Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Memorist by M.J. Rose (with interview and giveaway)

The Memorist, book two in M.J. Rose's reincarnation suspense series, is just as gripping (if not more) than the first, The Reincarnationist (which I reviewed here). Once again, a memory tool is at stake, and someone is willing to kill to lay claim to it. Meer Logan, a woman who has been plagued since childhood with memories of haunting music and a gaming box from the 1800s, is the key to locating it.

In The Memorist, the memory tool is an ancient bone flute hidden by Beethoven after he deciphered the carvings on the instrument and discovered the dangers of the memory song. Anyone who hears the song will remember the horrors of their previous life.

Woven in with the story of Meer, her father, and Malachai Samuels of the Phoenix Foundation (a familiar face from The Reincarnationist) looking for the memory flute are several subplots involving a number of intriguing characters: a hard-nosed CEO of a security firm who would bribe terrorists to ensure complete security at a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic; an oboe player in the Vienna Philharmonic and a friend of Meer's father who is desperate to find out why his young son has withdrawn and spends his days in a psychiatric facility (a hospital where the Nazis conducted horrific experiments during WWII) reciting a prayer for the dead in Hebrew, a language he has never spoken; and a prominent Israeli journalist who lost his entire family to a terrorist bomb and plans to retaliate. Rose also takes readers back to the past, specifically to Vienna in the 1800s when Beethoven was deciphering the memory song and to India in 2120 B.C.E. when the ancient bone flute was made.

Not only does The Memorist keep you reading when you should be doing things like sleeping or cooking your family dinner (I even read this while walking to work from the bus stop, though not when crossing the street!), but it also gets you thinking about the power of memory and what happens to one's soul when they die. In the book, memories can be painful and debilitating, but they also can be instrumental in preventing disaster or even heal wounds in the present time. You can bet I'm anxiously awaiting the third book in the series!

Read an excerpt of The Memorist here.

The Memorist also was reviewed by:

A Reader's Respite
Savvy Verse & Wit
You've GOTTA read this!
S. Krishna's Books
Devourer of Books
She Is Too Fond of Books
Chain Reading
About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose is an international bestselling author of 10 novels and the coauthor of two nonfiction books on marketing. She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors, She runs two popular blogs, Buzz, Balls & Hype and Backstory.

Please visit her at and
M.J. Rose was kind enough to answer my questions about The Memorist and her writing.

What inspired you to write about reincarnation?
When I was three years old, I told my great grandfather things about his childhood in Russia that there was simply no way I could have known. He became convinced I was a reincarnation of someone in his past. And over time, after more incidents, my mother--a very sane and logical woman--also came to believe it. Reincarnation was an idea I grew up with that my mom and I talked about and researched together. For years, I wanted to write a novel about someone like my mother--who was sane and logical--who started out skeptical but came to believe in reincarnation. But I was afraid if I did people would think I was a "woo woo weirdo."

I tried to start the first book in this series ten years ago after my mother died, but I was too close to the subject and missed her too much to be able to explore it objectively. Every once in awhile the idea would start to pester me again, but I still stayed away from it. Then a few years ago on the exact anniversary of my mom's death, my niece, who was a toddler at the time, said some very curious things to me about my mother and I--things she really couldn't have known--and the pestering became an obsession. That's when I sat down and started in earnest to write The Reincarnationist--which was published in Sept 2007, is out now in paperback, and is the first book in the series. But they don't have to be read in order.

How long did it take to write The Memorist? How many more books do you have planned that deal with reincarnation?

It took about 18 months and I have one more in the works but there might be more after that. . . I haven't decided yet.

How do you prepare before sitting down to write the actual novel? How much research do you do beforehand?

I've been researching the subject for years and have read over 50 books on reincarnation. . .but before writing each book, I have to do another 3-6 months of research on that particular book.

