Rad-Reader:  What made you want to write this story?

Lulu:  I wanted to write something a little bit subversive, a romance novel with a bit of an edge. The relationship between my two characters- Kendall and Maton is taboo, but then, life is not always black and white. People often get together for the wrong reasons or when they really shouldn’t, and I wanted to explore a relationship like this.

It was hard to write Side Effect because I knew the story would be criticized, and it was by some readers. But then I read a book where the love story was between an escort and a businessman and it gave me courage. Thinking about it, even Fifty Shades of Grey has copped a lot of criticism for exploring the world of BDSM. But sometimes these are the stories that need to be told and make for more interesting reading. 

Rad-Reader:  Where did the idea for the storyline come from?

Lulu:  A lot of inspiration for my writing comes from interesting articles I read about real-life situations. The story for Side Effect comes from an article about a sex worker whose clients are people with disabilities. It was a thought-provoking read and while I didn’t want to write about that particular relationship, I did start to think about other unconventional relationships.

I was also able to draw on some of my knowledge and interest in technology. I had read some articles about the brain-computer interface which I wrote about in the story- the ability to control actions through the brain talking to technology. I have also studied a bit of psychology through my education course. I am no expert, but it interests me, and I was able to weave this into the story.

Rad-Reader:  Can you give us some backstory on the two main characters that helped shape them even if it didn’t make it into the book?

Lulu:  Kendall has an interest in becoming a psychologist because of a personal experience that shaped her. Her mother is a hoarder, something that has just recently been recognized as a psychological condition and also has links to depression. It makes her want to understand and help people with mental health issues. Another huge thing that shapes Kendall’s character and her actions is a disastrous past relationship. She fears commitment because of one bad experience, which is why she is an avid Tinder app user.

Maton was once a vibrant, outgoing man who had the world at his feet until he was shot. He had it all- a successful tech company called Ulysses Enterprises, no lack of female interest, money, good friends. He becomes a shell of a man once he is shot, confining himself to his apartment, and limiting the people he has contact with. There are also some buried issues from his parents’ divorce many years ago. He had to be very strong for his mother while he was growing up because of the fact that she was such a mess. 

Rad-Reader:  Maton is an unusual name how did you come up with the characters name?

Lulu:  It is the name of a guitar brand. In the book, Maton’s parents, Vanessa and James met while he was in a band and so they decided to name their only son after the brand of guitar he played.

Rad-Reader:  Maton wasn’t the one that hired Kendall to help him it was his mother, Vanessa.  How is it that she seems so afraid in some ways to be around him when sneaking Kendal in.  Yet, controlling in hiring her behind the doctor and Maton’s backs?

Lulu:  Like any mother, she is concerned about her son, but she has a twisted way of going about things. In real life, she’d be the mother from hell. She sneaks Kendall into Maton’s apartment because of how opposed her son is to seeking the help of any kind. If Maton so much as gets a whisper that his mother is up to something, the whole plan is over.

Rad-Reader:  Kendall finds out more info from Maton in two days of visiting with him than his parents or the doctor did in six months.  By mainly acting friendly.  Don’t you think that’s what he needs more than anything?

Lulu:  Yes! And it’s when Kendall acts as a peer rather than a doctor, or someone who has control over him, that he starts to open up to her. But I have to give Vanessa credit for realizing this. She sees that Maton needs a friend more than anything. A friend with benefits is even better. In reality, she believes Kendall’s kind nature (and attractive looks) will win her son over in the end and help him. Her psychology studies are a bonus.

Rad-Reader:  His list of traumas from the shooting is extensive.  What are they and would they hinder him more or less if the shooter were behind bars?

Lulu:  Post-traumatic stress: how a person can react if they have been in a traumatic event such as being shot by an assailant like Maton was.

Agoraphobia: fear of open spaces or crowded spaces which is why Maton chooses to stay holed up in his apartment

Social anxiety: people who find everyday social interactions difficult because they believe they are being laughed at or ridiculed. Maton once had the confidence to be the life of the party, but this is destroyed by the attack.

