Lilliana Anderson self-published two books in what she’s called, The Beautiful series. A Beautiful Struggle and A Beautiful Forever. A Beautiful Forever is her current release and she’s head down, backside up, on a new novel, Alter, due out next month.
Lilliana and I clicked from the start. How can you not click when two people called Lily and Lilliana each release books with ‘beautiful’ in the title in the same launch month?
When I first ‘met’ Lilliana, A Beautiful Forever was ranking in the double digits for sales on Kindle, and it’s still sitting in the top 50 in the category ‘Coming Of Age’. Consider me uber-impressed! Did I mention she is a mum to four (yes, four) and wife?
Make that: Super-uber-impressed!
She is a fun personality who promotes author-love and ethics within self-publishing wherever she goes. Plus she is the first person I can turn to when I have a Facebook question, such as: How do you get a heart symbol? Answer < and the 3.
In short. Lilliana inspires me and it’s wonderful to have her as my guest today on my infrequent interview post: Left Field With Lily.
LM: Would you please share with us the opening paragraph of your current book or WIP, in at least two stages?
I’m standing in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, training one of my regular clients when I look up and see her, her movement is unmistakable. The two years I spent trying to get over her just fell away and I’m taken right back to where I was, wanting her, wishing I could touch her. There’s a pain in my chest when she looks at me and I see the recognition dawn on her.
Encouraging the sweaty, grunting man in front of me to tuck his knees closer to his chest as he does mountain climbers, I distractedly scan the people and the scenery in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, as I do every time I bring a client here.
LM: What is your greatest ‘lightbulb moment’ in terms of Writing Craft.
LA: I had a big problem with show vs tell. I didn’t quite understand what it was I was doing wrong. Eventually one of my beta readers highlighted a section in the draft for this book and said – ‘Look! Right here. You’re telling me this – I want to see it’ and then it clicked. Hopefully I have the hang of it a bit better now!
LM: What keeps you awake at night?
LA: My three year old! LOL.
LM: If you could choose three items on the list below to take for a week camping in the Australian outback, which three would you pick? (You can assume there are magical batteries for anything requiring power).
- your favourite paperback
- your significant other
- I will take my chances on there being a gorgeous girl, or gorgeous man (whichever the case may be) to help me pitch my tent
- food I don’t have to catch first
- battery-powered Nespresso & endless supply of Pods (and George Clooney – no, that’s cheating – no George)
- a torch in case the candles go out
- change of clothes
- mobile phone/internet connection for twitter & FB (definitely my mobile, because it has music, books, facebook, email, twitter – everything I’d want to stay entertained and connected)
LM: So food, wine & communication. You might be a bit ON the nose, but you’ll be IN the know… (baaad joke).
LM: My book (released in March with Escape Publishing) is called His Brand Of Beautiful. Can you tell me what you would describe as ‘your brand of beautiful’ – in terms of your current partner?
LA: He’s actually sitting right next to me – so I’d better make this good in case he looks over! One thing I find beautiful about my husband is his thoughtfulness. He works in hospitality, and every Sunday he finishes work early and stops off at my favourite coffee shop to bring me a coffee so we can sit and talk for the afternoon.
A lot of the time he produces a piece of paper for me to read. He cuts out articles from the paper that I might like and sometimes he has an idea for a future book that he writes down for me.
For my birthday, he filled a book with story ideas for me to show me how supportive he was of my work.
So that’s what I find beautiful, he doesn’t do grand gestures, because he knows I don’t want that – it’s the little thoughtful things that really matter for me and keep me smiling.
LM: Awww…. he sounds wonderful!
LA: Originally I wanted to call this book A Beautiful Redemption (I came across another book with the same name so I changed it) because Elliot, who is the character that I carried over from A Beautiful Struggle, really redeems himself in this one.
We see him come into his own in this book and fight for what he really wants.
Everyone who loved Elliot in A Beautiful Struggle will love this book and so will anyone who loves a good romance about a couple who won’t let anything get in their way. I wrote this book so it could be read on its own, you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy this one.
LM: Can you share your favourite 250 words from A Beautiful Forever and tell us why they’re your favourite part?
LA: I have a couple of parts that I’d love to share, but they’d really ruin the story line. This is the ‘safest’ of my favourite parts in Elliot and Paige’s story. They are at a bed and breakfast on their last weekend together before Elliot has to fly back to Australia.
A Beautiful Forever is written in a dual point of view – this section is in Paige’s voice.
“I just want you to know that I’ve never been happier than when I’m with you. I want you to know that I – ”
“Don’t Elliot,” I say quickly, cutting him off. “Don’t say anything to make this harder. I’m staying and you’re going. Please don’t try and change that.”
“It doesn’t have to end when I go Paige, you could come with me – or I could come back – or you could come with me and then we both come back,” he argues regardless. “Don’t end this Paige, you know how I feel about you, even if you don’t want to hear it, and I’m pretty sure you feel the same way about me. We can do this Paige; we can do this anywhere you want, any country you want. I just want you.”
Tears are threatening to spill from my eyes as I pull my robe back over my shoulders and close it tightly around me. “Elliot, you can do so much better than me. Why are you pushing this?”
“Because I love you damn it!” he yells suddenly, his outburst scaring the shit out of me as he jumps off the bed and starts to pace the room. I sit there, trying not to cry as I watch him work through his emotions. When he stops and looks at me his eyes are shining as well. “Why won’t you tell me what makes you so sad? Why don’t you trust me enough to love you no matter what you may have done?”
If you’d like to find out more about Lilliana and her books, it’s easy.
Visit her website and blog
A Beautiful Forever comes with a Mature Content Warning.
After ruining the best relationship he has ever had, Elliot’s life takes a turn for the worse and he isn’t happy with who he’s become.
Deciding to spend three months in the UK on a working visa, in a bid to find himself again, he boards a plane to London. During the flight he meets Paige, a fellow Aussie with a closed heart and a lot to hide.
The closer he gets to Paige the more he’s sure that she’s hiding something. Will it be enough to send him running? Or does he love her enough to fight this time?
This is Elliot’s story after A Beautiful Struggle, it can be read on it own but Lilliana says you will have better understanding of Elliot’s character if you meet him in book one first.