I've been lucky to know Naomi for more than a year now. As writers our lives are full of colourful characters and amazing worlds, but have precious little company or support. To have a network of other authors you can turn to for advice, support or just a good old-fashioned chit-chat is absolutely essential. So I've watched as Naomi nurtured her latest book, birthing the characters, polishing the world and creating the energy she writes so passionately about. I was happy to beta-read* Release for her and I loved it. *ie read the first draft and give feedback on story, plot, characters etc
Now with the launch of Release imminent I took a moment from both of our writing schedules to have a natter over a virtual gin and tonic.
Hey Naomi, obviously we’ve been friends for a while and often share the ups and downs (mostly ups) of being a writer but can you introduce yourself to my readers.
Hi Hazel. Thank you for introducing me to your lovely readers and, also, for being such an important part of my writing support community.
What inspired you to write?
I have been writing ideas for stories since as long as I can remember but I always had this feeling I needed to wait for the moment when I was truly ready. I’m not sure why, perhaps fear, and perhaps being a busy mum and photographer, were part of this waiting process. However, when the moment finally arrived - when I could not put off writing a story for any longer - it felt so natural and gave me so much energy that I knew I had been right to trust my instincts. It was a vivid dream, like you, that finally gave me that moment!
Which genre/s do you write in and how many books have you published?
I write paranormal time travel romance. I have published two books in my new series, The Tandro Series. The starter novella , REACH, was published in January and can be downloaded for free on my website: www.naomielloyd.com and the first, main, book in the series, RELEASE, will be launched on Monday 21st October.
Which of your book reviews meant the most, and why?
Ooh, can I have two please?
The first one was from a well-known South African historian:
“Delightful! This book is unstoppable reading. I feel energised!"
This meant a lot to me because the reviewer told me she does not normally read Sci-fi style books but that reading my book, RELEASE, had her mesmerised.
The second review was from you, Hazel, as it really touched me:
"A gripping tale that seamlessly crosses time and space - where a love larger than time itself brings together a couple from different worlds and periods. As a ME sufferer the theme of personal energy being precious really resonated with me. Loved this book."
I write about resurrection and ancient Egyptian mythology because I’m an Egyptology nerd what attracted you to writing about energy and particularly the energy of diamonds?
As a wedding and portrait photographer I have been fortunate to capture diamond moments in many people’s lives over the last twelve years. By diamond moments I do not just mean the exchange of a diamond ring, but also in terms of the strong bonds that are so visible on these special occasions in our lives. I have seen the incredible positive and warm energy that is exchanged between people during these moments and I just felt compelled to embed these themes into my writing: the glow of love on a couple’s face when they hold their newborn baby; the proud tears from a father walking his daughter down the aisle; that extraordinary energy that is almost visible in a room when two people exchange their vows.
I know diamonds have huge meaning for you and you’ve gone on quite a journey exploring their nature and energy potential. Can you explain why they mean so much?
Diamonds are atoms of carbon that have been forced together in an extremely tight-knit community due to the exceptional circumstances of nature. Not only are the carbon atoms bonded close together, they are collected together in the same way in all directions – an isometric crystal structure. It is this compactness that makes a diamond so difficult to break, unlike other carbon minerals, such as graphite.
I see the tight family and love bonds between people in the same way. They are precious bonds and ones that can give us so much strength to navigate the ups and downs in life. We just have to remember this: you break a diamond; you just have to find its weak point.
Which of the metaphysical and paranormal authors inspire you and which book is your favourite?
I absolutely loved reading The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. His book really did change my life and made me see the exchange of energies between people in a very different light. I also loved The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. In fact, I loved her book so much that I think I have read it at least five times.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done and has it influenced your writing?
I am an Ambassador for a charity called YouCanFreeUs which works to end human trafficking. In 2016 travelled to India with the charity on a mission to highlight the story of the girls that are being rescued into safe houses there. The founder of the charity is a truly inspirational man called Sujo John who climbed his way out of a terrorist burial site that threatened to kill him as the twin towers collapsed around him in New York on September 11th 2001. Sujo was the only member of his cohort who survived that day. The tragic near-death experience had a profound effect on him. In the aftermath he had a choice: whether to crumble among the emotional debris that had fallen upon him or to find a new energy reserve. He chose the latter and made a life-changing decision – to dedicate his life to bringing a new light into the worlds of hundreds of girls in India whose freedoms get stripped away from them by the evils of human trafficking. The charity ” You Can Free Us”, which started as his mission and is now a movement of people advocating change from all walks of life, is one that brings hope, energy and light to young girls who have been kept in the dark.
I am currently writing book two of the series and even though it is a romance story at heart, I always come back to the themes of bonds, energies, and inner light. My experience in India is one that will always stay with me.
I love the paranormal genre yet I’ve never been keen to explore the more obvious areas of Vampires, Werewolves etc. I’m keen to explore new relatively untrodden territory like resurrection and Egyptian Mythology. Is there a subject matter that you’d love to explore?
I agree with you Hazel. I love other-worldly concepts that combine genres and I believe there are so many themes that have yet to come to the mainstream. We often hear people say things like “I am sure we met in an alternative life”, the Sliding Doors concept, and I want to explore these themes more. We live in a world where it is hard not to compare ourselves to others and their lives. Such comparisons and feelings of “what if” can often drain us of energy and take away the joy that comes from appreciating what we already have. I’d like to twist some of the more obvious tropes in romance, so that a character does not always find her happy after in the most obvious of places. It is all about the journey and in the end the choices that we make.
Pass it forward. Which book and author would you recommend my readers try?
I love time travel romance and there is a wonderful author called Mariah Stone who has written a fantastic Viking time travel romance series: Called By A Viking.
Where can we find you, Naomi?
Thanks to Naomi for taking time out of her busy launch schedule to have a chat with me. As I said - I loved Release and think you will - check it out here.
One Connection Can Transform Everything
In the new world of Tandro, in the year 2065, sexual energy is currency and love connections are forbidden.
Advanced sensory abilities that drive her emotional energies to the limit make Tiegal more valuable than diamonds. If her ruler finds out, he will hunt her down. She must keep her passion hidden. Yet she yearns to unleash her powerful desires, explore the intimacy she craves, and find love.
And then she finds it. When an incredible release of energy transports her into the arms of Johannes, the passionate and romantic man she has been dreaming of. The only problem is, he exists on Earth in the year 1865. And, she has no idea how long she can stay there with him.
For Johannes, she is everything forbidden, sensual and other-worldly, all wrapped up in one bubble of attraction.
For Tiegal, Johannes is the one she saw in her dreams. She relishes exploring her sensual fantasies with him and finds a deeper connection than she could have ever dreamed possible.
But as they set about building a secret life together, amongst the excitement of the diamond rush, Tiegal soon learns that experiencing love, when you are from two different worlds means making painful choices.
How can she keep herself on Earth, and protect the ones she loves, when her enemies on Tandro will do anything to get her back?
That's it for now. Until next time... happy reading!