Saturday, September 28, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of New Adult Author Lilliana Anderson

Bestselling Author of the A Beautiful Series, Alter and the Confidante Trilogy, Lilliana has always loved to read and write, considering it the best form of escapism that the world has to offer. Australian born and bred, she writes New Adult Romance revolving around her authentically Aussie characters as well as a biographical trilogy based on an ex-Sydney sex worker, named Angelien. Lilliana feels that the world should see Australia for more than just it's outback and tries to show characters in more of a city setting.When she isn't writing, she wears the hat of 'wife and mother' to her husband and four children. Before Lilliana turned to writing, she worked in a variety of industries and studied humanities and communications before transferring to commerce/law at university. Originally from Sydney's Western suburbs, she currently lives a fairly quiet life in suburban Melbourne.

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Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Go for the gut? Alright, I’ll dispense with my usual flowery answer. It’s because I’m arrogant enough to think that people actually want to know what goes on inside my head.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Truthfully, it’s awesome. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. The perks are that people contact you and tell you how awesome you are on a daily basis. Sometimes they send you pictures and videos that remind them of your characters – I find that really lovely.

The demands are quite enormous. On top of all the writing and editing, there’s also marketing and networking to fit in your day. I guess the job can be as demanding as you want it to be. However, I feel that to be successful, you need to be available. So much of your marketing is based on word of mouth, and someone who feels as though they have direct contact with the author is more likely to spread the word about your books than if you only respond to fan mail once a week.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I chose self-publishing. It’s what was best for me. I’m a bit of a control freak and I work really fast, so tradition publishing would have slowed me down while I’ve been building my catalogue and my fan base.

It’s a huge amount of work, and each time I start the huge, beta reading/editing/formatting/early reviewer process, I wish that I had a publisher to help me get that part sorted.

The huge benefit though, is that I am in control of all my pricing and promo – I think that’s what’s keep my book selling strong.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I don’t have anything snarky to say. The worst I do is poke my tongue out like a child and say ‘your loss’, as they rejected my book A Beautiful Struggle for the exact reason it became popular (an unorthodox ending).

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Normally, I don’t think they mind. I have so many devices that mean I can work on the go so everybody gets to do what they want, and I spend a lot of time working and writing at night when the kids are asleep. Although, I recently wrote two books in a month, so my husband complained a lot about that as our time together was limited.

But I promised that I wouldn’t do that again, so we should be cool from here on out.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Nothing. I’m totally boring.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think Facebook and Twitter are great. They’re a really easy way to connect with fans and have a direct chat.

Being in Australia means that I can’t attend books signing events, so it’s nice to chat whenever I can.

The only one I avoid is google+. I just can’t figure out what to do with that one lol!

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Honestly, I don’t know. When I listed A Beautiful Struggle, I hadn’t told a soul that it was going up, and when I woke up in the morning, it had already started selling.

Then readers started calling for a second book, so I wrote that.

Basically, my strategy right now is to write what the fans ask for. I do blog tours, and I have a street team now, so we slowly get the word out. I think most of my sales come from recommendations though.

Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author?

I love it when I talk to someone and they realize that they have my book on their kindle. I love talking to fans. I love reviews – both good and bad. But most of all, I love spending time with my characters as I write their story. When I’m in ‘writing mode’ I feel like I’m sitting in the middle of a movie, watching these people live their lives, struggle with their demons, and overcome challenges.

I just love it. I feel like I’m living in a dream and have to pinch myself regularly. My husband actually laughs at me because when we talk about my job, I start giggling. I find it all so surreal that I actually have fans – I’m just a western Sydney girl who has an over active imagination. I don’t get it – but I love it. So much.

I think if I had to go back and work in a stuffy law firm again, I’d go insane. I have this awesome job that pays the bills and allows me to stay home with my kids and be available whenever they need me. Who’d want to change that?

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