Thank you to author Josie Brown for answering this week’s Reincarnationist Q&A.


What is your most marked characteristic that you believe could be a hold over from a past life?
When I was a teenager, the clothing, furnishings, and songs from that the 1920s and 1930s strongly resonated with me. I wanted to wear my hair in a Louise Brooks bob. (Not easy, when it’s as curly as mine is!) Thank goodness cap and dolman sleeves had made a comeback, as had wide sailor pants–and yes, I wore them! As a young adult, I purchased several antiques from that era, including a little booze cabinet. (Where the hell is it now? Where did I leave it?) And once, while in a flea market, I had an overwhelming desire to purchase an antique Victrola that came with about 400 records: all jazz and ragtime. One of my biggest regrets is that I talked myself out of doing so.

What is your principle defect that you believe may be inherited from a previous incarnation?
Fear of water, fear of fire, fear of heights. Then again, I’ve almost drowned three times in this life, so maybe it is a carry-over after all. Still, I love the ocean (from the shore!).

Which of your favorite heroes do you think you could have been and why?
I think I was an actress on the stage, or in the talkies. Maybe Jean Harlow, or Carole Lombard. I’ve studied that time period of history obsessively. I have a very large collection on biographies and books about that time period. In fact, I’ve begun writing a novel–a sprawling saga about that time period, but it’s still got some shaping to go. (200 pages and counting…)

What three people from history would you like to have over to dinner for a discussion about reincarnation?
Albert Einstein, Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi, and of course, Harry Houdini!

What do you think happens when we die?
I truly believe that our life force is energy in its purest form. Twice I’ve been visited by someone who has passed before me. He came to comfort me when irrational fear got the better of me. When you can so clearly hear a voice of someone you know and love so well, it’s hard to doubt that the deceased aren’t still out there; that we’re all on the reincarnation merry-go-round. Unfinished business is a bitch, ain’t it?

Josie Brown‘s next novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, will be out June 1, 2010. (Simon & Schuster/Downtown Press).

Josie’s website is: