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LET'S WELCOME ELIZABETH STEVENS AUTHOR OF: CHAOS & THE GEEK
RAD-READER: Why did you want to write this story?
ELIZABETH: I wanted to try my hand at an
adult romance. I wanted to use all the clichés and the tropes and see if I
could pull it off. Until the dual release of my first two adult romances, I
wrote Young Adult which I always tried to give some depth and multi-layers. For
Chaos, I just wanted to write some fluff – something sexy and feel-good without
trying to layer it with too much inner meaning. Basically, I just wanted a
change from my usual pace.
RAD-READER: Where did the idea for this story come from?
ELIZABETH: You know, I actually don’t
remember. I tend to have something like one or two new ideas floating through
my head a day. Sometimes I latch onto them and flesh them out into more of a
plotline, and other times I tell myself I do not need yet another idea to fill
up the backlog of everything that still needs to be written.
RAD-READER: How did you go about developing Amber and Chaos’ characters?
and Chaos were two of those characters that just arrived fully formed. I knew
exactly how they acted and who they were. As I wrote out the story, the why
just sort of happened. The backstories flowed – the plot-centric ones, anyway.
I wouldn’t say developing them was a conscious decision or process,
characterization was easy. It was the plot that was a little harder.
RAD-READER: How did Amber and Patrick manage to stay so close, I mean with the large age gap between them of seven years and his line of work?
ELIZABETH: Some siblings are just like
that, and these two are some of them. They put in the effort when they could,
but closeness isn’t something you have to always foster. It’s like seeing an
old friend after so many years and it’s like nothing’s changed – you’re
chatting and laughing and reliving old memories in moments. I didn’t base Amber
and Pat off anyone, but my sister and I are the same – she’s eleven years older
than me, we have different mums, and we’ve lived in different countries for all
but about the first two years of my life, but we’re super close, we’re always
there for each other, and whenever we see each other, it’s mayhem and teasing.
RAD-READER: With Kit being the older one why didn’t he make more of an effort when she was younger to be closer to Amber and see what was up?
ELIZABETH: Because that’s not what the
older brother’s friend goes out of his way to do when he’s in his teens. I
don’t remember any of my friend’s older brother’s bothering to be friends with
us, let alone their friends trying to get along with my friends. They do their
own thing and the little sister does hers, no matter how close the siblings
are. There are some lines you don’t cross, and some you do. Pressuring her to
open up to him when she seemed to hate him was a line he didn’t cross – he was
as kind and polite to her as he could be, but he wasn’t going to force anything
RAD-READER: When did Amber become attracted to Kit?
ELIZABETH: When she first started noticing
some boys were more attractive than others. So sort of always. It’s just the
way she was attracted to him changed. When she was younger, it was the sort of
crush you have on a celebrity out of one of those magazines – you know, back in
the day when you got a poster of Aaron Carter or N*Sync in it (do they still do
that?). Then as she got older, she was more crush as in she quite liked him.
Then by the time Pat made them move in together, she was full-on attracted to
him the kind of way you just don’t realize you’re in love with someone yet.
RAD-READER: When did Kit become attracted to Amber?
ELIZABETH: For Kit, it was her personality
he liked first, but the age difference stopped him thinking about it any more
then she was a good kid who was going to grow up to be an amazing woman. He was
never in a position to let himself crush on her or fall for her, or even just
lust after her, until they met again at the start of the book and the age
difference was far less relevant.
RAD-READER: Carmel is someone special to Kit that helps him either like a mother or a grandmother. Where did he find her?
it mentions in chapter six, Kit met Carmel on a mission in Bolivia. Things went
sideways and her family took the unit in. A lot of her family ended up dying,
so the boys brought Carmel and her niece to Australia.
RAD-READER: Where are Kit’s and Amber’s parents?
ELIZABETH: All the parents live about
20-30 minutes from Kit’s place. As mentioned in the story, they still often
have dinner together with Kit’s little brother. Kit doesn’t go home a lot, not
for lack of loving his family, he just feels a little separate from them. Amber
goes home more often.
RAD-READER: How does Kit have so much money for his age?
ELIZABETH: The security firm did really
well, really quickly. They got lucky – right place, right time basically. They
found a few well-off customers at the beginning who put their name around to
their friends and business went from there.
RAD-READER: If it is Grace does that mean Patrick is also a boss of the company?
company is named after both Patrick and Kit, yes. He’s a partner on paper, but, Kit is in charge because, in his own words, Pat’s a ‘lazy bastard who’d rather
do the job than the paperwork’.
RAD-READER: Amber mentioned a dark period in Kit’s life what happened?
ELIZABETH: This is one of those backstory
bits I never really worked out. Mostly, Kit’s just wired with a predisposition
for darker moods. I don’t really want to say his mental health’s just bad as it
sounds flippant, but that’s what it boils down to. And this kicking in at a
RAD-READER: Why does Pat have such a problem if she dates any one of the guys on the team? If he trusts them with his life why wouldn’t he trust them with his sister?
