The following is excerpted from an author interview with Tishia, the excellent book reviewer and blogger at Paranormal Opinion. You can read the rest of the interview HERE. But these are the parts about today's topic...
STH: Well, I don’t know. Part of what underlies the whole book is the fact that no one knows for sure. What we do know is that everybody in the world dies at some point. We can all agree on that. But the question of what happens afterwards is all guess work. We are forced to choose something to believe in and stick with it. Whether you choose a religion, atheism, or anything in between – it’s still an “ism,” still just “what you believe.” And without the comfort of real knowledge, those beliefs become very, very important to people. Important enough to go to war, to kill for, etc.
That said, I do think that the idea of reincarnation makes a lot of sense. Because it implies something we can observe about the world we live in, namely that things evolve. Evolution implies always getting a little bit better over time. And if evolution is the way the universe operates, then it should apply to everything. Including the spirit. Again, I don’t “know” for sure, but my observational skills tell me that the human race is evolving on more than just a physical level. Our thoughts, our imagination, our ability to empathize, to care for others above ourselves (not that we always do these things of course, but that we CAN), all points toward spiritual growth, spiritual evolution taking place in real time. When I think about it like that, the idea of something much more powerful and important that my measly little body, coming back over and over again to learn and grow like a child going from nursery school to K-12 makes a lot of sense.
Paranormal Opinion: So how does reincarnation work for the characters in King’s X?
STH: Well, the idea is that everyone in the world, including you and me, are immortal spirits. Just like you’ve heard many times, but no one can prove beyond doubt. But through the mysterious power of the King’s X itself, some of these characters do know it. They remember several lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience. From that point, it occurred to me, wow, if you could actually KNOW that this was the case, if you could clearly remember your past lifetimes… how different would you be right now? First of all, how smart would you be? Imagine 3 lifetimes worth of playing the piano. Maybe you’d be Mozart, writing entire operas by age 6. Maybe that’s what “genius” really is – a person who for some reason is able to tap into something that he or she had done before. But beyond all the knowledge and skill you might have if you could remember clearly… what would you be doing, right now? If you weren’t afraid of dying because you KNEW for a fact that you were just going to sleep for a while, what would your interests be? Could you truly have a “soulmate” someone you meet again and again? What work would you do? How freakin’ awesome would you be?
And of course, if you were evil, if you were greedy and prideful, how scary would you be? The villains in King’s X are unique and, when you look around at the way the real world seems to work, they are quite believable. What if some mysterious person or persons knew the truth, and carried the knowledge of many lifetimes through to the present, but kept you and me ignorant on purpose? What if there are people who simply don’t want us to know who and what we really are? That we are supposed to be learning, not scared out of our minds that we will run out of life, or land, or oil, or whatever? What if the entire reason the world seems locked in a cycle suspicion, hatred and violence, is because someone very powerful wants it that way?
On the other hand - what if you were the only person who knew all of this? How could you fight them? And if they knew who you were and what you knew, how could you ever escape them?
Paranormal Opinion: How did you come up with the title of your books?
STH: When you were a kid, crossing your fingers and holding them behind your back meant that you didn’t have to do what you said. You could lie to a parent, or a teacher, or another kid and somehow that was all right because you crossed your fingers. Well, that sign used to have a name. Kids on playgrounds everywhere called it “King’s X.” You could also say it out loud and it would protect you from being “It” in a game of Hide and Seek. Anyway, I thought that was very strange and I looked deeper into it. Where did this expression come from? Why does it mean the bizarre things that it means? The answer is a spoiler so you’ll have to read the book to find out.