Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Reincarnationist

By Guest blogger, M.J. Rose

When I was three years old, I told my great grandfather things about his childhood in Russia that there was simply no way I could have known.

He became convinced I was a reincarnation of someone in his past. And over time, after more incidents, my mother - a very sane and logical woman -- also came to believe it.

Reincarnation was an idea I grew up with that my mom and I talked about and researched together.

For years, I wanted to write a novel about someone like my mother - who was sane and logical - who started out skeptical but came to believe in reincarnation. But I was afraid if I did people would think I was a “woo woo weirdo”.

I tried to start the book ten years ago after my mother died but I was too close to the subject and missed her too much to be able to explore it objectively. Every once in while the idea would start to pester me again but I still stayed away from it.

Then a few years ago on the exact anniversary of my mom's death my niece, who was a toddler at the time, said some very curious things to me about my mother and I - things she really couldn't have known -- and the pestering became an obsession.

Josh Ryder, the main character has my mom's initials, her spirit and her curiosity and like her, he's a photographer. But there the similarities end.

When Josh starts having flashbacks that simply can't be explained any other way except as possible reincarnation memories he goes to New York to study with Dr. Malachai Samuels -- a scientist and Reincarnationist who works with children helping them deal with past life memories.

In the process Josh gets caught up in the search for ancient memory tools that may or may not physically enable people to reach back and discover who they were and who they are.

Rather than me tell you anymore about it, let me pass on what a wonderful author, New York Times Bestseller Douglas Preston, says about it:

“The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose has got to be one of the most original and exciting novels I've read in a long time, with a premise so delicious I'm sick with envy I didn't think of it myself. The novel's exhilarating story sweeps the reader across the centuries, from ancient Rome to the present day, with stops in between. It will open your mind to some of the incredible mysteries of the past and the greatest secrets of existence. The Reincarnationist is more than a page-turner-it's a page-burner. Don't miss it.”

The book has garnered stars from both Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and was a BookeSense pick for September. I think of all my books, this is the one my mom would be the most proud of which is fitting since it's really the one she inspired.

Please visit M.J.'s website: for an excerpt, an interview with her about the book, a booktrailer and more.


Debra Lee said...

What an intriguing and inspiring story. Here goes another for my TBR list. Thanks for sharing, M.J.

Anonymous said...

M.J. -

I'll put it on my tbr list, too, and look forward to reading it.

Reincarnation, of course, makes no logical sense whatsoever, and I probably wouldn't believe in it if I hadn't experienced past life memories myself. I've also had the pleasure of regressing other people to their former lifetimes. My own past lives are much too mundane to have sprung from my imagination. Neither I nor the friends I've regressed remembered being Napoleon or Cleopatra, just ordinary folks who lived and died in little farm communities or temple compexes or convents. Like most people throughout history, we were killed by accidental falls and childbirth, infection and invading armies.

Anonymous said...

M.J.: I've got to read it!

I, too, believe in reincarnation. For me, it makes logical sense, as everything in the universe is circular rather than linear, so why not our lives on earth, too?

I was told by a psychic I have a past life (19th century) where I wrote serialized fiction in England. Interestingly enough, my chapters in my manuscripts come out very much as installations in a series.

Joyce Tremel said...

M.J., thanks so much for visiting with us today. Your book sounds very intriguing. I'll add it to my list!

Annette said...

I've already read it and can vouch that it's a fascinating book. Thanks for joining us, today, M.J.

I definitely believe in reincarnation and past lives. I remember the first time I laid eyes on the U.S. Brig Niagara at the Erie Maritime Museum. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I felt like I was seeing the ghost of an old friend. Considering my love/terror of water, I have to wonder if I was once a sailor who drowned at sea. Or at lake, as the case may be.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, MJ. It's good to see you out and about today.

MJRose said...

Wow thanks for all the comments. It's so fascinating how one person's "its illogical" is another's "so logical."

I wrote the book to explore a fictional story not to change anyone's ideas about reincarnation but I find a fascinating as a topic and have a whole series planned about it... so its rewarding that people are interested.

I'll stop by later incase anyone has any questions.

And Annette - you are the best for inviting me!

Anonymous said...

M.J.- You intrigue me, and I'll have to pass this on to a friend of mine who likes all things Russian. Can you tell us, do you remember what it was that you said to your grandfather?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting with us, M.J.! Sounds like an interesting book, I'll have to check it out.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Forgot to mention I loved the book trailer!

Anonymous said...


Isn't it something how we have to step back a while in order to write something that's so personal. Kudos for having the courage. It's inspiring.

Your book just moved up to "next" on my long reading list.

:) Heidi

MJRose said...

I wish I knew what I said to my great grandfather - sadly all the people who might have known are no longer with us.

Anonymous said...

MJ, I'm so glad you stopped by WorkingStiffs; I'm off to pick up your book today. I enjoyed your post very much and love the concept of reincarnation. With all the mistakes we make in our existing life, wouldn't it be fantastic to have a chance to make things right in the second? Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

Two of my novels (sadly unpublished) deal with reincarnation, Crystal Clear and Witches' Circle of Fear. So the subject seems like a no brainer to me. I'll look forward to reading your novel--I've loved the others I've read.

Anonymous said...

M.J.: Welcome! It's always interesting to me to hear the background of how books come to be written. Very intriguing story. I know from reading your previous books that this one will also be great. I'm adding it to my list.