Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I’m sharing a special interview with author, Melissa Bowersock, about her fiction book entitled, Fleischerhaus. Enjoy!
Where did the idea for Fleischerhaus come from?
Interestingly enough, I had a friend who once told me she had been touring a concentration camp in Germany and had had a vision (or whatever you want to call it) of people hanging. This idea rolled around in my head for the longest time, but I would add bits and pieces to it from time to time. Finally it got to the point where it was developed enough to begin writing.
How did the title of this book come about?
Fleischerhaus is the name of the small concentration camp where the murder takes place. Fleischer in German means butcher, so basically House of the Butcher.
What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?
This book is hard to pigeonhole. Because the main thread of the story is the issue of reincarnation and how the lead character is affected by that, I consider it a paranormal. It’s also suspenseful and has a strong romance, so I include those in its genres, as well.
What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?
I find the issue of reincarnation to be infinitely interesting, and since more people in the world believe in it than don’t, I think others will, too. I’m also a hypnotherapist and I specialize in past-life regressions, so I’ve witnessed about 20 of my own past lives and have helped numerous people view their own. It’s a fascinating experience, and viewing our past lives can give us uncommon insight into the challenges and strengths we have in our current life. While this particular book doesn’t focus on the psychological aspect as much as the theme of justice, it will give readers an idea of how lives can intertwine and how actions of the past can be rectified in the present or future.
Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.
This book has a checkered past. I had it about half done when I came up against a brick wall. For a while I floundered, not sure where I wanted to go with it, where it needed to go. I finally surrendered to the fact that I needed to put it aside and I began working on another book I’d had an idea for. That book, Stone’s Ghost, quickly took over. I wrote that one, then immediately got an idea for another ghost story, and that book, Burning Through, poured out like a river. After that one was done, then I returned to Fleischerhaus and found that I suddenly knew what direction I needed to go with it, and the rest of it just followed. All of the action takes place in Germany (where I’ve never been), so I did a lot of online research of Bavaria, the towns and countryside, the folk festivals, all of which I intertwine throughout the story.
Tell me about the main storyline within this book.
The book is about a young woman vacationing in Germany following her divorce. Because she had been blindsided by her husband’s infidelity, she is already questioning her own grasp on reality when she tours a small concentration camp and experiences a past-life memory of being murdered in that very camp during the Holocaust.
Who is the protagonist of this story?
The main character is Julia Martin, a 30-year-old elementary school teacher from Southern California. She’s smart, pretty and very capable. When this horrific memory crops up, she is determined to investigate it, even though her friends encourage her to forget it.
Who is the antagonist of this story?
The antagonist is the murderer. While the murder took place in the past life, there’s still a sense of impending danger and a need for justice.
What is the major conflict in this story?
Although it seems crazy, Julia is convinced that her murder in the past life was/is real, and she can’t simply let it slide. She’s driven to ferret out the details of the past life, then to address the crime in a way that gives meaning to the person she used to be.
Where and when is this story taking place?
The story is contemporary, set in 2003, in Bavarian Germany. The area is mostly rural with only small towns, and is a pastoral contrast to the gritty, desolate world of the concentration camp seen in the past life.
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Julia is my favorite, particularly because she doesn’t shy away from this memory or the concept behind it. She doesn’t consider herself particularly strong or brave, but the memory provides a flashpoint where she needs to take a stand, and she steps up to the challenge. I also like her friend, Maggie, who is very grounded and down-to-earth and has a wicked sense of humor.
Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?
As a hypnotherapist, I have conducted past-life regressions numerous times and my own experience goes into that aspect of the story. When Julia undergoes hypnosis to find out more about her past life, the process–although abbreviated in the book–is very real and true to life. For those who have never been hypnotized or might think past lives are a fantasy, I can assure you this is exactly how it happens in real life.
What is one thing from this book you wish was real or could happen to you?
I’ve never experienced a spontaneous past-life memory like Julia does, and I think that would be interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily want one as dramatic as hers, but I’d like to know what it would feel like to have evidence of a past life wash over me.
What is something you wish wasn’t real and hope doesn’t happen to you?
Well, I certainly hope I never get murdered. Although I have encountered murder in one of my past lives, it was by poisoning and was not as dramatic or traumatic as the one in my book. That’s one area I don’t really want to do any true-life research for!
Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?
I’ve got a couple of events coming up where I’ll be featuring the book. In August (after this post is published), I’ll be at an author’s forum in Cottonwood, AZ, and in October I’ll be at the Sedona (AZ) Book Festival. September is my birth month and I always like to give birthday gifts to my readers, so I’ll be running specials throughout the month on various books, including this one. Check out my webpage (www.newmoonrising.net) for more info.
Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. To obtain your copy of Fleischerhaus, please visit the links provided.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords