Q&A with Kevin Fox
In addition to family traditions, I've done a great deal of research into ancient Irish culture and its belief systems, as well as a variety of other traditions, including the mystery religions, Tibetan, Egyptian, Greek, and Norse belief systems.

When examined in broader context, all of these have similar core beliefs and even similar rites of passage that share the essential elements of the one described in the book. After doing the research I have sought out and experienced several past-life regressions, but have not, given that the awakening ceremony has as one element a near death experience, tried that ritual.

Reincarnation figures prominently into the plot of the novel. How important is this concept in Irish culture and how do you feel most readers will respond to it?
I think most of the Irish would say that reincarnation has nothing to do with Irish culture - on the surface. But this is the interesting dichotomy in a culture that makes constant reference to "old souls" and "other lifetimes". The Celtic Church, including sects such as the Culdees, were different than the rest of the Roman Catholic Church, and until the tenth or eleventh century preached reincarnation among other Druidic traditions. Even after the Celtic Church was brought in line with the Roman rite, the culture outside of the church paid respect to ancient beliefs that would seem to be in contrast to the accepted religion, including an abiding belief in ghosts, little people, curses, and the power of cultural memory, which is a significant power in the book. So while reincarnation is not part of mainstream Irish culture, I believe the once prevalent belief is still underground, like a hidden stream of water flowing beneath the surface. For this reason, I do think it will resonate with most people on some deeper level, and it's the reason I chose to tell the story from the point of view of two grounded cynics who do not have a belief in reincarnation. That, I believe, will be the point of view most readers will have as well. All in all, I'm not sure that readers need to believe in reincarnation in order to enjoy the story, but I do hope that at the very least the novel makes them consider how their world might be different if they did believe in it.

In addition to the mystery, suspense, and Irish history plot lines, Until the Next Time is also a love story.
I made a conscious decision when I decided to write a novel about multiple lifetimes that at its core there needed to be a love story. It wasn’t that there needed to be one for storytelling purposes, but there did need to be one in order to be realistic, for I believe there is at least one love story in every lifetime, even if it is the story of a lost love, a doomed love, or vengeance for a love denied. <next page>
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