Lilliana Anderson and I both love the same writer: if I mention Poisonwood Bible, do you know who it is?
Welcome and thanks for treading the boards with us today!
Thank you for having me!
1. Are you inspired most by places, people or experiences and how do these work their way into your writing? I think I would have to say that it’s experiences that inspire me the most. A lot of things that happen in my books are based on how I would react under the same circumstances – so my own personal experience comes into play quite heavily then.
Confidante has an interesting background story too!
2. Please share one of your favourite moments of inspiration with us.
I was hanging the washing on the line and could hear a cricket game being played on the oval near my house. It gave me the idea of a hero and heroine meeting when the ball gets whacked too far and hits the heroine on the head. She’d be really ticked off about it and the hero would find her reaction quite charming.
3. How did you come up with the idea of A Beautiful Forever?
The idea for this book came about after I released A Beautiful Struggle and fans started to call for more of Elliot. I had already written most of chapter one as an idea for another story that I was going to title ‘Superfluous Me’ about a girl who was cast out by her family, she was heading overseas to get away from her past and I felt that Elliot would probably like a new start too – so off they went together!
4. How do you come up with your characters’ names?
This is really lame of me! I search ‘Popular Australian Girls/Boys names’ and choose from the list.
5. Who would you cast for a movie/TV series as your main characters if given the chance? I will stick with Aussie actors and choose Chris Hemsworth for Elliot and Phoebe Tonkin for Paige.
Absolutely perfect – Chris Hemsworth can be my “forever” hero…forever!
Thank you, Lilliana! Eye candy extraordinaire!
6. If you could pick a soundtrack to match your main character’s life, what would it be? Well I wrote this book whilst listening to Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials – it had the right kind of emotional feel to it that I wanted A Beautiful Forever to have. So, I would have to pick that.
7. What is your favourite holiday?
What are holidays? Lol I have four children so while they are young, holidays are very tiring for me. Although when they are older, my husband and I have a big plan to take an around the world cruise.
8. Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one? I do read all of my reviews. When one isn’t nice, I tend to shrug my shoulders and say – ‘oh well, it wasn’t for them.” But sometimes people get a little mean, or they completely spoil the plot of your book. Those times I talk to my husband and have a bit of a rant, then I let it go. As a friend says to me – haters hate. There’s not much you can do about it.
9. How many times were you turned down before you finally got published?
Three and then I self-published – which really, was the better option for me. My books peaked in the top 200 overall on Amazon and I have complete control over price and giveaways.
10. What reason(s) did the publishers give for their rejection of your manuscript?
They didn’t like the ending of the first book A Beautiful Struggle which funnily enough, is what got me noticed – it isn’t what you’d traditionally expect and some people love it and some people hate it. But, it’s sparked conversation which is what we’re all after.
11. Who is your literary hero?
Barbara Kingsolver. The Poisonwood Bible is one of those books that stays with you forever.
Isn’t she fabulous! I loved this one too, and Pigs in Heaven.
12. If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, and spend an hour with them who and why?
If I could meet anyone, it would be John Lennon – just because I love him.
13. What is your favourite book of all time that you can reread a hundred times, and it still feels like the first time? Don’t hate me – but I don’t reread books. I really don’t like knowing what’s going to happen. However, I do love rereading Roald Dahl’s books to my children. It’s wonderful to share something I loved as a child and experience it for the first time through their eyes. Their favourite so far is Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We’ve read that one a few times together.
14. What do you need to set the mood for you to write?
Most of the time I just write, my house is very noisy and I get interrupted a lot. But, if I am struggling with a scene then I will pick some suitable music, put headphones on and block out the noise so I can focus.
15. If there is one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing a book in that specific genre, what would it be? Probably dystopia – I love end of the world books and movies, so I wouldn’t mind doing an Australian version.
16. How many blurbs did you have to write before the final one? I think there were three all up.
17. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? And why?
It would have to be Elliot, simply because he’s hot AND thoughtful. Lol!
18. What are you working on now?
A romance called Alter, it’s about a girl who is struggling mentally, undergoing a series of blackouts while still interacting with those around her. It follows her confusion and worry and finally her healing – all with the help of a very handsome hero of course!
19. Would you like to share an excerpt from your writing or a photo or music link that inspires you? I normally share excerpts that are full of attraction, but this time I thought I’d share one that’s a little bit of fun.
This is from Chapter 6 in A Beautiful Forever
“You know that guy you don’t really know?” Andrea says behind me as I blow dry my current client’s hair. I nod in response, still focusing on curling the brush to create enough volume.
“Well… he’s asleep.”
“What?!" I laugh incredulously, turning my head slightly to spot him in a chair with his head slumped forward on his chest.
When I finish up with my client, I walk her to the counter, quickly offering her some product, but not caring if she takes any. I can’t seem to stop my eyes from flitting constantly to the sleeping figure in the waiting area.
The moment she leaves, I walk over to Elliot and stand in front of him as I contemplate how best to wake him.
“Wait, wait, wait!” Andrea calls out in one of those whispers that might as well be a yell, as she dashes towards me. “I want to witness this!” She stands beside me and adjusts her shirt as she prepares herself.
“What are you doing?” I ask her. She looks like she’s getting ready to catch a ball or something.
“I don’t know,” she shrugs, laughing a little. “Just wake him.”
I jerk my head up as a loud clapping sound startles me awake. Slowly, my eyes focus and I’m met by the sight of Paige and her co-worker standing in front of me smiling their arses off.
“Jetlag can be a bit of a bitch huh?” Paige comments. “You still want that haircut?”
I scratch my head and stand up, stretching to try to bring myself fully awake. “Yeah, I still want that haircut,” I reply through a yawn.
20. Please share your favourite cocktail recipe or celebration photo.
I’m a bit of a chocoholic so I love a Mudslide (if I had one, my favourite celebration photo would be of me drinking one! Lol)
- 250ml (1 cup) thin cream
- 250ml (1 cup) Baileys Original Irish Cream liqueur
- 60ml (1/4 cup) chilled vodka
- 60ml (1/4 cup) Kahlua liqueur
- 8 scoops chocolate ice-cream
- 1 cup crushed ice
Place cream, Baileys, vodka, Kahlua, ice-cream and ice in the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into serving glasses and serve immediately.