Neha Yazmin graduated from University College London (UCL) with a degree in Psychology and now lives in London and has worked in the financial services sector. She writes both contemporary romance and paranormal urban fantasy romance. Her debut novel ‘Chasing Pavements’ (Soulmates Saga, Book 1) was first published as an e-book in summer 2012, with the sequel released a year after. Book 3 of the Soulmates Saga was released in summer 2016.
What was the main inspiration behind your debut self-published novel Chasing Pavements?
Usually, it takes a combination of different factors and experiences to inspire a whole novel. I take inspiration from good books, films, music, and of course anything interesting I know. I also draw on my knowledge of Psychology.
You do need one or two triggers to start writing though. For Chasing Pavements, it was this bizarre vision I woke up with on the morning of August 1, 2010. I opened my eyes with Jamie in my head. I could see him so clearly - his hair, his eyes, his demeanour. As though he was a very good friend, I just knew him - his pain, his apathy, his past, his present. What I didn’t know was his future.
But I wanted to find out.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about him, his life, his family, and music. Christmas 2009 with Jamie and his family was the first scene that came to me that day.
Music had a critical part to play in it too. That summer, I had been obsessed with Muse’s single Neutron Star Collision and I knew that song represented Jamie (and Mukti) when he first came into my life. A fading star, losing his way.
The other song that had grabbed me was Marcus Foster’s I Was Broken (the lyrics speak of no longer being broken). That was the song I wanted to represent Jamie (and Mukti) at the end of the book. All year, I had been fascinated by the idea of two fading stars, coming together and then emerging brighter as one, and somehow this concept inspired the storyline.
How did you start Chasing Pavements?
The first scene I envisioned was Christmas 2009. It played in my head like a film - I didn’t dictate much of the action, it just rolled like a movie in my mind. Astonishingly, I didn’t write that scene until the very end!
What I started with was the first encounter between Jamie and Mukti. I had become very interested in the needle sculpture after seeing it for the first time that year and I wanted them to meet there. As I wrote that scene, ideas for their next meeting came to me and I wrote that. And then the next meeting, then the next…
Once I filled in the gaps between those scenes, I went back and wrote the beginning. Strangely enough, the Christmas 2009 section in the final version of the book is very similar to the daydream I had on August 1, 2010.
Here's what I know: I'm Ellie. I'm the last vampire Slayer.
I'm also a redundant Poison Blood. My body no longer runs with blood that can poison vampires to death.
Because I'm a vampire now.
The world's most powerful immortal, Christian, turned me.
My salvation or my destruction is but a leap away.
I'll either fulfil my destiny, change the world as I know it, or die and bring about Apocalypse
Ellie has a mission.
But she doesn't know where to start.
Who to trust.
Everyone's kept secrets from her, but they all seem to find out about hers.
All she knows for sure is that she is the key to steering the world into a new era.
When faced with the ultimate betrayal, Ellie must rely on the very person that had steered her away from her rightful path.
The question is, is it too late?
Jamie and Jonny are madly in love with Mukti.
Mukti loves them both but she has chosen to be with Jonny, despite believing that Jamie is her soulmate.
As the past collides with the present, who will Mukti choose forever - her saviour Jonny or her soulmate Jamie?
'Someone Like You' is the epic third instalment of the Soulmates Saga, which sees Mukti and her loves facing the toughest tests yet.
After a tumultuous year, star-crossed lovers Mukti and Jamie are starting a new life together in New York. Mukti has found her calling in life and Jamie's music career is taking off. But as all this brings new obligations and responsibilities, their love is once again put to the test. The sequel to Chasing Pavements unravels even more secrets and lies which threaten to split them apart forever.
"I don't know what being in love is like for humans. It never happened to me, not really. I only thought it did. Thought it for a long time." As a senior official at The System, Christian routinely works on secret missions. When he uncovers a project kept secret from him, he investigates. Why was he kept in the dark about this vampire The System is after? Does it have anything to do with Ellie?
"I don't know what blood tastes like to a human. I'd never even licked a tiny drop of it from a pricked finger, let alone suck on a bleeding cut. The shedding of blood, my own, or anyone else's, always made me scream or panic in fear and revulsion. Now it's my only food source." Ellie is not a typical teen vampire. She still has her humanity and conscience. And the same distaste for blood.
Singer/songwriter Jamie York is suffering from writer's block. Until he meets Mukti. Suddenly his creativity blossoms and he feels torn - he has to keep seeing her, but can he bare his tortured soul to her? But Mukti has her own secrets and is just as troubled as he is. Can Jamie and Mukti help each other come to terms with their pasts and move forward together, or do some ghosts haunt us forever?
From the very first chapter, this book had me hooked! And after the introduction of the vampire I knew there was no turning back - I was going to read the entire series! I would have liked to have spent a bit more time with Rae at Temple, learned more about her day-to-day life as a Disciple before discovering her real identity and destiny.
If you're looking to publish an e-book on Smashwords or Amazon, then this guide is a must-read. I read it all the way through once, just to get my head around it, and by the time I was formatting my book 'Chasing Pavements', I saw that the process was actually a lot simpler than I thought. I couldn't be happier with the 'no-AutoVetter-issues-to-sort-e-mail' after my first upload, something I had been dreading. Thanks Mark!