Welcome to the second edition of CentreStage!
CentreStage is a new feature on my blog that will showcase fantastic authors from around the world, introducing in particular my fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family, as well as fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com. In this new, exciting feature, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them. Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.
Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome loveahappyending.com featured author, Bonnie Trachtenberg! Bonnie writes romantic comedy, and today she talks about her spiritual side… and how that features in her amazing novels!
There are no accidents—or so I’ve come to believe on my journey through life. That fact takes a bit of the sting out of some life’s more difficult events. If you believe there is a reason for everything, you spend less time fretting and feeling sorry for yourself, and more time figuring out exactly what it is you are supposed to be learning from the experience. Life is a school, after all, and don’t we all want to graduate with honors?
That is merely one of the pearls I’ve collected on my ongoing search for ultimate wisdom. This odyssey began in my childhood, with distinct memories of places I’d never visited and people I didn’t know. As I had an active imagination, I chalked them up to dreams, but something in me always knew there was more to life than what I could perceive with my five senses. I often felt a loving, otherworldly, presence around me, though nobody in my family ever made mention of such things.
I will never forget the day when, as an adolescent, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and, for just a few moments, felt separate from that young girl. It was the first time I became consciously aware that my spirit was a separate entity from my body—that this was just one of my “outfits” and there had been many others. Needless to say it was a pretty mind-blowing experience for a preteen!
Around that time, I began reading anything and everything I could find on every spiritual topic from reincarnation to out-of-body experiences, ghosts to psychic phenomena, energy healing to synchronicity and beyond. My preferred game was the Ouija board, which I’ve since come to learn was a fairly dangerous “toy” to being playing with unprotected. Since then, my enthrallment with the spiritual world has never wavered.
As an adult, one of my favorite places to be is in a spiritual book store. I’ve spent many blissful hours there, oftentimes with my best friend, Cathy (a kindred spirit for sure). For the last decade or so, my greatest concentration of study has been the afterlife. I know the reason for this is not based in fear of my own death, as I firmly believe we go to a much better place, but rather, in fear of the death of my loved ones. I dread being left in this often-harsh realm without the people I love most. One-way conversations seem like quite a lonely prospect and I’ve prayed for the ability to see and hear those who have passed.
I’ve visited gifted mediums in search of proof. Interestingly (and unprovoked) several have told me I possess the gift of healing and should be using it. (I did become a Reiki master last year and occasionally use my hands to help myself, my animals and my husband when he lets me.) I have, on several occasions, exhibited precognitive abilities (dreaming things before they come true). I enlisted in psychic development classes and realized, to my amazement, my capabilities far exceed what I imagined them to be. This gives me hope that perhaps, one day, I will be able to communicate directly with loved ones on the other side of the veil. I’ve also learned that the key to everything spiritual lies in meditation, something I strive to do every day if possible. Since beginning that practice, I’ve had two out-of-body experiences (extremely cool!), and have witnessed spiritual activity in my home that cannot be explained any other way.
Being that I write romantic comedies, most people might not expect spirituality to enter into my work, but it has. In fact, it’s very difficult to bar it, since it has become such an integral part of who I am. In Wedlocked, you’ll find a scene where a ghost helps bring a couple together (based on a true story from my life). In my new book, due out April 25th, you’ll meet a cat who seems to possess the power to heal. Remind you of anyone? I’m about to begin work on my third novel, which will deal with near-death experiences, which, of late, have become my greatest focus. The experiences of people who have died and been brought back to life are quite astonishing, and open the door to the miracle of what comes “after”. Luckily, evidence seems to suggest a lot more than clouds and harps!
The paths we lead in life are truly remarkable when you stand back to observe them. I joined the lovely folks at Loveahappyending.com to help promote myself as a romantic comedy author and relationship columnist. To my astonishment, I found so many of my colleagues here, too, possess their own great interest, love, and fascination with the metaphysical world and often share their own stories in books, blogs and comments. Coincidence? I doubt it. After all, there are no accidents.
Thank you so much, Bonnie, for this amazing feature. I loved hearing about how the spiritual experiences do feature in your work… and I look forward to finding out more in your next book. A cat with healing powers? Bring it on!!
About Bonnie Trachtenberg
Bonnie Trachtenberg is the award-winning, bestselling author of Wedlocked: A Novel. She writes a monthly relationship and advice column for loveahappyending.com. Bonnie was senior writer and copy chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children’s book adaptations. She has also written for three newspapers and penned countless magazine articles. Her second novel will be released in April.
In this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy inspired by true events, Rebecca Ross, a thirty-six-year-old struggling actress, lets years of disappointment and heartache catapult her into a disastrous marriage to a charismatic man with more than a few surprises up his sleeve. Travel along on their hilarious honeymoon from hell in Italy, which soon has Rebecca longing for her miserable days of singlehood. An entertaining and poignant story about second chances, finding love, and most importantly, finding yourself.
All images courtesy of Bonnie Trachtenberg: Thanks, Bonnie!