On the FlipSide today is a guest post from Lawrence Weill, author of Incarnate. Let’s take a minute to acquaint you all with Lawrence before I turn it over to him…
Lawrence Weill is an author and artist in western Kentucky. In addition to novels, he writes short fiction, non-fiction articles and books, and poetry. His work has appeared in a wide range of local, regional, and national journals. He and his wife live in the woods overlooking a beaver pond. Please visit his website: www.lawrenceweill.com.
And now for a few words from Lawrence –
My name is Lawrence Weill and I am the author of the novel Incarnate, the story of the behavior of a woman (Lara) who believes her son is the second coming of Christ. It is a psychological drama, not a religious book, focusing on why Lara believes this as well as how her convictions affect her son and his little brother, her husband, and her daughter, who is older and estranged from the family.
A question I often receive is how I came up with the idea for the novel and the answer is multifaceted. First, I grew up in a household with two artists who held very different viewpoints from both each other and from mainstream America. As a result, I was exposed to a wide variety of philosophies and ideas. Because of this, I am familiar with the concepts of reincarnation, Taromancy, numerology, astrology, lithomancy, oneiromancy, and even augury, and I was able to draw on these as a way of helping define Lara’s mindset. Additionally, as a philosopher, I am interested in how much we as a culture engage in a kind of smorgasbord approach to faith and belief systems, using sometime disparate philosophies to affirm what it is we choose to believe. For example, we might hear someone say they are Methodist and then talk about being Blaise Pascal in a former life. Put another way, there is a reason so many daily papers run horoscope interpretations. We often consider ourselves to be adherents of a religion, but only on our own terms. In fact, a rapidly growing response to the question of what church someone attends is, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” I wanted to use this divergence of ideas to motivate Lara.
So this is the backstory on Incarnate and the lead character Lara: she calls upon a host of viewpoints to come to the conclusion she is, in fact, holy. But she uses not only what we might call “New Age” philosophies, but also a wide range of traditional, if also less well known, approaches. In this way, her behavior is informed by Rosicrucianism, the Kabbalah, The Knights Templar, as well as her other somewhat idiopathic beliefs. I wanted to use these various faith systems to build the character of Lara and to help the reader see how she came to her current situation.
Of course, her beliefs and behaviors are not in a vacuum. As she takes off on her journey to have her son assume the throne of God, inevitably her family is affected. Her husband frantically searches for his family. Her sons try to make sense of what their mother is saying and what she is trying to get them to do. Her daughter realizes how much she needs to return to her family.
As you read Incarnate, I hope you will find yourself engaging in a struggle, trying to decide who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist. My web presence is www.lawrenceweill.com, and there is a Facebook page for Incarnate as well.
And now for a sneak peek into Incarnate:
What should a woman do if she believes she is the mother of the second coming of Christ? This is the problem Lara Joyner faces when she comes to believe, through her visions, through the look on his face, through her cards, and through the thousands of hidden signs she sees in nature, that her son is Christ incarnate.
Incarnate is driven by this woman’s character and readers struggle between wanting to sympathize and knowing she is deeply troubled. In the end, we discover how her delusion turns many worlds upside down, as well as how faith overpowers reason. The story follows Lara and her two sons as she pushes Dale to perform miracles and save humanity. Although obviously unable to do so, he goes through the motions to protect his little brother Louis. Told alternately from Lara’s perspective (in the present tense) and from the other principles in the story, the plot follows the trials brought on by Lara’s spiraling madness, her husband’s desperate search for his family, and the children’s bewilderment and fear.
Don’t forget that clicking on the cover will take you away to Amazon where you can explore options for purchase.
If Lawrence’s guest post was of interest to you and you’d like to check out the rest of the tour, you can find links to the rest of the stops here.