"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, March 15, 2012

VBTC Pit Stop: At the Round Table with M.C.V.Egan - The Bridge of Deaths

Welcome to Immortality and Beyond. May I offer you a beverage?

I will have the Frothy Guinness please.

Now that we're all settled in my lair, I'm de-bite-fully glad you stopped in.

BK:  Please tell us a little bit about your current release...

The Bridge of Deaths is a Paranormal, Historical, Mystery, and Romance. It is based on actual event revolving an airline crash in 1939, but it was investigated combining traditional research with research done through very well-known psychics in South Florida and a Peruvian Shaman who is now a Lakota Indian known as Hernan Braveheart in New Mexico.  So it is a factual/fictional journey through past lives and historical archives to unravel what is what in pre WWII Denmark while falling in love in 2010 London. Oh yes, you said I forgot mystery, well the event itself was surrounded by mystery and intrigue. One of my readers called it Casablanca with a touch of the modern.

BK:  What inspired this particular novel/book?

It is the story of my maternal grandfather’s death. I say it was curiosity, but I have been told I was inspired by obsession.

BK:  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew I was a writer. To me the need to communicate is as essential as breathing. In my 30s I began to dabble in Astrology and my natal chart shows the moon in Gemini, so you could say from the standpoint of Astrology I was born to be a writer, for your friends out there who are great believers in fate.

BK:  How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

I make sure that I remember that we are all unique individuals and in-as-much as our tools are the very same words, the order and spin that we each give them creates a very different and unique picture.  A writer can of course try to sound like another writer they admire, and it could come in handy if you wish to give a character a personality the readers can relate to. I am certain we all possess a unique voice. In the case of The Bridge of Deaths the unique manner in which fact and fiction were woven through the love=story of Bill and Maggie has been called “unusual” and unique” by many.

BK:  What was the hardest thing about writing this story?

Probably the emotional aspect and the worry about my mother’s reaction, which at first was not fantastic…but today we are cool.

BK:  What character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?

MAGGIE she is a free-spirited adventuresome 20 something. She is a pacifist and in today’s world I can only imagine that we are in dire need of many people like Maggie who are willing to oppose war. I am a wanna –be pacifist and I have never attended a protest; Maggie has the courage to do what I cannot.

BK:  Which was your favorite scene to write?

Now this is hard and fortunately because there are many, but I guess I need to choose the scene where Catalina is confused and decides to drive over to the psychic to ask if Maggie and Bill are on the up and up.
I enjoyed this because Rosella Call a psychic in Boca Raton, Florida did help me tremendously with psychometry holding various objects related to THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS  does actually work out of a large closet at an accountant’s office.  I have personally never been torn about going to a psychic, and certainly not one I know, but it was great fun to tap into what I have seen in others, the fear of knowing about the future, the fear of going against the religion they were brought up in. So giving the character those fears was really fun for me, and I also gave Maggie a little fear in that aspect.

BK:  Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series?

Eventually, as I acquire more information, and it is happening as we speak, I do plan to write the sequel The Bridge of Secrets. This is however eventually and in a few years, I know after the 75 year mark other files will open up and I have already connected with some helpful and related individuals.

BK:  Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life.  What is a day in your life like?

It is usually warm and sunny as I live in South Florida. I often visit Starbucks and enjoy a latte. I have to wing it as I never know what teen-age drama awaits. I try to do something nice every single day, maybe take a walk on the beach, or at nearby wetlands that are an amazing nature preserve, where I can see exotic birds, alligator and turtles, recently a family of bobcats is hanging about. I inevitably cook at least one meal and I write, at least notes on what I am going to write about. Married for over 20 years and guiding a teenage son is not a stage of life full of personal excitement, but I like my life and I can always have amazing adventures through the characters I create. And of course I visit facebook once or twice day and connect with people from all over the world.

BK:  What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I absolutely love to read, I love to travel and I like a wide variety of arts and crafts. I love to find difficult origami designs and play a little Sudoku or backgammon. I lead a full life, I am very lucky.

BK:  What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

That  in most of my visits to psychics I asked them not to talk about the future and only help me find the past.

BK:  What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I like a very wide variety and I have so many favorite authors, but if I must choose only one I then choose W. Sommerset Maugham. That being said as a reader I am fickle and unfaithful.

BK:  Please tell us one piece of advice you were given as an author that you carry with you when you write?

Trust your voice, trust your unique mode of expression and honor it.

BK:  What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?

Trust YOUR voice and your unique mode of expression.  We are all individuals and as such your take on a story will be very different from mine or anyone else, trust your voice.

BK:  What are you currently working on?

A shorter novel called 4covert2overt it will have two unique and distinct voices as I am working with a clairvoyant co-author Jolie DeMarco owner of My Flora Aura in Boca Raton, Florida. This particular piece is far more paranormal than historical and the characters conflicts and dramas are very prominent and pertinent to the story, it is a big departure from The Bridge of Deaths.

