Thursday, March 27, 2008
Linda K Silva: Fantasy Author Who Challenges the Reality of Time
Linda K. Silva takes her characters and her readers Across Time as she explores the past lives and the soul connections that make life challenging and wonderful all at the same time. More than a fantasy novel, it expresses hers and many others believe that souls incarnate together in order to learn and heal old wounds.
Ms Silva allowed me the great privilege of interviewing her on her virtual book tour with www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com. By commenting on this and Silva’s other tour stops, you will learn more about her and her work.
In Across Time, you send a character back to the past to save someone the character's soul loved. Does the character go back or does the soul regress to the previous time?
When Jessie goes back, her body stays in the portal entrance and her soul travels back. What makes this interesting (not to mention tricky) is that there’s a moment when her present consciousness is still there, so she sees herself as her past life being. There’s that “whoa,” moment for her, especially in book two, when she finds herself in the body of a pirate. A male pirate. The soul has no gender, of course, so when THAT happens, there’s a humorous moment (or two). Still, it’s disconcerting even when she lands in the body of Cate, a Druid Priestess from the first century.
If the character physically goes back, how is this accomplished?
Diane Gabaldon did that feat better than anyone else, but I still can’t wrap my mind around the body making that transition, so no, the body doesn’t go. However, there’s an interesting little twist of soul travel. If Jessie gets killed in her past life, she will die in her present life. Can a body live without its soul? Without a consciousness? Maybe. Maybe not. In the Across Time series, it cannot, and that fact often leaves Jessie is danger.
If only the soul returns to the past, does it retain the memories of all the lives afterward?
Not all of them, no. If we did, we would be crazy people. There would simply be too many memories banging around up there. We do, however, have residual memories of our past lives. It’s how we can explain the 5 and 6 year old music prodigies who can play Bach and Beethoven. It’s how we can understand déjà vu, love at first sight, or the numerous coma patients who wake up speaking a foreign language they never studied. I call these residual memories…like those small pieces of dust you can see in a shaft of sunlight, residual memories exist in all of us. Some of us are able to recall these, but most of us ignore them. We chalk them up to something, anything other than a past life memory. Unfortunately, in our society, what can’t be proven by science we call miracles. There’s nothing miraculous about residual memories. They’re there. We need only not discount them in order to learn from them.
How does the soul know that its loved one is in danger? Have they met again in the current time?
Jessie does not know that Cate’s loved one is in danger until she goes back. When she returned, she learns that Cate and Maeve have committed themselves to remembering each other throughout all of their incarnations. We have more than one soul mate, of course. We have those who travel with us through our many lives. Sometimes, we are siblings, sometimes friends, sometimes lovers, but we know such a soul when we meet them…again, we just pass these meetings off as something else. We might call it instinct, or intuition, but we seldom call this special knowing memories.
Does the other soul remember?
Sometimes. Jessie always felt this emptiness, this hollow feeling inside. She tried filling that void with drugs, booze, sex, anything. She couldn’t name it, just as many of us can’t name that ache we cannot define. She is lost until Cate comes to her for help. Once that happens, Jessie realizes what it is she’s been missing; her purpose and her soul mate.
What is your concepts of reincarnation and karma?
Even though I was raised by Fundamentalists, the idea that so many people spent this life looking forward to dying in order to get to someplace called Heaven or Nirvana, or or or…boggles my mind. It makes so much more sense to me that we are here, we learn something, we grow, and we take that knowledge with us to the next life, which, by the way, isn’t always forward. I know, I know, I sound like a crazy person, but did you know that DaVinci invented the parachute? Why on earth would a man invent something that wouldn’t really be needed for over 400 more years? Think of all the inventors and scientists who were so far ahead of their time. Think of history’s greatest artists; people who creating things or had ideas that were considered heretical. Where did they get those ideas?
As for karma? I don’t know that it travels with us from one life to the next, but I’m sure it exists in the lives we’re currently leading.
How do you think they influence a person's life challenges?
Wow. Good question. I think people who believe in past lives and reincarnation have a lot more to learn and can tap into wisdom and knowledge they didn’t know they possessed. I think it helps explains so much about our current fears, some of our baser idiosyncrasies, and the like. Many of us have fears for which we can’t even name the origin of.
When I had my past lives read by two different psychics in two different states, I was amazed by the similar readings. Once said I lived 82 lives, the other said 83. I was amazed, not by how close they were (which WAS amazing), but by the fact that I lived so many. “You…well…die young.” That explained so much to me and about the way I live my life. I have always lived my life by appreciating every day and doing as many things as I could.
Do you believe that souls incarnate together for a reason? Love? Revenage? Healing?
I certainly do! In Jessie’s case, it’s all about love. For me, it’s never about revenge…it’s about connection with others. I think we wander through this life looking for those connections…sometimes we find them in friends, in co-workers, in siblings. We’re happiest when surrounded by people who understand us. Who better to understand us than someone who has travelled with us in the past?
Does the character return to her or his own time?
She does. She has to. When Cate calls her, Jessie knows nothing about the past, about history, about anything. She needs to learn that information so Cate can access those memories. That’s the fun part for me. I love history and I get to dabble in it. (not change it. Jessie can’t change what we THINK we know about history…but that doesn’t mean she can’t be a player in making the history we think we know HAPPEN).
How has changing the past altered the future?
Oh…I got ahead of myself. If Jessie could change the past, that would really bog the story down. What we have to remember is that the victorious are the ones who record history, not the vanquished. That means so much of what we have learned is screwed. According to historians, Queen Boudicca suddenly turned her army around. No one knows why. I can take liberties with this and GIVE the reason why. Jessie. There are so many gaps and holes in history, and that’s where Jessie makes the difference. The outcomes remains the same, but HOW the outcome got there…well…that’s my playground!
