Tag Archives: The Beauty in Between

After Phoenix – An Interview with Paige and Elliot

     

Today, I’m very lucky to sit down with Paige and Elliot via Skype. They are sitting on the couch in the living room of their flat in Bondi, while their baby, Grace, is taking a nap. I am in my dining room in Melbourne.  I called them because I wanted to talk about how they’re feeling now that Phoenix: The Beauty and between has been released.

Me: Hi guys. Thanks so much for agreeing to talk with me today.

Paige & Elliot nod and tell me I’m welcome

Me: Phoenix, the book about Paige’s past has been out for a little over a week now. So far we’ve had a really great response to it. How are you feeling?

Paige: *Shifts slightly in her seat and looks briefly at Elliot, who smiles encouragingly*  To be honest, I’ve kind of been keeping my head down and pretending it’s not happening. I mean – I’m glad I told my story. It was really cathartic going back through my life and putting it all out there. But, it was also really difficult, and I needed a few extra therapy sessions and the constant support of my husband and lots and lots of hugs from Grace to get through it.

Me: What about you Elliot?

Elliot: I’m really proud actually. Paige did have a really hard time working with you through that book, and I’m in awe of her strength and determination. As horrible as everything that happened to her was, I think that she’s come out the other side of it all as an amazing woman… *Paige looks at Elliot and presses her lips together in a watery smile. I sit quietly and watch as he slips his arm around her shoulders and kisses her on top of her head. After a while their attention turns back to me.* Although, in saying all of that, I still want to hunt all of those guys down and beat the shit out of them for hurting my wife.

Me: I don’t blame you.

I have to ask Paige, have your parents looked at the book at all?

Paige: Um… I don’t think so. I don’t think my mother could actually face exactly what happened to me. She feels really guilty as it is, and it’s been a struggle for us just to get to the point where we speak to each other occasionally. Daniel, my father, doesn’t want to read it. Frankly, I’m glad they’re not reading it. They’re already hurting enough from what little they know.

And, as for the rest of my family – I still don’t have any contact with my brother and sister or my step father.

Me: You mentioned how difficult this process was for you. How do you think it’s affected your relationship?

Paige: I think it’s made us closer.

Elliot: Absolutely. Before we were married, Paige told me as much of her story as she could and she’s had a lot of therapy to help her deal with everything in her past. But going through it all in such detail made her very emotional. I needed to be there for her and make sure she felt loved unconditionally. It was a hard time for us, but in the end we’re even stronger than we were before.

Paige: Elliot was amazing during the process. He’s always been amazing though. Even though I had told him everything I’d done. I still had this worry that when he found out the exact details that he’d reject me. There wasn’t a single moment where I felt judged by him, and he didn’t make me feel pitied either. He just… understood me. Supported me. I don’t think I would have gotten through it without him.

*I can actually feel the love that radiates off this couple. At this moment, I feel as though I should leave the room and give them a moment. But I don’t. We have an interview to finish.*

Me: What changed your mind about therapy? You were always so against it while you were recovering originally.

Paige: When I first went into recovery, I couldn’t stand to think about my past anymore. I think I needed to cut myself off and focus all of my energy on having a future just so I could function every day.

But, when I found out I was pregnant with Grace, they asked me questions about my past to assess my risk of getting pre or post natal depression. Obviously, I was flagged as a risk and offered counselling.

I decided to do counselling properly this time. I wanted to make sure that I would be the best mother for my baby. I didn’t want to even risk having something happen because I wasn’t mentally sound.

Plus, I guess it was just time to talk about it. I’d kept it all inside me for so long. It was time to let it out.

Me: Is that part of the reason you agreed to this book?

Paige: Yeah, it is. I spoke to my therapist about it, and she thought it would be a great way to expunge all of the hurt and anger I still had inside me and she was right. When we finished I felt as though I’d become a little lighter. I didn’t have such a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach anymore.

Me: I’m glad it’s helped in some way. Although, I am sorry that I dragged you back through your past again – I feel a bit bad for doing that.

Paige: There’s no need. I think it was actually really important for me that I went through it all again. That way I could look at it with adult eyes and adult understanding and move on.