General anxiety: a constant state of worry about anything life- work, health.

Sleep terrors: episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while asleep. Maton sleeps with his childhood cuddle toy to help combat this. Kendall’s presence also helps.

Maton would definitely feel better about life if he knew the threat from Dexter was over and he was behind bars. But he has to learn to live his life again with or without that outcome.

Rad-Reader:  He has become impotent since the shooting.  Being around Kendall has brought back the desire and an erection.  What other things does he start to notice change being around her?

Lulu:  His sense of humor returns, his willingness to see his friends again and his father. Maton also really knows his way around the kitchen because he had to learn to cook when his mother was a wreck after her marriage breakdown. His desire to cook once more also returns. They are just small things, but very symbolic of his recovery. His desire for peanut butter gelato is much more of a breakthrough. The night he was shot, Maton had been getting peanut butter gelato from the shop at the bottom of his apartment complex. He had not been able to stomach it since because of the trauma it reminded him of. But as he learns to trust Kendall more and more, he asks her to bring him a tub, a sign that he is recovering.

Rad-Reader:  His mom is so invested in his treatment its scary.  Where exactly is she getting all her money?

Lulu: Vanessa had a very good divorce attorney who made sure she was kept in good money when Maton’s dad, James left her for a younger woman named Lacey.

Rad-Reader:  Why do I get the sick feeling she’s working with Dexter to find out about the think project Maton is working on?

Lulu:  Interesting! But no. Vanessa has a cougar style relationship with Dexter, but she is definitely unaware that younger man she is dating is also the same man that shot her son. Dexter is very cunning. I plan on writing more about Dexter in other books. 

Rad-Reader:  His dad seems concerned his mom seems 
B-it-Cheee around his dad.  Is she always like that or just around his dad?

Lulu:  Just around his dad. She is still very bitter about the fact that James left her for a younger woman. So bitter that she doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of Maton’s younger half-brother Archer, who is the product of James’ second marriage, even though she’s had twenty-five years to accept it.

Rad-Reader:  Why is Kendall having sex with Maton when she said she wouldn’t?

Lulu:  Her attraction to him is too intense. Sometimes you just can’t help who you fall in love with, especially when you’re in your twenties and full of hormones. 

Rad-Reader:  Don’t you think now she just played right into Vanessa’s game?

Lulu:  Absolutely. But Vanessa doesn’t see it as a game, she doesn’t realize that her actions are manipulative and potentially hurtful to her son, all she sees is that she’s trying to help him. She’s just a mum trying to matchmake her son and Kendall doesn’t realize at this point how much she is being manipulated.

Rad-Reader:  Now that she told her roommates everything does this open up her being caught by the doctor and Maton knowing what his mom’s doing?

Lulu:  Blair is her bestie. She would never rat Kendall out, they are loyal to each other. That and they tell each other everything anyway, so there was no Kendall could keep it a secret from her even if she tried. 

Rad-Reader:  What will Maton do when he finds out he’s been played by his mom and Kendall?  Will he lose it or fight?

Lulu:  He loses it and ends the relationship. And he’s nasty about it. He completely destroys Kendall’s life by dobbing her into her university lecturers. She is suspended from her course, she has to move back home with her parents because no money and she no longer has a boyfriend. 

Rad-Reader:  What will happen to all the progress that has been made since he and Kendall have met?

Lulu:  Maton feels strong enough now that Kendall has helped him out of the darkest period in his life. He is going to work, he is going outside his apartment, he is learning to function, he is even eating gelato again. Technically, he doesn’t need Kendall anymore, except there is one little problem, he still loves her.

Rad-Reader:  Now that she introduces Bailey isn’t she worried she will spill the beans about the arrangement?

