Susie Schecter, 'Lifetimes Ago' Interview

Lifetimes Ago ~ a historical 1930's passionate romance of a modern-day couple discovering A Love Story Inspired From Past Life Memories.

By Susie Schecter
Photo: Provided by the Author

Interviewed by RYCJ/OEBooks 5/2010

What prompted creating Lifetimes Ago? What is the Back Story?

In 2001, I had a powerful experience with my boyfriend Mike. When we first met we experienced several meaningful coincidences in our newly formed relationship and I wanted to find out for sure whether there was a past connection between us. To uncover if we were soul mates or to find out if we ever met in another life we turned to hypnosis. The initial past life regression sessions and those that followed were more successful than either of us could have imagined. Actually in my book there is a chapter at the end of it titled: “the story behind the story” which chronicles the hypnosis and research part of the story.

What is your view on reincarnation?

In college I was introduced to Buddhism. For many years, I embraced this Eastern Religion, although I did not entirely believe in reincarnation. I could not completely grasp the notion that I had lived before. To me, reincarnation was a plausible theory of eternal life and a believable explanation, along with many other explanations of what happens to us when we die. After having this past life experience with Mike—I am a believer. I believe this book has a sense of truth and its pages resonate with the universal certainty that love never dies.
Have you ever been hypnotized, or have you ever hypnotized someone else?

I’ve been hypnotized many times. I also hypnotized several people when a practiced hypnotherapy on a part-time basis. And of course I hypnotized Mike to find out if we were soul mates or to discover if we ever met in another life. We had approximately eight productive past life regression sessions.

How long did it take you to write Lifetimes Ago?

Eight years! It took forever to research the characters. The love story takes place in the 1930s so I had to do extensive research on that time period. The historical nature of the book required precise and accurate information.
What was the writing process like for creating Lifetimes Ago?

Long. It was so difficult in the beginning. The investigation and exhaustive research went on for years. It took more than three years to uncover the documentation at the end of the book. Because the characters in the book, John McDonald and Elsie Wilkins were just common folk, I couldn’t easily find much information on them. But most of my research confirmed Mike’s visions of John McDonald and Elsie Wilkins. The timeline and statistical facts fit and we were born after the two of them had died. 

Besides the PC, are there any other external factors that helped you write?

I was in a writers group for several years that helped motivate me to write on a daily basis. In my daily affairs, I tried to have a reverence for life by displaying acts of harmony, love, and cooperation. In conjunction with Buddhist chanting, practicing self–help techniques became a daily ritual. With all this indisputable spirituality, my mood lifted and I was able to joyfully write this novel. 

What are some of the first books you’ve read?

My first recollection of reading was probably the Nancy Drew mystery stories. 

Who are your favorite authors and/or books?

I love J.K. Rowlings! She is an amazing writer. I worked with kids between the ages of 9-12 and they began to read when the Harry Potter books came out. I also like Marianne Williamson, Sarah Ban Breathnach, and Robert Waller. One of my favorite books is Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. I was also influenced by a great writer who taught a writing class in the college I went to – Art Seidenbaum. He was a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He wrote with such a colorful flair. Another book that especially touched my heart was Gary Zukav's, The Seat of the Soul. This best seller talked about the expansion of human perception beyond the five senses. It explained cause and effect, reminding me once more, that there are no coincidences in life.

Give us one passage from Lifetimes Ago that you thought was either cleverly written of tickled you to read.

The passage from the preface portion of the book:
Drawing upon verifiable facts from my research, I have crafted the fictionalized story of John and Elsie’s courtship, where the struggle against social mores falls away, and they are joined together in a bold experience of rare and striking passion. Their love affair in Rensselaer, Indiana, is brief, but their story gives flight to the heart: love never dies. It preserves even after death, with powerful ties reconnecting in a future life.

Please share any advice you have to pass on to a writer writing his or her debut work.

Put as much energy into marketing your book as you did in writing it.

"Thanks Susie, for such an insightful look into Lifetimes Ago."

Published: March, 2010, iUniverse
Available Formats:
Softcover, Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 324

Author website:


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