I’m glad people are reading it and liking it though, I read some of the reviews. It makes me feel better that they’re understanding me more now.

Me: If there was one thing that you could say to everyone out there. What would it be?

Elliot: Don’t judge.

Paige: *laughs slightly* Yes, don’t judge people based on their past – it can’t be undone. But mainly, I want people to know that there’s always hope. Even when it seems like you have nothing left – there’s always hope.

Me: So true. Well, that’s it for now. Thank you both so much for speaking with me today. I, and I’m sure my readers, really appreciate it.  Give Grace a hug for me when she wakes up from her nap. Oh, and let Naomi know I’ll be following her around as of tomorrow.

Paige and Elliot: *Smiling* Will do! Thanks for the chat. We’ll talk to you soon.

*At this point we all wave and disconnect from Skype. I have to exit the ‘Beautiful World’ and re-enter the world that is my reality*

*

*

And I’m back!!!  Hope you enjoyed talking with Paige and Elliot! I’m sure I’ll feel the need to talk to them again at some point in the near future (I miss my characters once the books are finished)

If you are yet to read Phoenix, it’s available now!

Apple – https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/lilliana-anderson/id562687294?mt=11

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Lilliana-Anderson/e/B0095NRQVE/ref=la_B0095NRQVE_rf_p_n_feature_browse-b_1?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB0095NRQVE%2Cp_n_feature_browse-bin%3A618073011&bbn=283155&ie=UTF8&qid=1380527879&rnid=618072011

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/lilliana-anderson

Kobo – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-au/Search/Query?query=%22Lilliana+Anderson%22&fcmedia=Book&fcsearchfield=Author&pageNumber=1&sort=none

 

 

 

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Filed under Character Guest Posts, New Release

Katrina’s Dress has been selected!!

This week, I have been watching this post anxiously. I’m dying to know which dress Katrina will wear when she finally walks down the aisle to marry David. (I’m not going to tell him your final selection, because I don’t want to give them bad luck on their wedding day!)

For a while there, the vote was really close. Dresses 2 and 3 were each sitting at 40% of the vote! We were undecided! Although, over the last few hours dress number 3 has snuck ahead, and captured 53.89% of the vote.
Poll pic

Here is our winner!!!!

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Congratulations Tabitha Coots for choosing the winning dress! You will receive a signed copy of Commitment, as well as your name in the acknowledgements for taking the time to choose such a beautiful dress!

There is one more winner to announce – one lucky commenter was randomly chosen by my magic hat to also win a signed copy of Commitment. The winner for that drawing is Doraine Fisher!

Drawing Commitment

She won for her comment – Commitment winning comment

Both winners will soon receive messages from me so I can get your books send out!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who joined in by picking the dresses and voting! It was a lot of fun and I personally wished that I could buy up every one of those dresses and just wear them forever! SO PRETTY!!

Commitment is releasing on September 15 – in just a couple of weeks! It’s already available for preorder at the iBookstore, but keep your eye on my facebook page for when I upload to Amazon.

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Who wants to Cameo in Phoenix?

In only a couple of days, Phoenix: The Beauty in Between, will be ready to send out to beta readers. In it, I have inserted a scene specifically for a reader to cameo in, where Paige gets into a nightclub and buys a drink. She’s very nervous and the bartender is kind to her and gives her another drink on the house.

That bartender doesn’t have a face yet. Perhaps you’d like it to be yours?

Enter the rafflecopter below if you’d like to have your name in print. The competition will run all weekend and the winner will be announced on Monday.

Can’t wait to meet the person who will feature in my book!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Time to Breathe…

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I don’t like leaving my manuscripts unfinished.

Generally, when I start writing, I work every day until the first draft is complete. Then I start again.

This time though, I needed to stop. Even if it was just for today.

Paige is a hard character for me to write, she’s had a hard life. Living in her head isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done and it’s been emotionally draining for me.

I feel nervous every time I start working on her story. I’m worried that I don’t have the words in me to explain her. I’m worried that no one will understand her.

I’ve forced myself to keep going, to get through the worst part of her life so we can move on. So she can recover. So she can meet Elliot.