BK:  Where can readers connect with you?

At my website feel free to use the contact form I promise to answer.

On August 15th, 1939 an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. Crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykobing/Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before Hitler invaded Poland with the world at the
brink of war the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police, created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust. The five casualties are; Cesar Agustin Castillo, a bio-
chemical engineer educated in both Germany and the USA,  he is  a Mexican national working for Standard Oil of New Jersey’s London branch. Samuel James Simonton, American national  also employed by Standard Oil of New Jersey’s London office with a very strong military back ground, graduate of West Point. Erich Bruno Wilhelm Beuss a German national a corporate lawyer who is travelling with his medals earned in World War I. Anthony Crommelin Crossley English Member of Parliament who is known and outspoken on the antipathy to Hitler and the Munich Pact. He is also the sole defender of the Arab cause in the matter of Palestine in the 1930s. Alfred Stanley Mardsin Leigh, employee of British Airways LTD. The sole survivor is the Pilot Clifford Frederick Cecil Wright. In the winter of 2009-2010 a young executive, Bill is
promoted and transferred to London for a major International firm. He has struggled for the better part of his life with nightmares and phobias, which only seem to worsen in London. As he  seeks the help of a therapist he accepts that his issues may well be related to a 'past-life trauma’. His love interest Maggie helps him in his quest and realizes that she too is part of the events as much in the past as she is in 2009-2010. Maggie and Bill find that through their love and the courage to submit to past life regressions. They begin to find more questions than answers.  They become very curious about events leading up to World War II and through
archives and the information superhighway of the 21st century Bill and Maggie travel through knowledge and time to uncover the story of the 1939 plane crash. Their quest includes a friendship forged through Skype with a middle-aged woman in Florida obsessed with the truth about her grandfather’s death. This woman has been working for nearly two decades with archives in Denmark, England and the United States to unfold the mystery that left her family scarred  and wondering.  Her meticulous search and actual copies of documents in the book help the reader understand that we are indeed dealing with true events.

All historical data is clearly documented and footnoted as many of the files used by the author were rather obscure and not found in any history books. All data from psychics and past life regressions is also very clearly documented.

The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical  sources to solve "One of those mysteries that never get solved" is based on true events and real people, it is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through sources in Denmark, England and the United States, it finds a way to help the reader feel that he /she is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions. The journey takes the reader to well-known and little known events leading up to the Second World War, both in Europe and America. The journey also takes the reader to the possibility of finding oneself in this lifetime by exploring past lives.


Maggie liked that bookstore and shopped there often. She had been raised with all that is unlikely, unconventional and supernatural (perhaps even magical). As a child her world was that of fairies, ghosts, wishes and the power of crystals and planets. She was taught answers were to be found in round circles called Astrology charts and that there were many people in the world who were psychic and could foretell the future. Although that world was an appealing world, it was inevitable that Maggie, as so many teenagers do, rebel against the beliefs she was raised with and seeks other philosophies.

She experimented with various traditional religions and belief systems to fill in the void felt by those lacking any sort of faith. She found that although she liked many traditional religions and appreciated what they stood for, it was indeed Buddhism that made her feel the most complete. Maggie was for all intents and purposes an illogical, whimsical, adventuresome and happy young woman. She slept soundly and lived a very complete life.

The philosophies of acceptance by which she lived her life made her compatible with most people. She had a nice relationship with her mother, a Danish Astrologer, and her father a successful English businessman, who was happy to receive a little guidance from the planets. (If anyone objected to this, he happily pointed out that it had worked for Ronald Reagan). Maggie often read the books her mother spoke about. And every once in a while she even joined her mother in some New Age ritual or other.

It was the excuse of searching for the perfect birthday gift for her mother that placed her at the same book section and store. Because from the moment she saw the tall, slender man walking down the street, she felt that she needed to follow him. This is not something she remembered ever having done before. She was pretty and more often than not men approached her. Experience had taught her that many men worth talking to, could be shy and sometimes needed to be approached. With the confidence that is often exhibited by very pretty women, she was not deterred in the least by his surprised reaction to her smile and so she spoke.

“So, which of the women in your life recommended that book to you? Your Mum or your girlfriend?”

She was indeed pretty and in as much as he was instantly attracted to her, it was not in a purely physical way. Someday as their love story flourished, she would explain to him, how when two souls from the past meet, they recognize each other. That this happened in love stories, to parents when they first encounter the eyes of their newborn, and to friends as well as enemies.

Like so many lovers do, when they first meet, neither one of them spoke the absolute truth. Like so many lovers starting out a new love story if they had known where this would lead, both of them might have run out of the bookstore. But they both chose to stay, and so on a cold winter day in January of 2010, when the world was mourning the passing of so many souls in an Island called Haiti, their love story began. He smiled back and answered her question.

“Why would it have to be a woman? Why couldn’t a man recommend it?”

