Inside the Book:
Title: Going and Coming
Author: Christopher Stone
Publisher: MLR Press
I am a lifelong student of metaphysics, and, for many years, I’ve wanted to find a way to broach metaphysical themes within the context of popular fiction.
With my Past Life Regression therapist, Dr. Minnow Saint James, I’ve realized that goal. Dr. Saint James, “Minn” to his friends, is a metaphysical Sherlock Holmes, a spirit world sleuth who goes into the past, and sometimes future, lives of his patients, coming back with the other life origins of their present day challenges.
For me, this character, and this book, are long held dreams come true.
Where is your book set and why did you choose that location?
The action shifts between Hermosa Beach, California, and Beverly Hills.
Beverly Hills is the perfect setting for Minn’s life of privilege and success. And I lived in Beverly Hills for four years, and so I know the town.
When Minn recreates himself as a Past Life Regression therapist, he feels compelled to reinvent himself professionally in a new community. Picturesque Hermosa Beach is a good place: close enough to his family and friends, yet removed from the Hollywood hustle and bustle that permeates the hills of Beverly. For the past seventeen years, I’ve lived only five miles from Hermosa, and I knew it quite well, too.
I’d like to know more about Going and Coming. Can you give us a little background into why you wrote the novel?
Because I had long desired to fold metaphysics into a fiction, I saw Dr. Minnow Saint James and Going and Coming, as the perfect vehicles to do so.
In the book, Minn traces one patient’s every step from his physical death in one life, following him through his time in the spirit world, and then through his decision to reincarnate in a fresh body. That particular journey has compelled me for many years.
I’d like to know more about the main character. Can you tell us more about him?
With pleasure. Minnow Saint James was born into a family of wealthy atheists, in the Golden Triangle of real estate that is known as Beverly Hills. He was raised to accept as real only what his physical senses perceived. To Minn’s parents, and to Minn, things metaphysical and spiritual are bogus hocus pocus mumbo jumbo.
Graduating from UCLA, with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Minn enters the edgy field of Hypnotic Regression therapy. He becomes enormously successful.
But eight years into his practice, spontaneously and unbidden, a new patient regresses hypnotically – not to her childhood as Minn had suggested – but to a life as a teenager in Eighth Century Coba, in Mexico’s Yucatan.
The experience turns Minn’s world upside down, and soon he is questioning his entire worldview.
Can you tell us something about the supporting characters?
Randal Sherman, aka Friday, is Minn’s right-hand man, and the playboy First Son of Hermosa Beach. Friday is devastatingly attractive – an aggressive young man who is accustomed to getting what he desires.
Gertrude Sherman, the First Lady of Hermosa Beach is a Teutonic busy body and snob – one who believes that being Minn’s assistant is way beneath her son’s social standing. She’s hell-bent on destroying Minn, professionally speaking.
Auntie Diana Hughes is an “aunt” of choice, and not a blood relative. Auntie Diana is rich and famous; currently starring in her second hit broadcast network television series. Though glamorous and energetic, Auntie D is edging seventy-years-old. She is Minn’s protector and his best friend.
They say all fiction books have pivotal points in the book where the reader just can’t put the book down. What’s one pivotal point in Going and Coming?
Perhaps Going and Coming’s first pivotal point is when Diana Hughes, regresses herself to a past life. As if that were not shocking enough for the pragmatic Dr. Saint James, when Minn asks her to pin a date on the life she is remembering, she blurts, “752.”
What’s next on your agenda?
Assuming you mean my professional agenda, I’ll be writing, The Coming of Beth, The Minnow Saint James Metaphysical Adventures, Book Two.
What would you like to say to your readers/fans?
I value, and am grateful for, each and every one of you. Without you, professionally speaking, there is no me.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Meet the Author
Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows.
Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety.
Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show.
As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.
Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip.
Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp.
Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version.
Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions.
When not writing, Christopher used his longtime interest in, and study of, metaphysics, to teach meditation and psychic development classes – first in Beverly Hills, then later, in Manhattan Beach.
He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books. Subsequently, he returned to journalism, this time, contributing hundreds of print and online entertainment features, columns and reviews to magazines and websites. For eight years, Christopher was the Box-office Columnist for MatchFlick.com, a popular online motion picture site.
In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994, and they have been together ever since. In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles.
They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.
In 2013, Christopher’s pet project has been transforming their rarely used kitchen table area into a killer, retro 1950s Diner Nook, complete with a 1952 Seeburg Table Top jukebox, a neon diner sign, and a malt machine.
Christopher’s first novel, Frame of Reference was e and print published, in fall 2012, by MLR Press. A short story, Sweet Homo Alabama was published by MLR Press, December 19, 2012.
Stone spent much of 2013 writing Frame of Reference 2: The Dark Side of Stardom, a sequel novel to Frame of Reference, as well as, Abracadabra, and a short story, published at Halloween. But the indefatigable scribe also found time to contribute weekly reviews, columns and interviews to Queer Town Abbey.
As 2014 begins, Christopher looks forward to the publication of The Dark Side of Stardom, and he is developing a short story, Camelot Conundrum, as well as a metaphysical mystery novel, Going and Coming.