Evelyn Lederman - Soul Mates and Parallel Universes
When she retired from her insurance executive job, Evelyn Lederman was looking forward to relaxing on the beach with her nose in a book. Little did she know that she was about to become a successful author of a series of books and would end up typing stories on her laptop instead. As our author of the day, Lederman chats about soul mates, parallel universes and reveals how her characters started talking to her.
Please give us a short introduction to The Chameleon Soul Mate
‘The Chameleon Soul Mate’ is about a woman who gets pulled into an inter-dimensional portal and is plummeted into a parallel world.
There she discovers she is an orphaned daughter of dissidents from that dimension who escaped the Troyk universe after attempting to overthrow the government. When she enters the Troyk universe, a man claiming to be her soul mate is conveniently there to greet her.
How did the idea for the book come upon you and what inspired you to write about the theme of soul mates?
I was driving to play tennis one Sunday afternoon when a conversation that took place outside of Sedona, Arizona about String Theory and parallel dimensions started playing in my mind. Then all of a sudden, these five fictitious women started talking to me. The next day I was on a plane to LA and Mexico. I purchased a 5-inch spiral notebook and started character development, world building, and plotting the first story.
What fascinates you about the possibilities of parallel dimensions and telepathy?
As an author, it gave me a great opportunity to build different worlds. One can hypothesize that creatures of legend could have come from a parallel dimension (Greek Gods, vampires, shifters, Fae, etc.).
Tell us a bit more about Alexandra's character
Alex is scarred by being an orphan. She felt abandoned by her parents and her inability to get adopted just proved she was not wanted. Her defense mechanism to deal with not being adopted was blending into the shadows. I took that ‘ability’ and used it as a plot device in the book.
How was your journey as a writer? How did you go from an insurance executive to a successful author?
When I was an insurance executive, I dealt with stress by escaping into romance novels. In 2010 I went to my first romance novel reader convention. At my first convention, I was sitting across from Christine Feehan and she said her characters talked to her.
I developed friendships with both readers and writers over the years. So, when the voices started…I had friends I could leverage to find an editor, cover artist, etc.
Did you know right from the start that this was going to be a series?
From the start, I knew this was going to be a series, since five women talked to me. In my second book in the Worlds Apart series ’The Crystal Telepath', I created a parallel dimension of vampires. That world and the characters I created were so popular, I spun-off a second series, The Nightshade Saga. That series will also have five books because there are five blood brothers.
What is your writing process like? Do you plot everything out before you start?
I start with a basic outline and then go from there. Once I start writing, the book takes me in a direction I may not have originally planned. The story ultimately manages to get me back where I originally planned. That is part of the fun about writing a book, I am not sure where the plot will take me.
Where do you go to find inspiration and what is your favorite writing spot?
I get most of my inspiration from either hiking or walking along a beach. Because of the logistics, I start writing the story longhand and then type it up when I have the ability. ‘The Warrior Woman’, the 3rd book in the Worlds Apart series, was written in Grand Cayman. Unfortunately, I had to type up the story when I got home. That book was nominated for a RONE Award as Best Paranormal Romance of 2015.
Do you ever have days when writing is a struggle?
I don’t want to push ideas. If I do not have any ideas, I will start typing and see where things take me. I never know when inspiration will hit, so even if I am not in a creative mood, that doesn’t mean it won’t come once I start working. All I have to ask myself is ‘What if?"
Tarsea is a bit of a "man whore" - not the type of guy one would want as a soul mate. Why did you give him this back story?
Tarsea uses women as a cover, since he is a dissident against the current mind control telepathic government. He never had a true relationship with a woman. That all changes when Alex enters his life. It naturally creates problems with their relationship in the beginning. Ironically, the woman I put in the first book to show what a ‘man whore’ Tarsea is, ended up being a pivotal character in all five books. She just would not go away!
It was an example of how my imagination dealt with the throwaway character Chartail and ended up having her be a major plot device.
Alex is also not your typical beautiful heroine, she rather considers herself to be invisible to most. Why did you make her this way?
All my women have an issue that impacts their self-confidence. In Alex’s case, it’s a fear of abandonment. My first three women grew up in an orphanage and only had each other. Through their trials, each of my women grow in both their telepathic powers and confidence in their own abilities.
The growth in the characters may have been caused by their soul mates, but is not dependent on them. In the Nightshade Saga, my heroines are extremely broken and their lives are turned around by a vampire soul mate. They go through a transformation both physically and emotionally.
Did you write the books for yourself, or do you write them with a particular reader/audience in mind?
I write books that I would like to read. They may not be what New York publishers feel will sell, hence I am an indie writer. Through attending conferences, I get blown away by readers who have read and loved my books. I would have fan-girl moments with some of my favorite authors and it is incredible to experience it from another perspective.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on my 10th book, which is the 5th book in the Worlds Apart series. It is kind of bittersweet ending the series. Since the Worlds Apart and Nightshade Saga series are interrelated, the 5th book in that series will bring back characters from the original.