Interview with Dennis Batchelder, author of Soul Identity

by Ellen George

(as posted on

Recently I had the pleasure of posing a number of questions to Dennis Batchelder...

ellen - Your first Soul Identity is about a very interesting topic - storing your earthly wealth to yourself when you reincarnate - in ther words you CAN take it with you! How did you come up with that premise?

Dennis - Five years ago, my wife and I were vacationing with my uncle and aunt in Aruba, and my uncle explained his spending binge with, "There are no pockets in the coffin." That got me thinking, what if there were? Or more importantly, what if you believed there were pockets? Then I thought about what kind of organization would track these pockets, and up popped Soul Idenity. It took me another couple years to figure out how they'd track souls between multiple lives. Now here's the tough part: I don't believe that souls are reincarnated. So I knew that my Soul Identity had to require belief instead of proof. This allowed me to explore ideas about the impact of faith on your actions, and the dangers of fundamentalism: two topics very relevant to our times.

ellen - Your protagonist, Scott Waverly, reminds me of Nelson DeMille's John Corey - wise cracking, brilliant, great integrity. What was the process of making a well-rounded character like Scott?

Dennis - Funny you would mention that. As I was writing Soul Identity, I pictured Scott Waverly as somebody who'd be happy to pal around with DeMille's John Corey and Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. They both are first person and funny, and I'd trust either of them to do the right thing.

ellen - Some of the action in Soul Identity takes place in India - you lived there, didn't you? What were the circumstances and what did you take from that experience? Any influence regarding reincarnation from that experience?

Dennis - Yes, I spent nineteen months in India, helping to build a world-class security development center for my previous employer. Probably the biggest influence on Soul Identity was the overpowering influence of the faith and devotion I saw in the Indian people. And yes, I was able to capture the viewpoints on reincarnation from the Hindus and the Buddhists I met.

ellen - Do you like character driven novels?

Dennis - I like plot-driven novels with strong characters doing the driving.

ellen - Your sequel to Soul Identity is Soul Intent- it takes place in 1940's Germany - What's the plot of Intent? Do Scott and Val go back in time?

Dennis - The nice thing about building an organization like Soul Identity is that it gives me a very broad platform upon which I can build all kinds of stories. Soul Intent tells the story of how a young Archibald Morgan is tasked with helping former Nazi leader Hernamm Goering deposit his plundered gold into a soul line collection, and how the then-teenager Madame Flora tries to thwart him. Up in present day, when he discovers the gold is missing, Archie asks Scott and Val to recover it. They unravel the story, expose Madame Flora's deception, and set off on a Nazi gold recovery operation.

ellen - You mentioned extensive research on your blog - spending hours of research to get wording of a train ticket from that period - how much does getting things historically accurate mean to you?

Dennis - It means a lot. I love reading historical fiction, and I hate it when some 'fact' jars with what I know. Writers who take the liberty to place their stories in history have the responsibility to suspend their readers' disbelief.

ellen - What made you become a writer?

Dennis - I've always been a writer.

ellen - Can you explain the pros and cons of self-publishing in today's publishing world?

Dennis - I view self-publishing as an almost-necessary step for most new fiction authors to establish themselves. However, I've found that it's much more difficult to be both the author and the publisher: writing a book and preparing a book for market are opposing tasks, and what tends to happen is the self-published author rushes his book to print without thorough editing. Also, self-published authors have to suspend their writing and focus on distribution, accounting, and promotion. This takes time away from the next book. I hope that someday a traditional publisher will pick up my Soul Identity books, letting me focus on writing more great stories.

ellen - You just moved to the Pacific Northwest - how different is that from the exotic places you and your family have lived?

Dennis - We have the comforts of the Western world, but the beauty and ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest - it is as grand as any place we've ever lived.

ellen - How can your fans contact you?

Dennis - They can visit my Website: They can also find me lurking on Amazon's thriller discussions,, and

ellen - Thanks Dennis! Looking forward to more excellent books! I hope the readers will enjoy Soul Identity as much as I did!

Dennis - Thank you, ellen!

ellen's note - Dennis Batchelder has been instrumental in helping fellow new authors by providing them a forum to interact and share ideas and promote themselves, as he mentioned, in the Amazon thriller discussion forums.

Back to Praise for Soul Identity...

Soul Intent

Publisher: NetLeaves
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-10: 0979805627
ISBN-13: 9780979805622
Library of Congress
Control Number:
Buy "Soul Intent"

Soul Identity


Publisher: NetLeaves
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 0979805600
ISBN-13: 978-0979805608
Library of Congress
Control Number:
Buy "Soul Identity"