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Curious About The Afterlife

Maria A. Palace
Maria A. Palace Author Interview

Chapter Thirteen follows a woman who tries to reclaim the life that was taken from her and the young journalist who holds the key to her success or failure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your thrilling story?

I grew up in a very religious environment, so I was always curious about the afterlife. My mother was also extremely superstitious, which I found to be quite diverting. When I was young, I would oftentimes stay up late into the night watching her “read” cards to see what our future would hold. About five years ago, I took a tour of the purportedly haunted Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California. The moment I laid eyes on the sprawling stately Victorian, I knew it had to become the backdrop of my novel, thereby transforming it into “The Brewer Mansion.”

Katy is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Katy, as well as Evelyn, basically lived in a bubble when they were young. They were both quite spoiled and had doting parents. When their mothers died, each had a strong father figure to support them along the way. Katy drew from her bond with her widowed father to become the equally strong single parent for her own daughter. The driving ideal is that every child needs at least one person in their lives to provide them the strength needed to overcome whatever obstacles life might throw at them. I guess, the moral to the story is that love conquers all.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

As I grew older and began to ponder my own mortality, I became very interested in the possibility of reincarnation. In my research for Chapter Thirteen, the more I learned, the more fascinating it became, which led me to explore mediums, hypnotism, past lives, etc. It just evolved from there.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I don’t want to give too much away, but my next novel is a mystery which takes place on a cruise ship. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the year.

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Chapter Thirteen is a paranormal suspense/thriller about an old woman who will do everything in her power to reclaim the life that was taken from her and the young journalist who holds the key to her success or failure.
On April 13, 1936, in Morganville, Pennsylvania, a fire occurs at the well-known Brewer mansion, resulting in a mysterious death. Fast-forward to August 28, 2005: After attending school in New York for six years, Katy Barton returns to her hometown of Morganville, when she lands a job as a reporter for the local news station. The antiquated mansion is scheduled to be demolished and Katy is assigned to get a story from the reclusive old woman who still lives there.
Katy is a “survivor” or so she’s been told, although years of therapy have not reconciled her with her own tragic past, to which she has long since been plagued by nightmares. Each time she goes out to the estate, her nightmares are amplified by unexplained visions. When she finally meets the eccentric recluse, Evelyn, she finds that her early portrait bears an uncanny resemblance to her own high school graduation picture–and the more she learns of Evelyn’s past, the more she finds that it is eerily similar to hers. As Katy is lured deeper and deeper into the old woman’s mysterious world, she begins to question her sanity, to the point where she seeks out a hypnotherapist.
In an odd twist of fate, a handsome firefighter comes to her emotional rescue, spiraling her into a whirlwind romance that appears too good to be true. Hoping to resolve her issues, both past and present, Katy reluctantly undergoes hypnosis, where she is confronted with the truth from her past and ultimately, what could be her future. But is the life she sees her own, or is it Evelyn’s?
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