Friday, January 21, 2022

Book Tour: Somewhere Between Light and Time by Aiden Leman @RABTBookTours @BookBuzznet

Historical Fiction

Date Published: December 21, 2021

Have you ever met a stranger and felt that you already knew them?

The story begins in the 1800s when Elias and Henry are souls on the Other Side. Their own time as humans lies ahead of them, but they unwittingly observe their ancestors-to-be as they progress through major historical events. From slave-liberation missions in antebellum America to the horror of the Vietnam War, they follow six generations across two centuries. But as the family separates, the descendants form two divergent lineages, thousands of miles apart, into which the two souls are eventually born.

Elias and Henry grow up in different countries but meet again in modern Britain—without any recollection of the Other Side. Civil-rights activist Elias is hiding from a Russian kidnapper when he runs into Henry, who has become a kind-hearted but prejudiced Englishman. Against the backdrop of repeating historical patterns, they become entangled in a love triangle with free-spirited Lana, who becomes Elias’s protector.

Blinded by his intolerance, Henry unwittingly brings danger upon them as the agent closes in on Elias. But soon, all their historical experiences unravel into the present, and eventually produce an unexpected, startling ending.

Somewhere Between Light and Time is a fast-paced adventure drama in which historical events and everyday reality are interwoven with elements of the supernatural. Aiden Leman lives in East Sussex, England, where he works in financial services for his day job. He studied International Relations in Scotland and was previously active in the teaching sector. He has worked in five different countries across three continents, although his dream job would probably be a firefighter.

Interview with Aiden Leman

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    I grew up in largely tolerant societies, but there was also latent racism and xenophobia, which increased over the years. Today it is often inseparable from nativism. My aim was to challenge racism by creating a story in which two human beings start off the same (as souls on the Other Side), but are then separated by the lottery of birth, and later meet again on earth, with each representing a separate nationality.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal was to create a story in which the reader views two humans through a unique lens, by which the injustices of racism become blatantly apparent. To achieve this goal, I tried to steer clear of fictional universes, but rooted the novel in the phenomenon of the near-death experience. Regardless of whether or not we believe in the validity of such experiences, if we use NDEs as a thought experiment (including people’s recollection of a realm before this world), how would all this change our attitude towards foreigners? Another goal of mine was to entertain, so I endeavored to fill the plot with suspense and prose poetry.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    Being a first-time author, I faced a lot of challenges, from choosing the correct points of view to making the language specific but still poetic.

    One of the challenges I set for myself was making the plot feel as real as possible, while also trying to give it a sense of suspense and mystique. In total, I probably revised the whole story about thirty times before publishing.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    Contrary to my expectations, the most enjoyable aspects for me were actually maintaining suspense and credible action throughout the plot. I particularly enjoyed experimenting with the atmosphere of the novel, and I tried to make the setting evocative and immersive. In the end, the novel ended up with a magic-realism and slightly Gothic feel.

    Were there alternate endings you considered?

    My aim was to create a plot-twisting ending that would surprise even me. Therefore, I did not actually go in with a fixed ending in mind; I let the final moments of the plot unfold as I wrote, and I later adjusted previously written details to fit the ending.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    The first part of the story is rooted in history because the two souls start off by watching historical events in the 1800s and 1900s. For this purpose, I researched the lives of Harriet Tubman and Oskar Schindler. I also wanted to depict the phenomenon of the near-death experience as real as possible, so I researched a lot of NDEs online.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    Generally, I like novels that feel real but still contain the odd bit of magic or just wonder, like “Forrest Gump” or “Big Fish”.   

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