Do you have a particular writing routine? How much time do you spend writing every day?
The 3 months before I start a new novel, I don't write a word. While I'm doing all that research I also work on my main character's scrapbook. The very process of collecting her preferred poems, swatches of her favorite colors, and petals from the flowers she grows gives me time to find her.

I collect the ticket stubs for a performance of the Metropolitan Opera that she went to, a postcard from her mother's first trip to Europe, a piece of the red and white string on the pastry box from her grandmother's apartment; it's all in the scrapbook.

And only when I've found all the knickknacks of her life and I've done a fair amount of procrastinating do I even think about sitting down to write.

And then I try to write at least five days a week--from four to six hours a day--usually from noon to six with two breaks in there to walk the dog and go get coffee.

What are you reading now?

Deepak Chopra's Buddha.

Who are your favorite authors?

To many to name but some are: Paul Auster, Anne Rice, Robert Goddard, Michael Connelly, Ruth Rendell, Sophie Kinsella, Alice Hoffman, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Steve Berry, Jeffery Deaver. . .and I've been influenced by John O'Hara, Ayn Rand, Daphne DuMaurier, and John Gardner.

Are you working on another novel? Could you give us a hint as to what it's about?

Yes, I am. It's another book in this series and takes place in NYC and a bit in ancient Greece and ancient Persia.

Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists like myself?

Two things: Remember--writing may be an art, but selling your writing is a business. So love the process of writing because that is all about it that really matters. Whether you sell one book or 500,000 you have to love what you do everyday. Very few writers make a living writing fiction. We do it out of a passion for storytelling and the written word--if you are in it for the money, do something else.

Thanks, M.J.! I'm looking forward to the next book, and I wish you much success!

I have two sets of M.J. Rose's books up for grabs, which means TWO lucky winners will each receive a paperback copy of The Reincarnationist AND a hardcover copy of The Memorist!!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think about reincarnation. Make sure you leave an email address or blog URL if you want your entry to count!

This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents, and the deadline is Nov. 30. Good luck!

Visit the other blogs participating in The Memorist tour. A list of tour stops can be found here.

Once again, I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for this wonderful experience!

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of The Memorist from the publisher for review purposes.


Teddy Rose said...

I would love to win these books! I have always been undecided about reincarnation. However, more recently I am open to the idea more and more. There have been so many case studies that seem very convincing. I love to read about reincarnation both fact and fiction.

I blogged about your giveaway here:


Anonymous said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but I'm old enough to remember Edgar Cayce when he was popular and talking about all of that, so it intrigues me. Please enter me. milou2ster(at)

Anonymous said...

Loved this interview with such an interesting person. I'm a big Deepak fan myself. Also a Christian who believes in reincarnation (What? my Christian friends gasp!?)

OK I'll post an announcement on Free Spirit. Put me down for two. Be back in a sec with the permalink.

Anonymous said...

Here's the permalink to the Free Spirit blog announcement -

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about reincarnation, although I personally don't believe in it. Thanks for entering me.

djecse at yahoo dot com

Michele said...

I always laughed at the idea of reincarnation. And then my daughter came along and not only in appearance, but in mannerisms, she is the spitting image of my grandmother. It's the mannerisms that throw you for a loop! As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter what I believe, the fact is that I don't know and neither does anyone else for certain.

Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Anna!

Keyo said...

Hey Anna it would be great if i won, coz i am so totally interested in reading such things. I myself have "deja vu" type moments ever since i was young.
I dont talk much bout it, but i can totally relate to someone who says they are different and have some 'abilities'. this should be an awesome interesing read!! thanks.

Anonymous said...

I was born into the Catholic faith... but there are certain topics that I still don't understand. I'm pretty sure that my faith tells me that reincarnation doesn't happen though. But personally... I like the idea of reincarnation. The idea that life keeps going and you're given another chance. It's one of those questions that you can't ever answer... so I guess I don't like to strain my thoughts over it. =)

I am interested in these books though and the ideas it might inspire. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks. =)

Carmen T

Carol M said...

