Hall Ways: The novel was inspired by real love letters, which makes me wonder how much was inspired and how much is real?
E.L.: At its core this love story actually happened to me. Like so many people I’ve met through the years, I was caught in a disillusioned marriage, with a 5 year old child. I really did meet the love of my life by exchanging emails about literature; at least it was literature at first. So the events in the story are entirely imagined and the characters are very different from their real-life counterparts, but the emails and letters are real. The love confessions are real. Two actual people fall in love while trying desperately not to.
Hall Ways: How did you go about turning a series of emails into a novel?
E. L.: I hung all our emails in chronological order on the wall of my room. I then discovered a pattern to how we fell in love. It was a desperate struggle to both discover a soul mate and resist the irresistible attraction to this person. The drama was all there. I think of the letters as the soul of the story. I just gave it a fictional body.
Hall Ways: This story shows the power of books to connect people. How do you feel about that?
E. L.: When you find a story that matches the way you feel about the world, the book will draw you in and fill your mind with images and thoughts. And if the book is very good, it will change you. I wanted to write this story as a tribute to author/philosopher, Ayn Rand. I wanted to show what can happen to two unhappy people when they discover a life-changing book together.
Hall Ways: Which of Ayn Rand’s ideas influenced this story most?
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