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M is for Memory #atozchallenge

Memories fascinate me–not so much the memories themselves as their presence or absence.

Why do we remember? Why do we forget? This article on About.com has some answers, but much of what there is to know about memory remains elusive.

In my Valiant Chronicles, I played around with memory and how it influences people.

Assume for a moment that reincarnation is true. Most people don’t remember their previous lives, but their previous lives affect their existing one. Maybe that would explain instant attraction or repulsion to another person. Perhaps it influences life choices.

Carolyn and Michael are haunted by glimpses of their previous lives through dreams. Their current life repeats a pattern established in previous lives. This life, for them, is another opportunity to break the pattern and change the future.

When I wrote the story, I was what-iffing about reincarnation and how it might work.

If past lives exist and birth into a new life erases the memory of what went before, how does one break the pattern? If a lesson must be learned before you can move on, how can you learn from your mistakes if you can’t remember them?

And what if the memories that do exist have been implanted?

In the sixties and early seventies, the CIA was involved with mind control experiments in their MKUltra project. In A Ring of Truth, I explore what the impact would be on people who have their memories tampered with.

The questions I asked myself were: Are you your memories? What if they’re not your real memories? Who are you, then? How does it change you when you discover the truth? If your past contains horrors you thought you’d lived through, what does it do to you to find out they never happened?

Multiple characters in The Valiant Chronicles confront these revelations.

Dani in Injury faces something similar when she learns the truth about her childhood. Not only is her belief in what happened in her childhood based on lies her own mother told her, she has some repressed memories. When all this comes out, it changes who she is.

Memories affect our lives, but we also have a choice in how we react to what happens to us. One person will become bitter, while another will become more resilient. Exploring what shapes people has always fascinated me, and I enjoy exploring it in my writing.

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One Response

  1. […] from their books, or to share some of the thing that inspired thee events or characters it depicts. Val Tobin is one of those, so is Yolanda Renee whose murder mysteries are set in Alaska. Her #atozchallenge […]

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