Art Imitating Life


When you hear the phrase “Life imitating art,” the reversal of this oft-debated ‘chicken or the egg’ quote hits the mark as it relates to the main themes and personalities in The Resurrection of Hannah. In this second blog, I wanted to focus on the protagonist Samantha Clark, the most asked about character in my first novel. I didn’t have to go too far from home to visualize and give depth to the person of Samantha, for in reality we have an abundance of interests and characteristics in common.


It was fun drawing from my own experiences, lifestyle and personality, during both my present day and younger adult years. Doing this made it easier to create a central character that would ring true and be fun to craft over time, confronted as she was with diverse and challenging adventures, evolving through a series of novels. There are too many traits and activities we have in common to address them all at the present time. I’d like to, however, take a moment to touch on the ones I’ve been most asked about by those who have had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of my book. 


To begin, Samantha and I are both licensed mental health therapists who had the privilege of starting a private practice, and at times experienced negativity and frustration throughout the years with our overall career choice and path. I’m also a certified hypnotherapist, which unfortunately I’ve been neglecting for far too long given my time (and energy) constraints. In my first novel, Samantha undergoes hypnosis in order to reveal more explicit elements about her past life. Both of us have also lived for many years in Massachusetts and Florida, in the same house and apartment respectively, that is detailed in the book. 


One of the characters was based on my now deceased father who was a reverend, and am pleased that I had the forethought to include him in my first book. I figure it is one of the many ways in which he still lives on, though I portrayed his character as a much grumpier and impatient person than he ever was in real life (sorry dad!). I like to think he would have been proud of what I’ve accomplished, even though he himself didn’t liken to some of my open-minded beliefs and sometimes too carefree ways. My father’s way of thinking was always more closed (or select?) than mine in relation to religion and spirituality, especially when he was younger. I remember him questioning, and at times avidly debating, my thoughts and feelings on these subjects on several occasions, much to my chagrin. But his viewpoints seemed to have altered considerably when he was more advanced in years, increasingly knocking on death’s door. It was apparent then that he grasped less vehemently onto some long-held constructs, or discarded altogether those that no longer meshed with his accumulative life experiences. And in a similar vein, Samantha and I also worked at a local hospice, which assisted in dramatically increasing my knowledge base around the process of dying, and most especially death, our (questionable) final destination. 


Another similarity between Samantha and myself is that we have researched and utilized various herbs, supplements, and health care treatments out of curiosity and for health reasons, and are into organics. In fact, the health food store that appears in The Resurrection of Hannah was a mirror of an actual place I discovered many years ago, located several miles from where I resided. I remember joking with friends that I shopped there so often it was like a second home. A fantasy I held dear for awhile was that I could actually work there, except for the tiny fact that I’d never be able to earn enough to support myself. 


As I touched on previously, I have always been fascinated with meditation, dreams, different forms of self-expression and religion, facets of which are presented in my novel. Samantha and I also experienced ‘Jonathan-related’ dreams, core events on which much of my book is based. We both belonged to what I loosely coin a ‘metaphysical group’- in actuality a bunch of counselor-friends that got together on a regular basis to experiment with and talk about alternate states of mind and various healing modalities. Everything seemed to have coincided together during the same time periods, which in the end overlapped with the pull to document all the events as a novel. Personally, I like to think I achieved that goal!







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