ELIZABETH: Because there’s a difference
between trusting a guy with your life and with your sister’s heart…or dignity.
None of the guys have a great track record with commitment – Pat included – and
Pat wants someone worthy of his little sister who’s not just going to mess her
around. Up until the end of the book, Pat truly doesn’t believe that any of the
guys, as much as he loves them, are capable of not messing a girl around –
again, him included. The whole Kit and Amber thing, though, gives him a
RAD-READER: Amber’s ex really thought he had a chance with her when he is still with Dannie but saying he loves Amber?
ELIZABETH: Brent is what we call
delusional – he wants all the shiny things and is so arrogant he truly believes
just saying he loves Amber will make her come back to him. Of course, he could
have dropped Dannie had Amber come back, but he wasn’t going to risk being left
with no girl if Amber didn’t come back. Naturally, he did end up with no girl
as Dannie was a cowardly backstabber, but she was proud enough to drop him
after hearing that.
RAD-READER: None of the guys noticed there is a connection growing between Amber and Chaos how can that be especially at the dinner?
they wanted to see them getting along, especially Pat – he wanted more than
anything for them to be friends so everyone could hang out. Having never seen
Kit and Amber being friendly before, they had no scale by which to judge just
how friendly their feelings were.
RAD-READER: Now she said Dannie stood by and watched what happened to her the night of her trauma. There wasn’t completion just his struggle to get there before Amber’s fight or flight kicks in is that right?
walked in at the end and Amber had just got away before her panicked brain
could come up with some way to do something to help Amber. So she saw enough to
know it was terrifying for Amber and how that affected her through life, but
not soon enough to be able to help. And right – he didn’t even get inside
Amber, he was just trying very much to overpower her so he could.
RAD-READER: If Kit is truly falling for Amber shouldn’t he go o Patrick and ask if he can date her? Letting him know as he's gotten to know her as the woman she is, that she’s amazing.
has to reconcile that with himself first. It’s one thing to let lust and hormones
take over, but after when you’re brain kicks in and you have to justify it, it
gets tricky. Then, once he’s done that, he has to work out how to tell Pat in a
way he knows Pat will listen to him and believe him. The surety that Pat will
hate him also scares him off. He knows Pat well enough to guess how
unfavorably his best mate will react. He knows he has to tread lightly. So it
took him a little while to work up the courage to tell Pat.
RAD-READER: They keep saying ten years – What was the defining moment where Amber and Kit stopped talking?
ELIZABETH: Kit and Amber never really
talked in the first place. They just ended up around each other as a by-product
of their families’ closeness. But the ten years refer to when the boys went off
to uni, stopped coming around to family dinners so much, and then finally
enlistment and off to training.
RAD-READER: What is the deal with Johnson? Did he trip her the night of the dinner when she hurt her ankle?
ELIZABETH: So, behind the scenes, Johnson
is like Rowan Atkinson’s character in ‘Love Actually’. Or at least one
iteration of his character. The idea had been that he was sort of a guardian
angel for the characters, leading them on their path and helping them when they
needed it (like his ticket bit at the airport). So, Johnson was sort of this
figure who was there to help Kit and Amber get together. The possibility he
tripped her is definitely meant to be implied, but not in a malicious way.
Rad-Reader: I so thought that so glad I wasn't cray-cray! Well, I am but...
RAD-READER: If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…
others can get away with being less tall, but Tank really needs to be a big
RAD-READER: What song or songs best describes your characters at a time during the book or your book as a whole?
“Hold Me – The Teskey Brothers”
Kit couldn’t understand why Amber hated and seemed to push him away. She seemed to bring out all his protective instincts. He found that he wanted to hold her and make things better for her. He found the more she was around he was the one feeling better. But he wasn’t settling down type.
On the first night and many nights thereafter Amber would toss and turn because, since the age of thirteen, she has had a crush on Kit. Now, she is living in his spare room down the hall from his bedroom. She was a royal mess.
Amber being a self-proclaimed geek and a plus-sized girl her confidence has never been high but to hear her talk to herself about it, she has no clue how gorgeous. She is and together they make each other better.
ELIZABETH: So, the book has a playlist on
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3Le41PaJs9iGAXbgoLa7FQ?si=Iu7Ihs3HTD6tl5KHC2dghg – although I’ve just looked at it and apparently there’s still
only one song there. Weird. But more are coming and are in fact meant to be
there. The one that is there pretty well sums up the book pretty well, I think.
It’s ‘Out of My League’ by Stephen Speaks and I think both Kit and Amber feel
it quite strongly through a lot of the book.
RAD-READER: Where can our readers find your books? Links
We would like to thank you for being with us. I really enjoyed your book. It was fun ready about a girl who was smart yet shy and more than powerful enough, in the end, to assert herself with the right support, love, and friends to help her. She was able to find her own voice and speak up for what she wanted.