Shannon here: Liana George shares how much of herself she put into her heroine from her debut Women’s Fiction title, Perfectly Arranged. Head’s up: this is one of my editing babies. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Oct 22nd – 26th to enter the drawing for a copy of the book, as well as a personalized organizing kit, which includes a $25 gift card to The Container Store, a copy of Marie Kondo’s book (haha–you’ll get the joke once you read Perfectly Arranged), a to-do list journal, decluttering tips, decluttering signs and a timer. Deadline: Nov 6th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Liana:
Same, Same but Different
Ask a group of authors about the main character of their novels and you’ll likely see huge grins break out across their faces. Why? Because most writers have a close relationship with the person they’ve cast as the lead in their novels. In truth, the protagonists these writers have created are partly a reflection of themselves.
As a debut author, I understand that feeling. After three years of bringing Nicki Mayfield to life in my upcoming release, Perfectly Arranged (Oct 26, 20201), I have a strong connection with her, and we share many of the same qualities. You might say, as they do in Asia, we are the ‘same, same, but different’.
Let me explain.
Nicki Mayfield is a twenty-six-year-old professional organizer who owns Save My Space Organizing in Bridgeport, CT. Due to a careless mistake, however, she has to close-up shop and find a new career path.
Excerpt from Perfectly Arranged:
I’m hanging up my label maker.
While I’d been certain I would be the next Marie Kondo, organizing superstar, the lack of clients and shortage of funds in my bank account tells a different story. After three years of blood, sweat, and tears, I’ve failed at the one thing I’d believed I was meant to do.
When I open a side desk drawer that holds a rainbow assortment of alphabetically arranged files, my heart flutters at the sight of everything in perfect order…
To be honest, I drew on my own time as a professional organizer to create Nicki, except I wasn’t down to my last penny or client.
In 2013, after being a stay-at-home mom for eighteen years, I opened By George Organizing Solutions in Houston, TX. I loved bringing order to people’s homes and lives and built a solid business. Yet, there was something stirring inside of me that wouldn’t go away. A childhood dream of becoming a writer that tugged at my heart. When I couldn’t ignore it any longer, I shut down my company and pursued writing full-time.
Two peas in a pod, Nicki and I both share a love of color-coded file folders and the desire for order when faced with a crisis. Yet the paths we took after leaving the organizing industry couldn’t be more different.
But it’s not just the ability to keep things nice and tidy that binds us. We also share a work-related project – bringing order to an eccentric socialite’s vast footwear collection.
During the five and a half years I spent working as an organizer, I was often asked to help people restore and arrange their bedrooms and closet spaces. A master closet with shoes? Yes. But an entire space dedicated solely for them? Never. That is until January of 2016 when I found myself standing in the middle of an empty room surrounded by a stack of expensive shoes waiting to be placed in their proper homes.
In the book, Nicki faces a similar situation with Katherine O’Connor and her Versace’s.
Excerpt from Perfectly Arranged:
“This is the space Ms. O’Connor would like you to organize today.” After unlocking the door, Lucinda steps aside to let me in.
I peek around the doorframe. The room is triple the size of my bedroom and lined with custom-made slanted shoe shelving similar to those I’ve seen in glossy fashion magazines or the high-end boutiques I’ve passed by in the city. “What’s this room used for?”
“It’s to be Ms. O’Connor’s new shoe room.”
My eyes widen. “You’re kidding, right? This whole room is just for shoes?”
“It’s not a joke, Miss Mayfield. This room is solely dedicated to Ms. O’Connor’s vast number of shoes.”
“Uh, okay.” I have no clue how anyone could have so much footwear or why they would need a separate room just to store them, but what do I know about high society living?
While Nicki’s experience with Ms. O (as I like to call her) is closely related to mine, I didn’t journey across the globe with my client afterwards to uncover a family secret. My project was one and done and I never heard from my shoe fashionista again. Yet as Perfectly Arranged draws to a close, Nicki and her client have become an unlikely pair.
Excerpt from Perfectly Arranged:
Three months ago, I was packing up my office, sad but determined to make a way for myself. Then Ms. O’Connor entered my world, and my life changed in ways I could never have imagined. We’ve become the most unexpected team.
As you can see Nicki and I have a lot in common, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you by listing them all here. Instead, I hope you’ll grab a copy of Perfectly Arranged for yourself and discover more ways the two of us are the ‘same, same, but different’.
About Liana: Liana George is a sought-after speaker, blogger, and author. Before pursuing a career in writing, she was a professional organizer and the former owner of By George Organizing Solutions in Houston, Texas. Her debut novel, Perfectly Arranged, was inspired by one of her eccentric clients and Liana’s love for China, where she lived for two and a half years. When she’s not putting things in order or scribbling away, you can find her reading, traveling, or playing tennis. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Perfectly Arranged: Short on clients and money, professional organizer Nicki Mayfield is hanging up her label maker. That is until the eccentric socialite Katherine O’Connor offers Nicki one last job.
Working together, the pair discovers an unusual business card among Ms. O’Connor’s family belongings that leads them on a journey to China. There the women embark on an adventure of faith and self-discovery as they uncover secrets, truths, and ultimately, God’s perfectly arranged plans.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win?
Pre-order your copy now!
Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOK0cE-tdw4
Question for Readers: Are you organized or not? If you’re organized, what is your favorite organization tool? If you’re not organized, do you wish you were and how do you keep track of things?
Come back Oct 29th for Linda Shenton Matchett!