Hello Catalina, and thank you for allowing us the chance to interview you. After reading your novel I was both amazed and touched by the story of your search to figure out the mystery of your grandfather's death. What was it that led you to begin this journey?

There is such a connection I feel, always felt to my grandfather. The letter found on pages 82 and 83 of The Bridge of Deaths, where the CEO of INTAVA; the European branch of Standard Oil of New Jersey wrote that it was 'one of those mysteries that would never be solved' well those words bothered me enormously and made me very serious, determined if you like to try to solve the mystery.

I also felt a tremendous affinity to him, to the personality I imagined him to be by the table-side stories from relatives and was told my ease to learn languages was a gift I inherited from him. One of my sister's refers to it as an obsession, who knows? Perhaps I was obsessed more than determined.

You mention in your bio that you speak a wealth of different languages such as English, Spanish, French, and Swedish. How was it you came to learn these languages and was it just something you did because you wanted to?

I am originally from Mexico City Mexico, where I lived for 11 years as a child. My father worked for the World Bank and my family was relocated to the Washington D.C. Area where I lived for about 13 years. I was fortunate to be able to study in Lyons, France at the Catholic University and at 22 I married a Swedish man and lived in Sweden for 5 years. After my divorce at the age of 27 I returned to the States and have lived in various parts of the US.

I do have an ease with languages but I also worked hard to memorize verb conjugations, vocabulary and tried to conquer prepositions, sometimes to no avail!

When my mom saw me crying one day after my divorce she told me not to be sad and that I was young and would meet answer got me a nice smack in the back of the head! "I wish he'd been German it is a far more useful language than Swedish", She is very Catholic and found it absolutely terrible my main concern was a language!

I listen to German CDs in my car and I am still trying to learn, so I guess my grandfather (he was fluent in five languages) is an obsession and languages are a passion!

Your book deals with the subject of reincarnation, tell us about your beliefs and perhaps any experiences that you've had that have made this belief stronger.

I had strange dreams when I met my husband of 20 years Tom Egan. A friend I discussed my dreams with assured me that we were two souls meeting again, and that we had many lives. I did not accept the philosophy with great ease, and I am a skeptic who loves to look for ways to question EVERYTHING!

However I have experienced several past life regressions and have benefited enormously from the experience. All in all I should be considered a believer, but I do not like to impose my beliefs on anyone, that is why I very carefully designed my characters to be Maggie; the absolute believer, Bill; the skeptic and Catalina the doubter, not sure what she believes in.
I am very secure in my beliefs, so there Catalina and I deviate very strongly. The Catalina in the book is far more obsessed and entangled in the story, she is alone and she's not a mother, which is a very full-time occupation.

I needed to keep the same name because there is a sea-plane called a Catalina and that opened so many doors for me, the name Catalina as the aviation people who helped me felt I was "named after a sort of Aircraft" she is however a small part of who I was perhaps five to ten years ago and I emphasize a small part of the complete individual that i am.

As a result of your search for answers you have traveled quite a bit. Did you get a chance to take in any of the sights while in Denmark and England?

Absolutely! I love to play the tourist and museums, parks, famous buildings and local food! As I lived in Europe for 7 years and mostly in Southern Sweden I have had the opportunity to visit Denmark a lot, and not for the purpose of research only. I made three visits specifically for the book to Denmark one in 1996,2000 and 2002. My husband Tom was with me in 1996 and we made it a great adventure even got to see Iceland, which is an amazing place, the only country that officially recognizes certain mythical beings such as fairies I forget which others...and when you see the natural rock formations, you cannot argue with them!

The UK and London specifically I was very lucky to visit numerous times thanks to my husband's work. There too whenever possible we have gone to many interesting places and in 2004 actually got to see Scotland and Ireland as well.
I simply love to travel and I find the world is full of such wonders everywhere I go.

Tell us about the book you are now working on with your co-author Jolie DeMarco.

It is far more paranormal than historical, a little wilder, a little edgier. Jolie Demarco owns a magical place in Boca Raton, Florida called My Flora Aura. She is a channel, a psychic and a Reiki Master. So working with her is an adventure in and of itself! The book is called 4COVERT2OVERT and I believe readers will enjoy it, I am certainly having fun writing it!

Do you already have other ideas for more books in the near future?

Many! I have had the outlines and ideas for many, but felt the first had to be about the crash of the G-AESY. Now that the obsession has been fed...I am free to write about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!

When you get a chance to read, what are your most favorite kinds of books?

As you saw for The Bridge of Deaths I had to read and study many history books, and some were so fascinating, especially the diaries of English politicians. I am a fan of many authors, I have read all but one John Irving's books of which my favorite is The Water Method Man.

I love W. Sommerset Maugham and although not my favorite amongst his books, I love that he wrote a book titled CATALINA and the story begins with a Catholic Religious feast which just happens to be on August 15th, (The Ascension of Virgin Mary). If you notice the date it is also the day the G-AESY crashed and when the character Catalina goes to confession the priest is Father Vergara, the V in M.C.V. Egan stands for my maiden name VERGARA! Some coincidences? A friend found that for me and she introduced me to Maugham's work with the tremendous flattery that my letters (before e-mails) reminded her of the way he wrote! I wish of course!

I love to read, and every book is a journey and these days I am meeting self-published, Indie authors with such a variety of styles and ideas that frankly I cannot say there is one kind of book I enjoy, there are probably very few books I would not enjoy!

Do you have any inspirations in the literary world?

Many, but I love to write imaginary letters to W. Sommerset Maugham so he would be at the top of my list. I am trully inspired by all that I read. I am very fond of well written short stories, Jeffrey Archer is a master at those.

Do you allow your husband and son to read over and critique your work?

Not lately...perhaps proof read once a work is finished as Tom did with TBOD. Austin is 13 so he read about half of the book and then scolded me for some of what he referred to as the in-appropriate scenes! He will need to be older, especially for 4COVERT2OVERT!

If you have any advice you'd like to share with other authors we'd love to hear it, and also please include links to where we can find out more about you and your work.

I cannot be so presumptious as to assume I can give advice! So I just want to wish any and all authors out there the best of success with their work. I guess there is one rule of thumb for every writer and that would be READ and read a lot!

I am a guest at Nancy Cudis' Simple Clockwork where at the end of each month I give writing tips.

I have a website with all my updates at:

I blog a little and tweet all under either M.C.V Egan, Catalina Egan or The Bridge of Deaths and all that is always streamed through facebook:!/pages/The-Bridge-of-Deaths/130675087014521

Thank you so much for your time Catalina, I hope to do this again soon!

Thank you Kitty, I am really honored to be your guest at Great Minds Think Aloud.

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