Through the Black Hole » THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, And Life After Death – Marie D. Jones & Larry Flaxman

THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, And Life After Death – Marie D. Jones & Larry Flaxman

Written by Tony Northrup


To say Marie D. Jones wears many hats would be an understatement. She has an extensive list of credits to her name, from author, filmmaker, podcast guest, and many others in between.

When she’s not talking about the paranormal in magazine articles or on podcast shows, she’s making short films, including the Stephen King Dollar Baby film adaptation Graduation Afternoon, based on one of King’s short stories. Between all of that, Marie is a certified disaster response/preparedness member through FEMA. Never a dull moment with Marie D. Jones! Her latest book, THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, And Life After Death…is her newest release that answers in many ways: What happens after we die?

THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven,Hell ,And Life After Death…is one of the most interesting, entertaining, and hottest topic books I’ve ever read. What happens after we die? Do angels exist, the paranormal, and what about reincarnation? Heaven and Hell, do these realms exist, and if so what are they like? Categories such as Mediums and others who “talk to the dead”, rituals, near death experiences, and even asking the question: Why do we have to die? There’s certainly more than a lot covered in this book.

We have countless conversations about so many topics, however, the subject of “life after death” and the outer realm has always been thought about, and questioned by the youngest of children to the most elderly of adults. Some of us find the subject to be fascinating, overwhelming, peaceful, and some even find it frightening! No matter how you feel, or what your beliefs are, nor how much you question the subject – you will perhaps finally find some of your answers in THE AFTERLIFE BOOK.

I found this book to be very informative as the author talked with specialists, religious figures, scholars, and even witnesses themselves who have claimed to have died and come back to life! Is there a light at the end of a long tunnel? Are there horns playing? Is it paradise we see? Are our past relatives, friends, and even pets waiting for us when we get there? You can ask a thousand questions and at the end of the day, none of us truly know until our time comes. Until then, why not broaden your spectrum on the subject?

I highly recommend THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, And Life After Death…No stone, nor sub-topic about the afterlife is left unturned, but simply…a page away. Perhaps the answers you seek will be there.

It’s my honor to bring you this interview with Marie D. Jones, author of THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, And Life After Death…2023

Anthony Northrup – Thank you Marie for your time today. Please share with our readers a little about yourself?
Marie D. Jones – I am an East Coast to California transplant who has been writing since toddlerhood. I started telling stories to whomever would listen at the age of 3 from what I am told. I got my first “sale” at the age of 5, selling a joke to the Globe for five dollars, and from there it was just a natural progression. I studied Journalism in college and have been publishing consistently since I was a teenager, both fiction and non-fiction. Today, I have 30 books in print, most traditional publishing, and probably over a hundred books I’ve contributed to, as well as hundreds of articles, blogs, reviews, etc. but am now going to focus solely on fiction and screenwriting and publish indie from this point on, unless I get an offer I can’t refuse. I sold two scripts during COVID that just premiered this past winter of 2023 on UPtv and Lifetime Movie Network. I also write and co-produce short films, with three that made the festival circuit, and I am a 20-year trained disaster preparedness expert, and a longtime student of the paranormal, especially Ufology. That interest also seemed to have made itself known in early childhood. I thought I saw Bigfoot in the woods behind our house when I was about five years old! I am a longtime horse racing aficionado and I own shares in several horses currently running. I am also a proud and doting mom to one amazing son, Max.

AN – You are part of the Stephen King Dollar Baby Program as you worked on the short film, Graduation Afternoon, based on King’s story. However, you’ve written over 30 books now. Do you find it more interesting and challenging being an author or a filmmaker?
MDJ – Both have their own challenges. Scripts have to be visual, show but don’t tell, so not getting into the heads of characters, and when you sell a script, you must be prepared for someone to change things without your permission. You basically turn your “baby” over to a collaborative team, unless you also direct. Fiction allows you the chance to truly tell a story and get into the minds of the characters, which is great fun but a ton more work, and if you publish indie, you can control all aspects of it, which can be a blessing and a curse! Publishing traditionally is nice, but no longer what it used to be. Advances are minimal, royalties suck, and the publisher takes half if not all of your film and TV rights. With indie, you keep it all, but you are also responsible for it all! When I come up with an idea, I know right away if it feels like a script, a novel, or a novella! I usually come up with a title first, if you can believe that, and then the story shapes itself around it. I know, kind of backwards, but it’s how my brain works.

AN – Let’s talk about your new book, THE AFTERLIFE BOOK: Heaven, Hell, and Life After Death. How long was the process for this book from start to finish, and what inspired you to write about such a popular, yet controversial subject matter?
MDJ – I believe we had about six months to write the book from the time the contract was signed. This was actually an idea presented to me by my publisher, Visible Ink Press. I often would give the publisher an idea of what I wanted to write, and now and then they would ask if I had interest in covering a specific topic. The AFTERLIFE book was the latter, where I got the offer and ran with it because, of course, I had interest in the subject matter. I already had a lot of the research on hand and my co-author Larry also had a backlog of such research as he is a paranormal investigator who does a lot of work out in the field.

AN – What challenges did you face while writing about this subject, and did you meet anyone in person who died and came back and shared their story? If so, what was that like?
MDJ – I’ve written so many books that it was no challenge at all. Well, except for trying to keep to the word count and not go over it because there are so many things that are covered under the subject matter! I have met people who claimed they died and told me their stories and it is always very exciting to hear the common threads which everyone knows about, but also the more subtle differences that each person reported. My father was a scientist so I do have a skeptical edge, though, and always lead with that, but I am also very open-minded and take note specifically of patterns and common threads in experiences I am told about. It is clear these people experienced something, but I could never say with 100% certainty what. I always say we truly won’t know until we die, and then we probably won’t care!!!

