Today I am happy to welcome Laura Tolomei, who has brought her amazing reincarnated men with her. Welcome to Coffee Time Romance Laura, I have just been reading some of your books and Divinitas is one of the most original stories I have ever read.
How did you develop the idea of reincarnation of characters within the same story?
I’ve always been fascinated by reincarnation and the beliefs about a soul’s journey to reach some degree of perfection. And one life alone isn’t enough for a process that must necessarily take several repeated passages. To become mortal is the beginning of an intriguing adventure each soul undertakes to learn and grow, understanding past mistakes and possibly avoiding them through the subsequent lifetimes, until it can rejoin the One Spirit from which it came from. And two souls can be so deeply connected they’ll try to find each other the moment they become human. These convictions have shaped my life so it was inevitable they’d find a place, an important one I might add, in a book. As a matter of fact, Divinitas is the second book of this kind I wrote. The first one is Re-Scue, soon to be published by FDWP Firedrake Weyr Publishing, where two souls play a bloody game of sex and knives through various lifetimes. In Divinitas, I took the concept to a more complex level, applying it to religious myths and beliefs, some of which are still alive in today’s world.
Divinitas covers a long time period. Do you have a favorite era or are you just a history lover?
Basically, I’m a history lover, my heritage fault, no doubt. Being Italian and born in the city that ruled the known world of its time tends to make you look at the past with a lot of interest. That’s why many of my books contain strong historical references, even if disguised at times. In any case, I do have favorite time periods. Strangely enough, Ancient Rome is not among them, though my latest release Roman Seduction is set in such era. I love Maya, Aztecs and Incas, too, and traces of their culture, along with their famous pyramids, can be found in Sacrificial Sex. I also love Celtic Britain, the Druids, the Arthurian myth in all the million ways it has been told so again there are echoes of it in my first release, Trespassing All Hallows Eve, in Divinitas of course and in my October upcoming Blood Shadows on Passion.
Us-Yri is a strong character. He seems to know what needs to be done even if it means his own betrayal and death. How did he become so experienced in life?
If we look at it from a reincarnation point of view, I’d say his soul had reached a point in its journey where awareness starts to seep in, though not enough to understand the big picture. Like in a puzzle, he only sees some of the pieces, which will inevitably fit together if not in his current life, surely in any of his next ones. Still, the little he knows gives him the strength to carry out what must be done in order to achieve the final design.
Set is destined to be the bad guy, but he is also hurt by his own actions. Do you agree that he is as strong as Us-Yri in his own unique way?
He’s definitely as strong, if not more. What the characters start to perceive is they’re playing a bigger game than themselves, one that needs two central roles. The love they share, as much as the betrayal that follows, are essential to religious mythology in order to keep it alive in the people’s minds. As Set, the character can’t yet grasp the full implication of his actions, though like Us-Yri he knows it’s a necessity. His role is actually the more difficult one. To love is easy, but to betray the one you most love is the harder task of all. And Set proves to face up to the challenge in his own unique way.
How difficult was it to write the same ‘characters’ but as different people?
This is an aspect I had to grapple on Re-Scue, too, and in that story, one of the characters even changes sex. But to be honest, it was less difficult than I thought. You have to remember that for me reincarnation is a growing process so yes, my characters are essentially the same, but in fact they change after every experience. Mitra is a more mature version of Us-Yri, understanding things more clearly than the Egyptian ruler ever did. And Shaun in Celtic Britain will have all the answers he lacked in Egypt and Persia. Likewise, Vayu acknowledges his love in a way Set never did, going as far as trying to avoid the betrayal, which of course he can’t. Halifax will feel the weight of this guilt, but will finally understand the necessity for it all. What was important to keep in mind while writing of the characters was that they weren’t as important as the greater picture I wanted to describe. Knowing where I was going and that each character was only a piece of the puzzle made it easier to write about them through their changes.
What made you choose to write M/M romance?
I’m very critical of society’s rules and conventions, especially the ones that limit individual freedom. This is particularly true when it comes to sexual choices, some of which are still chastised, if not downright prohibited, punished or worse. . I believe M/M relationships, like F/F, are a choice, not just a matter of taste, which many can’t take because afraid of prejudices or perhaps because they never considered it a choice in the first place. I write M/M to offer an alternative lifestyle to anyone seeking one, whether it’s to escape this rigid system or simply to be more aware of the infinite varieties of human relationships possible. What’s important is to think with one’s head, not fall prey to easy slogans or false prejudices society is so fond of today. M/M, but also F/F and ménage, are some of the best ways I found to challenge my readers and show them less traditional paths can be just as fulfilling…if not more kinky. LOL
If you weren't writing what would you be doing?
Lying under a hot sun in an empty beach with the tide’s coming and going lulling my senses. It’s my personal method to let my active imagination run wild and invent its infinite stories.
Do you write in any other genre?
I tend to specialize on the M/M, ménage, dark fantasy, paranormal, horror, historical, but writing about reincarnation made me to explore the contemporary genre, too. In Re-Scue, my last story is between two men in 21st century America and I found it much easier to write than I thought. This started me on a new track and since then, I’ve written a couple of contemporary M/M, Spying the Alcove, out August 1st, and To Seduce a Soulmate, my Christmas release, due December 15.
If you could go anywhere with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I’d go with Attilio Metrono Tacitus, my hero in Trespassing All Hallows Eve and Roman Seduction, my latest release. He’s a Roman centurion who, unlike many of his time, doesn’t have a conqueror’s attitude. Rather, he likes to learn from the people Rome subjected to its Empire, even mastering their language in order to understand how they think. He respects their traditions and always tries to fit into their customs, however hard it may be for a Roman soldier. As he loves to repeat, “We’re Romans, not barbarians.” With him I could go just about anywhere not only because he loves to travel, but mostly because seeing the world through his eyes would make it so much more different and…who knows? Maybe a lot better.
If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could have five things from home what would you choose?
Lucky me, I just happen to have five furry things scurrying about in my home and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring along. After all, what be better company on a deserted island than five cuddly cats? LOL
Is there anywhere your fans can find you on the web?
These are some of my links:
And of course, I’m on the Coffee Time loop, too.
I’ll have to make sure I visit some of these. Thank you again for spending your Saturday afternoon with me.