Monday, August 4, 2014
Interview with Ellie Paxton, the heroine of 'Too Pretty' by Andrea Grigg
It’s lovely to meet you, Ellie. My first impression is that I must be interviewing a supermodel. It must be wonderful to have such natural beauty while so many other girls feel insecure about their looks, for whatever reason. Have you found your prettiness an advantage?
Hi Paula – it’s great to meet you too! Thank you for having me as a guest.
Your question is a good one because I think the first part of my answer will be unexpected. My brother and sister and I were brought up on the mission field in Papua New Guinea. All three of us were a novelty – my being pretty didn’t make any difference at all.
It wasn’t until I was thirteen and we moved back to Silverdene, the country town my parents came from, that I noticed how others reacted to my looks. I received a lot of attention from the boys. I wasn’t used to that, but I adapted.
Some of the girls were jealous and gave me a hard time, including my cousin Suzanne. Others wanted me to be their friend because I was a drawcard for the boys. My best friend back then, Annabel, she wasn’t like that. She was a gem.
Being pretty has its advantages, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, because I’m a blonde, some people assume I don’t have a brain. Crazy, hey? I’m not as clever as the rest of my family (they’re all medical professionals) but I’m smart enough.
The worst part about being pretty is guys are attracted to me because of how I look rather than who I am. I’ve had enough of shallow relationships and I’ve made an important decision just recently.
I'm sorry to hear about the drawbacks and the crazy assumptions people make. Yes, I heard that you made a promise to yourself not to date anybody for six months. Is this a personal decision or a move you’d recommend for every young woman?
I’ve received loads of compliments from the men I’ve dated. (I know – it sounds big-headed but I’m just stating a fact.) Now, while compliments are very nice, all of them have been about how I look. Like I said before – what about the girl on the inside? Even I don’t know the real me anymore and that’s why I’m taking the time to find out. God made me so He’ll know, right? Not everyone would need to stop dating to do it, but I need to.
Well, good for you. A nice appearance is a gift, but when you think about, it is prone to change over time, unlike the person within. But not all men are shallow and focused on physical attraction, are they? It would be sad if this has been your overwhelming experience. Have you come across any men with more depth of character? I guess what I’m trying to ask is do you try not to judge men on surface values, the way you feel they’ve often judged you?
Unfortunately it has been my overwhelming experience, but I’m the eternal optimist and always hope the next guy might be the one interested in the real me. And yes, I do know men who have great depth of character – my father and my brother are great examples. And then there’s a guy I’ve just met who seems to be … oops, I’m not supposed to be even thinking about Nathaniel! Next question please.
Sure, I understand. On the bright side, you’ve just left country town life for the big city, which must be exciting. What are your first impressions of Sydney?
Actually, I’ve lived in Sydney before when I ran away with … um … I won’t go into that just now. Let’s just say I’m much happier being here this time around. I love walking around Circular Quay with its cafes and views of the harbour bridge. And of course the Opera House is amazing. Sydney is a beautiful city and a lot bigger and brighter than Silverdene!
Making such a big move is often fraught with anxiety, especially with the higher cost of living. Have you managed to find any work in Sydney yet? What experience do you bring from home, and what sort of job are you looking for?
I adore living here, but I still don’t have a job. I’ve had a few offers, but not the kind I was after, if you know what I mean.
I love office work and have a Certificate IV in Business Administration. I’m sure God has a job for me. Waiting for it to appear is a test of faith that’s for sure. I really believe I’m meant to be here in Sydney so it’ll happen. I just need to be patient and let God work it all out. In the meantime, I’ll just keep walking my landlady’s dogs and do some volunteer work. I’ll be fine.
Oh dear, I'm sure many of us understand the anxiety of being somewhere new without any immediate means of supporting ourselves. I hope something perfect for you comes along soon, because as you said, God surely must have a plan. Waiting sure can be a test though. I'm hoping for you though, and looking forward to reading what happens in 'Too Pretty'.
Thanks Ellie, for being a guest on my blog.
My review of this novel is here
'Too Pretty' is published August 2014 by Rhiza Press and Andrea is offering a free signed copy to anybody who would like to comment on this blog post below. Please leave your contact details for us to contact you if you are the winner.
Andrea Grigg grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, but has lived more than half her life in Australia. She lives with her husband on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where they have raised their three adult children.
Recently retired from teaching ten-year-olds, if she isn’t being a domestic executive or socialising, Andrea can be found in her cave, writing stories. Andrea is the author of Too Pretty to be released in August 2014. You can visit Andrea at her website