I would love to win these books. I'm very interested in this subject. I do believe in it. I think we have to keep coming back until we get things right!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

caseykelp said...

ooooh would love to win these please count me in
Thank you


Mari said...

I am intrigued with reincarnation. What would it be like to be concious of past lives? Anyway, these books sound wonderful. Thanks for a great interview and I would love a chance to win. :)

Gwendolyn B. said...

The idea of reincarnation is fascinating and I think I wish it were true, but I don't believe it. Love to read about it, though! Thanks for the chance!
geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Bookfool said...

I'd love to win these books! I'm not a believer in reincarnation, but I thought the whole concept of a Panchen Lama who keeps reincarnating was really fascinating and rather convincing in The Dharma King, which I read recently. I guess you could call me an open-minded non-believer. LOL Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Anna!

bookfoolery at yahoo dot com

Ruth Schaller said...

I believe in reincarnation. I think that when we die we come back either as a human or another animal. Our souls will live long past we do... ever get that feeling of deja veaux, well that could be because our souls experienced that before.

I love reading about all of that stuff. Count me in for this giveaway!

ruthiesbookreviews AT yahoo DOT com

Wendi said...

Great interview Anna! :) I always enjoy reading yours.

My father-in-law believes in reincarnation, but I don't.

Your interview has been added to
About the Author - An Author Interview Index

:) Wendi

Bridget said...

I've posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter the contest.

The Bookworm said...

wow, great giveaway, interview and review!
this sounds like a good one.
I like that it keeps you reading isntead of 'doing things like sleeping or cooking your family dinner' lol

I do believe in re-incarnation, some of us are old souls.

Darlene said...

I've always been fascinated by the topic of reincarnation which I do believe in. I would love to win these books Anna-great giveaway.

Sheri S. said...

While I don't believe in reincarnation myself, I find it such a fascinating concept. These books sounds amazing!

bookopolis at live dot com

Sheri S. said...

While I don't believe in reincarnation myself, I find it such a fascinating concept. These books sounds amazing!

bookopolis at live dot com

Lady Blogger said...

Very interesting. I've often thought and wondered about reincarnation. I know many people, including my maternal grandmother, believing that they were reincarnated. In my gram's case, I remember her telling me some years ago that she had been a gypsy in another life. I also wonder if people can be reincarnated into animals. Sometimes I feel as though my cat (laugh not!) was once human from another age/era.

Anna~ Please enter me in your contest. Thanks AGAIN for another fabulous find and fantastic interview!

Anna said...

I probably should've given my opinion earlier, since you're all sharing yours here. I don't really believe in reincarnation, but I've never had any experiences that would lead me to believe. I find stories about reincarnation very interesting, though.

Teddy Rose: Thanks for blogging about the giveaway. I really appreciate it!

Bermudaonion: I'm not familiar with Edgar Cayce. I'll have to look him up.

Marvin: Thanks for blogging the giveaway! I'm a Christian, and I didn't gasp at your confession! Until someone proves it one way or another, I like to keep an open mind.

Carolsnotebook: I agree that reincarnation stories are intriguing! Thanks for stopping by!

Michele: Thanks for sharing the story about your daughter. And you're totally right, no one knows whether reincarnation is real.

Keyomi: I know what you mean about deja vu. I've experienced that many times in the past. Never really thought about it applying to reincarnation though, but it's something to ponder.

Carmen: I'm Catholic, too, and I'm pretty sure the church doesn't believe in reincarnation. I should look it up in the Catechism. I agree that getting another chance to do things right sounds like a good idea!

Carol M: Thanks for entering and contributing to the discussion!

Caseykelp: You're welcome!

Mari: That's an interesting question. I wonder how I'd react if I had visions of a past life.

Gwendolyn: The subject really does make for a great read.

Ruth: Hmmm...if I was an animal in a past life, I'd love to know which one!!

