FEATURED AUTHOR: Interview with Eichin Chang Lim on her latest release, The LoveLock

Our featured author is a woman who wears many hats. Author, Optometrist, Actress, Wife and Mother. Get to know Inspirational Romance writer, Eichin Chang-Lim.

Eichin Chang-Lim, author
Tell us something about the woman, Eichin Chang-Lim. Who are you?

I've stared at this question for a long moment. Who am I? I ponder this question from time to time, alone. It's tough to query myself at times; it's like standing in front of a full-length mirror, naked.

First of all, I was born in Taiwan and have two younger brothers. Brought up in an Asian family, I was told that being dutiful was the right thing. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with that. However, the strong sense of being dutiful created intense internal battles when I faced certain situations and had to make decisions later on in life.

I like to take on challenges and push myself outside my comfort zone. So, after graduating from National Taiwan University and refusing to marry someone my grandma thought was perfect for me, I came to the U.S. for graduate school via a student visa. I had taken the GRE and TOFEL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) when I applied to the American schools, but the culture shock and the language barrier were overwhelming in the beginning. Through my interactions with other foreign students, I began to realize it's a small world after all. That experience humbled me and opened my mind.

During the years of raising a special-needs child in a challenging marriage, I had a couple of episodes of depression (I don't want to bore you with the details). However, I've become stronger and more compassionate towards others afterwards.

We all are molded the way we are through life's ups and downs. I cannot say I am a "strong" person, because I am not. Every morning, I pray to God to grant me the strength and wisdom to face whatever the day throws at me. (I am a Christian and that's my faith. I do respect all religions, and other's beliefs or non-beliefs. I think an individual has to experience the power of God personally.)

And who's the writer? How was The LoveLock conceived?

I write in an easy-to-read style and the main characters are everyday people to whom the readers can relate with one way or another.

The backbone of The LoveLock was drawn and converged into a fiction story from my personal experiences and the people I've met directly or indirectly. The location is one I am familiar with, Southern California, especially the Los Angeles area. I approached this book differently, a new venture for me. It's still within the romantic/inspirational genres. However, it's much darker and more suspenseful compared to my other three books.

The story begins with a scene where the main character, Dylan, gives Violet a lovelock on a beautiful day, by the beach of Hotel Del Coronado, one of my favorite beaches. The lovelock seals their love and commitment for life, to each other.

They are engaged and plan their lives together. However, a brutal tragedy rips them apart. Violet suffers a serious mental illness through a series of heart-wrenching events. She becomes a stripper and drug addict. In the meantime, Dylan is in a taxing relationship and has to face the difficult decision of being dutiful or pursuing his happiness. The story unfolds in an unexpected fashion, waiting for the readers to savor.

Why did you choose the Romance genre?

Romance is an intriguing genre for me. I write about it because I have found that relationships are quite involved in real life. I like to use romance to depict the intricacy of relationships.

I've asked myself countless times while I worked on my manuscript, "What is true love?" Readers may discover that I tend to tell the stories beyond the confines of romance. I strive to convey the kind of love that is much broader and deeper than romantic or physical love. It's my conviction; love is more than a four-letter word. It's multi-dimensional; it involves sacrifice, forgiveness, trust, demoting one's ego or even "letting it go" at times. I also like to encompass the love of friendship, family, and even little pets in my story.

Let me put it this way; it's my vision to use "romance" as a vehicle to draw out a true-love story. Eventually, it evolves into an inspirational and thought-provoking tale.

As a romance writer, I write with my heart and soul. My mindset is that if my story can make a difference in even one person's life, it's all worth it. And, that's what love is all about.

What inspires you to write?

It's an interesting journey, I would say.

I wanted to be a writer when I was in elementary school. I even submitted several short stories and essays to youth magazines, and they were accepted and published. Of course, they were written in Chinese back home. In junior high, I submitted some more articles and stories; they were ruthlessly rejected. My confidence shattered; I started to doubt my writing ability. At the same time, I found interests in other areas of study. So, the idea of being a writer faded, and I gradually evolved into my studies in science and healthcare.

After years as an optometrist, I realized that every person is a unique individual, and every soul is precious. I know this sounds cliché. However, that's my conviction. I really appreciate that my patients allow me to look into their eyes, "the windows to the soul." (Again, a cliché!) I believe that there are stories in every single person. Listening to my patients fuels the inspiration for my stories.

Eichin Chang-Lim

The urge to tell stories prompted me to become an author eight years ago. My novels are a collection of stories I have heard and about people I have met. Of course, I inject them with personal experience and do research for certain plots to make the story real.

What can readers expect when they read The LoveLock?

To say it in one sentence: readers will find an unforgettable love, a thrilling suspense, and a healthy dose of inspiration. Let me elaborate further…

As the subtitle indicates, it is a suspenseful and sensual love story, and readers will experience the suspense interwoven throughout until the end. The sensuality is derived from the part as Violet becomes a stripper.

Since the central theme of The LoveLock revolves around mental illness, there are scenes depicting the relentless pain of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that the main characters are trapped within.

The tender, sweet, unwavering love between Violet and Dylan certainly make this book well-qualified in the romantic genres. Yes, there are a few provocative languages and even sexual scenes with a touch of the paranormal. They are there because of the necessity of the plot and storyline. However, nothing is overly pornographic or erotic.

In the end, readers will sense inspiration and empowerment as the main characters grapple to seek for healing and for the purpose of their lives. Readers will cheer for them as they defeat their haunting memories at the end.

Are you releasing a new book anytime soon?

I have a couple of book ideas in my head, which are in the fiction genre. I am also considering one or two non-fictions, focusing on parenting or self-help areas.

What do you love about being an author?

Being an author is being a storyteller with purpose. The processes of plotting, developing characters, setting up the scenes, and creating tension at various stages are daunting at times. In the end, the satisfaction of completing a writing project is thrilling and rewarding. Since I became a serious writer, I've found I am much more sensitive to the people around me, more compassionate and more observant about my surroundings.

Also, writing is an art of sharing. I share my thoughts, my heart and my soul with others. It's therapeutic.

What is your message to readers?

In the journey of our lives, we may find ourselves traveling in the dark stormy nights. We may slip or fall a few times while attempting to steady our steps on the muddy road. It’s OK to cry when it feels like the gloomy nights last forever. The pain is as a sharp knife slice through our hearts and leaves us nothing to hang on. Yes, there are moments, the thought of death may sneak into our minds and convince us that is the only way out.

Do not be despaired, my friends. There are purposes installed in everyone’s precious life. Even though it’s hard to see it in the midst of turmoil, there is hope and love around us.  Have faith! 
Enjoy this book, whether you are looking for a touch of passion or a dose of inspiration. It’s a fantastic read. You have my guarantee!

Get a copy of THE LOVELOCK

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for including me on this prestigious site. I am very grateful.