AN – Your book covers every possible question one might have about the afterlife from what happens when we die, what is the soul,to ghosts In the afterlife. Which chapter in the book was the most challenging, and did you have a particular favorite chapter you found most interesting?
MDJ – I always enjoy researching and writing about actual experiences people have had. This is always the most exciting part of any research, knowing what people experienced, even if it is subjective and cannot be taken for 100% proof. But circumstantial evidence is important to keep note of, especially when so many people report the same things. I also really liked looking into how other cultures look at death and how often they are far less fearful than we Westerners are. They seem to take it more in stride as part of the cycle of nature, of which we humans are a part. There also seems to be a greater reverence for older people in general in these other cultures, and a real emphasis on death NOT being an end, but a beginning of a new journey. That said, I got a kick out of some of the wild and wacky death traditions of many cultures. You have to read the book to see what I mean.

AN – Do you believe in reincarnation, Angels, Hell, and does paranormal really exist? If paranormal does exist, what have you experienced that has convinced you it does?
MDJ – I believe in the continuation of energy and consciousness after physical death. As far as the more religious topics, I am pretty well-versed in world religions and mythology to know where these concepts emerged from so I don’t “believe” in them per se, but I do believe they are perceptions and representations, albeit symbolic, of experiences our ancestors had that they did not have the scientific acumen to explain. The paranormal does exist, by the sheer fact that we have such a limited perspective of reality as human beings, so anything outside of our visible/auditory spectrum would be considered paranormal. The more I learn of quantum and theoretical physics, the more I see how the possibilities exist that what we call paranormal is activity occurring in another universe/dimension altogether, thus our inability to identify the “physics” of it all. I have had a handful of strange experiences with energy, feeling presence or shifts in energy in a room or location, knowing where a murder took place before being told. That kind of thing. My experiences have always been indirect in that I did not “see” an apparition or an alien! But a few things have happened that not only gave me pause, but pushed me into further research.

AN – Was there any part of the book that was almost too emotional for you? If so, which part was it and why?
MDJ – No, except a little bit of apprehension pushing myself to face death as a subject matter. I approach non-fiction from an objective, almost journalistic point of view. I don’t get too emotional, unless I am writing about something that pisses me off, as in my books on propaganda and media manipulation, mind control, and toxins we are exposed to. Those books were very difficult to research and write. This one was somewhat comforting because when you fully face a fearful subject, and we fear death more than anything, even if you still have no solid proof of what happens when you die, you feel a bit wiser and more open to finding out! Facing the fear of death dissipates some of that fear, but we still live each day without really knowing where we will end up when we die. It’s life’s greatest mystery. I suspect that is for a reason, as knowing all about what happens “later” might change the way we live for the “now.”

AN – You wrote the book with author Larry Flaxman. Share with us how he came on board, and share with us any thoughts you’d like to about him and his work?
MDJ – The publisher asked that we do another book together to follow up on our book on Demons and Fallen Angels, which sold well. So, because Larry has a long history of doing field work in the paranormal and has a YouTube channel to showcase his work and investigations, it was a no-brainer. It is also a subject he and I had discussed in the past in detail as we wrote other books together, so sort of felt like a culmination of our work together.

AN – Are you afraid of death itself? What do you feel comes next after our time is completed in this realm?
MDJ – Yes, of course I am. If someone says they are not afraid of death, they are liars. Everyone fears death, yet we seem to have an awful lot of death wishes. The way we act towards each other, our planet, the crap foods we eat, the dangers we put ourselves in…almost as if we are trying to control death. But we cannot. Everyone dies and my personal feeling is that it is one death and a new rebirth, and we only need to look at nature to see the cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth. The true final frontier is human consciousness, which we still know so little about. But my belief, and again, this belief is that it exists outside of the body, using the brain as a transceiver, and that when we experience physical death, we return to a field of consciousness. I love Lynne McTaggart’s book, THE FIELD, which is all about the zero-point field. She really helped me formulate a greater understanding about consciousness and the role it plays in human existence. I sometimes believe in reincarnation, and have heard some great stories about children who recall past lives, etc. But I also wonder if we have a choice, and if some choose to stay in that field, or enter a whole different dimension. We again won’t know until it happens.

AN – For readers of the book who are still afraid, uncomfortable, or just nervous about dying…do you have any further words that may perhaps reassure them?
MDJ – Face your fears as much as you can. Read. There are wonderful books about people in hospice who talk about their experiences facing death. There are wonderful accounts of people who have ‘Near Death Experiences.’ There are also wonderful books that look at the science of death and consciousness. I feel like the more we know, the easier it might be. It still won’t be easy, but maybe just a touch more.

AN – Lastly, what’s next on your agenda, if I may ask?
MDJ – My focus for the next few years, once my last two non-fiction books are out, which are EVERYDAY MAGIC and WOMEN ON THE FRINGE, is going to be writing the novels that have been sitting on my computer waiting for me to finish them, along with a few more screenplays. I am getting ready to co-produce a short film, and after that the director and I want to do a feature. So, a lot of writing and being creative. It’s time! The research side of my brain needs a rest!

It certainly looks like we will be hearing from Marie within the near future, lots of great things in the works!

Posted in Interviews and Nonfiction by Tony Northrup on January 27th, 2024 at %I:%M %p.

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