The Barn Dance: An Interview with James Twyman
The Barn Dance is James Twymanís thirteenth book, and his most personal to date. Though known internationally as The Peace Troubadour and the author of several bestselling books, many became aware of him when the news of his former wifeís murder outside Chicago was reported around the country. Nearly five years later, Twyman is releasing a book that not only chronicles the tragedy, but dives into the mystery of life-after-death, and direct communication with loved ones on the other side of the veil.
The book has already been called a triumph, and in the few short weeks since its release, has inspired thousands. Neale Donald Walsch, the author of The Conversations with God series, said: ďOnce in every generation a book comes along that changes the way we look at life itself. This is one such book.Ē Now, in this very personal interview, Twyman explains why he felt inspired to tell such an intimate story, as well as how he thinks it will help people who are also suffering from the loss of a loved one.
Question: First of all, it must have been a very difficult story to tell. Clearly Linda meant a great deal to you and you felt compelled to honor her memory through The Barn Dance.
James Twyman: Linda did mean a tremendous amount to me. She was my first love and I never stopped trying to win her back. She was actually considering moving out to Oregon to be with our daughter and I when she was killed. Youíre right when you say that I wanted to honor her with this story, but thereís also a deeper reason. I wrote this book because I knew that everyone would be able to relate to it, regardless of whether theyíve suffered a similar type of loss or not. Weíve all had to say goodbye to loved ones, and weíve all had to experience grief in our lives. But the idea that there really is a magical place in-between Heaven and Earth is very deep in our subconscious. We all would love to meet someone weíve lost, someone who is on the other side of the veil, and The Barn Dance is a way for us to realize that dream.
Q: Has anyone told you that you might be taking advantage of her death by writing this book?
JT: Itís something that Iíve tried to be aware of, even though Iím very secure in my reasons for releasing The Barn Dance. First of all, this is a story that will inspire people, and one that they probably wonít be able to set down. That was my primary objective ... to show that death is not an end, but a beginning. But the other reason is definitely more personal. I wanted to write a book that would honor the woman who changed my life and taught me about love and how to be a good father. I also hope that it will continue to bring attention to a case that is still very much unsolved. Thatís one of the reasons Iím very interested in getting The Barn Dance into every bookstore in Chicago, as well as around the world.
Q: The story really develops when you find out that someone has been arrested for her murder. Is that true?
JT: Yes, itís very true. And yet at the same time, the police are being very careful, which we all understand. One of the things I was really impressed with was how personally the police and detectives were taking this case. It was almost as if Linda was their sister, as if the same thing could have happened to someone they love.
Q: How much of this story is actually true? Itís one of the most magical books to be released in a long time, but there are bound to be questions about whether this is fact or fiction.
JT: Thatís a hard question to answer since the story takes place at different times and on different dimensions. To me itís completely true, and Iím never going to back down from that. What I can say for sure is that every detail about Linda and my life with her is unexaggerated, and as far as the barn goes, thatís something people are going to be asking about for a very long time.
Q: If there was only one lesson you hope people walk away with after reading this book, what would it be?
JT: I want people to believe in magic, and to know that life is not something that ends with the death of the body. Of course most of us believe that already, at least mentally, but to have a tangible experience of that, even if itís through a story like The Barn Dance, makes it very real. I really do believe that thereís a place between Heaven and Earth where the magic never ends. For me that was in a secluded barn in the middle of a magical forest. For the rest of us, it could be anywhere and everywhere. We just have to open our eyes to see it.
James F. Twyman is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen books including Emissary of Light and The Moses Code, as well as a filmmaker and Peace Troubadour who has traveled to many countries during wars and conflicts to share his message of peace and perform The Peace Concert. He is also the president of The Beloved Community, an inter-religious spiritual organization dedicated to spreading the message of peace found at the heart of every major religion, as well as the founder of The Seminary of Spiritual Peacemaking, which has ordained over 500 peace ministers around the world. www.JamesTwyman.com