the water (views!) has heaps of amenities, bars, restaurants: it’s just the best.

What do you like/dislike about living in NY?

I love being in the center of the world and feeling the energy of the city infuse me with life and hope every single day. I like having four seasons. I love my friends. I don’t like the fact America has no sane gun control laws.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?

Baz Luhrmann once came to a BBQ at my house and then took out all my friends for dinner at Roberta’s.

What do you do?

I’m an author who writes stories abut funny, flawed, feisty ladies! My newest book The Regulars dropped in the States and Australia on August 2nd.

As a professional working in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?

There are more opportunities, money and support here.

Any advice for other professionals working in NYC?

Be excited and passionate about yourself and what you do. Americans love authenticity, if you have a story, and unabashed enthusiasm. That doesn’t play as well in Australia, but it reads here.

What’s your favorite New York spot?

Gotta say, I love our building’s outdoor deck. It looks right out over the East River, with a view of all three bridges.

Anything you miss about Australia?

My family, the clean air, warm winters, Turkish pizza, beaches, ordering a “schooner” (its such a fun word to say!

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?

  1. Check out an improv show at UCB; the improv scene here is world-class and you can see a fabulous house team for $10. Protip: try and catch a musical improv show….
  2. Brooklyn is cooler and more fun than Manhattan: THERE I SAID IT! Check out Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, and Bushwick if you like it a little raw.
  3. Be prepared not to sleep. Bring ear plugs for when you do.

What have been the best ‘living in NYC tips’ you have discovered?

Get an AC (air conditioner) for the summer. Never live in a railroad apartment with roommates.

Anything else you would like to add?

Connect with me! I’m @georgialouclark on Twitter and Instagram. You can sign up for my newsletter at georgiaclark.com.

And please buy a copy of The Regulars!