M.J. Rose is the internationally bestselling author of several novels and two non-fiction books on marketing.
The television series PAST LIFE was based on Rose’s Reincarnationist series. The real stories about how she was inspired to write each book in this series as well as the knowledge she has about reincarnation and the art world make Rose an interesting and compelling blog guest. She’d love to visit.
Connect with MJ on her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
I asked M.J. Rose when and why she began her belief in reincarnation. And here is what she said...
To answer that question I have to go back… not that far… but to when I was three years old and at a family dinner.
The family was gathered around and my great-great-grandfather who was a Kabbalistic scholar was saying a prayer over the wine when I chirped up and told him something about his childhood in Russia
I was three. I didn’t even know what Russia was.
My mother later told me--because I don’t remember it--he never finished the prayer.
I apparently had told him something that he’d never told anyone about, an embarrassing moment in the life of a 9 year-old boy, buried deep inside this 88 year-old man.
He became convinced I was a reincarnation of someone in his past which considering his study of the Kabbala was not that strange. The mystical teachings explain that we are born over and over, returning to learn in this life, the lesson we didn’t learn in the last.
There are many Jewish fables about greedy wealthy landowners reincarnated as beggars to learn about generosity and shrewish wives reborn as kind husbands to learn about love.
That night, my mother was disturbed. A very sane and logical woman, she was much horrified at the turn in the events of the evening. She argued with her grandfather that I’d overheard the story or it was a coincidence and he argued right back that she was wrong and I was here again, in his life again for a reason.
He was also a Talmudic scholar and an expert arguer. He won.
After more incidents, my mother started to study reincarnation and came to believe what my great-great-grandfather believed: that in a past life, I’d been in Russia and had been part of his family and was here for a reason.
So reincarnation was an idea I grew up with that my mom and I talked about often and researched together as her interest in it continued.
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.
When asked if I believed in reincarnation before I wrote on the subject I used to say "I don't not not believe." But now, after writing about it for more than 6 years, I do--I believe.
Title: The Hypnotist (Reincarnationist #3)
Author: M.J. Rose
Paperback: 412 pages
Publisher: Mira, 2011
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Hachette Book Group
M.J. Rose's The Hypnotist is an engrossing read revolving around an ancient statue, crime in the art world, and reincarnation. There's an FBI agent who's having previous-life flashbacks, Iranian diplomats intent on retrieving the statue by hook or by crook, and a young woman who may have be the reincarnated soul of a murder victim. An offbeat mix to be sure, but it works.
Lucian Glass is a member of the FBI's Art Crime Team investigating Dr. Malachai Samuels, whom Lucian suspects has stooped to murder to obtain information on the rare and priceless Memory Tools. When he takes the opportunity to infiltrate the Phoenix Foundation as a patient--hoping to find out more about Dr. Samuels--he instead finds himself recalling events from ages past while under hypnosis.
I really liked Lucian--he's driven, obsessed almost, by his need to see justice done. He never wavers from his course, nor does he cross the line. Not to say he's never unsure--he's not perfect. But he manages to stay true to his moral compass, even as his own head is throwing him loops. There wasn't enough of Malachai for me to care that he's a bad guy. And the Iranians were pretty stereotypical middle-eastern-baddies.
M.J. Rose's The Hypnotist is a compelling tale where each thread is woven carefully into the finished story. The plot flows well, and the story is entertaining. Add it to your summer reading for after a few fluffier reads.
drey's rating: Excellent!
M.J. Rose has a copy of The Hypnotist for you! One lucky duck will win either a hard copy (US/Canada only; no PO Boxes please) or a .pdf copy (international)! To enter, fill out the form below. Only one entry per person, please--you may want to leave a comment after filling out the form. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Contest ends 6pm CST June 20th. Good luck!