Today I'm speaking with M.C.V Egan about her book, THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS. A semi-fictionalized account of a real event, the author spent eighteen years in research including both conventional techniques and unusual and controversial tools such as psychics.
1) Please tell us about your book.
THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS is a combination of FACT and FICTION. It is based on a real plane crash in Denmark in the summer of 1939, two weeks before the start of World War II. The story is told from the perspective of a young couple in London investigating what happened to them in a recent past life. The facts are well documented for any curious reader who wishes to learn more.The fictional love story opens the door to the possibility that real love never dies and that if you are meant to meet someone, you will.
2) This is a fictionalized account of a true event. Given that you've done eighteen years of research on this topic, why did you decide to approach the topic in this manner?
I was originally considering to use only factual data. I came across several things that changed my mind and ended up with this cross-genre work. First, the subject of the past-life regressions requested anonymity. Second there was missing data that had been supplied solely by psychics, and many, I dare say most people find that to be fiction, and third is that the story needed to hook the reader and fiction does that so well.
3) You don't believe the crash at the center of your narrative was an accident. I'm curious at what point in your research did you start to come to that conclusion, or is it something you believed from the beginning?
My step-grandfather was in London in 1939 at the time and worked for the same International Petroleum Association as my biological grandfather, and when he described the events, the words sabotage and bomb were always part of the narrative.
4) As a non-historian, did you find it difficult to understand the period?
At first I did find the 1930s difficult to grasp in some ways. So I watched movies from the era and read books published in those years, novels, not history. My strongest confusion came from the psychics who on more than one occasion mentioned Israel or Palestine, and it made no sense to me at all, as I knew that Israel had formed after WW II. But when I found in the London Times May, 29 1939 that The MP on board Anthony Crossley was known as "The voice for the Arab Cause in regards to the Palestinian Territories", I began to realize how much of what affects us today had roots well before WWII, and it made history seem a very vital part of what I needed to know.
There were also books from the 1930s from my grandfather's library about alternate fuels. He was a bio-chemical engineer, and that too made me research learn and wonder how we have waited so long to deal with matters so very vital to our well-being.
5) What sort of research techniques did you use?
My first venue was newspaper microfilms, which were available to me at a nearby university, I also used history books, but I found that many from the era used other history books as references. So I asked for an appointment at the Houses of Parliament Library. I wanted my historical information to come from primary sources as much as possible. I also visited various other archives in the UK and in Denmark. I was able to find individuals here and there that I interviewed personally, by phone or by snail mail! In 1996 a psychic told me in a most excited manner that I was writing a book, and that it would meet with much success. I asked if he could help me through the use of psychometry to "see a window to the past." The psychic, Bill Morin, said he could and I brought him my grandfather's pocket watch, stained and burnt by the crash. It was amazing, the psychic gave me the lettering on the wing of the plane! I do not want to spoil the book too much for any would-be readers, but there were many such moments in the course of my research.
6) Past-life regression and psychometry aren't something that many people find credible, let alone appropriate for use in historical research. What would you say to skeptical readers about your inclusion of paranormal techniques in your research process?
Yes, absolutely I agree that to most it is fiction. That was the reason I chose to document the historical data in such a detailed and meticulous manner. This way the esoteric could not be blatantly mocked as completely unbelievable.
7) What would you most like readers to take away from this story?
I have been amazed by what certain readers take away and have learned so much from my reviews. That being said I was thrilled when finally a few weeks ago a young reviewer from India tapped into what I personally see as the most important message, pacifism. I can only guess that I was too subtle in conveying it!
I have gotten correspondence with curiosity about past-life regressions or hypnosis therapy. I have also gotten a lot of feed-back on psychics and the love story. I would love to believe that we can be a more peaceful world and that through knowledge of our past mistakes as a world-wide society we can perhaps choose to avoid future conflicts.
Thanks for stopping by. You can also visit the author at her website, http://www.thebridgeofdeaths.com/.
She's also being interviewed on April 9 at http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/.