Guest time again, with author Doug Simpson stopping by for an interview. He chats about his debut novel, Soul Awakening, his writing and a little bit about himself:
Interview with Doug Simpson
I am a retired high school teacher who always wanted to be a writer but never seemed to find the time and inspiration to accomplish much while teaching full time and raising a family. Retirement blessed me with a retirement income and a bucket full of free time, so after forty years of dreaming and procrastinating, I finally sat down and achieved my dream.
Soul Awakening is the story of three strangers, who are brought together by accident, or so it appears initially, but who ultimately discover that their unorthodox introductions were arranged by Divine Intervention. Dacque LaRose, the senior member of the trio, is the learned teacher who commenced an educational journey, ten years earlier, a month after the unfortunate passing of his wife, when her spirit appeared in their living room one evening with some inspirational advice for him. Already a casual believer in life after death of the body, Dacque eagerly researched the notion of survival of the soul and spirit after death, and his acquired knowledge led him to the possibility of reincarnation.
Dacque joined the snowbird migration, within a year after the death of his wife, and sold the family home in Ohio and landed in the south in the small retiree’s-dominated city of Anywhere. His research after his move to Anywhere introduced him to a local group called the Reincarnation Enlightenment Group, and he joined up. One of the founding members of the Group is a certified regression therapist who, as part of her research in the area of reincarnation, offers Group members past life regression sessions for free, in her spare time. Dacque requested three regression sessions and discovered ten of his previous incarnations, as well as learning that significant individuals in this lifetime had played primary roles in his earlier incarnations.
With Dacque’s elevated understanding of souls, spirits and life on the-other-side, there grew the realization that he was receiving communications from God, or more likely one of God’s messengers. It was messages from God that led him, in two separate incidents, to the younger members of the aforementioned trio of strangers. God first leads Dacque to befriend Dani Christian, an unemployed and depressed legal secretary who is not destitute but effectively alone in the city. Only days later, through a Divinely-orchestrated nose-dive into the sidewalk on his morning walk, Dacque is introduced to his rescuer, a Good Samaritan named Max Winston.
Over time, Dacque enlightens Dani and Max on his beliefs in the survival of the soul after death and reincarnation. Max and Dani obtain past-life regression sessions and they discover that their souls experienced a previous lifetime together that also included Dacque’s soul. Later Dani, Max and his parents uncover a series of earlier intertwined incarnations where they are descendants of their soul’s earlier incarnations, and also discover some historical previous incarnations that they never could have imagined.
3. Why did you decide to write a spiritual mystery with a reincarnation theme?
I had been familiar with the archived readings of the legendary American mystic Edgar Cayce, for a few decades, and after I retired I found lots of time to undertake a more thorough investigation of the secrets they possessed. Edgar Cayce gave over 15,000 psychic readings in a deep, self-induced, trance-like state. Unfortunately, copies of the earliest readings were not made, and the original was given or sent to the reading recipient. Fortunately, there are copies, tucked away in a vault in Virginia Beach, Virginia, of over fourteen thousand of the later readings. More than ten thousand of the readings are medical readings where the unconscious Edgar diagnosed medical problems the physicians could not pin down, as well as prescribing treatments and prescriptions for the recipients. The second-largest group of readings is life or reincarnation readings, for approximately two thousand different individuals. These life readings revealed only a few of the individual’s previous incarnations, specifically those which were particularly significant for the understanding of the reasons why the individual’s soul had selected this particular body to spend a lifetime in. The reincarnation readings fascinated me the most and I spent many hundreds of hours studying them. That is where the idea for Soul Awakening was hatched.
4. What type of research did you do for your book?
My research and understanding of the Edgar Cayce readings was the primary source of the material I incorporated into Soul Awakening.
5. Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?
Believe it or not, the primary source for much of the manuscript which became Soul Awakening was inspiration. It was not ‘automatic writing’ but many times, when writing a chapter, words and events would pour out of my fingers which I had never anticipated before I sat down in front of the keyboard. There were times when I completed a chapter and had absolutely no idea what was going to unfold in the very next chapter, but when I arose the next morning I knew exactly what was going to be revealed.
6. You were a high school teacher. Which profession do you find more challenging: being a writer or being a teacher?
Teaching was more of a challenge because you had to know your material and your students, as well as how to bring the two together. For me, writing with unseen inspiration, is much, much easier.
7. How and why did you make the transition from teacher to author?
Retirement on full pension was an easy choice.
8. Who has inspired you as an author?
I never tried to imitate any famous author. My main inspiration had to Edgar Cayce and his amazing material.
9. What’s next for you?
I have already completed two other manuscripts incorporating the three main characters from Soul Awakening, and I am currently working on the fourth installment.
You can check out Doug's website here: http://dousimp.mnsi.net/ or his blog here: http://doug-simpson-author.