How do you learn about the human soul?
If you’re Gina Dewink, you might take a week to plan things out, then launch into a series of interviews with religious experts, doctors, psychics, and more, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of an enduring -- and, perhaps -- unanswerable question.
Dewink, already a published author (and, full disclosure, a freelancer for 507 Magazine), researched her latest novel, “Human, With a Side of Soul,” by interviewing experts in different fields over the course of eight months. Editing and publishing their words took another five months.
Though she’d rather not give away any conclusions, Dewink says she went through several changes in the year and change it took to finish the project.
“Writing this book changed me for the better,” she says.
“Human, With a Side of Soul” was officially published in mid-December. But if the new year has you pondering your spirituality, you can jump into the novel at the Castle. Dewink’s launch party Saturday will include free paperbacks for the first 15 attendees, soul trivia, a brief reading, and a book signing.
We caught up with Dewink on the process of interviewing for and writing “Human, With a Side of Soul.”
When and why did you start inquiring about the state of the human soul?
I didn't set out to write a book about soul beliefs, but rather, the topic followed me around for a few years until I acknowledged it. In the first chapter of “Human, with a Side of Soul,” I cover my strange string of occurrences that lasted from 2016 until I began writing the book in November 2018. Things many might see as coincidences, I started to wonder if they were signs. And what would happen if I followed the signs? So in that, there's my personal journey--a sort of memoir--of following the signs and conducting the interviews. I intertwine my own story with the interviews of perspectives such as a neurologist, atheist, Hindu, psychologist, etc.
How did you choose the interviews for this book?
Part of my process for the book was to believe in the power of asking for what you want; trusting the law of attraction. For the duration of the eight months, I conducted interviews and wrote the book, I asked for a perspective--such as a psychic medium--and they came to me. I interviewed a dozen people from the medical, scientific and spiritual realms in the end. I did not pre-select any of them.
Your website says this book isn’t for everyone -- what do you think your audience is?
I realize there are people out there who don't enjoy pondering. There are also those who feel one hundred percent sure in their beliefs. I am not aiming to change anyone's mind. I'm only hoping to offer a glimpse into how much is unknown, so a person could continue learning if the passion was there. In the book's introduction, I refer to the book as a kind of “Soul 101.” That's really how I see it. A brief learning session for those who have the interest.
What was your most surprising interview or insight?
Without giving away too much, one of the points that surprised me was how few people were afraid of dying. Going into the project and asking strangers if they were afraid to die was an uneasy thing to do, but it ended up being beautiful. I had no idea being afraid of death wasn't the majority. Another surprising point was that even though I was skeptical, the law of attraction "ask and you shall receive" method gave me every single thing I asked for, which still astounds me.