Today, we have author Lillana Anderson in the laboratory. She is an Australian, born and bred, and proud of it! She has always love to read and write and is now a proud published author. Besides writing Angelien’s biographical trilogy, she also writes contemporary romance and drama all based around Aussie characters. When she isn’t writing she is a wife, and a mother to four children. She has worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities before transferring to commerce/law at university. She currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne. Please help me welcome, Lillana Anderson, author of A Beautiful Forever.
Good Morning, Lillana. Why don’t we start by telling the folks a little about you?
I’m an Aussie Author who lives in Melbourne. I am a mother of four, and I’ve always been a passionate reader and always dreamed of actually managing to write something.
When and why did you start writing?
It was actually due to my mother in law. She had been talking for years about writing down her own story and eventually I decided to do it with her as a biography series. That’s how the bug bit me and I started writing fiction too.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Barbara Kingsolver, because I think about the Poisonwood Bible every day since I read it six years ago.
Do you feel that Barbara Kingsolver inspired your writing? Do you feel that your writing is modeled after him/her?
No, it’s more that I aspire to be as good as she is one day. To write something so touching and memorable that people recommend it for years to come.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Longevity, I want to write until my body fails me and I want my words to be remembered long after.
Traditional or self publishing and why?
I chose the path of the self-published. When I first started writing, I didn’t even know about the little boutique publishers, so I researched how to get published by the big six and realized that there was no way that I could afford the manuscript vetting process.
That led me to researching other ways to get published, which let me to discovering self publishing. I had no idea you could do that, so I decided to give it a try. So far, it’s worked wonderfully for me. I’ve been able to play around with pricing, cover art, different blurbs and promotion types to find out what is most effective for me.
Tell us about your most recent book and why we should love or hate your characters.
A Beautiful Forever starts where A Beautiful Struggle left off. I have used Elliot’s last scene as the beginning of this book.
We then see him move on with his life as he embarks on a journey to find himself after he’s become someone he doesn’t really recognize any more. This journey leads him to London, and he meets Paige on the plane on the way over there. Sparks fly between them, but Paige is very guarded and doesn’t let on to Elliot that she has any interest in him.
Elliot – you will love him because he knows what he wants and he isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get it.
Paige – at first you’ll find her annoying and at times you may hate her secrecy. But when all is revealed, you’ll understand and hate her past, not her.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are the first 5 songs you would include?
I listened to Florence and the Machine’s Ceremonials constantly while I wrote this book so it would have to be – No light, No light; Spectrum; All this and Heaven too; Heartlines; Bedroom Hymns
Aside from writing or reading, what is your favorite pastime?
Curling up with my husband and watching our favourite tv shows (Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Arrow, Grimm)
What is the one thing you want to do, or the one place you want to go, that you would put at #1 on your bucket list?
See snow! I’ve never seen it before.
We have plenty of it here in New York State if you’d like to come visit next Winter and steal some lol. Finally, what else would you like readers to know?
That the ‘A Beautiful’ series will continue – they will all be books that can be read on their own, but they will feature a character that readers liked from the book before.
COVER DESIGN: I love the picture; very romantic and passionate. The only downside to it is that the author’s name is hard to see. A lot of people would say that the title is what matters, but I personally like to see the name of the brilliant person who wrote the masterpiece in my hands.
WHAT I LIKED: If there is one thing that popped out at me when I first started reading this book, it’s that the author was able to effortlessly convey that feeling you get when you see an old flame… I have personal experience and could feel Elliot’s pain and fear. It was a REAL story that could actually easily happen to an individual and I enjoyed reading something like that for a change.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: A lot of dialogue, but not a lot of description. When it went back and forth between Elliot’s thoughts and Paige’s thoughts, I started to get a little annoyed at the break up of it. Usually, this doesn’t bother me, but with this book it just gave it a rushed feeling somehow. That being said, it was still a good story.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: I’m totally in love with Elliot and his awkward shyness. He’s my kind of man!