Lulu:  Now that Blair is dating Archer, Maton’s protective brother, this does open up the possibility that the arrangement between Vanessa and Kendall will be exposed. It has Kendall worried and she tries to go into damage control by returning the money to Vanessa.

Rad-Reader:  They both established they love each other yet she is keeping secrets all over the place.  How can she really have a relationship with all the lies?

Lulu:  Kendall believes she can go into damage control and sort out the mess she has created. Kendall is a good person at heart, which is why she wanted to help in the first place. Now that she has fallen in love with Maton, she wants the relationship to be noble and honest by giving the money back.

Rad-Reader:  He is taking baby steps in his recovery yet he still has the fear of the killer on the loose.  She is not seeing that in the big picture.  No one seems to be.  Why?

Lulu:  I guess they are just focused on getting him better and overcoming his fears. Maton needs to start living a normal life again and not being dictated to by a madman. Besides, in Australia, gun violence is not a real threat. It rarely happens, so Kendall is trying to get him to see that the threat is not that real. 

Rad-Reader:  Okay, Is Justin her ex a piece of work or what?  Asking her out for a drink really?  As if he was granting her a “Poor Girl Wish.”

Lulu:  Yeah, he is definitely fishing, trying to see if Kendall is still attracted to him just to boost his ego. And totally arrogant in thinking Kendall hasn’t moved on from him. Luckily Maton showed up when he did. Go Maton! And go Kendall for looking totally hot. 

Rad-Reader:  OMG!  The crocodile heartstrings.  Was it hard to find a symbol to help find something to play on our heartstrings?

Lulu:  This idea actually came to me because one of my sons has a crocodile toy that is his cuddle toy. It’s such a comfort to him and I know how upset kids become when they lose their cuddle toy, so the idea came to me that way. Funny how ideas pop into your head.

Rad-Reader:  When Vanessa gets back, she will ruin all the progress that has been made with Maton by disclosing what Kendall has been doing on her behalf and for a price.  Right?  If so, why?

Lulu:  Vanessa never intends to tell her son that she engineered the set-up between him and Kendall and paid her money to boot. But Vanessa is frustrating in that she won’t let her return the money. Kendall has a bad feeling about the money, like its blood money or something. She just wants it to disappear from her bank account so that she can have a clear conscience in progressing with her relationship with Maton.

Rad-Reader:  Is Archer a love’em and leave’em?  If so, will he end up breaking Blair’s heart?

Lulu:  He is a bit, but Archer also has a story to tell. He has had his heart broken by his childhood sweetheart and he can’t move on from her, no matter how hard he tries with Blair. So yes, he comes across as a total ass, but that’s for a different book.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Kendall:  Jessica Green

Maton:  Jai Courtney

Vanessa:  Rebecca Gibney

Archer:  Dacre Montgomery

Blair:  Caitlin Stasey

Zander:  Lucas Neff

Amelia:  Emily Browning

Lulu:  This was a challenge! For someone who doesn’t watch much TV, there was a lot of research to be done.

Kendall:  Spot on with Jessica Green for Kendall. Love her. 
Maton:  Liam Hemsworth because gotta have a Hemsworth brother in there. Tough choice as to which one though. 

Vanessa:  Kylie Minogue. She totally rocks as a cougar. 

Zander:  Charlie Hunman. Not an Aussie, I know, but love him in all his blonde glory.

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your main two characters or book as a whole?

“Chapters – Brett Young ft. Gavin De Graw”
Maton was living the perfect high life that was filled with wealth but also hard work.  That he and his two business partners put into their IT business.  But one night when they were out Maton was shot point blank narrowly missing his heart.  Now six months have passed and he is a prisoner in his own penthouse.  Security is tighter than ever.

“Get Away With It – Lucy Cavalier”
Maton’s mom Vanessa asked Kendall to see if she could use what she had been learning with the Dr. she interned with and Psych class to help her son.  Kendall knew it could put her future in jeopardy but she wanted to help.  So, she said yes.  But she found herself wanting to be apart of his world, not her moving him into hers.  So, she had to work on that, everything was a learning curve.

