To me the entire story is very real. My personal experiences witnessing the actual past life regressions and my experiences with the psychics holding the watches and psychometry were very real and impacted me tremendously. That being said when I created Maggie the fictional aspect became great fun.
Tell me a bit about your creative process. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Especially when writing a mystery, do you begin with the ending in mind?
I am a combination of both. I am more likely to make a list than a precise and concise outline but I do make outlines. I am flexible and sometimes I just sit down and write like a pantser which is fun and liberating.
The story in The Bridge of Deaths is a very personal one. Your grandfather was aboard that plane. Was it difficult for you to put a piece of your history out there for the world to read?
Not at all, not for me as an individual, what was hard was the reaction of some of my relatives and especially my mom. She is of a generation that was strongly encouraged to keep all family skeletons tight stored in closets and never to be dealt with.
I think we are in an era where that is not only impossible but ill-advised. As we become more open and people tell stories of what once was taboo, we open the possibility of preventing things from happening again.
I always like to know: what music do you like to listen to while writing?
I like classical music when writing or super mellow like Enya, but as I am the mom of a 16 year old I find I can write and concentrate to the Rolling Stones, Metallica and some other sounds I would have never expected could be stimulating!
Don’t get me wrong with a beer and having fun… but the surprising bit was that loud music I never expected to has at times helped me write.
If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be, and why?
Any fictional character in any novel I have ever read? That is really tough, maybe the confused guy in Nick Hornby’s HIGH FIDELITY? I would love to see if he found himself and is happily married raising kids and enjoying life or divorced and disillusioned!
What advice do you have for any aspiring authors out there?
Be true to yourself and use your own unique voice.
Is The Bridge of Deaths really a culmination of 2 decades of research? Why are you so interested in WW II History?
Yes, at least a good eighteen years of research. I was so clueless when I began to dig around the plane crash that killed my grandfather in 1939 so I guess someone with a better historical background would have never taken that long.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look up almost every incident I came across even something as common knowledge as The Munich Pact.
I know I had to have studied it at some point in school or university but to be honest I know I did fail history at least once.
Why are you releasing a revised edition and what is different from the original?
When I released the original in 2011 I was so afraid that people would dispute some of the files I used that I carefully and meticulously added footnotes for EVERYTHING, over 200.
To my surprise some people loved that, mainly lawyers! But it felt like awkward reading for some, and it was understandable, especially in the e-book format as the footnotes can be distracting. In the revised version I added the necessary footnotes to the narrative and got rid of all of them. I also summarized two parts that were loaded with information and detail and added them to the back as appendices for the more curious readers.
The book is formatted in a very user friendly way so the reader can go from one chapter to the other or to the appendices.
To give it a more up to date touch, as the book takes place in 2010. I added an epilogue in the summer of 2012.
The new cover has the image of my grandfather’s watch which is part of the story.
Over 200 footnotes? So this is not a novel, or is it?
Oh yes it is a novel. It has fictional elements so it must be categorized as such. The characters that sift through the data are fictional even if two are strongly based on real people; one of whom is me!
I also used very “unorthodox” ways to research such as psychics and past life regressions; not my own, and that to many is fiction.
How did you use psychics and past lives?
I have two watches, one that was my grandfather’s and another sent to us by British Airways LTD. The use of psychometry is not that scoffed at, I mean the FBI has used it, so I thought, Why not? It was just amazing, with no photos or previous knowledge a psychic started describing the bridge and another the lettering on the wing of the plane.
The most shocking was that all described to a T another of the men who died for the second watch, no spoiler! I won’t tell you which but it was uncanny. There were five people gifted in psychometry who did this for me.
The individual who had the long past life regressions, five in total has asked to remain anonymous, but I was allowed to sit in and take notes, they were also recorded but the quality is horrible which is a shame because just like Maggie in the book, I did ‘go under’ and slept through one of them!
About The Bridge of Deaths
"M.C.V. Egan twists truth and fiction until you question your perceptions...it is a story of real love, triumph and search for self." - Beckah Boyd @ The Truthful Tarot
5 out of 5 stars: "An unusual yet much recommended read." - Midwest Book Review
On August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing 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 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." Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.
Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.
Get the revised 75th anniversary of The Bridge of Deaths on Amazon in ebook and paperback.
About the author
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.
From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo--mostly the story of how he died.
She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.
In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.
Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject.
The celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift.
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