Back to MY BOOKS
SYNOPSIS: Tyler’s not the type of teenager who spends much time considering the paranormal. Abandoned by his parents and living in a foster home, he’s consumed by the tragedy of his own life. It’s not until eight-year-old Sawyer enters the home that Tyler begins to wonder if there’s more to human existence than life and death. Is there, in fact, something in between? Determined to learn the reason behind Sawyer's fear of water and uncanny knowledge of World War II submarines, Tyler's quest leads him down a dangerous path where lifetimes overlap and a murderer lurks... desperate to keep his secrets hidden forever!
CUSTOMER RATING: 4.3 / 5 stars (Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads)
PRICE: $9.99 Paperback | 99¢ Epub
Were the details about reincarnation real?
Most were, actually. Certain organizations have been studying cases of reincarnation since the nineteenth century. The most prominent of these is the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in the United Kingdom. The story mentioned in the book about the Sri Lankan girl is an actual SPR case. The "rules of reincarnation" mentioned in the book are also based on these studies.
Did Germans really spy for the Allies during the Second World War?
Yes. The character of Ehren Tschantz was based loosely on real German submariner named Werner Dreschler (the bearded man in the photo to the left). Dreschler was captured by American forces after his U-boat was similarly destroyed (see information on "The Battle of the Atlantic" below).
Like Tschantz, Dreschler had strong anti-Nazi feelings and was forced to serve in the German navy. After his capture, he volunteered to become a "stool pigeon" to help American military personnel to extract vital war information from his countrymen. He was eventually sent to a POW camp outside of Phoenix, Arizona, where he was brutally murdered by some of his former crew members. Dreschler's story was detailed in the book Martial Justice: The Last Mass Execution in the United States by Richard Whittingham and A&E documentary America's Last Mass Execution.
In His Life Abiding, Tschantz works as a "stool pigeon" at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. During the war years, Fort Meade was a repository for fresh POWs taken off of U-boats. These Germans were often interrogated at the fort or were listened to using microphones hidden in their cells. Some of these prisoners did indeed die at the fort and are buried in the cemetery, as is depicted in the novel.
What was the Battle of the Atlantic?
The so-called "Battle of the Atlantic" was a real-life and bloody conflict during the early years of World War II. From 1939 to 1945, German U-boats harassed both merchant and military ships, sinking thousands of vessels and taking tens of thousands of lives. This conflict is portrayed in the opening scene of His Life Abiding where a German supply submarine (called a Milch Cow) comes under attack by U.S. warplanes and is ultimately destroyed.
The US Navy photo shown here is of Werner Dreschler's U-boat under attack.
Why did Tyler live in a lighthouse?
The Atlantic seaboard is covered with lighthouses, most dating back to an age long before modern navigational technology made them obsolete. I've always been fascinated by these structures, finding them both beautiful and a little creepy. I thought a lighthouse-turned-private-residence would be a great place for young people to have an adventure, which is why much of the story's action takes place in one. Plus, I liked how it worked symbolically for Tyler, who, like a lighthouse, warned others away from danger.