“Oh I see. You are an American.”

“No, Canadian, actually.”

“Same difference, perhaps in America or Canada, a man other than the author would recommend Many Lives, Many Masters . But here in England, well it would have to be a girlfriend. Probably on her grand quest as to how you are soul mates eternally destined to be together, or a middle aged Mum, who just discovered Brian Weiss, that’s the author. So it is that; or you have some sort of existential crisis that lead you to find the book on your own. So Mum or girlfriend?”

“Hmmm, let me see. My mother prefers to pray and attend church. I don’t have a girlfriend and it was the medical background of the guy who wrote the book, Dr. Weiss that impressed me. So maybe I do fall into the existential crisis category”

Her beautiful eyes widened.

“Existential crisis it is then, but if you seek impressive credentials in past life therapy you might want to read this book, Other Lives, Other Selves . Tell me, what triggered your belief in past lives?”

“Belief!  I would not call it belief…. possibility. I’ve come to realize that strange things happen.”

“You know, once you read that book, you will believe. In life there are certain doorways that once you cross them, they will forever change you. And you might also resolve your existential crisis. What you will definitely find is that women love to sleep with men, who search for depth through such beliefs.”

So in that cold European winter when some in the world denied Global warming. He lay in bed, holding her, he could not imagine a less likely place to have encountered the perfect girl, the self-help section at a bookstore. She was by all accounts, very beautiful. Her laughter and smiley eyes were completely contagious. He was ready to settle down and she might be the one, even if that involved accepting some very unlikely ideas. There was the most extraordinary feeling of comfort in simply being with her.

Maggie had to laugh; she thought he’d be a quick and fun adventure, one that she would soon get out of her system. But this yuppie geek, as it turned out, was surprisingly from the very first moment special. This could be far more than a casual adventure.

Bill had not spoken to anyone about his problems. Not any one other than Doctors or therapists. Maggie worked counseling young kids. She was trained to ask just the right questions to make people talk. Bill was used to carefully giving only the information he wanted to give in business and in his private life. He sometimes caught himself telling Maggie much more than what he expected was safe. She thought that she knew just how to pry and could tell he was holding back, this of course made him all the more interesting.

Their love story grew and developed as some do. Maggie usually led and Bill followed. They enjoyed  the typical things new couples enjoy, going to restaurants, the cinema, shopping and museums. Sometimes, if the winter weather allowed they went for nice long walks. Before Bill met Maggie, he had spent all his time in London buried in his work, with his colleagues at the gym or finding ways to run away from the dreams and thoughts that haunted him. He did this by keeping his mind busy playing any distracting ‘Brain Game’ that helped him to forget the letters, the same five letters on the wings and on the side of the aircraft in his nightmares.

He liked to remember how it had been the day they met, there in the bookstore, by the self-help and philosophy section while holding the book Many Lives, Many Masters , a book that seemed sensible enough to explain past lives. (He had also noticed one, discussing future lives. That seemed ridiculous and he was wondering if in spite of Dr. Weiss credentials, this was the right way to learn more about the past life regression therapy.) It was right at that moment that she had smiled and spoken. The thought of how later that day before they left the bookstore together, they each purchased a book; he bought   Many Lives, Many Masters, and Maggie chose the one about future lives, Same Soul, Many Bodies ; the ridiculous one. They often visited Foyles on rainy days.

Maggie loved that bookstore so it could not exactly be said that she had followed him inside. That would have been completely out of character for her. She had not only felt attracted to his physique, but the way he moved as he walked it seemed to be in such a familiar way, there was a very strong force, there had been something she recognized from somewhere.

Then he absolutely surprised her, he went to the section she had least expected ‘his type’-the cute yuppie geek type, to chose, he went to her mother’s favorite section, The Self Help and New Age Philosophies section, and in his hand was one of the New Age beliefs basic books, Many Lives, Many Masters.

This was good; it could only mean that he was new to such ideas. That was an old book. It was from the 1980s. Maybe even older. It had to be that old, she remembered a copy or two in her parent’s house for as long as she could remember. This guy, this conquest-Maggie as many pretty young women do, conquered the hearts of men for sport, this conquest would be a breeze. It was then, when he spoke, and she heard his accent, an accent so familiar to her from the cinema and the Telly, the accent of all the handsome men of her fantasies, an accent that made him even more appealing. Unlike the man she had just met Maggie was very aware that she was a hopeless romantic.

M .C. V. Egan is 52 years old. She lives in Delray Beach, Florida with her husband and teenage son. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish and on a good day can communicate in another language or two.  She defines herself as happy and happiest when being productive; her greatest goal in life is to learn something, anything new every single day of her life. 


BK said...

Thanks so much for chatting today Catalina...I enjoyed it :)

Me said...

Great interview! Wishing you much success!

O. Keeys

Debdatta Dasgupta said...

All the best Ms.Egan