How do you see time? Is it fixed or like the future changeable?
Time is the Final Frontier and I love that we have not conquered it or really even understood it. Time is not linear, like a steel pole. I see it as a piece of string that can turn back on itself, and when frayed, there are strands of it happening at the same time ours is happening. If it wasn’t happening when ours was, there would be no place to go.
What is the one thing or things you would like the reader to take away when the read the last page?
I’d like them to think about why they are the way they are, and if they could tap into who they were, how would that change their world , or, at the very least, help them understand more about themselves? I also want them to be connected to Jessie and to want to go on more adventures with her Across Time.
Could you also give me a brief bio with contact information and where to buy you book. You can also include brief synopsis of your other work.
When Linda Kay Silva isn’t writing (which is seldom), she teaches various college English courses from American Minority Literature to Introduction to Fiction. Living with her incredibly patient partner of 10 years, Linda Kay takes time out to play with Lucy Lui, her cockapoo who loves walks, playing with her favorite toy, and blogging. If you want to know more about either Linda Kay or Lucy, you can check either of them out at www.lindakaysilva.com or Linda Kay’s blog at http://lindakaysilva.livejournal.com.
Jessie Ferguson’s life is going nowhere. She’s tried drugs, alcohol, even sex to fill the void that has no name, but nothing seems to quench that dull ache that visits her nightly. When she moves into a restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast, all of that changes the instant she hears a call from the past. A call from her past.
A past life two thousand years ago from a place she knows nothing of, from a woman she’s seen only in her dreams. It is a past that needs her, a past that has burst through the boundaries of time in order to ask for her help.
How can Jessie help save someone else’s life when she can barely control her own? What is it this druid named Cate wants from her? To find out, Jessie enters through a portal only to find herself not face-to-face with Cate, but within her; for Cate and Jessie share the same soul only in two different periods across time. Cate has called for Jessie because the druids are facing the onslaught of a Roman army bent on crushing every last one of them. In an effort to save her people, Cate has traveled through the portal hoping that Jessie can help prevent the catastrophic destruction of her people…and of her loved one, and soul mate, Maive, high priestess of the druids.
Can Jessie help Cate save both her people and the woman she loves? In doing so, can Jessie find the same peace, contentment, and love that she found two thousand years ago? Is there a Maeve for her somewhere in this life?
If you believe in soul mates, if you know you’ve had a past life, if you’ve ever wondered who you might have been long ago and who you might have loved, then join Jessie in the first of a series of adventures that takes her Across Time.
Please give me a 300-400 word excerpt. Pick your favor scene and give me a piece of it.
“But how will I ever know if you survived Mona?”
“You may never know. Perhaps it is better that way. You carry within your breast the heart of a warrior, the spirit of a Druid, and the mind of a bard. Call on them when you need them. For if you reach down deep enough, you will touch Catie’s light and she will always show you the way.” Reaching up, Maeve touched Jessie’s cheek with her palm. It was hot; Jessie felt the heat all over her. “And remember, no matter where you go, you will find me, or I, as I did in our time, will find you.”
Maeve grinned and nodded. “I am out there, Jessie. We just have not met yet.” With that, Maeve touched her shoulder before standing at the edge of the mist. “We will meet again, Jessie Ferguson. This, I promise you.” Turning, Maeve disappeared into the mist. For a long time, both women stared at the misty opening as it slowly closed around her.
“Will I know?” Jessie asked softly.
Cate nodded. “I did. The moment I saw her, something happened within me. I knew.”
Cate shook her head. “In a heartbeat or two, but you’ll know. We’ll know. I’ll help you know.”
Sighing, Jessie walked over to Cate and hugged her tightly. “You’ve become a good friend to me. I’m not very good at goodbyes and I wish this wasn’t one.”
“You have done a great thing, Jessie. Tomorrow, we will head to Mona to see how many lives we can save. I will do my best to make you proud.”
Jessie nodded. “And Maeve? Will you be able to save her?”
“I shall or I will die trying.”
As Jessie stepped away, she could barely believe the hollow emptiness inside; the pain of a goodbye far more excruciating than when she left San Francisco. “Then I guess I have to just walk away believing the two of you die a very old age. It’s the only way I can leave and live my life without wondering every day if you made it--if you’re safe and happy.”
Cate nodded, but then her face changed, like one who just got a great idea. “Do you know where Mona is in your time?”
Jessie nodded. “It’s called Anglesey now.”
“Close your eyes.”
Jessie did and immediately saw a stone structure much like Stonehenge.
“Do you see a very large, white rock about the size of two horses off to the side of the henge beneath a large oak tree?”
“Open your eyes.”
When she did, Cate was removing the ankh from around her neck. “If we live through this, both of us, then I will bury this ankh an arm’s length beneath that rock on the western side. I do not know if it will be there two thousand years from now, but if it is, then you will know.”
Jessie realized, for the first time, that Cate had made the assumption that Jessie was in England or Wales, and it was no wonder. In Cate’s time, there was no America. Columbus and the New World were a good fourteen hundred years away.
“I’ll find it.”
“Thank you, Jessie, for answering my call. I promise I will live my life befitting one who has shown such courage. You are a wonderful person, and I am proud to know that you are who I become so far into the future.”
“I’ll miss you, Cate.” Jessie shook her head and wiped her eyes. “More than you will ever know. You, my little priestess friend, are the very best of me.” With that, Jessie found herself back in the Inn.
The Book Shelf: Novels By Linda Kay Silva
Taken by Storm
Weathering the Storm
A Year in Wonderland
Biscuits and Gravy
Searching for Hemingway
Three Girls in a Teepee
Nothing Fair About It
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