WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK THE WAY I DID...
The excerpt above is just one of many lives and deaths and rebirths featured in REINCARNATION, which starts in prehistoric times and ends in the contemporary world. In alternating voices the souls of the male and female characters tell their stories as they travel through history together, slowly understanding themselves and each other better each time. Reincarnation is my most complex novel., both for the reader and for me.
Why? For several reasons...
The theme: I decided that each character should have an after-death experience that aligns with his and her expectations. Whatever he or she expects is what happens. I especially enjoyed playing with the many forms of white light ... is it a giant bird, a waterfall, or an angel.
The structure was challenging: I tried to show how the experiences of one life deeply affected the next life. In ancient Egypt the female character hurts her ankle and suffers from a weak ankle (sometimes with disastrous consequences) for many lifetimes. A battlefield blow to the head leaves the male character with lifetimes of migraine headaches. I left clues for the reader to know who was who from one lifetime to the next. Look for color preferences, love of certain arts, sports, even hair colors to give clues.
The research was massive: I stuck with historical periods I already knew something about because they interest me. My favorite is the Civil War which I've felt a fierce connection to since I was a child. I read kid biographies of Lincoln exhaustively. I couldn't get enough of anything by Louisa May Alcott who had been a Civil War nurse and who later wrote LITTLE WOMEN and other novels set in that period. I'm told that when I was very little my parents took me to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and I cried because the statue of Lincoln gave no sign of recognizing me. (I might not have been the easiest child to parent.) The recurrent themes of the many forms of slavery probably come out of this, too.
Writing REINCARNATION was a passionate and all consuming project for me. I went deep inside to pull up memories from what might have been my own past lives and I researched writings about reincarnation, especially the copious work of Edgar Casey, the "sleeping profit" who would enter a trance proclaim to sense his subject's past lives. Most of all, I spoke to people. It amazed me that even people who said, "I don't believe in that stuff," would invariably add, "But I do have this recurrent dream where I'm in..." And then they'd site some setting from the past. Other times it would simple be a strong affinity with a certain time.
It all fascinates me.
Ages 12 and up
Egypt, 1280 B.C.E.
It is I who am dead.
A crocodile appears in the water, gliding toward the boy, and I turn away, unable to look.
So I am stranded there, unprepared to move to the Next World, the one that those with greater means have so thoroughly planned for...
I find that my movement in the world is swift, requiring little more than thought...I visit Aken in the quarry. With an invisible hand I help him carry his load.
How much longer can my ka [life force] exist in this state? I am weakening already, though I experience no need for food, drink, or sleep.
Lost and confused, I roam the Valley of the Kings, thinking I might find the things I need in those greats pyramids and tombs. When I go in, effortlessly passing through the massive walls, the wealth within staggers even my wildest imaginings
Deep in the confines of one underground tomb I meet a ruler a hundred years dead, though not more than twenty years of age--the boy pharaoh Tutankhamen, son of Akhenaten. He is rummaging through the many things that had been stored there for his use. I am searching for my lute, he tells me. I am bored and desire to play.
I ask if he will take me to the Next World, but he says that Osiris who rules there will not allow it, not without the correct burial.
Desire to be reborn, he advises. Try again.
But how? I ask.
He shrugs, finding his lute in a golden case. You must surrender your love of this world, I suppose. Allow it to happen. Wish it to happen. Picture it in your mind.
I would not be a slave, I say. I would live a carefree, free of ambition or desire.
A mummy case in the corner of the tomb begins to glow with a vivid white light. The case grows until it is many feet tall. A strange hum emanates from within it. I approach, irresistibly drawn to the light-filled case, and enter the light.
"Readers with a romantic bent will be drawn to this story."
"Offer this imaginative, passionate tale to romance buffs who need convincing that a fantasy can be a great love story, too."
- Haunted Museum - The Cursed Scarab
- Haunted Museum - The Pearl Earing
- Haunted Museum - The Phantom Music Box
- Haunted Museum - The Titanic Locket
- Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters
- Faces of the Dead
- Invisible World
- The Diamond Secret
- Distant Waves - A Novel of the Titanic
- The Crimson Thread
- Night Dance
- Bar Code Trilogy
- Water Song: Retelling of the Frog Prince
- South Beach Sizzle
Synopsis: Theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over a green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death, this is an unforgettable novel from a wonderful storyteller. -- Overdrive.com