Beverly Knauer lives in sunny San Diego, California. She received her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her master’s degree in public health from San Diego State University. She served in the role of Chief of Rehabilitation Services for the County of San Diego, working with other occupational and physical therapists who provide therapy to children with special needs.
These days you’ll find her walking barefoot on the sandy shores of California’s gorgeous beaches searching for seashells, sipping and tasting different varieties of wines at the local vineyards, and writing fiction. Her debut novel is called The Line Between and her new novel, The Soul’s Hope, is coming out soon.
Q: Who is the real Beverly Knauer?
A: If I were to answer that question in line with what I write in my novels, I’d say the real Beverly is a soul disguised in a human body, playing her part to make the world a better place. I enjoy being in service to others, and I’ve spent the majority of my life helping children with disabilities learn to live as independent lives as possible. As the Chief of Rehabilitation Services for the County of San Diego, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the most courageous, inspirational children and families who have taught me so much about the meaning of life. Currently, I live in San Diego, enjoying the free time I have doing what I’ve always loved—writing!
Q: You are a dog owner of a lovely black labrador called, Jack. However, you also crochet jackets for shelter dogs. How did that come about and how many do you make a year.
A: While exploring the Internet one day, I saw a photo of a number of dogs all sleeping together by a fireplace at a place in Tennessee called the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. My heart melted when I saw the photo, and I did a little dance when I saw how these folks provide a loving home, good food, vet care, compassion and comfort to senior dogs for the remainder of their lives. There was something about that photo and that concept that yanked at my heartstrings. When I suddenly remembered that I had skeins of yarn in my closet (I have a tendency to hoard craft supplies), the idea came to me that I could help provide some comfort to our furry friends by making them warm sweaters. I think I made approximately twenty last year.
Q: Your website by-line states: “Visionary fiction – words that transform lives.” Visionary fiction is not a new genre, but it is not a genre that is readily recognised or even understood. What is it and what made you choose this genre to write about?
A: Most people are not familiar with the visionary fiction genre by this name, but they may be more familiar with the terms new age or metaphysical fiction. The books, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach, and the Celestine Prophecy, a 1993 novel by James Redfield that speaks to various spiritual ideas rooted in ancient Eastern traditions and New Age spirituality, were books that spoke to me, and I became fascinated and intrigued with the concepts. Often these types of books are more readily recognized using the terms “philosophical,” “inspirational,” “new age,” and “metaphysical,” fiction. Visionary fiction emerged as a distinct genre around the year 2000. I think of it as fiction that quietly and unobtrusively shifts the reader’s consciousness. The magical process of raising the consciousness is accomplished through the individual’s experience and his or her personal relationship with the story. The story’s message gently prods and pokes the sleeping bear within, to draw the reader to a place of internal change: a transformation that involves a letting go, a releasing of preconceived concepts, allowing for a transition—an emergence to a higher level of consciousness. I didn’t choose this genre—it chose me. The story was there in my mind, and I simply had to write it down.
Q: Have you always been interested in spirituality or was there a defining moment in your life that shaped your esoteric outlook?
A: Yes, I’ve always been interested in these concepts. I became even more determined to explore them in depth when my godson was born and began talking in great detail about his past life experiences. The things he shared were enthralling to me, and my thirst for knowledge began in earnest. Over the years, I must have read hundreds of books and attended many classes and groups exploring these concepts.
Q: Congratulations on winning the latest One Stop Fiction Facebook Cover Wars for your book, The Line Between. It really is a very eye-catching cover. Who was your designer and how much of a say did you have in its creation?
A: The cover is one of the first things that draws me to a book, so my cover was very important to me as I wanted something beautiful and artistic. I don’t even know the name of the actual artist who designed it as I worked through a project manager at a design company. I had definite pre-set ideas about what it should look like. I wanted an ethereal feel to the artwork and a blue butterfly. Many people honor the butterfly as a symbol of metamorphosis, and blue butterflies are sacred in many other cultures. The butterfly represents transformation—the underlying theme of my books.
Q: People have said about your book that it has made them think on a deeper level and made them think about their own spirituality. Was this something that you had set out to do when you started writing this story?
A: Yes, this was my intent, and I’m thrilled when people tell me they find my book thought provoking. My books are not religious in nature and the story is not meant to lecture, teach, or cause anyone to change their belief systems. My desire is to challenge people to think about the deeper aspects of their own lives. Several people have said the message they received from the book came at just the right time for them. One lady told me the story made her think about her own life circumstances and how it will always be a huge part of her own healing process that she will never forget and thanked me for giving her that comfort. That is the most magnificent gift for me to receive as an author.
Q: Your story opens with a suicide, yet the book is about hope. It is a book that deals with life, death and what comes next without it being religious. Would you care to comment on this?
A: The suicide is actually a small part of the story, but it is the event that is the catalyst for the main character, Sophie, to start her journey of personal transformation. As she works through her anger, her guilt, her sadness and loss, she transforms, learning to heal herself with the tools of gratitude, love, and forgiveness. Her journey, her own metamorphosis and transformation, helps her to find a place of personal peace and hope. She learns that everyone has experiences in life that are painful, some even tragic, yet she gains an appreciation that all experiences, the painful as well as the joyful, are learning opportunities to be equally embraced.
Q: One of the main themes of the book is about spirit guides/guardian angels. Do you have a spirit guide that has helped you through life?
A: I utilize spirit guides in the story to signify the support systems we have in our lives. According to my studies, angels do not incarnate, whereas a spirit guide has and could take human form again. Spirit guides are said to be aware of our greater purpose in life and available to support us and guide us on our life path. Whether one believes in spirit guides or not, the idea that we are being looked after and supported, by any means, is a comforting thought that can help us on our journey. I do have an inner guidance that I count on to help direct me in all aspects of my life.
Q: Tell me about your thoughts on things happening to us by chance, or coincidence.
A: Have you ever had that experience where you think of a friend you haven’t thought of for years and all of a sudden they contact you, seemingly out of the blue? Or have you ever felt like you were at exactly the right place at the right time? Things that happen like this are called synchronicity, the universe’s way of sending you a message. Synchronicity is a concept, first explained by psychoanalyst Carl Jung. The theory is that there is always a reason that things happen and an inter-connectedness to everything. It’s said that there is no separation from you and others; everything and everyone is connected.
Q: You have a new book coming out, The Soul’s Hope. Will this be something similar to your first book, or different?
A: The Soul’s Hope is expected to come out in a month or two. This book is also visionary fiction written in a lighter tone than The Line Between. The themes in this book are those of our interconnectedness as human beings, karma, and the healing power of unconditional love. In this book, the universe draws three different groups of individuals together for a very specific reason in a very unexpected way. They have no idea how their lives intersect until circumstances pull them all together for the most shockingly surprising revelation of their lives. My hope is that people find The Soul’s Hope as equally thought provoking as The Line Between.