I became interested in the idea of past lives after I had mine read on a whim. I never really believed in any of that so-called mumbo-jumbo, having been raised by Fundamentalist parents, so I wasn’t really expecting a complete conversion. I gave nothing away to the psychic as I sat down, but for the next 15 minutes, she said things about me that made me sit up and say, “Whoa.”
She said I had been a warrior in several lives (I have a warrior tattoo on my back.)
She said I spent most of my lives in Germany (I became fluent in German in high school after only two years…I found it really easy)
She said (and this one rocked me) the reason I hated the circus was because I died in a tragic fall.
(As it is, I have always hated the circus. I hate the smells, I hate clowns. I hate everything about them, but I’ve never been. When I was 8, my parents tried to take me, but I kicked and screamed and refused to go. I was afraid then. I still have never gone)
She said I have a hero complex and have lived 83 lives. She asked me if I had ever been in a profession like law enforcement or a fire department. (I was once a cop).
To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was not, however, convinced. (Fundamentalist roots grow deeply). So, a few months, a different city, and a new psychic later, I went again. Only this time, I dressed in a manner to throw her off any visual cues. She didn’t need any. She, too, brought up the warrior and Germany. She said I had live d 82 lives, and that the reason I have an affinity for animals and nature was a druidic past. (I have this oddly natural ability to calm animals that won’t go near others).
I was convinced…and so I starting thinking…it made so much more sense to me that we are here, we learn something, we grow, and we take that knowledge with us to the next life, which, by the way, isn’t always forward. I know, I know, I sound like a crazy person, but did you know that DaVinci invented the parachute? Why on earth would a man invent something that wouldn’t really be needed for over 400 more years? Think of all the inventors and scientists who were so far ahead of their time. Think of history’s greatest artists; people who creating things or had ideas that were considered heretical. Where did they get those ideas?
In my novel, Across Time, I call those residual memories; memories from lives already lived. How else can we explain the 5 and 6 year old music prodigies who can play Bach and Beethoven? How else can we understand déjà vu, love at first sight, or the numerous coma patients who wake up speaking a foreign language they never studied? Residual memories…like those small pieces of dust you can see in a shaft of sunlight exist in all of us. Some of us are able to recall these, but most of us ignore them. We chalk them up to something, anything other than a past life memory. Unfortunately, in our society, what can’t be proven by science we call miracles. There’s nothing miraculous about residual memories. They’re there. We need only not discount them in order to learn from them.
Transformed, I started wondering what would happen if a character could go back to one of those times…not physically, of course, but with her soul. What would she learn? How would her soul assimilate into the individual from a certain time?
And that was when I knew I would be able to write a series that allowed me to play with my passion of history. What we have to remember is that the victorious are the ones who record history, not the vanquished. That means so much of what we have learned is skewed, slanted, and basically, not always a true account. So much of history is someone’s perceptions of what happened. Those perceptions (or misperceptions as they commonly are) are my wiggle room. I can slide Jessie into situations where she can be a player in history. She doesn’t actually change the future; she creates it by her involvement in the past.
According to historians, Queen Boudicca of the Iceni suddenly turned her army around. No one knows why. I can take liberties with this and GIVE the reason why: Jessie. There are so many gaps and holes in history, and that’s where Jessie makes the difference. The outcome remains the same, but HOW the outcome got there…well…that’s my playground. Those cracks are where my characters linger, creating the future. I can dabble in the historical arena and reach out and manipulate history’s mysteries without changing what we think we know.
Having my past lives read opened my mind to so many possibilities in my writing; and by opening my mind, my heart soon followed, and Jessie Ferguson, Cate McEwen, and Spencer Morgan arose from the depths in me to create characters I hope will enchant my readers and help them discover the lives they may have lead and the individuals they may have loved. When they finish the novel, I hope they have the answer to the question: If one of your past lives came to you for help in saving your soul mate, would you have the courage to go?