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Thursday, July 25, 2013

PR Special Edition: C.J. Omololu Guest Post!

Poisoned Rationality Special  Edition

Welcome to another Poisoned Rationality Special Edition!  Today we welcome back C.J. Omololu so she can discuss her newest book Intuition!
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SummaryAs Cole begins to accept her new life as Akhet, someone who can remember flashes of her past lives, every new vision from her past lives helps explain who she is in this life. As her passion for Griffon grows, she learns to identify other Akhet around her, including Drew, the young self-made millionaire who reveals his startling connection to Cole-he was her husband in Elizabethan England and gave her the ankh necklace that has been returned to her after centuries in hiding. Drew's attentions are overwhelming as he insists that their connection in the past signals their future destiny together, but before she can decide who she truly loves, Cole must learn to harness her unique Akhet abilities if she is to ever understand her role in this strange new world.
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Researching the Self You Don't Remember

Researching my character’s past lives was one of the most interesting parts of writing both Transcendence and Intuition. Going into it, I didn’t have much of an idea about the time periods that they lived in, but I used the philosophy I developed as a guide to how many lifetimes each character would have had and how many years apart they would be.

I wanted my main character Cole to have a ‘flashback’ of a lifetime while she’s on vacation in London. I set the first scene at the Tower of London, so I researched what would be happening when the Tower was most active in the 1500s. There is a tower on the grounds that contains graffiti carved into the walls by prisoners and one from 1538 caught my eye so that is the one I used for inspiration. I researched many of the beheadings that took place there in order to lend authenticity to the scene, which was grisly but really interesting. So I knew that one of Cole’s lifetimes ended in 1538 and that she was 19 at the time. The other main character Griffon was also alive at that time, so using those dates, I set up a chart that would show their other lifetimes, the dates, where they were, how old they were when they died and whether they were a boy or a girl (in my book, characters don’t always come back as the same race or gender).

Another big thread is the lifetime she lived when she came to San Francisco in the late 1800s . I needed to find a building that was still standing from that time period (most of the buildings were destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906) and used the Pacific Union Club on top of Nob Hill – if you read the book, it’s pretty amazing to walk up the same hill and see the same scene that Cole sees as she approaches the building in the story.

In Transcendence, we see flashbacks of Cole’s lifetimes in England in the mid 1500s, San Francisco in the late 1800s and a tiny hint of a lifetime as a boy in India in the 1930s – that lifetime is expanded in Intuition. Although I didn’t use them in these two books, there are other lifetimes in other places outlined throughout the centuries. We also see the influences of lifetimes in Italy and China in Griffon’s story.

The best part of writing these other lifetimes – nobody can come back and tell me that I’m wrong about reincarnation. Would you like to remember who you’ve been in the past?

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I think I would like to know more about who I was in the past.  My dad likes to joke that he was a Legionaire once upon a time, that's why he has such a fascination with Roman history.  This is a double edged sword though--you remember who you are and then you remember all the pain you suffered (or caused), much like Griffon tried to warn Cole about.

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