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Q&A with the Author
Q: What were you doing career-wise prior to penning your intriguing, and unusual police story, Death Unmasked?
RSS: I spent thirty-nine years in law enforcement before retiring in 2013.
Q: How did your real-life career experiences shape your approach to the challenges and discipline of writing fiction?
RSS: It was a challenge to switch from ‘descriptive’ police report ‘fact’ writing, to, ‘creative’ and colorful, ‘story-telling’ novel writing. It took true grit, and I completed Death Unmasked, under the direction my Superconscious ‘spirit’ visualized the story, without outside influence or interference.
Q: Where did you find the inspiration to write Death Unmasked?
RSS: My belief in Reincarnation.
Q: Does it hold special meaning for you?
RSS: When it’s quiet, I like to mediate, and within a few minutes, my free, and lighter than a feather, ‘spirit,’ is floating in the center of the cosmos. Now, close your eyes, clear your mind, and meditate. Let your ‘mem’-ory, shine through the darkness, so you can, re-‘mem’-ber. As strange as it may seem, I didn’t choose the title, Death Unmasked, it chose me, and, the reincarnation story was written, ‘in-a-blink-of-an-eye.’
Q: So what is Death Unmasked about?
RSS: Death Unmasked, is a suspenseful, mystery police thriller spanning lifetimes, using reincarnation, karma, psychic ability, remote viewing, and out-of-body experience to out-wit an evil incarnated entity stalking women in, Houston, Texas.
Q: Given its reincarnation theme, is reincarnation something you personally believe in? If so, how did this belief come about?
RSS: I believe in reincarnation. When I was young, my mom and I would walk a mile in the evenings after dinner around a lake near our home. On our last walk together before she passed away, she looked up at me, and said with a sweet smile, “If I had to do it all over again for you, and your brothers, I would.” Instinctively, without her saying another word, the knowing look in her beautiful hazel eyes communicated her thoughts, and it all came together ‘in-a-blink-of-an-eye,’ and I fully understood what my mom had meant. She had been my mother in other lifetimes.
Q: Do you plan to come back in your next lifetime? If so, as what?
RSS: As a, – human being, of course. In the very beginning of time, all ‘spirits’ were created at one time, and baptized at the same time in the ‘spirit’ world by Our Creator. All spirits have their own ‘personality,’ or ‘identity.’ When a spirit uses their ‘free-will’ and incarnates to the ‘physical’ world as a human being to experience a lifetime, or lifetimes, they have their own individual ‘fingerprint,’what the Chinese call, a ‘chop,’ or mark, which is their signature that identifies their unique spirit from another spirit. That ‘fingerprint’belongs to them, and only to them, each and every time their spiritdecides to incarnate to ‘physical’ earth. From the very beginning of time, we were all ‘identified,’ and keep only one set of ‘physical’fingerprints – – – for eternity. We cannot learn, ‘in-a-blink-of-an-eye,’ all about life in one lifetime. It takes many lifetimes for our spirits to evolve, and come around full-circle, in order to become completed spirits with Our Creator.
Q: Tell us about your main characters in the book. Did they spring forth from your imagination or are they modeled after real people (including yourself)?
RSS: The protagonist, Sean Jamison, and his police colleagues, Roman Addison, and Captain Virginia Schaeffer, are a combination of police personalities (veterans) of all my Houston Police Department, Field Training Officers (FTO’s), during my training / probationary period in the late 70’s.
Q: What were some of the challenges you encountered in developing the plot, the characters and their interactions?
RSS: I wrote from my daily experiences, and on-the-job training, in those thirty-nine years of service.
Q: Did you work from an outline or just wing it from day to day?
RSS: My mind started in the middle of, Death Unmasked. At night, I would type chapters until a fog, or, ‘writer’s block,’ kept me from advancing. I would then ‘change tactics,’ and start writing chapters in the beginning, and continued typing towards the middle of the book. You probably heard the military saying – ‘Improvise, adapt, and overcome.’ I wanted to write, Death Unmasked, in a different writing style from the norm, and I tried to keep the story rolling along at a fast clip.
Q: Is there a hidden message in Death Unmasked that you would like to convey to interested readers?
RSS: There are no hidden messages. It’s all laid out in black-and-white. At the conclusion of the story, the reader should be able to decide for themselves in the comfort, and in the silence of their sanctuary, if the story convinced them that reincarnation – is a reality.
Q: When and where are you at your most creative?
RSS: When I’m in my element. I can switch it on, or off, as I please – anywhere.
Q: Any new projects in the works?
RSS: None. I’m retired and a senior citizen. I’m enjoying life at a much slower pace these days. There are no more schedules for me to keep up with. My motto – Live life to its fullest, and forget your age. I now have more time to stop and smell the roses. I might consider penning another book in my next incarnation – somewhere down the road, and over the next hill, in the not so near future, and only when I decide the time is right, to use my God gifted free-will again.
Q: Where can readers find Death Unmasked?
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2r2LpFI
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
RSS: I thought it interesting, since Army General George S. Patton Jr., (born 11-11-1885) believed in reincarnation, that his Warrior ‘spirit,’ in foresight, would choose to incarnate (Free-Will) back into the ‘physical’ on the date, 11-11. General Patton’s poem, ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’ is evident of his resolute belief in reincarnation. I quote, “So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me.” To Patton, who strongly believed in God, the date 11-11, might symbolize ‘spirits’ re-entering the ‘physical’ (earth) by way of the top left inside 11, and eventually departing by way of the lower right inside 11, back to the ‘spirit’ world, only to be ‘reborn’ again (a cycle) at some future date by using – The All Merciful Father’s (God) greatest gift to humanity – ‘Free-Will.’ At 11:00 am, of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, WWI came to an end, and it was to be the war that would end all wars. Patton lived half of his adult life at this point in history. General Patton’s Warrior ‘Spirit’ might have foreseen, before reincarnating on his latest birthday, 11-11-1885, that years after WWII, his birthday (November 11) would be remembered as a National Holiday, and would honor all veterans, and that Armistice Day, would be eventually changed to – Veterans Day.