“Treat Me So Bad – Marc E. Bassy”
Things are tense and Kendall gives as good as she gets.  But off the start line, she got a rise out of him.  Something no one had gotten out of him in six months.  She told him on the second visit to “F-off!”  Because he was cyberstalking her.  But she kept coming back.  Especially, after their first kiss.

“Unlove You – Jennifer Nettles”
When Maton finds out the terms of how Vanessa came to get Kendall to become a part of Maton’s recovery he loses it.  But instead of talking it over with her he goes to someone who could ruin her schooling.  Then he breaks up with Kendall the thing about it is that he only knows the cold facts, not the warm ones.  She is prepared to tell him about everything.  Through it all, she can’t stop loving him.


Shallow- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

When Kendall sleeps with Maton for the first time and she disappears from his bed in the early hours of the morning. She has fallen from grace, she has embarked on a relationship that she knows is wrong, but she can’t seem to stop herself. 

Won’t let you down- Hilltop Hoods

When Maton realizes he can’t be without Kendall despite everything that has happened. He finds her stumbling back to her apartment after her encounter with Dexter and he tells her he loves her. Star crossed lovers who get their happily ever after. 

Saegloplur- Sigur Ros

This song is just a backdrop to the whole book. Hauntingly beautiful music that inspired me.

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite genre of music?  What is your favorite song out right now?

Lulu:  I came of age in the 1990s so I was into the Grunge movement and still listen to a lot of this stuff. But I also like post-rock, bands like Sigur Ros and Tortoise. I don’t listen to any popular music so in terms of what I’m listening to right now, it’s all the old stuff.

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite genre to read?

Lulu:  Romance, of course! Specifically, contemporary romance. It’s pretty much the only fiction I read. I am also an art teacher by day, so I read a lot of academic literature. Romance reading is my guilty pleasure, guess that’s how I also got into writing it. 

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite genre of movie and what is the last one you saw at the theater?

Lulu:  This is a hard one for me because I don’t watch much TV or movies. I have a guilty passion for the Hallmark Christmas movies on Netflix. I also subscribe to Passionflix and loved Hollywood Dirt. The last movie I saw at the theatre was Hotel Transylvania 3- yup took the kids.

Rad-Reader:  Where was your last vacation and what was the best thing about it that you can share?

Lulu:  My last vacation was a trip to Hawaii, sans kiddies in 2017. My husband and I both turned 40 in the same year, so we had a big celebration. It was my first time there (my husband went there for family holidays all the time growing up) so it was great to have him show me around and try all the food we can’t get back home here in Australia. But gosh, I missed the kids. 

Rad-Reader:  What is one thing you would tell an up and coming young budding author?

Lulu:  There are no shortcuts. Do the work. Dig deep. If you get a rejection letter from a publisher, dig deeper. How can you make your writing better? And if you still get rejected, self-publish!

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Lulu:  My next book is currently with my beta readers. It is called ‘The Research Project’ and it is about a quiet young writer who by day is a legal secretary but at night goes home to write passionate stories. Her books are the next big thing to hit the romance writing world, but her identity is a mystery- that is until her boss finds out. His first reaction is to fire her, and then he has a better idea, he decides to help her with her ‘research’ for her books instead.

I am also working on a Christmas themed love story and have works in progress for some of the other characters in Side Effect- Zander and Amelia’s love story which will also include more details about how Maton was shot. I will also write about Archer and Dexter/Lincoln.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?  Links


Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?  Links

     This was such an interesting book to read.  There was so much to love and so much to find disturbing about the characters and their method of doing things.  Not to mention all the mind games.  Like I said interesting.
     The right mix of everything to keep you want to find out what is going to happen next or who is going to be found out next.  I can't thank you enough for being with us.  Come back again when your next book drops and let us share it on our Shout Out: An Author's Place page for our readers to know about it too.
Thanks again,

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