What Inspired Me To Write This Book
by George A Bernstein
I had finished my first novel, Trapped, and was trying to find an agent, while I kept editing and revising the manuscript, using feedback and what I learned at writers’ conferences to improve the novel.
One of the things I learned at the conferences was, a first novel seldom made it into print. It usually required a second, third and even fourth before a writer was polished enough to get published… at least conventionally. And at that time, in the middle 1990’s, e-books and the rush to self-publish weren’t even an option. So, as I continued polishing Trapped and seeking an agent, I decided it was time to start a second novel.
While I was mulling story lines, I read Dr. Brian Weiss’ intriguing non-fiction book about his stumbling into Past Life Regression with one of his patients. Soon after, he was featured on the Ophra Show with one of his subjects, and I thought Past Lives might make an interesting novel. My wife, Dolores, and I began brainstorming plot lines, looking for something that I could plug my own experiences into, and we settled on horses and open jumping.
This was actually Dolores’ forte, as she owned and jumped a champion horse, Redman. We had boxes full of her trophies. Plus both my sisters had owned horses, so while I wasn’t a horseman, I knew a lot about the sport from my contact with the women in my life.
So I envisioned two lovers, their souls fatefully connected, being brutally murdered in two earlier lifetimes, back again, slowly discovering their ancient connection, and the terror of their deaths in those lives. Of course, their killer(s) must be here, too, in this lifetime, again seeking their destruction.
But I needed to know how this worked… the mechanics of regression, and what the experience was really like. It is one thing to research and read about it, and another to actually live it. So I decided I needed to go through regression, to better understand the process. How else could I bring that to my readers in a realistic manner?
Whom better to do this with than the expert, Dr. Weiss, who, luckily, was in Miami, only sixty miles away. Unfortunately, I discovered he had waiting list over a year long, but I did get a recommendation of an associate, Dr. John Cleveland, in Ft Lauderdale (much closer) who was available. So I embarked on journeys into the past… a very long-ago past…with John, and it was life-changing. Working together, I visited nine past lives.
I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, filled with understandable doubt. But that changed. Of course, I learned the techniques and mantra of regression, things I could now bring to my novel in a realistic manner. But I not only learned the mechanics of taking one down that path, but also what it was like to flow back to those long-ago times, when both you and your very existence were so different form today. I was confident I could make this work in my new novel, A 3rd Time to Die.
In the process, I became a believer. Not only had Dr. Cleveland related numerous events of regression that can’t be explained away by doubters, but I found at least two past lives where the people and event of those times had direct influences on who I am, and personal skills I exhibit in this life, with no previous training.
Here’s an interesting personal antidote. When I was twelve, my dad brought home a target bow and a big straw bull’s-eye target. My only experience with a bow was from watching Western movies, but I set up the target in the back yard, strung the bow (how did I even know how to do that?), walked off about 100 feet… and started shooting bull’s-eyes! I seldom missed that center black circle. A few days later, while practicing, a big crow flew over, probably 60 feet high. I instinctively drew down and put an arrow in him. A week later, while “hunting” in a nearby forest preserve, I flushed a ringneck pheasant, and knocked him down with a quick shot. Then I dropped a rabbit, dodging through the brush. I don’t know how I did it, I just did, without thinking. They were all “snap shots,” quick and without hesitation.
The point of this little tale is, during one of my regressions, I found myself in Lincolnshire Forest, shooting game for a 16th Century English duke…a regular Robin Hood. An interesting and provoking side-light to doing research for a novel.
Going through my own regression was all the inspiration I needed to go on to write A 3rd Time to Die. I incorporated all I learned into making it what I believe, is a pretty unique novel. I hope those of you who read it will agree.
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Genre – Romantic Suspense
Rating – PG13