We’re starting this week with a new interview brought to you by OBS reviewer Angie! This time she has the opportunity to chat with the author of the Infinite series, L.E. Waters, where they talk about the inspiration and research behind the story, multiple lives, names for souls, characters and some fun facts about the author that you might not have known. Enjoy!
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Angie: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was one that once I started I couldn’t put down. It was 3am when I finished and I was already looking for book 2! I’ve read your forward so I already know a lot about your views, but would you please share them with our readers who may not have picked up your book yet?
Angie: How did you decide that you were going to write about Heaven in such a non-traditional way?
L.E.W.: I wanted to bring a unique perspective to the after-life. I’ve always been interested in new-age ideas (anything out there) and I’ve created an amalgamation of various sources for the purpose of this series.
Angie: Do you yourself believe that we live multiple lives?
L.E.W.: I believe that it’s possible, just like so many possibilities of what may happen to us after death. I’ve researched quite a few non-fiction books on the topic and there are some very convincing accounts. I myself have experienced those déjà vu moments, the detailed dreams, and nostalgia for specific time periods and locations. I would like to believe that we get to experience many adventures rather than just one.
Angie: Why did you decide that the soul needed a name? That really touched me and made me wish that I knew my soul’s name.
L.E.W.: If we lived many lives, all with different names, than it would only make sense that we would have one original soul identity. The soul’s name. The one constant. It would have to be an ancient name that didn’t pertain to any specific culture.
Angie: Is there significance to spacing Maya/Lazrina’s lives apart by centuries?
L.E.W.: I wanted Maya to be an old soul, so that she could visit a wide assortment of cultures and periods. I want readers not only to experience history as though they are living it, but I also want them to get a sense of how these lives change Maya/Lazrina. She is very different from the first life to the last, and time changes everything.
Angie: I know that you did a great deal of research before writing these stories. Have you based any characters in these stories on real-life people you discovered in your research?
L.E.W.: In books two and three, I base some characters on well-known people, but the lives in the first book came to me as I researched. Whenever I stumbled across something interesting, I’d mark it down to include it with one of my characters. I had a rough idea of plot, but all the details were filled in through my research.
Angie: When Lazrina asks if Zachariah is part of any of her lives he says that he chooses not to incarnate anymore. Is that a “No” or is he being intentionally evasive?
L.E.W.: Zachariah is intentionally evasive when it comes to any discussion about his incarnation and you will have to see why later in the series J
Angie: Did you choose the characters names with a particular prophetic meaning to the story they appear in, or did you choose/create names that just felt right to you?
L.E.W.: I struggled with this since I want every name to have a deeper meaning, but the farther back I went in history, the harder it was to get names that meant something and could be easily recognized and remembered. That was so tricky, but if the reader looks up the meanings of these names, they will see that there was intent. Obviously, the characters’ names that are based on real people, I could not choose.
Angie: I was crying so hard throughout Liam and Thora’s story. Do you already know how one of the life-stories is going to end or or does it come as a surprise to you as well?
L.E.W.: That means so much to me. I love hearing how my readers connect to my stories. I am a plotter. I do a vague outline before I do my research, then I research and make a very detailed outline. I follow this for the most part, but if the story takes me on a little detour, I will follow inspiration. When I read about the Viking funerals, I knew I needed to include their unique burial ritual into my story (phew! It is so hard to answer these questions without giving too much away!)
Angie: What inspired you to place the same people in Lazrina’s life time after time?
L.E.W.: That was what made me want to write this series. Group reincarnation is a topic and theme discussed in almost every non-fiction book on past lives. Yet, so many reincarnation fantasy books focus on just the soul mate with one or two others following them through time. Can’t we all think of many people in our lives that have had profound impact? If we were to travel throughout time, wouldn’t it make sense that we travel in a pack? I truly wanted to explore and illustrate how this would play out.
Angie: I love your idea of fate – that if two people are destined to meet then they will at some point regardless of the obstacles that keep getting in the way. Your prologue explains so much that I don’t want to give away to readers. Is there anything you’d like to add that I’ve not questioned?
L.E.W.: I do believe that, with or without reincarnation. I am a strong believer in fate and destiny and that things are meant to happen for a reason. I wrote this series for three different types of readers: 1) for those that are new to the idea of reincarnation, I wanted to entertain them and maybe open up their minds to the possibility. 2) For those who have dabbled with the idea of reincarnation, I strove to show evolution of the soul and give them the first hand experience of reliving those lives. 3) For lovers of history, as I can’t get enough of period pieces, I wanted my reader to feel immersed in history.
Angie: I haven’t read Infinite Devotion yet. I’m assuming it picks right back up with Lazrina discovering more about herself?
L.E.W.: Yes, it starts right where Infinite Sacrifice ends and we follow Lazrina on three more journeys: Renaissance Italy, the Golden Age of Spain, Cromwellian Ireland.
Angie: Here are some “fun” questions we like to ask authors. Feel free to answer a few or all of them.
Angie: Do you have a favorite teacher that stands out to you as someone that inspired you above the others?
L.E.W.: I actually devoted a whole post to this: here. I had an amazing history teacher who inspired and encouraged me. I made sure to thank him in my second book and I even sent him both of my books with a thank you letter. He actually replied on my blog! It was fantastic!
Angie: What hobby do you have that gives your brain a break from writing?
L.E.W.: I actually have so many hobbies but right now with a ten-month old and a six-year old, I’m lucky if I get time for my research and writing. When I do get some free time in the future I love hiking, crafting, antiquing, gardening, cross stitching, and reading for fun!
Angie: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what helps fuel your muse?
L.E.W.: Every time I begin a new life, I look up authentic music from that era. I download ones that relate to the life and I put them on replay the whole time I write. It really does wonders to transport me to that time so that I can bring my reader along with me.
Angie: What screensaver do you have on your computer?
L.E.W.: I actually have a picture of my son at a Wild West birthday party we threw for him. My love of history even reaches to my party planning!
Angie: What is the last book you read for pleasure that you didn’t write?
L.E.W.: I’ve been reading non-fiction books for my third book, Infinite Loss, but fortunately, I do enjoy reading them. I’ve found some time for short stories along the way, by fantastic self-published authors such as Steve Vernon, Lee Moan, Brian James Freeman, and David Gaughran. I recommend all of them.
Angie: If you could have a dinner dinner party with any persons living or dead who would you invite and what would be on the menu?
L.E.W.: Oh, such a great question! I would invite all of the historic characters I plan to include in my series. I would love to hear their thoughts on my portrayal and ask them some questions about the mysteries they left behind. Moreover, if you all knew whom I plan to include in my third and fourth books, what a dinner that would be! I would need something fancy since all these historic people are used to eating well.
Angie: What would you do if you knew that you wouldn’t fail?
L.E.W.: I would play the lottery!
Actually, I’m much more afraid of regret than I am of failure. I wouldn’t do anything differently if I were promised that I wouldn’t fail. Failing is all part of the process and I welcome it with open arms. I would still be quite pleased with myself for trying and living through any experience.
Angie: Thank you so much for indulging us in these questions!
L.E.W.: Thank you so much for asking such thoughtful and interesting questions! I love the fact that you read so carefully and have so many wonderful questions. I really enjoyed this.