After a brief illness, my mother died at age 47, before she really got to know her daughter-in-law or take joy in her grandchildren. I wanted so desperately to believe in eternal life, to be reassured that someday we would all be together again. A short time later I discovered Dr. Kenneth Moody’s book, Life After Life, the one in which he coined the expression “near-death experience” and I began reading on the topic. Many of these individuals reported meeting deceased loved ones or a bright light providing unconditional love. They often recognized the light as Christ. About ten years later, I published a study of chaplains and pastors. Almost three-quarters of them indicated that a parishioner had shared an account of coming close to death or had a clinical death and been resuscitated. Ninety-two percent of the respondents said that the accounts they had heard contained the same features as those reported in Dr. Moody’s book. Eighty-six percent said that the “experiencers” seemed to be less afraid of dying and the majority of them were more religious than they had been before the experience. Needless to say, the topic of near-death experiences caught my interest!
What started you on your writing journey?
In high school, I had an amazing English teacher who loved to read and assigned us whole novels to discuss. She recently celebrated her 100th birthday and still remembers where each of her students sat in her classroom. She reads constantly and recommends books to me even to this day.
What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
Several years ago I traveled to Romania and worked on an archaeological project excavating the foundation of an old Roman fort close to what used to be the Danube but now is about 30 miles from it. The fort was deserted approximately 400 AD.
Are there spiritual themes that you like to write about?
I don’t know whether this is a theme or not, but it seems to me that, at least in this country, it is easy to profess being a Christian but tremendously difficult to walk the walk each hour of the day, in every decision we make. I think I know why this happens, but that still doesn
’t make it any less difficult. That notion contains many seeds for projects.
Are you currently working on any other writing projects?
I have a contract to write a nonfiction text on emotional abuse. I wrote one many years ago on that subject but it wasn’t promoted very well and is now out of print. Emotional mistreatment is very damaging and leaves its mark on all of its victims—in ways they don’t always recognize.
When is A Ghost’s Story out and can you tell us about it?
My novel became available as a paperback in late August and the Kindle edition was released on September 2. Here are some of the issues that it deals with: What would it be like to be a ghost, to be caught between the world you knew and the next world? What if the ghost story didn’t involve anything eerie, or creepy, and didn’t try to frighten anyone? What if it described a husband’s love for his family and how he tried to care for them in his absence? Could the story to be inspirational as well? (Think the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s a Wonderful Life!) And finally, could the story stimulate discussion, not only about what we know and believe about death, but also about the Great Deceiver?
David Royce is giving away a copy of A Ghost's Story. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.