Bookfool: An open-minded non-believer...I'd say that I'm one as well. Thanks for providing the label. It says it much better than my babbling! ;)

Wendi: Glad you enjoyed the review! You know, I have no idea if any of my family believes in reincarnation. I'll have to bring the subject up sometime. I'm sure it'll generate a great discussion.

Bridget: Thanks for posting the giveaway! You guys are great!

Naida: Glad you enjoyed them! Yeah, I had to put the book down when I realized my daughter wanted help with her homework and I just wasn't processing her request. And I'm usually a pretty good mom! LOL

Dar: I agree that the topic is fascinating. I'd like to read more about it when I get a chance.

Sheri: They are! Thanks for entering!

Lady Blogger: You'll have to tell me the cat story sometime!

Shana said...

Wow - it sounds like you did a ton of research on this subject.

It is very interesting that you don't write anything in the three months leading up to the process of starting a new novel.

Anna, great review & interview.


Jeannie said...

Thanks for the great review and interview, Anna.

"To enter, just leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think about reincarnation."

I am open-minded to the concept of reincarnation, although I have not personally experienced any convincing evidence.

Linda said...

These books sound so interesting, maybe after reading them I'll have a clearer idea about what I believe. lcbrower40 at gmail dot com

Suey said...

This books sound really interesting! Add me to the pile of entries!

As for what I think of reincarnation... I don't think it's real. Interesting, but not what I believe. Makes for a cool idea for books though! :)

April said...

Excellent interview and post, Anna! I would LOVE to win and read these books! They sound fantastic. I had seen The Memorist somewhere else, but not the first in the series. They sound awesome.
The whole subject of Reincarnation has always fascinated me - as does anything "questioning" I do believe in it and feel that how we lived our past lives effects how we live our life today. I'm sure that sounds hokey to many, but just something I believe.

Leslie said...

I do believe in reincarnation and these books sound very interesting. I would enjoy reading them.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win and read this book! I am an avid reader and this is right up my alley for reading favorites! Thanks so much for the chance!

April said...

I forgot to leave my email and blog:

Unknown said...

I think more than anything I'd like it to be real. Please enter me! Thanks for the chance. gimmemorebooks10 at gmail dot com

drey said...

Great interview! Growing up in an eastern culture where reincarnation isn't quite so "different," I have considered whether I'd had past lives. However, my personal experience doesn't seem to bear that thought to fruition...

Please enter me in your giveaway. I blogged about it here -

The Tome Traveller said...

Ooohh, I have sooo been wanting to read these books, please enter me!

I think the idea of reincarnation is intriguing. On the one hand the idea that your soul gets sent back to earth until you learn what you need to learn is fascinating. On the other hand I really want my family to be wherever I end up.

There was a 1987 movie called "Made in Heaven" with Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis that was about reincarnation. I remember that I really liked the film.

Serena said...

How I failed to comment on this review and guest post I have no idea...must have been all that computer crashing with the old computer, or the google reader burying it in the 400+ posts I have to catch up on.

Anyways, I do believe that reincarnation is an interesting concept and I've had some serious dreams that felt real that were set in the past...I've never really researched this topic...I'm not sure I want to know about those past lives if I had any.

I already have the memorist in the tbr pile thanks to MJ Rose. She's are great marketer...I love Authorbuzz.

Great review and interview by the way...not that you need to hear me say it.

Unknown said...

I don't believe in reincarnation. I mean, what if you don't get any choice in what you come back as. You could end up being a drug addict, followed by a Golden Retriever and then on to a miserable eccentric. What a way to live your lives!

Thanks for doing the giveaway. These books have really piqued my interest.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

pamwax said...

You had me at suspense. I love a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat or up late.

I don't believe in reincarnation. I think we get one chance and should make the most of it. That being said I don't believe in ghosts either but I will read about them.

Anonymous said...

Oh God, that gave me kind of weird feeling... that was like WOW! - what the author said about the reincarnation thing and then about her niece! I won this at one of the other blogs [ I might one of the titles :)]

Thanks for this wonderful wonderful interview!

