Tell us a little about the idea behind The Bridge of Deaths.
The Bridge of Deaths revolves around a 1939 plane crash in which my Grandfather, a Bio-Chemical engineer working for Standard Oil of New Jersey lost his life. I was raised to understand that the crash was caused by sabotage and that the target was a British member of parliament on board.
How difficult was the research and how long did it take?
I did not have the freedom or resources to research full time, so it spanned over almost two decades. Some of the materials were not easy to access and some were difficult to understand as they were either in Danish or German.
Difficult in this case is almost a matter of opinion as it was so interesting to me that it felt doable even if it involved work.
Which authors have been your greatest influence?
So many! I tend to fall in love with an author and read all their work, some have lost me though, which is scary but no book is for everyone. Among my favorites are W. Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Susan Howatch, John Irving, and Kurt Vonnegut. My list would really bore you there are so, so many and I have discovered some Indie authors of late Christoph Fischer and Paulette Mahurin that I admire so much.
What are you writing at the moment?
I am preparing a book; DEFINED BY OTHERS I hope to release in Mid-October. It is an easy read and was my first attempt at NANOWriMO.
You mention some of the more unusual research methods, such as psychics and past life regression. Can you explain how this aided your research and with writing the book.
I am not a historian and many of the documents left me with a huge feeling of unease. I decided to visit a psychic with my grandfather’s watch and have him hold it and tell me what he “saw”. It was uncanny; at the end of the day five individuals separately with no previous knowledge told a very similar tale. Also astounding was one describing the bridge perfectly and another giving me the lettering on the wing of the plane, uncanny.
The past lives were documented from actual past life regressions from a source who requested absolute anonymity, he approached me. In the late 1990's he said that he had visited a psychic who had impacted him. Apparently the psychic said “The most important thing you need to know is that in your nearest past life you were a pilot.” He agreed to participate in past life regressions and that I could record them and be present.
It was amazing, his voice changed into a different mode and accent as did Bill’s in the book, and the journey he took us in, the past life regressionist (is that even a word?) And myself, was just extraordinary.
We would sit around with the notes and over beers and cigarettes discuss what he had seen, when it was fresh in his mind.
This man NEVER suffered from phobias or bedwetting but after the regressions he did become a super focused and different person. He went on to surprise himself and others and now has a most successful life, not compatible with the past life regressions of his youth.
Is The Bridge of Deaths really a culmination of 2 decades of research? Why are you so interested in WW II History?
Yes, at least a good eighteen years of research. I was so clueless when I began to dig around the plane crash that killed my grandfather in 1939, so I guess someone with a better historical background would have never taken that long.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look up almost every incident I came across, even something as common knowledge as The Munich Pact.
I know I had to have studied it at some point in school or university but to be honest I know I did fail history at least once.
Why are you releasing a revised edition and what is different from the original?
When I released the original in 2011 I was so afraid that people would dispute some of the files I used that I carefully and meticulously added footnotes for EVERYTHING, over 200.
To my surprise some people loved that, mainly lawyers! But it felt like awkward reading for some, and it was understandable, especially in the e-book format as the footnotes can be distracting. In the revised version I added the necessary footnotes to the narrative and got rid of all of them. I also summarized two parts that were loaded with information and detail and added them to the back as appendices for the more curious readers.
The book is formatted in a very user friendly way so the reader can go from one chapter to the other or to the appendices.
To give it a more up to date touch, as the book takes place in 2010. I added an epilogue in the summer of 2012.
The new cover has the image of my grandfather’s watch which is part of the story.
Over 200 footnotes? So this is not a novel, or is it?
Oh yes it is a novel. It has fictional elements so it must be categorized as such. The characters that sift through the data are fictional even if two are strongly based on real people; one of whom is me!
I also used very “unorthodox” ways to research such as psychics and past life regressions; not my own, and that to many is fiction.
I have two watches, one that was my grandfather’s and another sent to us by British Airways LTD. The use of psychometry is not that scoffed at, I mean the FBI has used it, so I thought, Why not? It was just amazing, with no photos or previous knowledge a psychic started describing the bridge and another the lettering on the wing of the plane.
The most shocking was that all described to a T another of the men who died from the second watch, no spoiler! I won’t tell you which but it was uncanny. There were five people gifted in psychometry who did this for me.
The individual who had the long past life regressions, five in total has asked to remain anonymous, but I was allowed to sit in and take notes, they were also recorded but the quality is horrible which is a shame because just like Maggie in the book, I did ‘go under’ and slept through one of them!
The Bridge of Deaths is, above all, a book based on history. Because the events of the book took place just a mere two weeks before the start of World War II, this year marks the 75th anniversary of both the crash of the G-AESY (the central event in The Bridge of Deaths) and the start of WWII. M.C.V. Egan has chosen to commemorate both of these events with a 75th anniversary remembrance—a part of which are a series of historical retrospectives recounting the events that led to the start of WWII, as well as a discussion of how these events were often linked to the real-life characters of the book.
HISTORICAL RETROSPECTIVE: January 30, 1939: A Nazi threat to the Jews of EuropeIn a speech before the German Reichstag (Parliament), Adolf Hitler said: "In the course of my life I have very often been a prophet, and have usually been ridiculed for it. During the time of my struggle for power it was in the first instance only the Jewish race that received my prophecies with laughter when I said that I would one day take over the leadership of the State, and with it that of the whole nation, and that I would then among other things settle the Jewish problem. Their laughter was uproarious, but I think that for some time now they have been laughing on the other side of their face. Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!" (Source)
A link to The Bridge of Deaths: In 1939, there are many discussions in England regarding the Palestinian Territories and Anthony Crossley (one of the men who died in the crash of the G-AESY, recounted in The Bridge of the Deaths) stands out as the sole voice for the Arab cause (English Holocaust denier David Irving often mentions Crossley as a man most affiliated with “nefarious” Jewish groups in his book, Churchill’s War). There is a strong Jewish lobby movement, and the ensuing discussions are not unlike today’s discussions in America regarding illegal immigrant children. European countries limited the entry of Jewish refugees and also struggled with decisions that eventually resulted in the birth of Israel.
About The Bridge of Deaths
"M.C.V. Egan twists truth and fiction until you question your perceptions...it is a story of real love, triumph and search for self." - Beckah Boyd @ The Truthful Tarot
5 out of 5 stars: "An unusual yet much recommended read." - Midwest Book Review
On August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before, Hitler invaded Poland.
With the world at the brink of war, the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust.
The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve "one of those mysteries that never get solved." Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.
Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.
About the author
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.
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.
She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.
In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.
Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject.
The celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift.