Last night, while working on an online interview to be posted in a few weeks on a book interview site, I had an interesting epiphany. (Interesting to me, anyway.) I’ve written one non-fiction book about grief and four suspense novels, which at first glance are all completely different from one another. I did know the four novels had similar themes, but since the grief book was a personal account of my first year of grief rather than an imaginative story, I didn’t think it had anything in common with my fiction, but it does.
The unifying theme in all of my books is the perennial question: Who are we? More Deaths Than One suggests we are our memories. A Spark of Heavenly suggests we are the sum total of our experiences and choices. Daughter Am I suggests we are our heritage. Light Bringer suggests we are otherworldly. And Grief: The Great Yearning suggests we are what we love.
I’m also a bit of an iconoclast, and my books reflect that character.
Both More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire debunk much of what we know about our shared past, especially when it comes to government control and human experimentation. (We have entrusted our lives to men and women who have not only not protected us from willful harm but instead have sold us out for . . . quite frankly, I’m still not sure what they sold us out for. Cash, in some cases, I’m sure. Power and political position, probably. The good of the whole at the expense of the few, possibly.)
Daughter Am I debunks some of the gangster myths that have been propagated by Hollywood.
Light Bringer debunks UFO myths, while at the same time postulates a greater UFO mystery.
And Grief: The Great Yearning debunks many of the myths about grief we have come to accept as truth.
The grief stages that Kübler-Ross proposed often don’t hold true for someone who has suffered a grievous loss, such as a child or a soul mate. In fact, those stages represented what she observed in terminal patients grieving for themselves and their own life. The final stage is acceptance, and acceptance of one’s own death is completely different from acceptance of another’s. I can learn to live without my soul mate and even accept it. I can admit that death relieved him of his suffering, but it is not my place to accept his death, since acceptance carries a connotation of it being okay, and I will never believe that it is okay for him to be dead. (For articles about the real stages of grief, see: The Mythic Stages of Grief, Grief and Lingering Feelings of Resentment, and Why “Grief: The Great Yearning” is Important.)
I suppose it makes sense that the same themes appear in all my books, no matter what the subject matter is since they all originated in the same place: a questioning mind that has often pondered the questions: Who are we? and What is life all about?
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” All Bertram’s books are published by Second Wind Publishing. Connect with Pat on Google+