I admit that I have been in tears more than once while writing this book and last night, I got through the part that was hardest for me to write. I could have glossed over it, but it’s important to be there with her and understand the pain that is the turning point in her life.

This book has been a journey for me so far, and I look forward to waking up in the morning and watching Paige start to get her life back on track.

But today, I’m drained. Today I rest.

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Filed under Information, Stuff I wanna say, Work in Progress

The Beauty in Between – Beautiful Series Novellas

While we’re all awaiting the release of Too Close, the first Beauty in Between novella, I thought I would take some time to talk about exactly, what, the Beauty in Between books are, and what’s in store for them.

When I created A Beautiful Struggle, it was meant to be a stand alone book. It was just a book about a girl and a guy who get seriously sidetracked on their way to finding each other. But, after it had been released for only a couple of weeks, I started getting emails asking me for a continuation of the story.

As a result, I wrote A Beautiful Forever, thinking that that novel, would be the end of the series. I thought they would be A Beautiful Duo, and I’d end it there. But after releasing Forever, I continued to get emails and comments about both books.

Readers wanted to see more of Katrina and David, both before and after A Beautiful Struggle. They also wanted to know more about Paige and her past. On top of that, I was getting emails asking me to continue the series with Naomi as the centre of the next book.

My answers to most of these questions/comments are The Beauty in Between novellas. As the name suggests, they slot in between the Beautiful novels, to show you what happened.

Right now, I have three novellas planned. First, of course, is Too Close (Katrina and David’s friendship before ABS, releasing July 30), second is Phoenix (Paige’s story, releasing September 30), and third is Commitment – I’ll bet you can guess what this one is about, although, I’ll tell you anyway. Commitment will follow on after A Beautiful Forever, it will follow David and Katrina home from the BBQ and explore their relationship leading up to their wedding.

I don’t have a release date for Commitment as yet, because I’m also working on Naomi’s story, which is called A Beautiful Melody and is due to release November 30.

So, get ready to have all your questions answered and more. Looks like the Beautiful world is going to have a fairly long life. I’ll write it, at least, until you’re all sick of it – that’s how much I love you all! MWAH!

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First Two Chapters of Too Close

Prologue

“Oh god Trina. Open your eyes, please be ok,” I beg as I burst through the doors to the emergency room at Nepean hospital, carrying her in my arms like she’s a baby.

Frantically I look around, ignoring the shocked gasps. I’m so overwhelmed that I just yell. “Somebody help me!”

The entire room turns to stare at us, it’s as if all the sound is removed from the room for a moment and all I can hear is the sound of my own heart thudding in my ears.

Thump, Thump.

Then all of a sudden, the sound returns to me as Katrina is pulled from my arms and placed on a gurney being swarmed by people who are asking me questions that I’m only babbling answers to.

“Oh god! Trina!” I yell out as they wheel her away from me. I try to follow but there’s a man who’s holding me back. My hands go to my hair as I grab chunks of it, trying to somehow stop the thudding of my heart in my ears. It’s painful, and I desperately want to be with her. “Please tell me she’s going to be ok,” I say to the man in front of me.

“She’s in good hands mate. You look like you’ve been through a bit too, why don’t you let me have a look at you and you can tell me what happened.”

I nod once and follow him in to the general treatment area of the emergency room, where he gives me an ice pack for my swollen face and cleans up the cuts and scrape marks on my hands and arms.

“I can’t lose her. You don’t understand how important she is to me,” I ramble. I guess I’m in shock because all I can think about is the sight of all that blood over Katrina’s beautiful face. “She’s my world. I can’t lose her.”

***

I’ve been sitting in the waiting room for at least two hours now, I don’t think my leg has stopped bouncing once. I lean forward on my knees and that’s uncomfortable, so I sit back and rest my head against the wall, but that feels horrible too.

My guts just won’t stop swirling and I need to see her. But no one will let me – I’m not counted as family, even though I’ve known her virtually all of my life.

“David!”

I look up and see Katrina’s whole family rush through the automatic doors with frantic looks on their faces. After answering all of the questions I could about Katrina to the doctor, or nurse – I don’t know what the hell he was – I called them.

