Author: Chuck Swartwout
Bookpleasures.com welcomes as its guest Chuck Swartwout, author of You Don't Die-You Just Change Channels.
Norm: Good day Chuck and thanks for participating in our interview.
Chuck: Good day to you Norm, I really appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed by you.
Norm: Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background.
Chuck: Well, I will try to keep this reasonably brief, but when you’ve lived for 94 years there is a lot of ground that can be covered. I think one of the most important things is that when I was a little boy my parents called me a Curiosity Box. This curiosity has stayed with me throughout my life, and has really brought to my horizon just about everything. I was raised in a traditional Protestant church, and when I was a youngster, of course, I learned about the Christian religion and the promise of an afterlife in heaven.
I graduated in 1942 from the Case School of Engineering where I obtained a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation I went to work at the Radiation Laboratory at MIT. This laboratory was intensively involved in the development of radar systems which were credited with having a big impact on winning World War II. After I had been there for a few months I was assigned to the Airborne Division, and in another few months I was put in charge of flight testing a radar system for the P-61 night fighter aircraft. This was a huge responsibility to be given to a young engineer. After the war ended, I stayed on, and got my Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT.
I then went to work for the Swartwout Company which was founded by my grandfather at the turn of the last century. When I was working for the Swartwout Company I developed the first all-electronic control system for oil refineries and chemical plants. Then later on, after the Swartwout Company was sold, I went to work for Motorola in Phoenix and developed a system of electronic controls for them. These were successfully introduced to the industry at a tradeshow in New York City.
After five years I decided to leave Motorola, and at that point I went into something entirely different. I decided to go into the production of motion pictures. Well, to make a long story short I ended up being privileged to direct Jimmy Stewart, Dick Van Dyke, and Kirk Douglas in so-called sponsored films. Our company won many awards for all these films. Also we produced a lot of TV commercials, and one commercial that we produced for the Discount Tire Company in Scottsdale, Arizona is in the Guinness book of records as the longest running TV commercial in the world! It was the sudden death of my wife in 2006 that caused me to want to learn more about the life hereafter. I did a great deal of studying of various books written on this subject, and I decided that I could present some “common sense” views that I had not seen presented anywhere else. This is what motivated me to write a book. It turned out it was a lot more work to write a book than I anticipated, but now that it is finished I am very glad that I did this. Well, all of this is covered in a great deal more detail in my book.
Norm: How did you become involved with the subject or theme of You Don't Die-You Just Change Channels?
Chuck: It was the sudden death of my wife in 2006 that caused me to want to learn more about the afterlife.
Norm: What were your goals and intentions in writing this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? As a follow up, did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Chuck: After I had done considerable research, I felt I had come up with some “common sense” ideas that I have not seen presented elsewhere. I wanted to present these ideas to other people, and get their reaction to what I had learned. That is why I call this a Feedback Book. I specifically asked for feedback from my readers, and I feel this may be very important in learning more about the subject. From writing the book, I became convinced that there was a 99% chance that there truly was an afterlife that we all transition into after we die on the earth.
Norm: What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?
Chuck: One of the biggest
challenges was to figure out how to go about actually writing a book,
and getting it distributed to the marketplace. I decided to go the
route of self-publishing, and I found that there are many companies
that would like to help in this regard. The problem is that when you
explore these companies in depth, many of them have a great number of
complaints against them, so my problem was to find out how to proceed
with people who I felt were qualified to give me the support that I
In this process I came across the concept of finding a “Book Shepherd.” I became acquainted with a man, Mike Ball, who has been extremely helpful to me in proceeding with the book. I’m now also working with Scott Lorenz who is working with me in the promotion of the book in the marketplace. He has a great deal of experience and know-how in this area.
You know, it’s one thing to write a book, but if it is not adequately promoted it won’t go very far. I have great hopes and expectations that this book will be read by a lot of people.
Norm: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Chuck: I think the most enjoyable thing was that I had to read a lot of other books as part of my research, and this gave me new insights into the subject which was really new to me. Of course, now, the most enjoyable part is getting a number of good reviews of this book from other people.
Norm: What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre that isn't so?
Chuck: Well, this is a difficult question to answer. I think that all of the people who “believe”
that there is a life hereafter would like proof that it truly exists.
There is an old saying that “proof is in the mind of the believer,”
so if you are a strong believer, then you don’t need a lot of
There have been many near death experiences that are described in a number of books, but these are not people who have actually died. They have only been near death, so there is some question about how meaningful their experiences have been. I am hopeful that I will get a lot of feedback from readers of my book that will add additional insight into this subject.
Norm: For those interested in exploring more about the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
Chuck: I think the best place to start is to read everything you can on the subject. Also it is helpful to talk to people who may have had some first-hand experience with contacting people who have died. Then, there are some occasional meetings where a number of speakers make presentations on this subject. It is helpful to attend one of these meetings, where you can ask questions and personally interact with some of the persons who have had exciting experiences regarding the afterlife.
Norm: What makes your book stand out from the crowd of many others dealing with the same subject?
Chuck: I think that this is the only “common sense” book that has been written on the subject. I made a point of not criticizing other people’s views on the subject. My goal was to present some common sense ideas that would supplement their own ideas. It also has a very attractive, eye catching, front cover which I believe will capture people’s attention. This is a copy of a watercolor painted by my wife.
Norm: Do you hear from your readers and if so, what do they say?
Chuck. At this point the book has not actually been published, so I have not gotten reactions from the broad market. I have received reviews, however from some highly respected reviewers, and these have been very encouraging. Once it is on the market for a while, I hope I’ll receive a great deal of feedback from readers, because I think their insight will be helpful in adding additional pertinent information to this subject.
Norm: How do you answer those people that are skeptical concerning the topic of your book?
Chuck: I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do ask that everyone have an open mind to learn about other views. One of the problems I have with a lot of news broadcasts is that people don’t know how to listen; they are really polarized. It has taken me almost 94 years to learn that I am not always right. I will respect your views, and I hope to learn from your feedback.
Norm: How can readers find out more about you and your endeavors.
Chuck: Even though I have now published a book aimed at the general public, in many ways I’m a somewhat private person. I did publish a memoir of my life in 2005, which was for distribution to members of my large family. I can arrange to have additional copies printed which I would be happy to distribute to anyone wishing to learn more about my personal background. This memoir is listed in the bibliography at the back of my book.
Norm: What is next for Chuck Swartwout?
Chuck: If I get sufficient feedback, I hope that this will be the basis for a second book on this subject. I also like to write music and hope to get back into this.
Norm: As this interview comes to an end, what question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
Chuck: Well, near the end of this book I propose a program for ending world wars. To implement this program will require the investment of many millions of dollars. I would be delighted if some billionaire would indicate a willingness to contribute a substantial amount of money to get the program started.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with your book and all of your future endeavors.
Chuck: Thanks for your interest and please feel free to ask me any additional questions.