Fifty-seven year old Robert Malone is the CEO of a successful clothing store chain and married to a former model. When his doctor tells him he is dying of cancer, he refuses to go quietly. Instead of death, Robert chooses cryonics. He knows it’s a long shot. His frozen body will be stored in liquid nitrogen for the next seventy-five years, and then he’ll wake up in the future. Maybe. If technology figures out a way to bring him back.
He’s willing to take that gamble.
What he doesn’t realize is that he won’t lie in some dreamless state all that time. His soul is very much awake, and free to move about, just like the others who were frozen before him.
He discovers that he can ride in the cockpit with the pilots, but he can’t turn the page of a magazine. He can sit in the oval office with the president, but he can’t prevent a child from dashing in front of a car. He doesn’t work, or eat, or sleep. These obstacles make it difficult to fall in love, and virtually impossible to reconcile with the living.
Over the next several decades, Robert Malone will have plenty of time to learn The Ups and Downs of Being Dead.
How did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
It seems to me that anyone who dies must go through some kind of orientation, getting used to being dead. How cool would it be to get up on stage at a Rolling Stones concert and dance with Mick and the boys? But it would certainly be alarming to see a child run in front of a bus and not be able to stop him.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I really liked Maggie. Here was this old woman who had already lived a full life, but she wanted to do it all again. Sometimes, when I see old people, they seem ready to give up. I liked Maggie’s spunk.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
I guess one of my messages was not to put too much value on someone’s outward appearance. Too many times, humans get so hung-up on looks that they fail to see the real person beneath.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
Cornelius has taken a relatively new concept in science and made it sound possible.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
This book touched on just about every emotion I can think of in one way or another. This is a story about the human condition. M.R. Cornelius has managed to bring to life to (her) characters who are, ironicly, dead.
Where can people learn more about your writing?
I have a website: http://www.mrcornelius.com