As they move closer to me, Mrs Mahoney gasps upon seeing my swollen face and blood stained shirt.

“Oh god, is that your blood? What happened?” she practically whispers.

I drop my head, feeling responsible for what happened and shake it slowly from side to side.

“Where is she?” her father asks urgently.

“I don’t know, they won’t tell me anything.”

Mrs Mahoney spins on her feet and heads straight to the reception desk, asking after her daughter, with Mr Mahoney hot on her heels. Her brother Tom stays with me.

“What happened?”

Closing my eyes as the images of that day’s events flash through my mind, I shake my head in an attempt to clear them away. “Christopher happened.”

“I knew I didn’t like that guy,” Tom says through gritted teeth.

“He came home early, and you know he isn’t a fan of mine. But Tom, I never expected him to lose it like he did. You should have seen his face. It was all twisted up and vicious. He decked me and threw me out of the flat, locked the door. Then I heard her scream…” the rest of the words seem to lodge themselves in my throat as a weakness overcomes me and I drop back into my seat.

“What happened?!” he repeats, more desperately this time.

“He put her through the glass sliding door. I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop it.”

Chapter One

I remember the first time I ever saw Katrina, I was probably ten years old at the time and she was a little younger than me – the new kid at the school. I noticed her because she was so much taller than all the other girls and she had two long plaits that sat over her shoulders and were tied with blue ribbons.

Something inside me, made me really want to either pull on her plaits or undo the ribbons. But I restrained myself – experience had told me that girls didn’t really like that. Even though it was all in good fun.

We both lived out in Cranebrook which was the last stop on the bus route travelling from Penrith Primary School and it took me a couple of weeks of watching her to finally decide that I was going to sit next to her.

She just looked too lonely to me and I figured that we may as well be friends since the bus was completely boring once everyone else got off.

“Can I sit next to you?” I asked her. She had her bag sitting on the seat next to her, it meant that she didn’t want anyone to sit there, but I was going to try anyway.

“I guess,” she said, bouncing her shoulders and pulling her bag onto her lap, hugging it close to her chest.

“I think you get off at the same stop as me,” I told her, even though I knew this for sure.

“Do I?”

“Yeah, I see you get off the bus before me every day.”

“Oh. Where to you live?”

“Etchell Place, what about you?”

“Tornado Crescent.”

“We’re only a couple of streets away from each other,” I informed her. “How come you don’t catch the bus in the morning?”

“My dad drives me.”

“Lucky you…” I commented, thinking for a moment before I came up with, what I thought, was a brilliant plan. “Hey, if we become friends, do you think he could drive me too?”

“I don’t know…maybe.”

“That settles it then. Besides, you look like you could do with a friend.”

“I do?”

“Yeah. I’ve seen you around school. You don’t really talk to anyone much.”

“I don’t have much to say.”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve got plenty to say. You just haven’t found the right people to talk to.”

“Maybe. Those girls don’t want to listen to me anyway.”

“I want to listen you. You can talk to me all you want,” I said, attempting to peer into her face. She shrugged and turned her head and was watching the world fly past us through the bus window.

“So how do you like catching the bus?” I asked, just trying to get her to talk a bit. I remember thinking it would be really cool to know someone from my school who lived near me. Not many kid’s parents were happy to make them travel so far for school, especially when there was a local one within walking distance of our house.

“I hate it,” she said, turning to look at me. “I hate that my parents moved so far away from my school. I hate that I have to catch the bus. It stinks. It smells like armpits and buttholes and rotten fruit. The fabric on the seats prickles the backs of my legs and itches. It sucks!”

I was a bit shocked when this tirade of words spilled from her mouth, but when she finished, I started laughing.

“What so funny?!” she demanded, her face set in a scowl.

“You’re right.” I laughed even harder at the indignant look on her face. “It does smell like armpits, buttholes and rotten fruit!”

She looked at me for a moment. I guess she was trying to decide if she was angry with me for laughing, or whether she thought it was funny too.

Thankfully she chose to laugh along with me, because it was that moment our friendship started.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads or visit the iBookstore to preorder – release date July 30, 2013

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Filed under Teaser Chapters, Work in Progress