- What would you say was the most fun about writing this book? The characters! I am so in love with the characters! I love it when they get themselves in situations and I just have to let them play it out. I love writing the scenes where a character throws a hissy fit.
- Give us some insight into the main character. What does he/she do that is so special? The main character is Adriana Kelly Banovic, she is a wild child and a risk taker, which is very empowering because she is not afraid to go after what she wants. Granted it’s not in the most diplomatic way and I don’t recommend it, that’s why this is fiction. She’s a balls to the wall kind of girl. Very interesting to write, when I’m doing the re-reads I just sit back and watch her do her thing.
- What are you working on right now? Book 2, The Banovic Siblings.
- What genre are your books? I thought it was young adult but some adults think that because of drug use, sexual situations and foul language it is better suited for young adults over 18. It’s tricky since Adriana is 15. Her siblings fall into the age group of 18+ and they have strong storylines but that comes in later in the series. So I guess I’m going to have to go with New Adult.
- What draws you to this genre? I get to live out my fantasy of being that age again. When I was the age of the characters in that genre, I was already working and going to school, I didn’t have the freedom these characters have. I created these characters when I was that age, they always stuck with me. I’ve just changed the situations with the present time and in this location.
- What is your favorite color? Either blue or green.
- What is your favorite food? Shepard’s Pie
- Are you a cat or dog person? Why? It depends on the behavior of the animal. Some cats are cool others are just stupid, same for dogs. I always wanted a cat as a kid but we always had dogs. They were a lot of work which I didn’t appreciate, but I loved them anyway, they were well behaved.
- How are you published (*i.e. indie, traditional, or both) and why? Indie, because I love the flexibility of being able to tell the story how I want to tell it. It’s a lot more work but you have more control. How successful you are depends on the amount of work you put in. A traditional publisher is great but I see now a lot of big name authors are going indie. They get to keep more of the profits, and have more creative control. I’m also an entrepreneur so I enjoy the business part of it and forming connections with bloggers like you.
- Do you have any amusing stories from your adventures in the writing world? No.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase? When we believe the mind finds ways to do.
- What is your favorite book and why? Harmattan by Gavin Weston. Harmattan is a story of an 11 year old girl who was forced into marriage to a 60 year old man. It was heartbreaking, I cried for days. Since then I have been involved in raising awareness of child marriage. The scary part was that the story was based on true events that he as an NGO witnessed.
- What advice would you give to your younger self? Dream big and don’t sell yourself short. Life is not just about being able to pay your bills. It is meant to be enjoyed.
- To end: Give us three Good to Know things about you. Be creative. 1) I am still friends with my friends from elementary school even though we live in different countries. 2) I cannot sleep without my pillow which I’ve had since I was a baby. I even travel with it. When I stay in hotels I am always afraid the maids will think it’s an old sack and throw it away so I hide it away in my suitcase when I leave the room. 3) I turn into a pirate when I drink alcohol (true story).
Special Interview of a Special Author!!! Author Stalk of Gillian Felix
Name: Changes (Family Portrait #1)
Author: Gillian Felix
Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.
In this new adult novel you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?
This novel is NOT for children, it contains strong language, reference to drug use and sexual situations, this novel is meant for mature teens and adults.
Gillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.
Originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over fifteen years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.
Miss Felix is an entrepreneur and advocate for children’s and women’s rights.
View book trailer: http://youtu.be/EiBdwhT74NA
Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPortraitNovels
Website: http://www.plaintalkbm.com/family-portrait-novel/(Read the first chapter for free)
Fun facts about Changes Vol. 1, (Family Portrait)
Writing Adriana’s character was fun and challenging because she is such a bitch. It’s tricky because she shares the leading role with Leighann, who is sweet, and kind—they are polar opposites of each other. They both grew up in the entertainment industry but that’s about all they have in common. Adriana makes no apologies for who she is, she is reckless and wild and I’m sure some readers will hate her. It is only later on in the series you get to really see why she is the way she is.
Even though Leighann was a bigger star than Adriana, she was more protected by her mother. Savi may have her ways, but she shielded Leighann from a lot of the outside world. So when Leighann defies her and ventures out into the ‘real world’, she begins to see how scary things can get.
Leighann’s fascination with the ‘real world’ is based on the fact that she has never had a ‘normal’ life. She sits in the tour bus and looks at the fans through the one way glass and thinks that their life is so easy, and she longs for that. She wants to meet a boy, go to the movies, and do things normal teenagers do.
Westwood Academy of Higher Learning is a super school on steroids as one reviewer described it: “we mustn’t forget the whole larger-than-life high school scene on steroids in a world where appearances often mean more than substance”
The school is high tech and ridiculously over the top with chef catered lunches, marble floors, digital lockers, Jacuzzi. Seriously, I’d want to go to that school. How does any body get any studying done?
Astrid Wilson is the Kim Kardashian of Westwood Academy. She decks out in Prada and all the latest designs by the hottest designers. No body can throw a hissy fit like Astrid. When Adriana returns to Westwood Academy, Astrid’s status is threatened especially where her boyfriend Warren is concerned.
Family Portrait is based on a television series I had written. The script got lots of interest in Hollywood but nothing came of it, so I decided to turn it into a book series. I have two seasons, 24 episodes of the television series already written.
Book two combines a couple episodes from the script. Changes Vol. 1 is equivalent to the pilot episode—it introduces the audience to the characters. The script for television was meant for prime time so I had to tone it down—a lot. The book is the raw version—drug use, foul language, sexual situations. The characters can get away with a lot more in the book than they could on screen, which is good for Adriana and Kevin’s character, because later in the series they really get naughty.
Right now I am working on Vol. 2 called The Banovic Siblings. In this book the siblings mostly Adriana and Kevin’s past catches up with them and their secrets are getting too close to home. Love triangles and tangles start to form with some of the supporting characters. Leighann’s character starts evolving, her sister L’Wren has a very powerful and emotional storyline which took a lot out of me to write. It really made me ‘go there’ which stretches me as a writer. Book two is a bit darker than Changes.
I think Vol. 2 may be available in November or December, 2013. It still has the whole process to go through with the story editor, the proofreader and the cover still has to be designed. I usually write like a fiend at night—Sunday through Thursday sometimes Friday nights.
On the Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPortraitNovelsfans can rummage through the character’s closets. Right now there is an app on there called Adriana’s closet and coming soon: Leighann’s wardrobe, Astrid’s locker, the sound track to go with some of the scenes, Westwood Academy emblem reveal, Westwood Academy gear, fun trivia’s, first read of the novels before they are published. So sign up.
Thanks for having me. Purchase a copy of Changes Vol. 1 (Family Portrait) here. (: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EADYMCA)
The reviews on Amazon:
“Each character has a story to tell, and I see their stories being entwined together, for better or worse as author Gillian Felix builds a strong and intriguing foundation for a new series with her novella, Changes, book 1 in the Family Portrait series.”
“Part soap opera, part teen struggle in a world where they are expected to “follow the crowd” and feed the frenzied tabloids fodder for the prying eyes of the masses, all while dealing with personal and family crises, I see a huge following for this new series! I know I’m going to watch for more!”
“So many drugs, schemes, and much more. One girl just wants to be normal. One girl just wants the limelight. Selfish motives abound and changes are coming for everyone. It’s Hollywood….”
“This book has many interesting characters and I am looking forward to the next volume. I was sorry to see it end.”