I’m pleased to introduce today as we celebrate the Chinese New Year and enter the year of the dragon, author Maria Catalina Egan, talking about her book Bridge of Deaths.
Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, one of eight children. 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.
At the age of 12 she moved with her entire family to the United States. She attended Montgomery Community College and studied in Lyons, France at the Catholic University for two years and in 1981 moved to Sweden where she resided for five years. She returned to the USA where she has been living ever since. Maria Catalina Egan is married and has one son, who together with their five pound Chihuahua makes her feel like a fulltime mother.
She celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd 2011 and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift; she never submitted it to anyone prior to this decision and has enjoyed the very positive feedback.
THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS
by M.C.V. Egan
The Bridge of Deaths is a paranormal, historical, mystery, romance based on true events from an airplane crash in Denmark at the brink of WWII. The book invites the reader to explore the story through two fictional characters in present day London; Bill and Maggie. The two research the 1939 plane crash because one of them suffers from phobias and nightmares; which he tries to accept may be linked to a past life. The characters make good use of the information superhighway, various archives and even past life regressions.
When I set out to write about the 1939 airplane crash; in which my grandfather Cesar Agustin Castillo and four others lost their lives, I contacted and visited every traditional source I could think of. This included but is not limited to; newspaper microfilm from the London Times, The British Airways Heritage Foundation Archives in the UK, The National Archives UK and the Danish National Archives. Other than the crash itself my main focus became Anthony C. Crossley, an English MP and one of the five deaths reported on August 15th, 1939. He was the public figure on-board and therefore the easiest to research.
I am embarrassed to admit that I failed history more than once in school, and that my knowledge of any pre-WWII activities was limited to movies and maybe a fun novel here and there that I had read. At some point in my research it occurred to me that I had read of a psychic phenomenon called psychometry through which a psychic holds an object and can tell you what they see, hear, feel or smell. Some psychics seem to have all of these abilities; they are clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient.
I was most fortunate to come across one such psychic, Bill Morin. When Bill first held my grandfather’s watch he described a small window and started to read the letters he could see through the window. The letters matched the airplanes registration letters and helped me pinpoint which side of the aircraft my grandfather was sitting in. As bill continued he described smoke and sounds, voices. Without any exaggeration he almost passes out on me (I will not reveal all else he said as it would spoil the story for any would-be reader). Bill and I had several sessions with that watch and at times I felt he had to be wrong, but when I researched through the newspaper microfilms and found to my absolute surprise that he could point me to historical events, (to my knowledge Bill has no formal training in history, and I never mentioned the era in question), it became clear that this was indeed a valid and great resource.
My family received two damaged watches from the crash, and the second one did not belong to my grandfather. Bill was followed by three more psychics and a Peruvian Shaman, all of whom told a very similar tale. All of them described the same man as the owner of the second watch and the man matched to a T one of the five dead. Statistically there are absolutely no odds for this to occur, at what point does one draw the line at coincidence? Armed with the archival materials, history books and detailed often tape-recorded information from the various psychics, I was yet to get one more unique and unusual source.
I was approached by an individual who today wishes to remain anonymous. He was told by a psychic (one I have never met) that in his most recent past life he was a pilot, and after some thought this person felt he might well be ‘my pilot’. The individual submitted to five past life regression sessions, four of which were recorded, all of which I was permitted to attend. The four recorded sessions were guided by Hernan Quinones a Peruvian Shaman who today runs a healing center; Arawaka in New Mexico and goes by the name Hernan Braveheart , those were the four recorded sessions and they took place in the spring of the year 2000. In the winter of 2005 the same individual was guided into a past life regression by Halley Elise, a hypnotherapist and spiritual consultant in Boca Raton, Florida.
I frankly had no idea that I was writing a genre cross-over. I had several elements and some limitations to work with. I had a tremendous amount of legitimate well documented data that needed to be presented as such. The individual who was the subject of the past life regressions became a very conservative person and requested anonymity. I personally wanted to detach my personal life as much as possible from the story; this meant I had to use fiction.
Fiction is such a powerful tool to convey a story, and in writing it where I have always felt the most comfortable. Once I formed a proper image of my fictional characters and most especially Maggie; who is not based on anyone involved with the story, I found a voice that could weave the story in a very readable way. For the history buffs all historical data is well documented and footnotes added (well over 200 of them); this allows anyone to access the very files I accessed and perhaps for those far more versed in history than I, to expand on what I found. The psychic material is also documented as it is uncanny to be able to quote Rosella Call; a psychic in Boca Raton, Florida as she first held the watch saying, “Tell me dear why do I see a bridge?” The use of their abilities which does make one feels like a mere mortal in comparison I felt needed also to be credited.
The story itself is a mystery. It was called as much by the CEO of the European branch of Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1939. “One of those mysteries that would never be solved” is from a letter found in pages 82 and 83 of the book. So the historical, paranormal and mysterious aspects of The Bridge of Deaths are explained and we come to the fourth, romance. Before I wrote the story I had frankly not realized that I am an incurable romantic. Romance is the element added through Bill and Maggie’s love as a magical ingredient to add light and life to an otherwise sad tale of violence and death.
A huge thank you to M. C. V. Egan for sharing these insights into her novel. Be sure to pick up a copy of The Bridge of Deaths today!
Follow Bill and Maggie in London 2010 as they explore the events of August 15th 1939. When at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Bill and Maggie find a conceivable version of the events.