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated by the concept
of reincarnation. I'm not sure about the idea of coming back as a different species, but the notion of repeating till you get it right makes sense to me. As a child I read about Bridey Murphy, who claimed to remember past lives under hypnosis, and I've been hooked on the subject ever since.

.Books by TJ Baff said...

I don't know if I believe in reincarnation for real. The idea has scary relevence for me as my son died 2 years ago. I think that I would prefer that he be with God...rather than come back as another person.
Please enter me for this contest though because the books look really fun and interesting.

RebekahC said...

I think these books would be very interesting to read. I don't, however, believe in the theory of reincarnation. I believe that once a body dies the spirit goes on either to Heaven or Hell.

Thanks for the entry.

Marie said...

I like the idea of reincarnation, but I'm still on the fence about it. I'd love to win these books! Thanks, mparke[at]shaw[dot]ca

Carolyn Sharkas said...

These sound like great books and I would love to read them.

thanks for sharing

Ceashark at aol dot com

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I'd love to be entered Anna. I have seen this book around and if not for your other post and the interview, I wouldn't have realized that there were a few books in this thread. Fascinating about how Rose came up with the concept about the book--and a little creepy. My mother in law had a similar experience with my brother in law when he was little. I'm not sure how I feel about reincarnation--it's definitely a tough pill to swallow!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in reincarnation, but these books sound like fascinating reads anyway.

nnjmom at yahoo dot com

Ladytink_534 said...

Even before I knew what reincarnation was I believed that when a person or an animal died they weren't really dead, just somewhere where I couldn't see them any longer. It helped me cope so I guess I kind of do believe in reincarnation lol.


Wrighty said...

Wow, great job with the interview and review! It was all so interesting. I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation or not. I think the topic is so fascinating and there are so many possibilities. It certainly give an author plenty of material. Please include me and thank you for your contest!


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Sounds like a great book, an what a lovely interview. I love hearing about books authors like to read and their writing routines. They all seem to require so much discipline. Some thing I am working at. I lean into considering reincarnation. What a fascinating way to correct the soul.

Anna said...

Thanks to everyone who has entered the contest so far! I'm very swamped so I can't answer all the giveaway comments individually this time, but I want you all to know that I appreciate you taking the time to read my review and interview. I've really enjoyed reading what you all think about reincarnation. Whether you believe or not, it's certainly a fascinating topic.

a real librarian said...

Wow, these books sound really interesting!! About reincarnation - I'm undecided. maybe after reading these books, I'll have a more definite opinion! Thanks for the chance to win!


bison61 said...

I'm unsure-I would probably say I do not believe in reincarnation, but I'm interested in read about the subject, so I guess I'm undecided

tiramisu392 (at)

tanabata said...

These books really do sound fascinating! I found it really interesting that she makes a scrapbook of keepsakes for her character before she sits down to write.
As for reincarnation, I'm not really sure. I'm not convinced either way but am intrigued to read more about it. When I read Cave in the Snow earlier this year, a biography of a British woman who became a Tibetan Buddhist nun, it was quite interesting to learn her thoughts on reincarnation since it's such a big part of Tibetan Buddhism.
Anyway, I'd love to have my name in for a chance to win and can give a Canadian address if by some chance I happen to win. Thanks.
tanabata2000 at gmail dot com

Theresa N. said...

I don't believe in reincarnation.
Life would be to easy if we just kept coming back.
Theresa N

Anonymous said...

I think reincarnation is a fascinating concept, and I enjoy reading about it.

Anna said...

That scrapbook idea to get to know your characters is awesome!

Thanks to everyone who's participated in the discussion so far. I really enjoy reading your responses.

Paradox said...

I think reincarnation, or something similar, is a possibility. Or at least something that seems more appealing than just ceasing to exist or running the risk of burning in some underworld forever. That's probably why we want it to be true.