MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR EVELYN LEDERMAN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Evelyn Lederman and I write PNR/Fantasy/Scifi Romance, as well as YA Scifi.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My first series, Worlds Apart, is about a parallel dimension of telepathic beings. I got the idea when a discussion I overhead years ago in Sedona, Arizona popped back into my mind about string theory and parallel dimension. The next thing I knew five young women were in my head telling me their stories. I had to write them down.
In the second book in the Worlds Apart series, ‘The Crystal Telepath’, I created another parallel dimension of vampires. That world and the characters I created were so popular, I spun off a separate series for them called Nightshade Saga.
One of my friends complained that I didn’t write anything her granddaughter could read. I had been writing about parallel dimensions and I wanted to write a space opera. The premise of the YA series was aliens invaded earth to take selected children. The trilogy is written through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl who was ‘Selected’.
My latest series, Outer Worlds Passion, is a sexy, gritty scifi romance set in the 31st century. Earth women are genetically engineered and sold into marriage to corporate executives and rich outer world prospectors. In the first book in the trilogy, ‘An Uncontrollable Passion’, the hero goes to claim his Earth bride, but falls for her battle-scared bodyguard.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I have always loved watching PNR and scifi movies. I started reading historical novels and then was introduced to Christine Feehan’s novels and then fell in love with the PNR genre.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
The beauty of writing PNR/Fantasy/Scifi is you create your own worlds, so there is very little research. I check on how to deal with a snake bite when one of my characters is bitten or how to stage a fight scene (self-defense).
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I believe the most personal of my books would be ‘Selected’. I put part of myself in Kara’s character, looking at the world through a 14-year-old’s eyes who was taken from her parents and is forced to leave with aliens. The book won 1st Runner up RONE award for best YA Scifi/PNR/Fantasy book of 2017.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
When I attended my first romance conference as a reader, Christine Feehan talked about how her characters talked and directed her in what they were going to do. It was a common theme that weekend. Frankly, I thought they were all crazy. When my first character talked to me, I knew I had to write a novel. Through attending conferences, I’d met a number of indie authors and picked their brains.
Was it always meant to become a series?
I go into a first book knowing how many books/novellas I’m going to write in the series. Future hero/heroines are either introduced or mentioned in the first book and the series builds with each subsequent book. I’m the type of a reader who falls in love with characters and want them to continue turning up in subsequent books, even if they aren’t the main characters. The YA Zaratan Trilogy is the only series I have that maintains the same lead characters.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I didn’t start writing until after I retired after working 33 years in Corporate America and the voices started talking to me. Most days I play tennis in the morning and then will start writing around 2pm. Depending on if I have a muse talking to me or not, I’ll write until 7pm or later. Sometimes if the creative juices are flowing, I’ll write until 2am.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
On December 18th the last book in the Outer Worlds Passion series will be published. My next book will not be published until March 15, 2019, when my 4th Magic, New Mexico (S.E. Smith’s world) is published. It will be the first novella in a new vampire trilogy.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
My first character’s name was Alexandra Mann. That was my ultra-ego when I was a kid. I just make up other names from that point forward. You have to be very careful not choosing names that are similar to each other, particularly for a long series. For the Worlds Apart and Nightshade Saga series, I had to make up names. In a parallel dimension where there is no exposure to Earth, they aren’t going to have names like John.
Where do your ideas come from?
People tell me I have a very active imagination. After working in the insurance industry for over 30 years where I was very task oriented, my friends have read my books and wondered ‘who are you?’. I was able to draw on parts of myself I’d never leveraged before. I love thinking about ‘what if…’ and go with it.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’m comfortable writing in the genre I selected. I don’t have the patience to do all the research to write a historical romance. Plus, after building my own worlds/rules, I felt contemporary would be too limiting to write.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The middle of a book or novella. I know how the book starts and how it’s going to end, as well as several plot points in between. Filling in what happens in between that gets the characters to plot point is sometimes a challenge.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I’ve seen some and they are cool. However, I don’t have the patience to learn how to do it. Researching and putting together a trailer would take me away from writing. I’m a firm believer in having people who are talented in an area to work on that. I’d never consider doing my own cover, so I hire a cover artist. I used to have someone do my book formatting, but I now have a formatting tool that does it for me with little effort.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
‘Selected’ winning 1st Runner Up RONE award for Best YA Scifi/PNR/Fantasy book of 2017.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Hearing from readers who love my books. It means so much to me. When I get an e-mail from a reader or someone comes up to me at a convention, it makes my day. I had one woman came up and told me she’s obsessed with my worlds.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I’ll be 70 years old. What a concept! When I moved to Florida when I retired at 55, I got a whole new perspective on age. I started playing tennis with ladies in their mid-70s who kicked my ass. When I’m 70 I still plan on playing tennis and writing.
Have you always liked to write?
I used to hate writing. Technical writing is very different than creative writing. For some reason, I never had any desire to write. This is as much as a surprise to me, as to many of my older friends.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Finish your book and then get an editor to help you with it. Whether you go traditional or indie, if you’ve got something to say, there are people who will want to read it.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I retired at 55 and was going to take a year off before doing some consulting work. Six months into my retirement, I started writing. It’s been a great journey.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I used to read every one! When I worked in Corporate America I didn’t take my work product personally. With my writing, that’s a very different story. When I got my first 2-star review, I was devastated. But I realized that not everyone is going to like my books. There are some books I HATED that other people loved. I do read them as a learning opportunity.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
I love when I’m writing my first draft and everything is flowing. My mind is moving forward and I know how everything is going to work out. On days like that, I can write 8,000 to 12,000 words in a day.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing the first book in my new vampire series. The first one will take place primarily in S.E. Smith’s Magic, New Mexico. Book 2 will focus and a romance writer and a vampire, while the third book will take place in SW Florida where I live.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
I’ve barely started the new book, since I was putting finishing touches and proofing the one being published on the 18th. The novella is due to my editor January 2nd, so I have to get my ass in gear.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I absolutely love world building. Every genre world building is important, but it’s critical in PNR/Fantasy/Scifi.
Where did your love of books come from?
I was never much of a reader until at 27 I read my first Johanna Lindsay book. OMG!
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I love reading historical: Johanna Lindsay, Catherine Coulter, Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas, and Julia Quinn to name a few.
I’m also into PNR: Christine Feehan, Nalini Singh, Jeanine Frost, Gena Showalter, and Lora Leigh.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Alexandra Mann, ‘The Chameleon Soul Mate’, because she was my first heroine and ‘Selected’ Kara Harper.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
The first draft energizes me, while editing can be a challenge.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My cat Stefano. He’ll walk over my keyboards and be a basic menace. When that cat wants attention, it’s hard to write.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I don’t write to the market. Many people tell me my books are unusual. I try to introduce something new in each book so my readers aren’t reading the same book over again.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Craft classes have helped to make me become a better writer. Friends inspire me.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
‘She’s So Unusual’
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Funny, I used to ask that question when I interviewed people. You asked a lot of good questions. I’d have to say the question about what you like most about writing. I love the worlds and characters I create and when readers acknowledge they love what I’ve created…it doesn’t get better than that.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
My website is http://www.evelynlederman.com. You can sign up for my monthly newsletter there. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but my newsletter is the best way to keep up with me. Liking me on Amazon and BookBub would also be helpful.
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️