Maggie Talks with Annie Kagan
Readers: Leave a comment for a chance to win! We’ll draw at random for one winner of a copy of THE AFTERLIFE OF BILLY FINGERS and one winner of a copy of my own MAGICK AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION.
Hi, Annie. Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview here on the Bliss Blog. I can’t tell you how deeply your book, touched me. (Readers, I blogged about the book right here. Just scroll down, it’s the post right before this one.)
Welcome to the Bliss Blog! I’ll get right to our questions because I’m just fascinated to hear your answers.
Maggie: Annie, as I was reading, I kept wondering if the experience of writing with your brother felt a little bit like automatic writing? Was it like that at all? Was your handwriting even a bit different when you were writing Billy’s words?
Maggie: If this had been happening to most people, they would have questioned their own sanity, wondered if they were having some kind of grief-induced delusion. Did this cross your mind, and if so, what did you do about it, and when did it change?
Annie: I was extremely skeptical at first. How could anyone be speaking to me from another dimension? Could my grief somehow be causing me to have hallucinations? Also, my bad-boy brother wasn’t someone I’d expect to be telling me the mysteries of the cosmos. Ultimately, it was Billy who convinced me. He gave me what’s called evidentiary after death communications, told me things I had no way of knowing which proved to be correct every time. He often involved my friends, insisting I tell them things, things that made no sense to me, and their reaction was always “How did you know that?” In the book I take the reader by the hand as I follow Billy’s clues and together we solve the mystery of whether or not Billy is real.
Maggie: Yes, you absolutely did. It was one of my favorite things about the book. The proof. There was just too much of it to deny.
Annie: For me, the miracle proof came toward the end of the book. Billy describes music he is hearing in his dimension and then has me download Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, a piece I didn’t even know existed. As I listened, the music, lyrics and meaning of Mahler’s Eighth matched Billy’s description exactly. At that moment, I knew in every cell that Billy was real.
Maggie: Folks, here’s a bit of that symphony if you’d like to give it a listen. The entire thing is very long. I actually dl’d it from iTunes just now and it’s stirring and beautiful. Also known as the Symphony of 1000, it was composed in “a single inspired burst” in 1906.
Maggie: Some of the book’s critics (there are very few of them, and even they loved it) felt the language Billy used was awfully formal. Frankly, I disagree. I thought his language evolved as he moved up through the different…I want to say levels. It did become more formal as he went along, but still, how closely was his language after his transition, to the way he would have spoken before when he was still in physical form? And did you sense it changing as time passed?
Annie: First, let me confess. Before the book came out I thought any criticism of this sacred experience would really hurt. As it turns out criticism makes me laugh hysterically! Why? Because how could anyone think I made up this story? The twists and turns and the incredible wisdom that comes from Billy are too fantastic for any human being to fabricate. And by now I’ve learned from Billy not to live by what others think.
It’s hard for me to be objective about Billy’s language because I can’t separate the words from Billy’s voice. When he was alive Billy definitely had a unique and charming way of expressing himself. That said, his language at the beginning of the book sounds exactly like Billy did in life. I agree, his manner of speaking does seem to evolve as he goes deeper into the afterlife realms. I’d describe the change as being poetic rather than formal. Also, at about the mid-point of the book I suspect there is more going on here than just Billy. There was a growing power that I felt was more than Billy. Whether it was his evolving soul or there were higher beings who had joined forces with him I really can’t say.
Maggie: What were your thoughts about life after death, and “heaven” before your brother’s death?
Annie: When I was a little girl my father talked about death a lot. His father had died quite young and he was preparing me in case it happened to him. He told me he would build a beautiful white house and we would all meet there one day and live happily ever after. My dad also told me he spoke to his dead father and mother all the time so I guess he instilled in me the belief that we definitely do exist after death. My mom wasn’t afraid of death at all and Billy would get this enchanted look in his eye like he was kind of looking forward to it.
When I got older and became interested in eastern philosophy I didn’t think a lot about what happens after you die. If I thought anything it was that we kind of dissolved into a sea of undifferentiated consciousness but I wouldn’t be me anymore so I wouldn’t care.
Maggie: I want to ask about the Goddess Billy describes near the end of the book. Shvara. I’m very interested in this particular aspect, in Her particular description, Her appearance, and Her name. Do you think She looks the same to everyone? Do you think Billy saw Her this way because this was the image of the idealized Goddess in his mind? Or did he describe Her this way to you because she was the idealized image of the Goddess in your mind? Or do you think Her appearance is literal and that She will appear the same and have the same name for each of us when we meet Her?
Maggie: Is Billy still talking to you? From his final message to you, I got the feeling that there would be more. More mind-expanding, soothing, healing messages from beyond. And if so, Is there going to be another book?
Annie: Billy is still speaking to me and from what I hear he is visiting others as well. I get lovely messages from people telling me they feel Billy around them and asking me if I think they are crazy. I do not! A few nights ago I dreamed of
Maggie: I’ll be first in line to buy it if and when you do! Thank you so much for stopping by today.
Everyone: Here are the links to connect with Annie and to buy this fabulous book. It’s absolutely soul-stirring, I promise you! Leave a comment and you might win a copy. We’ll draw on Monday, so you have the weekend to mull.
Annie Kagan on Facebook The Afterlife of Billy Fingers on Amazon in Print or Kindle The Afterlife of Billy Fingers on BN.com in Print or Nook The Afterlife of Billy Fingers on iTunes
The Afterlife of Billy Fingers on Kobo
Annie and Billy on the Web (Free excerpt, newsletter signup, more!) Enjoy!