Character Interview with Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips, NYT best selling author and one of my favorite contemporary authors has recently written a novella in the town of Serendipity, the backdrop of her newest series with Berkely. This novella features a character we’ve already met – Lissa, the part time barista and obit writer – and one we have yet to meet – Trevor.

We were lucky enough to get Carly to agree to wrangle Lissa up enough to sit down and answer some insider questions about Serendipity!


The Book Pushers: What is it about the town of Serendipity that you love so much? Have you ever thought about leaving?

Lissa:  I’ve wanted to leave when thing got rough.  When I ruined things in my life when I was a high school senior, but I never really thought about leaving.  Not seriously.  I grew up here.  My family is here.  I’ve learned all of life’s lessons here – the hard ones and the easy ones – and I have some really great memories here.  Especially of Trevor, my high school sweetheart.  But I ruined that relationship forever …


The Book Pushers: Every reporter was chomping at the bit to get an exclusive with Faith Harrington, and she chose you to write her story. How excited and nervous were you?

Lissa:  I was more shocked than nervous.  Then I was determined not to let Faith down.  Let’s be real.  I was a bitch to her when she came back to town and I didn’t deserve the good turn she did by giving me the chance to interview her.  Faith taught me about not making snap judgments, about being kinder to people and not taking my problems out on others.  So I really wanted to do justice to her story.  And of course I knew this was my one and only chance to show the world I could be a great reporter.  When I realized that I was extremely nervous!


The Book Pushers: After the story went to print, you got an incredible offer to write human interest pieces of some up and coming Fortune 500 guys. Can you tell us a little about your first assignment?

Lissa:  Wow.  Scary.  Remember my high school sweetheart I mentioned? Trevor Dane? He left Serendipity after graduation and never looked back.  He made it big on Wall Street and as fate – or Kismet – would have it, he’s my first interview! Of course no way will I give him a heads up – he’ll refuse to see me.  We might have been broken up when I hurt him but there’s just no way he’ll forgive me.  I only hope he’ll want this article done more than he’s still angry at me ….

Which reminds me, I should go shopping for something to wear, right? I mean I haven’t seen him in ten years. I want to make a good impression … make him drool a little? Oh my gosh I’m nervous!


The Book Pushers: Drooling is good… You should definitely make him drool!! 🙂 You are good friends with Kate, a woman who you weren’t on the best of terms with in high school. Was it difficult for you to strike up a friendship with the woman as adults?

Lissa:  High school really is another lifetime.  Kate and I came from different sides of Serendipity but she’s a wonderful person and I’m so grateful for the friendship.  I can’t remember how it happened.  It might have been when I served her her first latte at Cuppa Café.  Kate loves everyone and it’s hard not to like her.


The Book Pushers: Do you feel any guilt at all in how you treated Faith when she first appeared? Can you explain to us why she effected you on such a personal level?

Lissa:  I’m horrified about how I treated Faith. I was going through a really bad time. I was feeling sorry for myself and my situation – I’m divorced and I worked two jobs to give my daughter the life she deserves – and Faith arrived in town.  I remembered her as the princess who lived in the mansion on the hill and even though her father was in prison, it felt like she just picked up where she left off with no problem.  I was naïve, and jealous for no reason.  Faith had it as hard as me – maybe harder because she knew what it was like to live well and then be hurt and end up with nothing.  She’s taught me a lot about being a better, bigger person.


The Book Pushers: How hard has it been for you since the divorce, especially with Serendipity being such a small town?

Lissa:  Wow. Good question.  I suppose it depends on who I’m with.  I have a great family, my mom and dad, friends.  But living in Serendipity with my ex-husband’s wealthy family around … not easy. They live the high life and their friends shun me.  It’s just not easy.  Everyone knows my business but then that’s the way it always is in small towns, right?


The Book Pushers: Do you want to find love again, or does having your ex-husband and daughter in town turn you off from the idea of dating and falling in love again?

Lissa:  ::sigh:: I’ve pretty much given up on love.  I think if you’re lucky enough to find it once how can you possibly ask for it to happen again? I know what you’re thinking, that Trevor and I were too young to know what love is.  We knew. And somehow we lost it.  I can’t imagine feeling that way again about anyone … except Trevor.  But I’m also smart enough to know the past is the past.


The Book Pushers: If there is one thing in life that you would have changed, what would it be and why?

Lissa:  I can’t say I’d change having had my daughter because she means everything to me … but I’d definitely change the “break” Trevor and I took after that argument because I know if we’d been together I would never have turned to Bradley Banks.


Thanks Carly and Lissa for being here! Kismet will be available as an ebook only from your favorite ebook retailer within the next few days. Be sure to go out and get it.

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