Episode 189: Writing Reality-Based Fiction — Interview with Georgia Hunter

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the absolute pleasure of interviewing author Georgia Hunter on the show!

Georgia’s debut novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, is an emotional story about a Jewish family ripped away from each other at the start of the German and Russian occupation of Poland, and their extraordinary journey back to each other. And if that wasn’t juicy enough, the novel is actually based on Georgia’s grandfather’s (Addy in the book) real Holocaust survival story.

Readers from all over the country have embraced this incredible story, leading it to be nominated as a finalist for the Goodreads “Best Books of 2017 Choice Awards” for “Best Debut Goodreads Author.”

Listen in as we chat about Georgia’s amazing book, and how to balance real family lore with historical fiction.

In this episode Georgia and I discuss:

  • Crafting suspense into a story when your readers already know the ending.
  • Using the present tense to bring emotions to life in your characters.
  • The distinction between nonfiction and historical fiction and when to draw the line.
  • Flushing out snippets of oral history with believable transitions in your novel.
  • Georgia’s tips on where to start when writing your family’s story.

Plus, Georgia’s #1 tip for writers.

About Georgia Hunter

When Georgia was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors when she interviewed her grandmother for a research project. Through those talks she learned part of this remarkable story. In 2008 she began searching for the rest, pouring over records in the Holocaust Museum’s libraries and Red Cross databases, and traveling to Poland, France, and beyond. Seven years later her novel was complete.

Based on the true story of her family,We Were the Lucky Ones is the result of all those years of research. This is Georgia Hunter’s debut novel, and is available now. She now lives in Connecticut but you can find her on her blog which offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the extensive research this project has entailed.

We Were the Lucky Ones is now available in both hardcover and paperback.

To connect with Georgia check out her website at georgiahunterauthor.com and to get that behind the scenes look at crafting We Were the Lucky Ones check out her blog at weweretheluckyones.com.

We Were the Lucky Ones

The story opens in the spring of 1939, and three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows ever closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships facing Jews in Radom.

But soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable. Over the course of the war, the Kurcs must learn to cope in a world overrun with desperation, barbarity, and death—a world in which nearly every basic truth of the lives they once knew, including their home, their family, and their safety, has been stripped away.

As one sibling is forced into exile, another attempts to flee the continent, while others struggle to escape certain death by working endless hours on empty stomachs in the factories of the ghetto or by hiding as gentiles in plain sight. Driven by a will to survive and by the fear that they may never see each other again, the Kurcs must rely on hope, ingenuity, and inner strength to stay alive.

The novel is inspired by the experiences of Georgia Hunter’s grandfather—Addy in the book—and his family.


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!


Link to Episode 189

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